…or is it? It’s an adage which is applied to many situations, but in this instance let’s take it as referring to love and passion.
What makes those who are comfortably ensconced in a relationship start to look elsewhere? What is it that overrides our love for our partner and causes us to lust after others? Is it just a simple matter of animal attraction, or is it a symptom of an underlying problem with the existing relationship? Or, just to really annoy everyone, is it both?
We see and meet attractive people all the time; we interact with them, we may even flirt with them – but what makes us all of a sudden sit up and take it seriously? Is there a single defining factor that makes us flirt casually with one person, but causes us to completely lose our composure with another? If you meet someone and experience butterflies in your stomach for the first time since you met your current partner, is it a sign that it’s time to move on?
What about when the temptation gets too much, and we’re close to succumbing to our desires and tasting the forbidden fruit – what then? If we don’t stray, does that mean that we’re strong of will, or that we’re simply afraid of what will happen next? If it’s fear, then what are we afraid of: the consequences of an affair, or the possibility that the object of our desire will reject our advances?
We look at those who are in long-term relationships with respect, and not a little awe – after all, not everyone can manage the long haul. But perhaps we should temper that with suspicion, perhaps the glue that binds those couples is actually fear and self-doubt. The grass may well be greener on the other side, but on this side there’s a water trough, a vet on call, and a comfy byre to hide from the wolves in.