Farley forecasts four pillars of love

If there was a list of things to do to inject thrill and serenity into a date, it’s taking one’s date on an airplane ride to a restaurant on a lake for a peaceful summer Sunday lunch, that would have to be toward the top of the list.

This is exactly what Jerry Farley did when he took Susan Farley out in the summer of 1978. They had met each other that summer, and unbeknownst to them, this would lead to a marriage in 1980 that would last for 39 years. A boy from Oklahoma and a girl from East Tennessee had found love.

Jerry Farley first laid eyes on Susan Farley in a graduate class at the University of Oklahoma. Susan Farley had always been keen to assist and mentor young student-teachers in her class.

“As a reward for that, the university [of Oklahoma] had given her two credit hours, no charge for tuition. She liked that,” Jerry Farley says. “And it was in summer school, and she found a two-hour seminar that she thought had something to do with math because it talked about financing higher education. So, she enrolled in the course.”

A faculty member asked Jerry Farley to come in and talk to the class, as he was working on his PhD. Susan was wearing a tan pantsuit and a bright orange scarf.

“I asked the teacher after class if later in the week I might be able to come back again. And he said, ‘sure, participate all you want,’” said Jerry Farley. He started to make frequent visits.

The class took a field trip on the final day of the semester. Jerry Farley volunteered to take some members of the class to the location since he was in the area.

“Susan raised her hand up immediately,” said Jerry Farley. After the trip, he led her to the car and asked whether she would like to go out with him. They went out to have nachos at a local pub.

“39 years is a long time to be with one person,” said Jerry Farley. “There are four pillars that a relationship stands on: trust and honesty, respect, commitment to common goals and integrity.”

He says that goes for college relationships as well. Usually, balancing studies and relationships, with a significant other and friends, is the challenge that college students face.

“Those four things are the basis for relationships with anyone,” Jerry Farley said. “Take people you work with; they have to trust you. They have to respect you. If you’re working with them, you have to have integrity. You have to be working toward the same goal.”

Jerry Farley says some relationships endure and others don’t. The challenge is to have an enduring relationship and focus on one’s study. Jerry Farley is still friends with a handful of his college peers, some of which he studied with.

For Jerry Farley, people have to find someone they find comfort in. Someone who makes them feel good by accompanying them. Someone they’re willing to share anything with, and someone who they’re willing to do anything for.

That’s what love is for him, and this extends far beyond a romantic relationship.