Thomas Hardy’s Guide to Relationships

It’s a little known fact that I have a deep admiration for the actor Tom Hardy. But my love affair with the writer is even more profound and I’d like to share with you some of the Hardy-isms I’ve picked up from his works.

I have a book I record quotations in. Whenever I’m reading, if anything strikes me I can write it down to remember later. It’s what I imagine old people use instead of pinterest.

Here’s four of my favorite Thomas Hardy remarks.

On Committing

“But certainly, I was flurried in the inside o’ me. Well, thinks I, ’tis to be, and here goes! And do you say the same: say ‘Tis to be, and here goes!'” — Under the Greenwood Tree

Hardy’s voice of reason here is speaking in the context of wedded bliss, but I know many who feel similarly about any kind of commitment in any venture, romantic or otherwise.And what excellent advice this is indeed. It’s something I keep reminding myself of daily.

On the Qualities of Women

“The only superiority in women that is tolerable to the rival sex is, as a rule, that of the unconscious kind; but a superiority which recognizes itself may sometimes please by suggesting possibilities of capture to the subordinate man.” — Far from the Madding Crowd

I love a man who speaks well and jestingly of the male/female dynamic.

On Falling in True Love

“Theirs was that substantial affection which arises (if any arises at all) when the two who are thrown together begin first by knowing the rougher side of each other’s character, and not the best till further on, the romance growing up in the interstices of a mass of hard prosaic reality.” — Far from the Madding Crowd

Is it so wrong if I love a good rational romance?

On Recovering from Unrequited Love

“You may be thankful to hear that the one-sidedness I used to remind you of is disappearing from the situation. But you will always remain among the most valued of my friends, as I hope always to remain one at least of the rank and file of yours.” — One Rare Fair Woman

This last quote is from a collection of letters he wrote to his dear and valued friend. It does her credit that she saved so many.

To all my lovely friends in whatever stage of romantic bliss or ennui you currently reside, I hope Thomas Hardy offers you the lift that he so often does for me.

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