Relationship Counseling

Online Dating Is Challenging – How Can You Find a Partner in Real Life?

Posted by Be You Counseling on July 9, 2019

Online dating has become increasingly popular in recent years.

It has also become easier than ever to find someone new to date, thanks to apps that allow you to connect with a wide selection of people from the palm of your hand.

But even though it seems convenient, online dating has its challenges.

Whether you’ve tried it before or you’re thinking about signing up for an online dating site, it’s important to be aware of these challenges before you get started.

What Are the Problems With Online Dating?

The biggest issue that comes with online dating is that it’s risky. You’re learning about someone from a basic profile only, and unfortunately, it’s easy to fabricate information or stretch the truth.

People can do almost anything they want in an online dating profile. This includes using fake photos, lying about their career, their age, etc. Getting into any relationship has its risks. But when you’re starting out online, people are presenting their own personal “highlight reel” of their lives, and it isn’t always accurate.

Another issue with online dating is the stigma often attached to it. Thanks to the development of dating apps, many people use this type of dating search as a way to meet someone for sex, rather than for a relationship.

Finally, online dating can actually cause you to become more judgmental. Because so many people are active in the world of online dating, you might be able to sift through hundreds of “matches” selected for you. When you’re given that many options, it’s easy to become too picky and too superficial, and you could be missing out on someone great.

Are There Better Ways to Find a Partner Offline?

If you want to avoid the world of online dating and find someone the “old fashioned way,” there are plenty of unique opportunities to try and utilize for yourself.

For example, keep some of these suggestions in mind if you’re looking for someone to start a relationship with:

  • Join a local singles group with regular events/meetups

  • Attend local events that interest you; it’s likely the people there will share those interests

  • Take your dog to the park and interact with other pet owners

  • Join a class (art, dancing, cooking, etc.), join a gym/fitness place, or take a walk in the park – people are everywhere

  • Volunteer for a nonprofit organization that’s meaningful to you

One of the best ways to find a partner in your area is to do things you normally do anyway. Proximity is power! By attending events and places that already interest you, you’re one step ahead. It’s easy to come up with a conversation starter when you know you’re both passionate about a particular place, cause, event, etc.

Preparing Yourself for the World of Dating

People who try to date online often find comfort in the security of it. When you’re behind a screen, you might not feel as nervous or worried about how you look or the things you’ll say. Trying to date in real life can feel intimidating, but the reward is well worth the risk.

Use some of these tips to better prepare yourself for meeting someone offline:

  • Don’t rush into anything, even if you feel a connection with a person

  • Set a goal to talk to a certain number of people at an event

  • Keep a mindset of making new friends rather than finding a love interest

  • Show genuine interest in people and ask them questions

  • Don’t worry about being rejected

  • Have fun

Yes, the dating world often comes with a lot of pressure. But there is nothing like a genuine connection that comes from finding a partner in real life.

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If you’re struggling with the challenges of dating or want more information, feel free to contact me to set up a free consultation. You can also visit my Relationship Counseling page to learn more. I would love to talk to you about other practical tips and ways you can make offline dating easier on yourself.

Breaking Up Is Hard to Do – How to Manage It with Success

Posted by Be You Counseling on May 22, 2019

Getting through the act of a breakup isn’t easy for anyone.

But how you handle that news from the start can help to determine the state of your emotional well-being as you move forward.

It’s okay to experience grief after a breakup. Whether you were married, have been dating for years, or even were in a new relationship, it’s still a loss. So, take the time to grieve appropriately.

However, understand that you need to eventually manage how you want to get through the event itself. In other words, you’ll get to decide how successful you’ll be in getting through it.

Managing your breakup with success means keeping your mental health and best interests in mind.

Let’s take a look at a few suggestions on how to do just that.

Accept the Breakup

One of the first things you need to do after a breakup is to accept the reality of it. It might hurt, and you may even feel as though it isn’t justified. And what often hurts more is when you don’t want to break up but your partner does.

However, it’s important to keep your dignity when you’re going through a split. You don’t need to try to convince your partner you should stay together. Instead, remind yourself that neither you nor your partner are perfect people.

You both deserve someone who is devoted to you and someone you’re happy with. If that person wasn’t you for your partner, it can be a hard pill to swallow, but an important one to accept.

Make a Clean Break

Breakups are messy enough without dragging them along. Whether you initiated the split or not, it’s always a good idea to make a clean break—at least for a while.

Try to avoid contact with your ex after the breakup until you’re both in a healthier, calmer place. Emotions typically run high for a while after a split. It’s tempting to call or text the person you were with, even if you’re just used to talking to them about things in your life.

But letting go of that communication will make the process easier for both of you. It will give you both time to grieve, and it will show respect for one another’s feelings.

Making a “clean break” also eliminates false hope. If both partners weren’t on board with the split, it’s easy for one to have hope that it will all work out again in the end. Cutting off communication gets the point across that there isn’t going to be a reconciliation.

Get Out of Your Ruts and Grow

You can use a breakup as a learning experience to break free from bad habits. A failed relationship can teach you about what you should work on for your next relationship.

