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Individual Therapy: Dating
Individual Therapy: How to Avoid Discouragement While Dating
If you are dating and exploring potential relationships, individual therapy can help to improve your experience. Dating is an exciting time, but dating comes with it’s own unique challenges.
Once you have had a less than perfect experience with dating, it can be easy to become discouraged. You may wonder how you can improve your dating life. Or maybe you want to know how to find the right partner for you. It can be hard to know where to begin.
Thankfully, you don’t have to navigate dating alone. Today, you will learn about ways you can improve your dating life. You will also learn how individual therapy can help.
Why Is Dating So Hard?
As you may know, dating around is not easy! You have to deal with the first date nerves. You might worry about how your date perceives you. And there can be so much mystery about whether or not your date had fun and if they want to go out again! It’s no wonder that many people find they experience dating anxiety.
Dating is hard because you have to be vulnerable with your date. And vis versa! Vulnerability is scary. It takes a lot of courage to be willing to go out and meet new people. Plus, both you and your date bring your past experiences, good or bad, to your date experience.
Is being awkward just part of the dating process? Is there a way to know how a dating is going and what you can do to make it a good experience for you both? Let’s talk about some strategies for improving your chances at a good dating experience.
When it comes to having a good dating experience, direct communication is key. You may believe that the early dating experience has to be scary or confusing. You are probably familiar with movies and tv shows that show characters playing “hard to get” during a first date. Or maybe you’ve overheard people saying that they aren’t sure when to reach out after a good date. Or how to say no after a bad date! (Related article: Requests vs. Boundaries).
So many bad dating experiences can come down to a lack of clear communication. You can tell your date “Hey, I had a great time!”. Clearly communicating that you enjoyed your time together and you’d like to go on another date will set a great precedent for your future communication. (Related article: Clarity is Kindness)
It is also okay to tell your date that you didn’t feel a connection or that you prefer to be friends. Going on a first date is not an automatic agreement for more dates. And the earlier you express your intentions, the easier things will be. (Related article: Communication in Relationships).
A Break Can Be Good
If it seems like you have been on a never-ending string of first dates that never go anywhere, you might be frustrated with your lack of dating “success”. But, is a relationship really a sign of success when it comes to dating? Research suggests that is not the case!
John Gottman, a relationship expert and researcher, once said that when he first moved to Seattle he went on sixty first dates. That’s a lot of dating! In his mind, he figured that more dates would increase the odds of a relationship. And, he was partially right. He did meet his wife Julie…. But not until the 60th date! In fact, he said that research has shown that it takes the average person 40-60 dates to find a partner. (Source)
So, what can we learn from this story? The moral is that it takes time to find the right partner. It might take a dozen dates, or it might take 100+ dates. The point is that finding your partner will take patience. And, if you are burnt out by the never ending first dates, it’s not a bad thing to take a dating hiatus. A short break from dating can help you to regroup and recharge. You can reflect on recent dates and try to determine what you liked and disliked about each date. A rest period from dates can help you be better prepared to spot “the one” when they turn up. (Related article: Dating with Anxiety).
Individual Therapy Can Help You Grow
Another great resource in your dating journey is individual therapy. In therapy, you can process good and bad dating experiences. You can learn more about yourself and your ideal partner. And you can work on communication skills that will not only help you on dates, but in your future relationship. Ready to get started? Start counseling in Orem, South Jordan, or Spanish Fork.
Written by Lauren Adkins