Being a chameleon

We were talking with some friends about relationships - particularly of the marrying kind. The conclusion we came to was that success in this, empirically surely one of the minefields of life, might be about being something of a chameleon. Being a chameleon is not normally thought of as being an unalloyed compliment, carrying with it connotations of insincerity. However, to make relationships work you have to adapt your behaviours and thinking to fit around your partner. This is not a character change nor a disguise but an attempt to smooth the edges so that harmony rather than irritation and conflict is the outcome.

It is an inability to do this that marks out most of the people, particularly single men over the age of forty, who are on their own. This is another way of saying that they are set in their ways.

It follows on from this that, for those who are good chameleons, there is more than one potential life partner. The corollary of this is that with another partner you would not be the same person, not someone completely different, but changed in subtle but noticable ways. Does this mean sacrificing the essential you, the unexpurgated self? Maybe. But it's a price worth paying.

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