It seems lately I’ve been getting tons of calls about relationship counseling. At the same time, I feel like every time I turn around I hear about another couple that “didn’t make it”, and I guess I’m wondering what’s been going on in the world of love right now. As someone who has been in several long term relationships that “didn’t make it”, I understand the need for separation and newness, but it isn’t always the answer. And honestly, in my last relationship, if we had come together years before and decided we needed counseling or became willing to work on our issues, maybe it would have “worked”, if I even understand the definition of “work”. But I am a believer that everything happens for a reason and we are all on a journey…each one being as different from the next.
But as a relationship therapist I know one thing…relationships are easier to reconcile and improve than they are to end and move on. If in fact your partner is not what you want anymore and they aren’t willing to change, or you two are just on two completely different roads, then maybe the best answer is to separate and discover new lives, as sad as that may be.
I know for me it was vital for me to leave my past relationship because I felt we weren’t experiencing the same passion and respect for each other as we once had and I just don’t think we were happy anymore. But I think counseling can fix these problems. Creative counseling with home assignments and a commitment to continue no matter what.
Which is not what I’ve been experiencing in my practice. I’ve met couples who are extremely invested in working together and doing home assignments and being as corny as I challenge them to be. And then I meet couples who don’t come consistently and don’t do anything I ask outside of the office and then grow frustrated because they don’t want change. Well, as a person in recovery I realize first and foremost that a desire to change is the most important part of the journey.
And I really want everyone to “make it”! Because there are enough lonely people out there that don’t have anyone in their life who constantly complain that they can’t meet anyone that we should be grateful when we do have someone…unless it’s not the right match or it doesn’t feel right. And there is nothing wrong with being single. Being single can be one of the most rejuvenating periods of a person’s life as long as they allow themselves to focus on self-improvement..enjoying time with themselves. In my practice, I am an avid supporter of not dating for a year after the ending of a relationship or just getting into recovery because it is a time which can be just for you.
Lately, I’ve been playing all these old 80’s movies in the background while I write. Into the Night, Hanky Panky, Legal Eagles and Blame it on Rio. It’s funny how those movies were different than movies now. Don’t get me wrong; I love everything that’s out there, but maybe we’ve all become a little too serious. Maybe, we need to go back to the bad hair and bad leather of the 80’s, enjoying bad music and just having a fun time. Maybe, we need to bring a little of the 80’s back into our relationship and try to just have some fun. I think we focus so much on the bills, the kids, the house that we forget all about having fun and remembering why the hell we’re together in the first place.
Find your 80’s moment…for me it’s the Brazilian music of Blame it on Rio, candles lit around the house, dancing barefoot and waiting for some fun nights out with Alex…as well as some relaxing ones too! It’s all in moderation. Just don’t be too hard on each other…relax, find the passion again, have fun…and remember why the hell you’re together in the first place.
And if that doesn’t work…call me…cause we’re on borrowed time as it is!!!