Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Valentine's Day Look at Relationship Success

Happy Valentine’s Day. Today I look at some of history’s most famous couples in an attempt to ascertain what they had that made their relationships so successfully enduring.

Tarzan and Jane came from different worlds. It would appear that they were a classic example of opposites attracting. I mean these two didn’t only grow up on different continents, but were extremely different as he had never been inside a house or employed toilet paper. I can certainly understand Tarzan’s attraction to Jane…he had never met such a clean, hairless, well manicured and highly perfumed creature. On the other hand, I cannot imagine what in the world attracted Jane to the King of the Jungle. He was unclean, unrefined, unclothed and spoke without the ability to conjugate verbs. Of course, he was probably in damn good shape swinging from those vines and King of the Jungle seems a pretty impressive title, but that guy had never met a bar of soap in his life! I think Jane was either shopping for a man with a title (thinking she could become Queen of the Jungle) or otherwise was on a serious rebellious trip against her parents.

Romeo and Juliet also came from different worlds, but because of family feuding they were forbidden to even be friends. For many people that is the very spice they require to feel the urge to unite. That age old lure of the forbidden fruit or trying something meant to be off limits. Many people find that type relationships exciting. It feels as if they are two lone souls defying the world when society prohibits them being together. Think teacher – student; officer – inmate; mistress – married man; employee – boss; altar boy – clergy; and so on and so forth. What makes the whole affair seem desirable is the fact that it is not publicly permissible.

I have dated women from many different cultures, religions and backgrounds, and while I sometimes found it very interesting, it was not our differences but the quality of the person that kept me around…or not.

Of course, if you watch Disney movies you’ll quickly learn old Walt’s theory that the greater the disparity the greater the attraction. The knight who found Sleeping Beauty deep in the forest and, stealing a kiss from what he thought was a corpse, wound up living happily ever after! Remember the prince suffering a shoe fetish that became infatuated with a lost glass slipper and searched kingdom wide to find Cinderella with the perfect size feet. The beautiful Belle who fell in love with the awful Beast after learning what was in his heart was more important that his grotesque face. Man! That’s the kind of woman I need to find. No, they don’t make sense, but that’s why they are labeled fairy tales. And Peter Pumpkin Eater…well, let’s not even go there.

Hollywood will tell you a similar story as you think about the dozens of movies following the similar theme that the fat, nerdy, loser will always get the prom queen if he will just remain persistent. In real life, it is that enduring pursuit, meant to exhibit devotion to that one special woman that actually ends up in allegations, ambushes and restraining orders.

Still, these days I am often turned down by women using the excuse that “we just don’t have anything in common.” Yet, these are some of the numerous ladies who happily brag that they are "still looking for a millionaire." What in the world do they expect to have in common with a rich guy? Okay, I know what you are thinking: a bank account! While this answer surely has merit, being the simple guy I am means I’m always flabbergasted that these women forget the lifelong lessons of children’s stories and movies about how it is our differences that matter and NOT our similarities. Will these girls ever learn?

Whether to blame it on fairy tales or pheromones I am not quite sure and the debate will continue I'm certain. I sent one Valentine’s Day card to a young lady I had quite enjoyed spending time with recently. I know asking her to be my valentine opened myself up, but I was caught completely off guard when upon receiving the card she immediately called me with the response: “I wish you wouldn’t send this stuff to my house.”

When will I ever learn??