Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Playboys and Patriarchs

I've created a theory of romantic compatibility.

I see men as basically divided into two types: Playboys and Patriarchs. Women can similarly be playgirls or matriarchs.

Playboys / playgirls want to have fun while they live. Play is their priority.

Patriarchs / matriarchs want to create something that will live beyond them, whether it is a family dynasty or a social cause or even a business enterprise.

The difference between these two types of people is simple: spiritual maturity. No one (at least I cannot conceive of anyone, though I could be wrong) ever starts out as a patriarch or matriarch. We ALL pass through a stage of being playboys or playgirls as we spiritually mature from infancy and early childhood. Some of us either get spiritually stuck at that stage and cease maturing. Others might mature but then have experiences that make them regress.

There is absolutely NOTHING inherently wrong with being a playboy or playgirl. I'm not here to say that one level of spiritual maturity is inherently "better" than another. That sort of "holier than thou" thinking is counterproductive. It leads to anger and resentment and trying to argue people into becoming more mature, which (in my experience) never works.

There is a very common saying that people who enter a relationship expecting to change the other person are doomed to failure and disappointment. I am not quite so pessimistic. I do think it is probably best and easiest to enter a relationship with some one of the same spiritual maturity level as yourself. In fact, I think this is the source of fastest, deepest love and compatibility.

However, it is simplistic to talk about people trying to "change" their loved oen when they have linked themselves to a person with a lower level of spiritual maturity. A better word than "change" is "mature." It is not like trying to change a person from hating broccoli to liking broccoli. What you are trying to do is get some one stuck at a particular level of immaturity to get past the issue that is blocking their natural progress and ascendance, so that they can mature spiritually.

I am optimistic (idealistic?) that with the right approach, people can help their loved ones get unstuck from a low level of spiritual maturity and ascend to a higher level of maturity. However, it is not easy. It takes enormous patients and time, and frankly I'm not sure most people are up to the task, as it is easier to slip into anger and resentment and perhaps even let your own maturity level sink to match that of your less mature lover, to create more compatibility and less conflict.

If you are going to attempt this, the first key is NOT to blame the other person for being less spiritually mature, for acting out as a playboy / playgirl. Again, you are not to judge the person as lesser than you, or imperfect due to their lower level of maturity. WE ARE ALL FREE TO CHOOSE OUR OWN LEVEL OF SPIRITUAL MATURITY.

The key is not to scold or guilt the person into achieving greater maturity. They key is to EDUCATE the person into achieving greater maturity. I believe (again, this is based on gut level feeling and personal optimism, not scientific studies) that deep down we can all appreciate maturity, and we all would welcome ascending to the stage of being a matriarch / patriarch because it has rewards that surpass the immediate gratification of the hedonistic playboy / playgirl. I think there is a fundamental sadness and loneliness in the playboy / playgirl because they sense a meaningless to their existence that they try to escape from with fleeting pleasures.

So what you need to do to get them to mature is to simply talk to them about deep issues, about death and god and spirituality and social causes. I think deep down in these people, you will find an idealistic soul that does desire to ascend, but is stuck or lost or ignorant about how to do it. Simply having non-combative conversation combined with leading by example can, over time, cause the stuck person to find a way to unstick himself/herself and begin the ascension.

The playboy / playgirl can mature into a patriarch / matriarch. This is a fact because every patriarch / matriarch was, at one time, for however brief a time, a playboy / playgirl who made this very same ascension.

The resistance to this ascension can be huge and, again, it can be such a burdensome task that it may simply not be something the more spiritually advanced person in the relationship is prepared to tackle. That's fine. Know your limits. You have no obligation to help the other person ascend (unless, perhaps, you are married with children, in which case there may be an obligation to the children to give them two spiritually mature parents, but let's set that aside for now).

Again, if you are a patriarch / matriarch in a relationship with a playboy / playgirl and you find yourself continually suffering anguish and/or anger at how the person seems selfish, inconsiderate, and immature, LET IT GO. If you do not or cannot take a PEACEFUL AND LOVING approach to helping that person see why maturity is better, and help them find their own path to getting unstuck and reaching a higher level of maturity, let them go WITHOUT ANGER OR JUDGMENT. Because, as I said before, it is wrong to label it bad or wrong or evil to be a playboy or playgirl. It is a choice people are free to make and you cannot condemn people for that anymore than you can condemn a person who chooses to wear silly hats. It may not be your cup of tea, but they are not hurting anyone.

The playboy / playgirl is not hurting you by their immature conduct. They are simply acting out their own nature. It is YOU, the patriarch / matriarch, who CHOSE to be in a relationship with a playboy / playgirl, who is to blame for the friction that results. Embrace your choice and live with it (and trying lovingly to encourage the person you are with to mature), or choose differently. But in neither case is anger or blame the correct response. And it will not do a damn bit of good. Frankly, the most likely outcome is that your own spiritual maturity will diminish.

Ken Myers

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