Thousands every day are asking the question, "Do I need a Dating Coach or a Therapist to help me get out of this frustrating pattern of dating, disappointment, and disillusionment?" Ok, I’m not sure about those numbers, it may be less than thousands every day, but it’s still a big question for singles. And you’re here so it’s an even better question for me to answer for YOU.
Fortunately, I am both a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist and I work specifically with Dating and Relationship issues. The way I work is a bit different from the kind of Dating Coach that might tell you to “stop this” or “do that” in your dating experiments, or the kind that may give advice about how to write an ideal dating app profile, how many days to wait before responding, and so on.
Don’t get me wrong, those issues are part of navigating the modern high-tech dating landscape and have validity. But rather than focus on giving advice or helping my clients perfect their on-line profiles, I am often more interested in helping people to get clearer and clearer about what is driving the painful, frustrating and disappointing experience of meeting and perhaps dating people that repeatedly DO NOT work out. You want to be in a loving, satisfying, long-term relationship with someone who wants the same!
So WTF, right? Why isn’t that happening? It’s easy to start asking, “Is it me?” “Is there something wrong with me?” “Am I doing something wrong?” “Am I missing something important?” “Am I creating this painful reality?”
The short answer is “No…And Yes.” I mean, “No, it isn’t you, you’re not the problem, and there isn’t something wrong with you.” And, “Yes, you may be missing something…and it is likely that there is some way in which some part of your psyche, beliefs, and past experiences are affecting you and contributing to the tough place you’re in.”
So, I get curious about what might be operating under the surface. What “programs” (that you didn’t even ask for) might be running the software of your mind, emotions and decisions? And how can we work to shift those, so you are freed up to attract in and be open to new kinds of people that work for you and bring you more of the joy, love and relationship satisfaction that you want!
The computer (or your fav technology device) analogy isn’t a bad one. If Windows, IOS or an Android-based device has a “bug” or a “virus” in it’s code, then the user can’t get what they want out of the software or operating system. It malfunctions, it shuts down, it freezes. How did that “bug” get in there? Someone, somehow put it in there…it isn’t a part of the REAL operating system. It came in through an old communication (email, download, coding error) and is interfering with you, the user, getting what you want out of your technology.
Similarly, our minds, hearts and emotional selves follow a foundational operating system of beliefs, thoughts, feelings and decisions/actions. Those programs were not written solely by us, in fact many of the most important parameters and factors in our mind-heart-emotion “software programs” were wired into us when we were younger than 5 or 6 years of age. Of course, there have been some updates since then, but for most of us, the code that was produced back then was far less than perfect and very powerful. We were trying to survive and the people helping us learn about life weren’t exactly Steve Jobs – in a technically savvy way – they most likely weren’t masters at life, love and happiness. They were trying to figure out their sh*t, and helping us learn how to be relatively stable little people. By one measure, if we stayed alive they did their job. But that doesn’t mean we got what we needed to be happy or to experience loving, satisfying partnership in our lives.
So, here we are, 2017 (at this writing) and we say we want to be in a loving, satisfying relationship, but it hasn’t quite turned out the way we had planned or hoped.
My approach with Dating Therapy is to guide you through a process of exploring and untangling the lines of code in your operating system (beliefs, thoughts, feelings, etc.) and to help you discern which parts of the program that you inherited are right for you and feel true to you, and which parts need to be re-written. And then we work on re-writing and installing the program so that you are better positioned to get what you want.
Essentially, my intention, goal and job in working with Dating Therapy clients is to help you find what is getting in the way of your heart’s desire so that you can follow the calling inside that longs for a deep, loving, meaningful connection and a satisfying partnership with someone who is interested in you, who gets you, and who is committed to creating a loving relationship with you.
I believe that you were meant to experience loving connection and relationship. If you aren’t and are feeling frustrated and stuck, then maybe you need less dating “do’s and don’ts” advice and online profile tweaks and what you need more of is to uncover the obstacles keeping you from finding that love.
One of my favorite quotes is from the mystical poet Rumi: Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have [unwittingly] built against it.
Those barriers are the code or programs that unwittingly and unintentionally got written in when we were just learning how to be a person, how to be in relationships, and how to love. Now it’s time to choose who you are and to re-write how you operate as a more conscious, adult being, learning how to love and be loved. I’m here to help you in that process if that is what you’re searching for.