Dear Dr. P,
What makes the ideal mate? And, why is mate and meat spelled so similar?Â How important is friendship versus love between guys and gals?
Your questions regarding the ideal mate and the similarity of the words “mate” to “meat” is very perceptive! Indeed, the two words have all letters in common albeit in different order.
Note too, that the words “male” and “lame” are similarly similar, a point often commented upon by the human female.
In our ancestral dim past, quite often a presentation of a piece of meat taken in the hunt, to a female by a courting male, was a demonstration of his prowess as a hunter, and therefore of his suitability as a mate and provider.
She, if impressed by the piece of meat might comment, “that’s quite a hunk,” and select and invite him to mate.Â Even today, the term persists among females when impressed by a particular male, as in the current but somewhat distorted usage of “He’s quite a hunk.”
Seriously, the ideal mate, someone with whom you would spend your lifetime, is more likely to be your best friend, a soul-mate, than it is to be your lover. You both have to have a lot in common, in terms of interests, background, level of intelligence, likes, dislikes, attitudes, religious perspectives, plans about family and career, and so on.Â These factors make for harmony, contentment, happiness and long marriage and healthy lives.Â Although someone who may only be your lover seems at first to be “ideal,” beware.Â That is a false perception produced by endocrine and neurotransmitter intoxication.
Being in “love,” unfortunately, is a poor basis for selecting your supposedly ideal mate and progressing to marriage.Â After the passion wears off, as it certainly will in most cases of persons who marry in the passion of being “in love,” you may soon find that you and your partner have very little in common and that you may not even like him or her.
My mother, who has been married to my father for 62 years (this is true), has told me that to “like and fondly care for” someone is better than being “in love” with them.Â Whereas being “in love” is the Western romantic ideal basis for marriage, if you look up the word “romantic,” it is akin to “fantasy,” or not being real.
My mom and dad married after two meetings face-to-face and a year of letter writing to one another.
These are my advisory factoids:
1) There are thousands of people who could be your “ideal mate.”
2) Attempt to establish a “best friendship” first, then see if the friendship may develop into a sexual relationship.Â The model for this is the movie “When Harry Met Sally.”
3) Decide to marry “in cold blood,” not in the heated passion of new love.
4) The image, physical and personality, of your “ideal mate” is revealed to you in your dreams and selection of erotica.Â That is most likely to be the image of the real person that would most attract you sexuoerotically.
5) We tend to mature and improve how we interact in relationships, and change to perfect our standards, as the number of our relationships increases.
We become wiser in our selections, more cautious in our activities, slower in our tendencies to become legally bonded, and more objective in assessment of our own feelings.
Not only do we choose more ideal mates but we also tend to become more ideal mates ourselves.Â We learn to appreciate and love ourselves first, which then enables us to fully love others.