Sunday’s episode of Downton Abbey surely was an exciting one. From Lady Edith and Bertie announcing their feelings for one another to Lord Grantham’s ulcer bursting (and spitting blood across the dinner table) to Lady Mary becoming suspicious of Marigold’s true relationship to Edith, the hour brought up a lot of emotions. Speaking of emotions, there’s no covering up Mary’s feelings for Henry Talbot, and vice versa. Well, if those two ever want to take things to the next level, they’d better listen to Branson.
That’s right, did you know that Branson is a relationship advice expert? Who knew? Despite being single for sometime now, his short time with Sybil clearly taught him quite a bit about romance. Actually, throughout the episode, Branson offered both Mary and Henry reasonable, practical and wise words about dating.
I guess if anyone is having relationship issues in the Crawley household, they should go straight to Branson, aka the romance guru. Plus, if Mary ever wants to find love, she needs to listen to Branson immediately. The same can also be said for Henry. They need to stop beating around the bush and just get to it already.
With that, here are a few of Branson’s words about relationships that Mary, Henry and viewers should take to heart.
1. When he talked about gender equality
While chatting about Henry, Mary confessed to Branson that she will not marry down, nor does she want to be grander or richer than her husband. However, Branson doesn’t believe that’s the key to a happy marriage. For him, it’s all about equality. “It may surprise you, but I agree it’s important to be balanced,” he told Mary. “That one should not be far stronger than the other. I just don’t think it has much to do with money or position.”
I couldn’t have said it better myself. How can a relationship be successful if you don’t respect one another and see each other as equals? That’s exactly what Branson had with Sybil. As he told Mary, “We were a marriage of equals.” Despite their story coming to a tragic end, and the fact that women were still seen as unequal to men, Sybil and Branson had a loving, happy and fulfilling marriage. That they did.
2. When he told Mary to take a risk
Love comes with risk, which means sometimes you have to take a leap of faith. That’s exactly how Branson feels, as he said so adamantly, “There’s no such thing as safe love.” He then added, “Real love means giving someone the power to hurt you.” Who knew Branson was so profound about love? I’m pretty sure he needs to write a relationship advice book.
3. When he brought up casual dating
Just because you might be interested in someone, or they may be interested in you, that doesn’t mean you have to tie the knot. Take Mary and Henry. Branson told his sister-in-law that she doesn’t have to marry the guy, but what’s the harm in having fun with him? Sometimes all it takes is a bit of carefree dating to realize just how much you truly care for each other.
4. When he told Mary and Henry to be direct
Seriously, can these two stop making up reasons to see one another? Like Branson said, they are being “folly” about the whole thing. “Why can’t you just say, ‘I’d love to spend more time with you?'” Branson smartly inquired.
Far too often, people avoid what’s at hand, when they should just be direct about it. That’s definitely the case when it comes to romance. If anyone knows how far too short life is, it’s Mary, so she needs to start being forward with Henry. What’s the worst that can happen?
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to telephone Branson for some advice about my love life — or lack thereof.
Downton Abbey airs Sundays at 9/8c on PBS.