Dating advice inspired by political theories

Photo courtesy of Greek Boston


Photo courtesy of Greek Boston

Don’t date Socrates!

He didn’t wash, wear shoes, or have an income worth mentioning. He spent his time in the marketplace, not with his wife Xanthippe and their three sons. (Holly Walter)

Find someone with whom you can use reason to solve problems.

Thank you, John Locke, for “The Second Treatise of Government.” (Carter Hallgren)

Trust but don’t trust blindly.

A softened adaptation of Machiavelli’s political advice in “The Prince.” (Dillon Reed)

Pay attention to actions over words.

From Maurizio Viroli, “How to Choose a Leader: Machiavelli’s Advice to Citizens.” (Emma Travis)

Love the one who will travel for you and put love above political allegiance.

Inspired by the story of Socrates in Plato’s “Apology” and “Crito.” (Jai Fentress)

Avoid single-minded people – to know another person and the world requires multiple perspectives.

Machiavelli teaches that it’s one thing to know the political world from the point of view of political subjects and another thing to know it from the point of view of political rulers. (Riley Masten)

Pick a person who pursues life with care for expanding and deepening consciousness.

Socrates worries about people who are just run by their socialization, ingrained habits, and concern for the opinions of others. (Lila Cunneely)

Be the gadfly. Find the gadfly. Love the gadfly.

In Plato’s “Apology,” Socrates compares his efforts to promote care for truth and justice in the polis of Athens to a gadfly who bites and irritates a drowsy horse into greater alertness. The gadfly stimulates consciousness. (Megan O’Brien)

Don’t date Crito!

In Plato’s “Crito,” Socrates’s friend Crito cares too much about the unexamined opinions of others and his reputation. As a result, his action is not motivated by good principles. (Erda Nesimi)

Preserve your own voice.

James Baldwin exemplifies the power of voice in “The Fire Next Time.” Without voice, we cannot give an account of ourselves or of others. Without voice, we might remain trapped in systems of reality that do not serve us. (Calum Taft-Lockard)

Choose a partner with a good moral compass who appreciates your conscience.

Maurizio Viroli, the author of “How to Choose a Leader: Machiavelli’s Advice to Citizens,” underlines the importance of choosing political leaders who are moral and act in good faith. (Holly Walter)

Don’t be too nice.

Machiavelli warns that rulers who are too generous or merciful may be taken advantage of. i.e. their goodness may backfire and result in the loss of political power, stability, and legitimacy. (Erda Nesimi)