When it comes to finding love and sustaining our most important relationships, people generally seem to leave their lovelife success or failure, pleasure or pain, almost completely to chance.
This is odd considering that we seek out and are coached by experts in many areas of life, throughout our lives. As children many of us will have joined a club to learn how to dance, sing or play sport. Perhaps we had extra tuition to ensure we met the grade in school. Later, in work and business we are expected to listen to trainers, advisors and mentors to improve our professional skills, while athletes at the top of their game look to coaches to help them develop and reach peak performance.
Relationship therapy may not be the first thing you think of if you’re having some ‘not too serious’ relationship difficulties. Yet there are many reasons why it makes sense to get help from a professional.
Yet few of us even think to seek out professional support in relationship matters except maybe when things have got really quite bad. We rely instead on the odd bit of advice from parents and friends. While such advice has your best interests at heart, it’s also true that your nearest and dearest can only ever speak from their personal perspective on a situation and more often than not will sympathise with your take on what’s not working. In other words, they either can’t or won’t tell you what you need to hear that will make the difference.
Deciding to ask for help with your relationship is a very personal decision and there are many reasons why clients seek us out. Here’s our Top 10 Reasons why you might need some lessons in love and some clues as to how a BeLoveCurious Therapist might work with you to get the love life results you want.
1. You find a reason not to date any and every one
Do you have a check list of all the things you don’t want in a partner? You know the things we’re talking about – they have to be a certain height, they must have dark hair not blonde, only a lawyer or a banker will do etc. While a dating coach does advocate you being clear on what you are looking for in a partner, they will make you think carefully about why and how you could be unnecessarily limiting your options.
2. You’ve started to believe that you’re destined to be single and are better off that way
Do you constantly tell people that you are better off single and never wanted to have a relationship anyway? Do you really believe it’s just not your destiny to be in a relationship or marry or is it just easier to keep telling yourself and everyone else this? Thinking about relationships as either competitive or cooperative can be a really helpful way to think about this kind of reasoning. The likelihood is that you’ve simply learned to be single and independent, feisty and in control because that’s what life has so far taught you. If this sounds like your story, a relationship therapist can help you to explore and understand why you feel the need to go it alone and then you can simply choose whether a relationship is right for you or not.
3. Every date feels like the last
Does every new date feel uncomfortably familiar? Do you always attract the same type of Mr/Miss Wrong? Does every promising relationship fizzle away for the same kind of reasons? A relationship therapist can help you identify your set patterns of thinking, relating and behaving and help you to break these bad habits so you start to get different results.
4. You can’t get past the first date and don’t know why?
Why is it that your friends seem to find it so easy and yet you can’t get past the first date. Chatting through your hopes and fears, and perhaps even play acting a first date scenario with your expert can give you some perspective on what you’re doing and why it might not be helping you to that so desired second date.
5. You think about your ex all of the time and can’t seem to move on
Do you compare every new date to your ex? Does everything you do or say remind you of them; songs on the radio, your favourite box set? A relationship therapist can help you to talk about special people and events in your past all the way back to your earliest crush if needs be to reveal what you are doing now to protect your heart and keep others at a distance.
6. You really want to find the ONE but seem to scare off potential candidates
You know you want a relationship and are desperate to find love, but your full-on approach is not getting you anywhere. Sometimes just doing things a little differently to the way you are doing them now can make a difference; often it helps to just take some time out for reflection and stop the chase. A relationship therapist can work with you to see how your tactics are driving potential suitors away. They will help you to create realistic goals and a plan for success, harnessing your clear commitment to having a relatinship to make steady progress towards having the lovelife you’ll love.
7. You feel that you don’t really deserve a happy relationship
You don’t really like yourself that much, so why should anyone else? Does this sound familiar? Do you think you’re not attractive enough, or clever or outgoing enough to find a fulfilling relationship? Working with a relationship therapist will help you to think again. Most of us entertain more negative than positive thoughts about ourselves so a lovelife coach will look to find out what is at the source of these negative thoughts and help you to see them as the self-limiting untruths that they are so you can start allowing the real you to shine through.
8. You’ve lost your confidence?
Can you pin-point the moment when your confidence vanished? Has a bad date left you feeling flat and uninspired? Working with a relationship therapist can help you get to the bottom of such experiences and what you’ve made it mean about you, so you can get right back in the dating game. Working on your inner confidence – even if you feel you don’t have any! – will help you on your way to being a dating diva and a confident creator of the relationship you really want.
9. You believe that the people you date are only interested in you for sex, nothing more
It is possible to have sex without intimacy and intimacy without sex, and that’s fine as far as we’re concerned. However, for most people sex and intimacy are completely intertwined when they want to create a successful, loving relationship. It’s easy to get them out of balance though – we can hide our emotional vulnerability behind lots of energetic and exuberant sexual encounters designed to mimic intimacy, or lose the intimacy of sharing our personal desires with another from a fear of possible rejection and judgement. A relationship therapist can help you to explore your attitudes, values, beliefs and practices around both sex and intimacy and work with you to have a balanced and fulfilling approach to these equally important aspects of love if you feel that one or other is missing.
10. Your relationship rules are set in stone
Are you someone that has your own set of relationship rules and an expectation that everyone else should know what they are? You know what we mean. You say to yourself after a great date – it’s up to him to call first, and if he doesn’t then he’s clearly not interested. You send a text message and start to fret and worry if you don’t get a reply back instantly/ within the hour/ day etc. Or you believe things like women should never consent to sex before the third date and still expect to be respected. Sometimes having such high expectations of how your date should behave (when often they have no idea of these rules) can only lead to disappointment and upset. Connecting with a relationship therapist will allow you to explore the origin of these relationship rules and discover strategies for adapting them so that they don’t compromise your future happiness.
So there you have it. If any of these applies to you, maybe it is time to seek out some expert advice. At BeLoveCurious we really do believe that having a relaxed, ongoing and totally confidential conversation with one of our relationship therapists will help you to explore what’s getting in the way of achieving your love life or relationship goals and will help you move closer to having the kind of relationship you really want.