You are not crazy. There is not something wrong with you. You have a good job, a nice apartment. You’re in good shape and your friends and workmates like you. “Then why can’t I find a relationship?” you ask.
Maybe you’ve said this recently, or were on the receiving end:
This isn’t working. It’s not you, it’s me. We just grew apart. The feelings didn’t last. The person I was with x months in was not the person I met.
You’re a good, organized, big dreaming person–who keeps winding up in the same situation again and again.
Why is this? The fact is it is harder now than ever to meet, and especially sustain the kind of long-term, passionate, and deeply connected (in short, quality) relationship people dream of.
In the 2015 book Modern Romance by comedian Aziz Ansari and sociologist Eric Klinenberg, they highlight that societal and technological changes that should make finding that special someone easier has actually made it a lot more difficult.
Here are the 8 Things Singles Need to Know Before Dating (and During, and After):
1. Technology has given us thousands of potential matches in a geographic area, giving us the feeling of unlimited potential. However the reality is different.
Paired with overwhelming options are competing distractions (for you and your potential soulmate) everywhere, which makes it hard to commit to anything. There is always a better person around the corner, or rather the next swipe. And what percentage of those potential dates are actually good long-term relationship material? And how do we filter out the bad ones and in the good ones? And what if what we want or think we need is not actually what we need? And how do we make love last the long-term?
2.The first step to finding and keeping one’s soulmate is that we must become the partner we want our partner to be.
This means we will have to overcome our own relationship and personal blocks. And if you are a person reading this article you likely have been trying to do that on your own, and probably not getting the level of results you would like.
3. According to neuroscience research our brain’s attachment system drives us to want the people, who are both most similar to our early caregivers and romantic relationships–trapping us in relationship patterns we are not even aware about1. Some relationship experts go so far as to say that this is human’s unconscious automatic way of attempting to fix or get what we didn’t get in these early relationships2. However, without the right kind of insight, skills, and hard work, what our brain may want is not what happens, and we repeat the same pattern of falling in love with the same kind of person, perhaps in a slightly different package, with the same results–heartbreak, dissatisfaction, conflict.
4. The more we date people “unconsciously”–without realizing and processing through our own “internal attraction magnet” first–the more hard-wired negative patterns become.
Though it may be blunt, learning scientists call this being in a state of unconscious incompetence, and though it does not mean you are stupid–you are unaware of how to break the pattern. For many of us, we know something is off–maybe you even have an exact itemized list (conscious incompetence)–however you are still lacking skills and a path to get there. With a fairly steady 40-50% divorce rate, and even a higher percentage of relationships in “survival mode” staying together in loveless relationships only out of obligation, it is not your fault you weren’t taught, and your parents might have not had the greatest examples themselves.
5. It is not too late to stop the cycle of bad relationship habits passed on from generation to generation–you can learn the skills to move to unconscious competence–having the prowess to deal with the complicated world of dating and relationships with grace.
Modern relationships therapists and therapies are what we call “evidence-based” (based in science) and are not like the one’s that were available to your parents, they are equipped with the tools and training to not just “talk,” but make practical step-by-step changes, based in research on what works for thousands of the happiest relationships, and can save you the time of avoiding common pitfalls that are so easy to make.
6. Like any skill that requires learning, healing occurs in relationship–we need a coach, mentor, or guide to spot our blindspots and learn from.
Unless we have someone who can help us recognize what we aren’t conscious of and give us the tools to overcome them, we will keep repeating the same patterns. If even therapists require supervisors, then so do all of us, especially when we are planning to be in a relationship.
7. We owe it to ourselves, our partner, and perhaps one day our children, to not transfer baggage that we could have resolved onto them. After all, even the healthiest relationship has enough complexities and hard work already.
8. It’s OK to be single–and not to have it all figured out.
Media and Facebook would like us to believe that we are not complete until we are in a relationship. This is bullshit. Many of the most successful and happy people that have lived experienced long periods or even lifetimes of singledom. It is natural to want a special someone, but don’t hold back on loving yourself and doing the things you dream of just because you don’t have a romantic partner to do them with. Use your single time to invest in your friends, family, and yourself, and recognize that being single is a special time of freedom and self-growth that is a bit harder to have in a relationship–as being in a relationship has its own lists of pros and cons. Work on yourself now, and you will be better set up to attract the right circumstances and mindset that will bring happiness to your life when the right person comes along. You will be two, 100% complete people, that are wanting to be in a healthy romantic relationship–not needing it to survive.
Baggage cannot be completely eliminated but we can learn to pack lighter. If you are ready to see how a therapist can act as a coach, mentor, and guide to overcoming the blocks that are holding you back from having your personal picture of relationship success come true, reach out. We offer your first consultation with us free, and it is unlike anything you would expect from a traditional counsellor.
Instead of offering a quick call or meetup that barely gives you enough time to speak, I dedicate a full 2 hours of time, free, for you to experience a truly transformational coaching experience.
This session will give us both the opportunity to determine if we are each other’s best fit for the relationship or self improvement goal you want help with, and can allow you to step forward with the awareness, motivation and energy needed to finally make the changes you are hoping for in your life and relationships. You will leave with real recommendations and techniques you can use right away.
This is not a sales session and is not like other counselling sessions you may have experienced focused on simple listening and encouragement. It is laser focused on finding out your specific barriers to achieving your dreams regarding relationships–whether single, family, couple, relationship professional/coach or team/leader of teams.
Due to the intensive nature of these sessions, there is a limited number of slots available, and only those committed to taking action should take me up on this offer.
If you are ready to get started, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will find a time to meet with you in person (around Metro Vancouver or the Fraser Valley), Skype/Facetime, or phone.
And if someone you care about could benefit, do them and their current or future relationships a favour and share this article.
1. Zak, P.J. (2012). The Moral Molecule: The source of love and prosperity. New York, NY: Dutton Adult.
2. Hendrix, H. (2008). Getting the love you want: A guide for couples. New York, NY: Holt Paperbacks.