Take Notes: 11 Lessons ‘Once Upon a Time’ Teaches Men

Photo: ABC
Photo: ABC

With the midseason finale nearly here, we felt it was time to revisit Once Upon a Time and the lessons it’s teaching us. Last time we provided 11 bits of advice Once is giving women. Now it’s the guys’ turn.

1. Be a pirate. It will help you with the ladies. Even women who don’t like Hook, still think he’s hot and would at least consider giving in to those smouldering, guylinered eyes.

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2. Even if you lie, she’ll still love you. We love Rumbelle to the core but the Dark One has spent a lot of time deceiving his beloved time and again. Most recently he pulled a switcheroo with his Dagger, which was supposed to represent his love and devotion to Belle (and act as an engagement “ring”). David said it best, and to Rumple no less: “There is a difference between literal truth and honesty of the heart.” Make sure you pursue the latter and the former will follow.

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Photo: Tumblr

3. Everyone has daddy issues. Literally everyone. Don’t let it drag you down or get in the way of going after the thing or person you love. Also, try some therapy. It can do wonders.

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Photo: Tumblr
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Photo: Tumblr

4. Recognize a woman for who she is, not who you want her to be. For all their annoying sweetness, the Charmings are perhaps the couple whose relationship is built on the most transparency. In a season 3 flashback, when Snow uses their honeymoon to search for Medusa, Charming replies, “I fell in love with you on a troll bridge after you robbed me and hit me over the head with a rock. I knew what I was getting myself into.” That’s what a real relationship looks like.

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5. Give her a library. Or something else truly meaningful, rather than just something sparkly. Rumple may not be the best of men but he knows the way to Belle’s heart. That’s why he gave her a library. Twice.

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6. Don’t be a dick. Women might date jerks but they never really like them. We swoon over the Will Scarlets, Robin Hoods, Kristoffs, and Killian Joneses because they’re funny, charming, sweet, and real.

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7. “A man unwilling to fight for what he wants… deserves what he gets.” A still bad Hook says this to Rumple in “Crocodile,” and wow is it true. Ask yourself what you really want in life, what matters most to you, and then go after it. This applies to your career and your relationships.

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8. Age don’t mean a thing. Huge differences in age only don’t matter in fictional worlds. If she’s 20 years younger than you, back off. It’s creepy.

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9. Redemption is always possible, but you’ll probably screw it up. But that doesn’t mean you should stop seeking it! Don’t be like season 4 Rumple who gave up and decided to be evil again because it was too hard to be a good guy.

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10. Keep pursuing her and eventually she’ll give in. But you’ve got to read the signals right. Emma told Hook she wasn’t interested so he took a backseat and just consistently came through for her. Eventually, he won her heart by being genuine and heroic in all of the ordinary and extraordinary ways. This may not always work (sorry) but it’s better than the alternative: being a major creeper who stalks your “True Love.”

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11. Be her partner in crime, not her enemy. We especially have Kristoff to thank for this rule. No matter how ridiculous Anna’s plan seemed, he was by her side every step of the way.

Photo: ABC
Photo: ABC
Stephanie Coats
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