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The Top 10 Relationship Lessons From Mad Men

Mad Men takes you back to a world when a man was a man, a woman was a woman, and work was a good place to get drunk. Unfortunately, the days of smoking indoors are over but that does not mean there isn't a textbook of lessons we can take away from the crew of Sterling, Cooper, Draper, Pryce. From Don Draper to Roger Sterling, let's take a look at the lessons of the men of Mad Men.


10. Set Boundaries.
It's important to make her understand that she is not the only priority in your life – you have your work, your friends and other relationships, family, interests, etc. Even if she is “the most important thing in your life,” it's important to nip any kind of jealousy over your necessarily divided attention in the bud. Preferably Draper style, with a stern scowl and a drink in hand.

9. Leave the Past in the Past.

It's rare that you will encounter someone without a romantic past, and likely a sketchy one at that. As you get older, it becomes rare to meet someone who hasn't already been married. Heck, Don has been married three times with many, many women scattered throughout. That doesn't mean you should let whatever happened in the past with you and previous partners and her and previous partners affect your relationship. You can't get jealous and you can't make it a “thing” or you'll waste a whole lot of drinking time upset about things that are already done with.

8. Be Handy.

When Pete Campbell's sink breaks and he fumbles around with a set of unfamiliar tools, Don quickly springs into action and quickly repairs it with his bare hands. You don't need an extensive knowledge of plumbing but it definitely helps to be handy with a set of tools, know how to fix things around the house, and just generally be useful. It turns them on too.

7. Don't Let Others Poison You.

We all have friends, exes, family, and co-workers who love nothing more than to meddle. In the world of Mad Men, that's seemingly all you have. But the people who jump on any opportunity to piss in your Cheerios are just jealous because they don't have the happiness they think you do. That's a “them problem,” not yours. Haters gonna hate, but you shouldn't let haters affect the way you act or feel or you'll just wind up like them.

6. Apologize.

Pride and ego are important but that shouldn't stop us from swallowing some of it when we are wrong or, at the very least, don't want to keep fighting. Apologies go a long way in cooling off fights and, hopefully, getting to the best part of the fight – the make-up sex.

5. Be Supportive.

If you are controlling, she will grow resentful. If you are critical, she will grow resentful. Even if you think she is wrong, the only right move is to offer support. Just as with apologizing, it's not always about being right. It's just about doing what you need to keep her happy.

4. Appreciate What You Have.

We spend too much time complaining about our problems and pet peeves and not enough time just being happy that we are in a relationship with someone we like and likes us. Maybe even love. If you are always thinking about “what if,” you are not spending enough time thinking about what is.

3. Don't Get Stuck.

Just because you should appreciate what you have doesn't mean you should appreciate anything you have. A bad girlfriend isn't really better than no girlfriend. Since most of us will go through multiple relationships in our lives, it's fair to say most relationships will not work out. You shouldn't try to force them to work out and you shouldn't feel obligated to stay in a miserable relationship. If you're married or you have kids, this can be tricky and downright expensive. But what is the price of being happy? Or at least, not miserable?

2. Don't Sweat the Small Stuff, Get Drunk.

Stress is inevitable. We get it at work and we get it at home. But guess what? It's not the end of the world and it's not that big a deal. There will always be things to fight about, sometimes you just need to let the smaller stuff go. What's the good in picking a fight over something unimportant that can be as easily resolved inside you with a good glass of scotch or four.

1. Be a Man.

You want to know how to keep a woman? Be a man. It's the most basic biological and psychological response – a woman is attracted to what she sees as “a real man.” Whether the 1950s/60s definition of a “man” is the right one is up to you but at the end of the day, there are some basic male characteristics that are not up for debate – offering protection, providing for her, and giving her the emotional support she needs. It doesn't hurt if you dominate in the sack, either.