Will do, Bella.
So - I have been thinking recently about just how much people fear change and how worried we get about losing people close to us. A conversation with a friend reminded me.
My friend has recently met a new boyfriend - they've become very close and she's falling in love. It's wonderful to see and I'm really happy for her. Another friend of her's is struggling. She feels jealousy at the time the new boyfriend is taking up and has found it hard to even speak to him.
This doesn't seem to me to be unusual - I have had several friends go through the same thing when they start a new, significant relationship or when a friend of their's does.
I've felt that sort of loss and jealousy myself when my oldest, closest friend started seeing her now husband (also a close friend of mine). Our time together was suddenly much more limited and I just didn't seem to be as important to her any more. That was all 20 or so years ago and it all settled down - we are all still close and I very much feel like my friends' marriage is one of the constants in my life that helps it to feel more safe.
But of course, that doesn't always happen. I have known old friendships, mine and others, dissolve or become strained to the point of breaking because a new relationship happens.
I have seen myself and others be threatened and/or controlled when trying to start new friendships, romantic relationships or maintain existing ones.
Most recently for me was over my brother's now ex girlfriend. At the start of this year when our dad was dying, she was amazing at supporting the whole family and in particular, our mum. They spent masses of time together and did things like cooking together, watching telly together, shopping for funeral clothes together and putting together photo albums of dad. When my sis and I spoke about this to a friend of ours, she was horrified. Told us that it was completely inappropriate and said that we should have been annoyed with the girlfriend and told her to back off. We thought it seemed odd to deny our mum some comfort in a difficult time and realistically, neither of us had enough spare time or space to do those things. We were 100% supportive of mum developing a strong relationship with our brother's girlfriend.
I do wonder if it was partly because we are used to new 'children' joining our family. Our mum wanted 4 and was only able to have the 3 of us. So our childhoods were characterised by mum befriending extra children. Usually they were friends of one of ours who would end up spending lots and lots of time with us.
It is interesting and I wonder if the tendency to keep our parents to ourselves and our friends is also partly to do with the common tendency to want our loves to love only us?