Do Fulfilling Relationships Seem Elusive?
Are you less successful romantically than in other areas of your like? Are you struggling to save a troubled relationship (or wondering whether it’s worth the effort)? Perhaps you’re wondering how to start dating in your 30s or 40s—or in the wake of a divorce or other relationship transition.
Maybe you’re having a hard time finding people at your level; the dating scenes that used to work no longer fit with your lifestyle. When you do venture out to the bar or a similar setting, you might end up feeling silly and out of place. Or, it could be that the 35 different dating sites you signed up for have led not to love, but to emotional burnout.
You might be frustrated that you can’t make your romantic life work when you’ve been so successful at everything else. Surrounded by so many people with Pinterest-perfect relationships, you might begin to wonder what the heck is wrong with you. Advice from family and friends, dictating that you must have sky-high self-esteem before seeking out love, only makes things worse.
If you want children, you might also feel like your clock is ticking. Each day that passes without any meaningful relationship progress can make it like you’re falling further behind.
Establishing a fulfilling relationship with another person can greatly enrich your life, so there’s nothing wrong with trying to improve your chances of relationship success. Despite any setbacks you’ve had, it is still possible to find a person who puts you first and makes you feel loved and accepted.
Dating Is Difficult
Forty-five percent of adults in the U.S.—over a hundred million Americans—are unmarried, according to the Census Bureau. As this number has steadily risen over the past 10 years, so too has the percentage of Americans living alone. In 2017, The Pew Research Center found that 42 percent of Americans live without a spouse or partner.
Relationships have moved online and instant gratification has become a universal expectation. This has created a disconnect between many people’s spark-filled, “love at first sight” expectations and the slow, sometimes painful reality of relationship building. It’s easier than ever to meet high volumes of people online and through speed dating, but it’s all the more disappointing when none of those preliminary relationships are sustainable or immediately successful.
Many of us have forgotten how to connect with people—or never learned this skill in the first place. Even if you’re willing to put in the time and energy required, your date or partner may not be. This uphill battle can be a recipe for low self-esteem or self-worth issues that can lead to depression or anxiety.
Watching those around you partner up and start families can be extremely isolating, but you don’t have to face it alone. Working with a relationship counselor can help you step outside of the isolation and start engaging with the world again.
How Does Relationship Therapy Work?
Therapy works by giving you the practical tools and emotional support you need to reduce the anxiety and depression that prevent you from being able to connect in the kinds of relationships you dream of. Most importantly, I won’t judge you. I know that every situation is unique, so I’ll listen closely as I seek to understand your feelings, challenges, and goals.
As a professional relationship counselor, I’ll show you empathy and compassion while also teaching you how and when to be kinder with yourself. I’ll incorporate humor into our sessions when appropriate to help you let go of painful emotions and encourage you to grow when your instinct is to revert to the seeming safety of the status quo.
I will ask questions that help you fully understand and accept where you are now and where you’d like to be. I’ll gently challenge you to commit (and continually recommit) to your self-improvement to keep you from burning out.
I’ll help you remove – or forge new paths around – the psychological obstacles that stand between you and goal accomplishment. We’ll celebrate short-term successes, but we’ll focus most on helping you accomplish meaningful, lasting change.
If you’re working on an existing relationship, sessions with a relationship counselor can help you to understand how your unique history may be shaping your perception of your situation. Your improved ability to see things as they truly are may reveal your partner in a new light. As communication barriers drop away, you might realize that your partner is putting in more effort than you had realized. On the other hand, you might realize that who you’re with isn’t the match you thought they were.
As you approach situations with greater presence and awareness, you’ll find yourself acting with less impulsive emotion and with greater intention. You’ll find it easier to de-escalate arguments. You’ll also be empowered to set healthier boundaries, resonating less with unbalanced relationships that take more than they give.
Relationship-building is never a straight line from zero to happy, but therapy can help you experience less anxiety and greater acceptance if things don’t work out. You’ll also know with greater certainty when to invest in relationships and when to move on.
Some of my clients have developed rewarding relationships shortly after starting sessions with me. I can’t guarantee that will happen for everyone, but I’m confident that when the right opportunity presents itself, you’ll be better prepared to capitalize on it.
Many Of My Clients Wonder…
Do I really have time for this?
It’s likely that you’ve already invested a lot of time and energy into your romantic life. Understandably, you may feel that you just want this solved now, not at some undetermined future time. The reality is that time will continue to pass either way; I recommend you make use of that time to build a lasting, fulfilling partnership.
Are you going to go all Freud on me?
Maybe mom and dad influenced how you relate to others; maybe they didn’t. Either way, my job isn’t to assign blame or to make you feel embarrassed or defensive. My job is to figure out how you’re currently wired and how you got there so we can work out any glitches. Whether you’re conscious of it or not, your younger years were extremely formative in terms of how you learned to interpret and react to the world. Talking about your childhood experiences may give us access to insights that can accelerate your progress in our sessions, and I’d like to be able to utilize any tools that will help you achieve your goals as quickly as possible.
Shouldn’t my partner be the one in therapy?
It’s true that there are a lot of people out there who could benefit from seeing a relationship consultant. But you can’t control other people’s behavior – only your own. So, we’ll focus on the things that are within your control. If you tend to date one jerk after another, for example, I can help you figure out what’s driving that.
We’ll also take a critical look at how you’re interpreting your partner’s words and actions. When you learn to be a more effective communicator, you might discover that a better version of your partner was there all along, just waiting to be recognized.
Put Yourself On The Path To Better Relationships
I’ve been helping clients to maximize their romantic potential for more than 10 years. I’d enjoy helping you build stronger connections. Schedule a free 20-minute phone consultation today.