Love Lessons from the Taylor Burton Files

As every twelve-year old knows, love isn’t patient or kind like the saying goes.  It’s violent, torturous, woe-is-me insanity and if you can’t have the one you love you will implode in a fiery pyre of unrequited emotions and sexual frustration and the object of your desire will sob so hard over your casket that he or she will implode as well and then the town will erect a statue of the two of you.  That’s real love, people.

To achieve this level of passion, let’s look to the King and Queen of crazy, stupid love: Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton.  They loved each other so completely they married and divorced each other twice.  That’s a lot of paperwork!

Taylor and Burton were the Brangelina of their time, only way better and more interesting.  The world watched their affair ignite on the set of Cleopatra and grow to such heights the press called it “Le Scandale.”  Talk about melodramatic.  Anyhoo here are some tips from their affaire d’amour to help you, too, find a love so intense it might just consume every fiber of your libidinous being.

1. Play hard to get:
When Richard first laid eyes on Elizabeth at a party, she was so gorgeous he burst out laughing.  Then, when he tried to woo her she ignored the hell out of him later saying she would not “be another notch on his belt.”  Tease them and make them pine for years – that’s what she did. Look how that worked out.

2. Be illicit: When Richard and Elizabeth finally did hook up years later, they were both married to other people – oops!  Rather than thinking of such behavior as Le Scandale, think of it as a sure-fire way to ignite that spark.  These feeling of shame, excitement, and sneakiness are great ingredients for a long and binding love.  It also helps if the Vatican cares enough to condemn your love, just like Richard and Elizabeth.  Sexy!

3. Get hammered: With all due respect, Elizabeth and Richard got drunk.  A lot.  Obviously this leads to heightened levels of love and passion so grab two gimlets at 11am, toss em back, and roll around with your lover alternating between seething angry fights and tender sweet reconciliations.  Elizabeth said: “Our fights are delightful screaming matches, and Richard is… like an atom bomb going off.”  Aww! Getting really sloshed with your sweetie also really helps with our final tip which is…

4. Write melodramatic sexy letters: That’s right.  Richard was a real pro at this.  He wrote things to Taylor like:

“I worship you. There’s no life without you, I’m afraid.”

“You are as distant as Venus… and I am tone-deaf to the music of the spheres.”

“Her breasts were apocalyptic, they would topple empires.”

Apocalyptic?  Damn Richard!  That’s L-O-V-E.  Study up people because these two had it going on.  Who needs patient and kind when you have atom bombs and apocalypses?!  Now… go get drunk! 


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About the author

Dina Gachman’s blog Bureaucracy for Breakfast has been featured on NPR, Huffington Post, and Chelsea Handler’s Borderline Amazing Comedy. She’s written for Forbes, Stylist, LA Review of Books, Splitsider, Ask Men, and Hello Giggles. She’s also written comic books about Elizabeth Taylor and Marilyn Monroe. Find her on Twitter: @TheElf26

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