Relationship issues prevent many perfectly suitable people from finding the love and commitment they want. They go on many dates that never lead anywhere. They invest months or years in relationships that drag on or simply end. It seems like there are no “good” people out there. Yet those who are dealing with relationship issues may be unaware that their own personal conflicts are interfering with their success. They have difficulty making a commitment, or find themselves investing in potential partners who cannot commit. Some people consistently make poor choices and are unable to break the pattern. They may have been hurt in previous relationships, making it difficult to invest in someone new. Sometimes family issues may be preventing them from making healthy and compatible choices.
Relationships require many decisions that can be difficult to make alone. If you are investing a lot of time and energy in your search for a partner, and haven’t found anyone, or you’ve simply given up, psychotherapy with a trained and experienced psychologist may be able to help.
Psychotherapy can help you better understand the issues that prevent you from making healthy life choices. What you learn in therapy can help you understand your true relationship needs and wants and how to communicate them. The better your insight about yourself, the better your ability will be to navigate relationships toward a happy and gratifying life.
While chemistry and physical appearance are often the basis for initial attraction in relationships, we know that successful long-term relationships require much more than just chemistry. People need to be compatible in other ways as well, such as in intellectual, emotional and spiritual areas.
Everyone has in their mind a picture of their “ideal mate.” This person will have a combination of qualities that fit into one of two categories: enduring qualities, which are honesty, integrity, kindness, generosity, loyalty, and trustworthiness. The other category are one’s personal preferences, such as looks/beauty, intelligence, profession, financial stability or level of success, family background and involvement, hobbies, and degree of religiosity. The difference between these two categories is that the former consists of qualities that are non-negotiable or mandatory, while the latter consists of qualities that are more flexible and negotiable.
While you are dating, you learn if your dating partner has the necessary enduring qualities, and decide which personal preferences you would consider negotiable. One of the benefits of online dating is that you can learn a lot about someone by emailing each other. However, I strongly warn my clients not to be “seduced” by their desired personal preferences and thus ignore whether or not their dating partner has the enduring qualities necessary for the relationship’s success.
Therefore, it’s important to focus on asking questions and observing behaviors to help you learn whether or not your dating partner has the necessary enduring qualities. Some of our personal preferences have deep psychological roots and are hard to change. That makes focusing on another person’s enduring qualities that much more challenging. But it can be done–just keep asking questions, listen carefully to the answers, and observe behaviors. You’ll learn a lot about your dating partners, and yourself.
To explore and better understand some of the obstacles preventing you from attaining the kind of relationship and life you really want, please call Dr. Janice Bennett at 212.874.1470 for a consultation.