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Tag Archives: Sincerity

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My dear Jil, don’t know if you’ve ever heard of a programme called Grand Design. I think it’s on BBC Prime. Cable. It’s an architecture programme – beautiful, lovely houses on a grand scale. Creative architecture, mostly modern. These are not your run of the mill stuff. These are incredible houses – the type you’ll want to live in. Tasteful. Non garish. Well, I liken your unfolding relationship to grand design, or shall we call it grand deceit.
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My dear Jack, the simple truth is, both of you are generating different realities from the same set of facts. And that’s because each of you is processing the facts through his or her desire. She wants a much earlier wedding, you want a latter wedding. That simple fact is at the root of the issues in this relationship. It’s what is affecting the relationship, it’s what is determining and driving the interpretation of facts.
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Jack, there’s a balance somewhere and it’s not always easy to find. You don’t want to be isolated as a man, but at the same time you don’t want your wife feeling threatened and insecure. Both of you have to work out a balance, you have to develop and nurture mutual understanding. Put first things first – your wife has to be #1 in all you do. That’s non-negotiable. Continue reading

My dear Jil, you’ve got to get rid of all those munched conversations on your phone. Love does not keep record of wrongs. In your case, you’re not only keeping record of wrongs, but evidence to be used in future prosecution of your boyfriend. And so when he says something in the future, you’ll go into that file drawer, pull out what he had said, annotated with date and time. Continue reading

My dear Jack, seems to me you’re speed-dating women. No, I’m not talking about the other variety – those events in which you’re given two minutes to consider dating someone. Or is that the date? You can see the conceptual paradox. You can’t achieve a reasonable objective in that context. At best those programmes are about eliminating whom not to date, and such a person must be an obvious misfit. The whole thing seems like guess work on a multiple choice exam paper. You go for such events with the attitude of “Who knows!” rather than “I’m sure to meet someone.” It’s really not that efficient when it comes to qualitative decisioning. The structure favours certain stereotypes – guys and babes who can make their case in two minutes flat. There’s just something rushed about it, something superficial. That’s why I said it’s at best an elimination exercise. You’re at the mercy of the quality of the pool of prospects. But that’s not what I want to talk to you about.
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Dear Jack, it’s important you discern the spirit of someone you’re considering dating. Rather than just being moved by superficial realities. What’s on the surface is being projected. The nice dress, makeup, the affectations, the sexiness…all those are projections. Those projections won’t give you a true picture of somebody, just an impression. Projections are independent of character. Projections won’t give you insight into the spirit or real nature of someone. A devious person can wear fitted skirt and look attractive. The prettiness of the skirt is not the true knowledge of the person. And anyway mass media has sold us an imagery of a cosmopolitan woman. You’ve been programmed by reality TV. That someone looks fine, dresses fine can’t tell you the character of the person. You have to discover that. The character is independent of the dressing. The dress is mere fashion, an artistic endeavour. So you may find yourself appreciating a dress rather than evaluating the character of the model you’re considering dating.
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My dear Jack, I think you need to sit down and ask yourself what this woman means to you. It’s something every couple should do – both the man and the woman should ask what they mean to each other. Such an appraisal helps one uncover the true value of a partner. We tend to get lost in all those “husband” and “wife” titular stuff. We use the phrases so much they hardly mean a thing anymore. A “wife” (or “husband”) is after all someone you married. It’s taken as the result of an activity – the taking of an oath. It’s like “Mr. & Mrs.” It’s what you write on an envelope. Simply identifies sexes and marital status, nothing more. It can’t and doesn’t give depth to marriage. In fact, it has no usage inside marriage. In the same vein, “husband and wife” has come to represent co-joined status. If care is not taken it can be devoid of depth.
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Dear Jil, first, you don’t generalise about men. (Men shouldn’t generalise women too!) The statement, “All sparrows are black” has to be a presumptive fallacy since we can’t say we’ve come across all sparrows. It’s why we don’t generalise about the sexes. You can only talk about the men you know, or been told about. Even that is hearsay. Second, you don’t bring the spirit of gender unionism into your marriage. It’s not a “Men versus Women” thing. Third, other men are not your concern really. Just your husband. Marriage is very proprietary, narrow and custom. And so what you need to concern yourself with is your husband, not other people’s husbands. They’re not your worry. If others say their husbands are crazy but you know yours is sane, you don’t import non-existent insanity into your marriage. And so I understand your concern about men in general but men, in general, are not your concern. You’re not God.
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My dear Jack, you can’t marry on another person’s timetable. You marry when you know you’re ready. The problem you have is that you’re dating someone four years older than you. That has its own pressure. To be sure, she’s also under pressure from her family. They want her to marry fast. What she’s simply done is transfer the pressure to you, but you’re nowhere near ready.
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My dear Jil, it’s always better to have certainty in a relationship. You cannot assume someone is going to marry you. You’ve got to know. It’s got to be definitive, or you may have disappointment. I once asked a pilot why some pilots smack the plane on the tarmac as they landed. (Like many I thought this was bad landing). But my pilot friend told me it was the contrary. That the impact gives certainty the plane touched the ground. He said the shock absorbers of planes are configured to handle multiple hard landings so no problem. Without that impact the plane may just be coasting on a thin cushion of air till it runs out of runway, and then disaster. Bottom line, the impact against the tarmac gives the pilot certainty. In the same vein you need certainty about the future.
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