When singles struggle with dating, therapy often sounds like the logical place to sort out the reasons why.
I would never knock the therapeutic process. It definitely plays an important role in healing broken lives, working through difficult relationship issues, and teaching healthy communication skills.
But I’m convinced it isn’t the right context for singles who are trying to propel their dating lives forward.
Allow me to illustrate what I mean.
I experienced a lot of loss in my mid-to-late 30s.
My first husband and I divorced after his infidelity and unwillingness to work on our relationship.
I grieved the death of my 69-year-old father, who was killed in a senseless car accident.
And I also lost an uncle and grandfather.
My whole world changed as a result of these losses.
So I sought therapy.
My therapist was a woman in her 60s with a lot of life experience.
She had a family of grown children and grandkids. And she had been married for a long time without, I believe, ever having experienced divorce or the hardship of not having children.
As a therapist, she was competent and helped me gain my equilibrium and sense of self.
My work with her helped me pick up the pieces of my life, and I started to find a way to stand on my own two feet.
This was definitely a time of growth and understanding for me. And I remain grateful to this day for my therapist’s contribution to that journey.
However, when it came to dating, therapy offered me no helpful advice. At all.
Looking back now, I can see that my therapist didn’t have a clue about dating.
I vividly remember her telling me at one point, “Get more information.”
I was surprised and thought to myself, “What information should I be getting? Who am I looking for?”
I didn’t have a frame of reference, and I felt like I was spinning my wheels.
In addition to my therapy, I attended a support group of individuals going through separation and divorce.
And it was there I met my dating coach.
This particular coach was a man who had been divorced and was now happily married.
His particular coaching program ultimately gave me the structure and knowledge I needed to understand what kind of man I was looking for.
I was an entrepreneur, and I needed a partner who would be a good match for my life vision.
I learned a lot about myself and how to date by joining this coach’s group and coached individually with him.
He gave me a way to evaluate men.
And, through this process, he also helped me to see how I was being when I dated.
We discussed my must-haves and dating mistakes.
He challenged me on my perspectives and had me look deeper instead of too quickly passing on good potential life-partner candidates.
I didn’t get this kind of structured dating help in therapy.
In my opinion, dating therapy doesn’t serve the proactive dater.
- Most therapists have little or no current knowledge of what it takes to be out there dating.
Many lack the specific knowledge needed to succeed with dating today. Some of them are single and struggling with this too.
- Most therapists lack any plan or system when it comes to dating.
Their focus is broad, not strategized.
A coach, on the other hand, is goal-focused and works with you toward the goals you set. S/he usually has a specific process to take clients through.
- Most therapists tend to be generalists and work with all sorts of people: couples, marrieds, singles.
They have no specific knowledge of where to go to meet people or how to navigate the online dating platforms.
- Dating therapy doesn’t provide any real guidance.
Your therapist may tell you to observe and get more information as mine did. But what kind of plan does that provide?
- Finally, what I notice with friends and clients is that therapists tend to keep you in therapy for years!
Working with a coach is very different than dating therapy.
When you hire a dating and relationship coach, you’ll be working on a dating plan personally tailored for your specific needs.
And you’ll feel more self-confident by focusing on what you have to offer to a relationship instead of getting stuck in the “what I’m not” mindset.
I know first-hand how powerful working with a relationship coach can be.
I learned about the many dating myths that keep good people from finding each other.
My coach and I drilled down to what values need to be aligned and the specific vision I had for my life and future marriage.
Believe it or not, it was my coach who helped me see my husband as the one for me.
This is the work I do with my clients today.
I empower them to find their life partners.
I support them during the tenuous first months of their relationships, then on through their engagements with couple’s coaching.
After that, I wish them good luck and ask them to notify me of any wedding announcements!
And I can do the same for you.
As I said earlier, I know therapy serves a purpose.
However, after you lick your wounds and do the deep work to understand why your relationship or marriage failed, what’s next? Is your therapist going to guide you through the details and strategies of dating?
Therapy hands the proverbial baton to dating and relationship coaching at that point.
It’s a relationship coach who’s going to create a specific plan and share strategies so you can meet that special person sooner than later.
It’s a relationship coach who will help you specify the right criteria you need so you can evaluate someone as the ideal partner for you.
Are you ready to move forward in finding true love?
Then take my quiz to determine your readiness for a true love partnership and where you may be missing the mark.
Go to https://motivated2marry.wufoo.com/forms/are-you-ready-to-meet-your-life-partner/ to take the quiz.
Then, if you’re ready to move forward, we can have a frank discussion about what’s missing in your dating approach and what you need to do next to improve your chances for success.