I always regarded Nina from Stockholm, Sweden, as a woman with regal stature. She walked tall with noble Viking blood running through her veins. I regarded it as a privilege to be in a relationship with her. We organised our lives to spend on average 10 days a month together during the late 1990s and early part of the new millennium.
She worked as a teacher on inter-religious studies enabling us to spend time together during school holidays and I travelled as a Dharma teacher. She joined me on retreats in India, Israel, Europe and the USA. She would come to stay in Totnes and I would stay for periods in Stockholm.
Readers will know it is a major challenge to sustain a long distant relationship (LDR). Some get the idea it must be like a honeymoon every time the partners in a LDR meet. Fully together and fully apart presents all sorts of challenges. Some readers will know very well.
Nine and I continue to keep in email touch with each other.
Years ago, she told me on the telephone that there are four kinds of men in the world. Here is a general outline, and a little amplification, of what she told me.
1. A man wants a partner/lover/ relationship but there is no chemistry and he has little to offer.
2. A man pursues his career and substantial income. He wants a beautiful wife, plus 2.2 children, a house with two garages, to show to himself and others that he is a success. He does not know how to explore or share his inner life.
3. A man is working on himself. He meditates. He goes on retreats and mind/body workshops. He is in touch with his feelings, sensitive and thoughtful. But, Nina asked: “Where is the MAN?” This kind of man has no passion, no conviction, no real action.
4. A man is in touch with his inner life. He is committed to the question “Who am I?” He can share the depth of his life. He also has passion, adventure and vision. He engages in action for change. He is a MAN.
Nine then laughed. She said: “The problem is that women have taken all the men who belong to the 4th kind.
“Many of us women refuse to settle for the 1st, 2nd or 3rd kind of man.”
Brilliant Nina. I am sure many women readers, and perhaps men, too, will fully agree with your insightful perceptions of the four kinds of men.
May all men explore the inner and the outer
May all men wake up
May all men live with love and vision