This doesn’t mean you need to completely change who you are. It does, however, mean you should take a look at the things you struggle with, especially in a relationship. What can you do to improve? How do you want to grow as a person?

For some people, it’s about improving communication or getting rid of jealousy. While other people may need to work on trust and reliability.

It’s also important to search for unconscious parallels. You may not want to admit it, but your parents or caretakers relationship with one another and with you has left and imprint. Discovering how it has imprinted will help you free yourself from old unnecessary behaviors and thoughts.

In general, it’s a good idea to write down your goals (short-term and long-term) and take those ideas with you into your next relationship. You should never consider a relationship a failure. No matter how good or bad it was at any given time, it caused you to grow and learn.

If you’re struggling to manage your emotions and mental well-being after a breakup, feel free to contact me to set up a free consultation. You can also visit my Relationship Counseling page to learn more. Together, we can work on practical ways you can get through this difficult and emotional time so you can experience closure and peace and eventually move on successfully.

How to Communicate and Have Your Voice Heard in Your Relationship

Posted by Be You Counseling on April 1, 2019

Communication is an important key in any relationship. Unfortunately, far too many couples don’t communicate properly.

One of the biggest issues hindering communication is not having your voice heard within your relationship. It’s one thing for your partner to listen to you. But are they really hearing and processing what you’re saying?

It’s important to remember that a relationship is about two people who have needs that need to be met. When one person is expressing their needs but the other isn’t hearing them, this crucial element is being neglected.

Thus, if your lines of communication are starting to sound more like “white noise,” it could be time to rethink the way you communicate.

How Do You Know If Your Voice Isn’t Being Heard?

Of course, every relationship is different, and so are communication styles. But there are certain things to look out for that indicate your partner isn’t hearing what you have to say.

Some of the most common signs include:

Selective memory – They might remember things on their calendar, friends’ birthdays, etc., but they don’t remember something important you told them the night before.

Distractions – Does your partner start to do other things when you want to talk to them? Whether it’s chores around the house or something they suddenly “remembered” that needed to get done, this is a sign you’re not actively being heard.

Lashing out – If your partner lashes out in aggression when you bring up a topic important to you, they could be trying to get you to back off so you don’t talk about it again.

Arguing – Some partners will also drag out an argument for long periods of time until you “give up” or get tired of talking about the subject. Again, this is to make sure you don’t bring it up again.

If your voice isn’t being heard in a relationship, it’s not only harmful to the relationship itself, but it can be harmful to your own self-esteem and emotional well-being.

How Do You Have Your Voice Be Heard?

It’s important to note that some partners just will not listen. They might continue their habits no matter what you do, drowning you out and silencing your voice in the relationship. Sometimes, the best thing you can do for yourself is to cut ties with that person.

But, if the relationship can be fixed and you believe your partner can change, there are things you can do to get through to them effectively.

One of the best things you can do is simply to share with them your observation about them when you feel they are not listening, and ask them what is going on. You want to be mindful of not using the word “why”. Often times it puts people on guard and feels accusatory. Try to approach it with observation and curiosity. For example you might say to your partner, “I notice that when I express my thoughts and feelings outwardly you tend to pick up your phone or begin organizing the papers on the counter. This often leaves me feeling ignored and confused. I am curious as to what is happen for you in those moments?”  

Maybe they don’t fully realize that they’re ignoring or belittling the things you have to say. They might be going through problems of their own that make it hard for them to fully listen to your concerns. Approaching with curiosity invites dialogue, where as asking why often shuts it down.

Be genuine with your curiosity and questions. If you don’t want to know the answer to a question, then don’t ask it. People generally can sense the difference between genuine and contrived curiosity.

Sometimes, this is all it takes for the dynamic of a relationship to change.

As silly as it might sound, another great option is to give a presentation to your partner. You don’t need to draw up a PowerPoint slideshow. But you can explain to them how you’re feeling and how their lack of listening affects your relationship.  This can get more productive communication going, especially if you’re open to hearing their feelings in return.

A good way to get them started with paying attention as you begin this presentation is to showcase how they will benefit from hearing your voice. Also, let them know how much they would be helping you simply by listening. Do not assume they know how to listen to you properly. Provide examples of gestures or behaviors that would suggest they are listening to you. Sometimes, pointing out what is obvious is exactly what people need to make a change.

Following Through

Usually, it’s not fair to give your partner an ultimatum. But, if you’ve talked to them about your concerns more than once and nothing has changed, it’s okay to take action. Show them what will happen if they don’t start listening. Maybe you stop doing household chores or going out to eat with them, etc.  If it feels like a relationship deal breaker make them aware of this.

Asserting yourself is not always easy to put into practice, but it can be very effective.

If your partner is struggling to really hear you or you don’t know how to make your voice be heard, you don’t have to deal with it alone.

Schedule a free consultation or visit my relationship counseling page to learn more if you’re worried about the state of your relationship. By working on communicative skills together, we can make your relationship stronger and healthier than ever.