What Do We Lose When We Gain A New Lover...
Being a cat lover I felt for a client who’s told me she must get rid of her treasured cat, Theo, because her now-committed boyfriend is highly allergic. You can imagine that's not an easy thing to do.
Linda, 37, is beside herself over this loss. But hang on a minute: gain a man? Lose a cat? What’s the dilemma - after all this is the woman who's banged on about her biological clock hammering in her ears for two years and how much she wanted to meet someone to settle down with. Her chance has arrived in the shape of David who's also keen to marry and start a family.
But all Linda’s focussed on is her loss. Yes, Theo’s provided her with companionship for four years. And Linda's morphed into a classic, cat-fussing singleton who chats to her moggy and lavishes it with gifts on birthdays and Christmas. We understand she’s attached to Theo but time to wake up and appreciate being able to gain the chance of a real family with a real partner!
With budding relationships that are turning serious I often hear people discuss what they're losing (some freedom, their flat, their cat!) rather than what they’re gaining. And sometimes their “loss” seems quite petty - not smoking around their new lover as it disgusts them, resisting ordering a big, juicy steak the sight of which sickens their new veggie partner, and suchlike.
This theme of gain and loss within a new relationship plays itself out in many ways. Depending on your personality and perspective the balance can swing one way or another - you harbour resentment over your loss, making sure your new partner knows what you've given up, leading to grumbles and strains. Or optimistically focus on your gain embracing it wholeheartedly. Many of us fall somewhere in between realising we've got a cup half full and trying not to worry about the other half that's emptied away.
A similar article was published in the Times newspaper