Podcast #79 Dealing With Change

Change is inevitable, and even with the best intention in the world, couples will grow closer and further apart because of it.

Are we taking on more than is reasonable when we couple-up with someone? Is all change acceptable? Are there better ways to make it work when we’re out of synch? What about discomfort created by one of us changing?

Kregg and I take a big-picture look.

Character or Chemistry?

In the long list of bogus standards with which Hollywood has blessed us, their idea of romantic love is among the worst. Not only is it a false hope, it’s something far worse; an impossible dream.

Most of us think – because of the movies – that the best relationships begin with instant bonding, the storied glance across a crowded room. Something begins that way, but it’s not the best beginning to a serious and connected lifetime of shared experiences.

Chemistry is at the heart of this instant noodle notion of coupling. Chemistry is certainly a thing, but it’s a reproductive and entirely mammalian thing. Lasting reltionships of course require chemistry, but they need so much more; character, for one thing.

Character is like a vertical flight of wines from a quality winery. Over a series of years, one can see the differences between each vintage. Some years are lesser than others; less rain, or too much rain, or insufficient sun or too much, or the winemaker quit in the middle of harvest. Individually, each bottle is a snapshot, but when we put them together we can see the thread of substance and flavor from one to the next.

People are the same. Coupling with someone because we thought the first sip of one glass from one year is both shallow and dopey. Without knowing the backbone of this person, how can we know what happens under stress? When we argue? When we lose in the lottery of life? When we grow old?

Character, not chemistry. Patterns,  not promises. Backbone, not bullshit.

Room To Breathe

None of us think of relationships this way, but the courtesy of allowing room for the other to be who they are forms a lifelong framework, if we so choose.

What does “allowing room” mean?

Well, Hortense, room equates to latitude and understanding. Within the boundaries of law, morality, etiquette and goodwill, women should allow men to be men, and men should allow women to be women. Observing our specific mate’s version of malehood or femalehood is part of learning about them.

What does ” (being) who they are” mean?

Being who they are is the characteristic and integral behavior of each sex. Women and men are different, and understanding them from the perspective of the other can be difficult, and, in extreme cases, fatal for a relationship. Finding a way to rejoice in the differences and to be at one with our opposite is finding peace with who our mate is.

Acceptance; finding a way to want what is mostly for the good is a fine way to progress through life with someone.

Making Moves

A female friend, a married woman, tries to set me up on dates. That’s very nice of her, and I’m both grateful and flattered she thinks enough of me to, in essence, stamp me with her brand.

It’s a point often forgotten in the sweaty melee of finding someone. Emotions and hormones drive much of this frantic activity, such that noticing the implied endorsements and possible alliances is often overlooked. We are tribal, and the greatest gift a tribe can extend is an offer of membership.

Because I enjoy observing these rites of mateship, I’m consistently flummoxed by the mismatch of action and intention we can all demonstrate in this area. For instance, with the latest invitation from my friend, I wonder why the lady in question doesn’t contact me, and ask me out on a date. If she’s as interested as my friend claims, would she not risk it?

Podcast #78 Are Men Redundant?

The number of men needed to keep the species going is around 125. Once that requirement is satisfied, what’s the point of the rest of them?

Are men on the way to virtual redundancy? Do women now overlook our part in their lives? Kregg and I toss around the case for men.