Couples and Pairs

Valentine’s Day is approaching and the House of Commons has held a controversial vote on marriage, so this month had an obvious theme – Couples.
When I’m counselling in Kendal I see several couples. My definition of a couple is any two people in a relationship. What about Pairs? Think of gloves, scissors, indeed anything which needs its opposite in order to be greater than it can be alone (as anyone who has lost a glove will know!).

What attracts us so powerfully to another person? One theory is that the other person appears to be the missing part of our own jigsaw puzzle personality – our ‘other half’ to make us feel complete.
At first we may see only the ideal aspects of our dream ‘other’ and project onto that person the best parts of ourselves. Then something happens to jolt us into seeing not our ideal, but a real other person, with differences which we don’t like – perhaps even because they remind us of disliked aspects of ourselves. He/She is mean/untidy/careless, not like me…..But also, if someone else holds all the best parts of you, then you are left feeling less than, and empty when not with your ‘other half’.

Something to think about in the ups and downs of everyday relationships might be ‘what can I learn about myself from this person?’

Next month I’ll look at the loss of the ‘other’.

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