But It Reflects On Me...Do you worry, probably privately, your partner reflects badly on you in some way? Such feelings are quite common, though people are loath to admit to them.
One client's concerned that her boyfriend's lack of drive and low-key job reflects poorly on her. Elizabeth, 34, an investment banker, has been with Lucas, 35, a website designer, for two years. Though essentially happy together this has niggled her increasingly and surfaced recently in a few arguments.
Elizabeth's attitude, "You - my partner and lover - are letting the side down," impacts negatively on even the best relationships. I've seen loving, caring and good partners dumped when these feelings develop in their "other halves" - who come to reckon they're the "better halves" at least in their aspirations and drive, etc!
Initially physical attraction and the fact someone's different and has, say, a novel occupation, can outweigh these concerns. Elizabeth and Lucas are a prime example. Drawn to his exceedingly good looks, Elizabeth wasn't troubled by his lack of ambition. That Lucas lived life his laid-back way was fine. Now the honeymoon's over and she's troubled by the long term - will he earn enough, share common goals, and what do her high-powered pals really think of him - are questions that concern her.
When someone grumbles that an aspect of their partner's behaviour (their attitudes, bad jokes, annoying laugh, etc.) "reflects badly on me" I usually find it's a case of "everything's about me, me, me!" They're overly concerned by outward appearances. The fact that in private they've got a darned good relationship is outweighed by how their partner looks in public. This highlights their insecurity.
When you expect your partner to be your mirror equal with social skills, aspirations and drive - your respect crumbles when they don't live up to this. Just ensure your expectations are justified and you won't be humbled, after the fact, wishing you hadn't let go of a worthy partner.
A similar article was published in The Times newspaper