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Fred's Blog

A Man For All Seasons

It’s not unusual for many of us to discuss with our friends what characteristics we would like to find in a potential mate.

If I lined up 100 boomer age men, I believe a great many of them would ask for a woman of great beauty or sex appeal, while if I lined up a similar number of women, for the most part, they would be very interested in men who were wealthy or successful. Yes, they might want other characteristics, but the preponderance of responses, I’m sure, would start here.

There is nothing wrong with these age old stereotypes, but I’ve never found any happily married couple of at least 20 years who said the secret of their success was mutual physical attraction or money. After the “honeymoon period,” which could last from a month to a year or two, most couples end up appreciating far more in their mates than whether they are still highly attractive or well to do. On the contrary, those that seem truly happy to me use comments like, “He’s my best friend.” Or, “She’s always there for me.” Or, “We share the same interests, values and goals.”

If I might generalize, I would say that most happy couples develop a strong comfort level with each other. They have reasonable expectations which they anticipate will be met most of the time. There is a consistency to the relationship; a certain predictability, which brings about a heightened sense of serenity, security, and peace of mind.

In 1966, Paul Scofield played the title role of Sir Thomas More in the movie A Man For All Seasons. For those who may or may not know the movie or English history, More, as the Lord Chancellor of England during the reign of King Henry VIII, refused to sign a letter asking the Pope to annul the King's marriage to Catherine of Aragon and resigned rather than take an Oath of Supremacy declaring the King the Supreme Head of the Catholic Church in England. More, a man of extreme conscience, was willing to put his life in danger by remaining true to his principles and religion under all circumstances and at all times.

More was much loved. He had a great wit, was affable, fair and just. His beliefs and actions were consistent, regardless whether the times were merry or sad. He was truly a man for all seasons.

This is what I believe is at the heart of successful relationships. Do our mates present us with a steadying influence? Can we have reasonable expectations of them, regardless of circumstances? Will they change with the wind or time? Or, will they be our rock, our steadfast companion and devout partner for the rest of our lives? Can we count on and depend upon them?

My parents were married for over 28 years, until my father’s untimely passing. Growing up I recognized that the relationship was far from perfect. I saw the flaws in each. But, they were always there for each other. They knew what they could expect from the other. And, for the most part, they each delivered their share. They depended on each other. They were true partners.

Perhaps, I’ve been a bit spoiled by this early experience with relationships. But, at this stage of my life I’m even surer that happiness for me, as well as for many others, rests more with finding a partner who is predictable and dependable, the ultimate Man, Or Woman, For All Seasons.

 

|  Posted on: 2011-05-04 03:10:12  |  1 Comments  

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Maybe that\'s the problem with L.A. -- there is only one season.
Comment added by bunzel on 2011-05-07 15:06:17
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