Recently during a big apartment move, I re-discovered an old beloved Aristotle book, and started flipping through. I was surprised to see much of what Aristotle had to say about love hit home bigtime -- in particular about a sexy, smart, funny, rich, lying, cheating don't-get-me-started "Prince Harming" ex-boyfriend (...as I call this type of person) (...and yes, guys, there are Princess Harmings too!)
I could almost hear what Aristotle might say to me about this bad relationship -- if he and I were to chat over Souvlaki.
"Mea bene, Karen," Aristotle would say. "You know what your problem was with your ex? He was not your soulmate - but your 'sould' mate -- because you sold your soul to be with him. Sure he was sexy, smart, rich, funny -- but alas, he was a no-good asshole."
"Wow," I'd say. "I can't believe you just said that word!"
"What? Asshole?" Aristotle would say with a smile. "Hey, I'm from Greece, so alas I'm no prude."
"Actually, I meant the word 'soulmate'!" I'd correct. "You're an intellectual guy - the regaled philosopher who was called The Mind of The Academy by Plato. I'm surprised you believe in something as namby-pamby metaphysical as a soulmate!"
"Absolutely!" my fave Greek philosopher buddy Ari would respond emphatically. "Actually, I sort of coined the concept of 'soulmate.' If there'd been a little 'TM' trademark thingie back in the 300's BC, I'd be a very rich man today. I firmly believe caretaking the soul is incredibly important for happiness. I describe a soulmate as a 'soul-nurturing mate' - someone who nurtures your soul -- thereby promoting insight and growth. I pushed folks to find soulmates -- because in my opinion, real happiness only comes when you stimulate your soul -- your core self -- and grow into your highest potential"
Basically the soul is the ultimate g-spot for happiness!
Of course I'm paraphrasing. But if Aristotle were here, I know he'd agree with my verbal modernization of his timeless truths. Plus, Ari would go on to describe how he views the world as offering ...
3 KINDS OF RELATIONSHIPS... ONLY 1 BRINGS TRUE HAPPINESS:
1. Firstly, there are RELATIONSHIPS OF PLEASURE. These are partners who are all about sex, drugs and rock and roll. You might share soul-less passionate sex and soul-less playful banter - but they're all about pleasures of the body or ego. They never soul-nurture you with insight and growth - so never bring you real-deal happiness. Hence, these partners are souldmates (Prince/Princess Harmings) -- not soulmates (Prince/Princess Charmings).
2. Next up, there are RELATIONSHIPS OF UTILITY-- a partner you spend time with in hopes of garnering greater wealth, status, fame, or beauty -- like the rich guy with the trophy gal. These partners also don't nurture your soul -- only your ego. Again, these are souldmates (Prince/Princess Harmings) -- not soulmates (Prince/Princess Charmings).
3. Finally there are RELATIONSHIPS OF SHARED VIRTUE. These are partners who stimulate you, challenge you, inspire you, root for you to grow into your highest potential -- who nurture your soul. A good example is Jack Nicholson's character in "As Good As It Gets" who says: "You make me want to be a better man."
When you prioritize seeking a partner who supports your becoming your favorite, best self -- instead of just crushing on someone's superficial sexy looks, charisma and wealthiness -- you wind up with a happy love relationship!
Curious how many of you out there agree with Aristotle's love tips - and which kind of relationship you're presently in! Please share your thoughts and stories below!
In the next month I will be continuing to post freebie samples from my new book Prince Harming Syndrome. My book is a new strategy for successful love relationships -- based on the ancient Greek philosophy of Aristotle - merged with cutting edge modern cognitive therapy -- delivered with feisty humor. For example I advise you gotta kiss a lot of frogs before you meet your Prince - but no need to kiss those pigs, dogs and jackasses. I then follow this feisty line up with Aristotle's philosophies on happy relationships - which he advises are about surrounding yourself with people of good character -- and working on your own character development -- so you can grow into your best possible self. Although I wrote this book for women, the love advice in the book also applies to men - who might be wanting to avoid Princess Harmings! So if you're a guy reading my book or this blog, feel free to apply the advice to yourself and how you might cure yourself from PRINCESS HARMING SYNDROME!
Karen Salmansohn is a best selling author with over 1 million books sold. For more happiness and love tips visit http://notsalmon.com/ or tweet me at @notsalmon or friend me on Facebook under my name!