7 Invaluable Love Lessons From Elizabeth Taylor

Elizabeth Taylor
Love, Heartbreak

Screen legend Elizabeth Taylor dies at 79, leaving behind a legacy of love.

Screen legend Elizabeth Taylor passed away on March 23 at the age of 79. The cause was congestive heart failure—which seems a little ironic to us. Throughout her rich lifetime, Liz's heart never failed her. She leaves behind an unparalleled legacy of love. She might have been known for her many marriages, but her roles as humanitarian, friend and mother also lead through her life. Taylor taught us time and time again about the lessons we can learn through each love and each relationship.

Lesson No. 1: Having an S.O. isn't everything.

"Some of my best leading men have been dogs and horses."

No one will deny that Liz's leading men were a big part of her life, but the screen star realized that they couldn't be the only part. She had a heart for her children, her career, and the less-fortunate—she even earned an honorary Oscar for her humanitarian work. Embracing all facets of your life will create a full life. A Look Back: Elizabeth Taylor's Love Life

Lesson No. 2: Know what real love looks like.

"My self-esteem, my image, everything soared under his exuberant, loving care."

Taylor had tumultuous marriages, quiet marriages, scandal-plagued marriages—but she knew what real love looked and felt like. She gushed about her relationship with Michael Todd, who died in a plane crash just a year after they wed. "God, I loved him," she said. As Elizabeth knew, the greatest relationship is the one that allows you to be the best version of yourself.

Lesson No. 3: We won't always understand the opposite sex.

"I suppose when they reach a certain age some men are afraid to grow up."

Oh, the many truths of Ms. Liz. She said it: Some men never grow up... Yeah, we don't get it, either, but we'd have to agree. If it too often feels like you're babysitting the guy in your life, don't try to change him. It's best to move on. Elizabeth Taylor Denies Impending Ninth Marriage

Lesson No. 4: It's OK to define "spouse" on your own terms.

"I don't pretend to be an ordinary housewife."

Ordinary housewife? That's a snitch boring. And also, being a wife is great, but it's essential to nurture the other areas of your life, too. Want to paint like Picasso? Take some art classes. Want to try something extreme? Go sky-diving. Want to lead? Run for a local office... or a national one. We thank Liz for the reminder: Dare to be different. Bold, awesome and extraordinarily different.

Lesson No. 5: True friends will always be there for you.

"You find out who your real friends are when you're involved in a scandal."

Ms. Taylor was involved in many a scandal—like when she fell for married-man Eddie Fisher in 1959 (eek)—but she learned from each one. Plus, she found out which of her friends she could actually count on. Only a few stuck beside her when the going got tough, and sometimes that's the most important lesson to learn after facing adversity: Who can you really trust? It's important to know. Richard Burton's Love Letters To Elizabeth Taylor

Lesson No. 6: Laugh at your love-life mistakes.

"I am a very committed wife. And I should be committed too—for being married so many times."

When asked why she made that trip down the aisle so frequently, Elizabeth just smiled and said, "I don't know, honey. It sure beats the hell out of me." She knew that dwelling on her mistakes was silly, so she let them go. When the rest of the world laughed at her for becoming a perpetual bride, she laughed right along with them. Score one for Liz.

Lesson No. 7: In life and in love, everything happens for a reason.

"I've had many tragedies in my life, but I guess they have all taught me something. I have to look at it that way."

No matter what happens in life, there's a lesson to be learned. Each relationship, situation and circumstance will teach you more and more about yourself. Elizabeth Taylor believed that, and she was one wise woman. So, we'd be wise to embrace her outlook, too.