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Wednesday
Apr152015

Dating & Mating: 7 Warning Signs You Need Couples Counseling!

Our relationships are important to us. They're the corner stones of our support system- at least they should be. That's until our relationships become the main source of our stress and problems. You obviously care about this person and situation, otherwise you wouldn't be reading! Fight for yourself and your relationship-- you're worth it. Regardless of the outcome, couples counseling can be beneficial. Every relationship isn't guaranteed or supposed to last, but I'm an advocate of at least exploring and trying to solve the problems that stop us of from having the fulfilling and loving relationship every person desires and deserves. Here are classic signs that it may be time to pull in a professional:

 

  1. Poor communication and secrets: You two can't seem to talk calmly, with mutual respect, and without feeling apprehensive, mistrustful, judged, criticized, yelled at, name called, or irritated. If you're unable to tell your partner important thoughts and/or withhold information and actions, this type of secretive behavior only erodes trust and hurts relationships.
  2. Constant fighting: Multiple fights during a week is excessive. Even one fight per week isn't necessarily healthy. Experts say you need 7 positive interactions per one negative interaction to still maintain loving conditions for communication and ideal emotional health. If you're fighting constantly, it certainty doesn't help your relationship feel safe or pleasant.
  3. Apathy and shutting down: Does it seem like one or both of you is disengaged and would rather escape through work, tv, music, alcohol, friends, or isolation rather than talking and engaging with your significant other? These shutting down and stonewalling behaviors can create further gaps in your love life.
  4. Decreased sex and withholding affection: Sometimes modern life can be so busy one may think "Who has time for sex? Not me or anyone I can think of". That's a very false assumption and possible scapegoat for underlying problems. Healthy couples desire to and engage in regular amounts of sex. (whatever amount is common and normal for your relationship prior to problems). Worse than lack of sex is withholding affection. Loving gestures and words add to intimacy, which is equally, if not more essential than actual sex. Both men and women need affection from their partners to feel loved and desired.
  5. Avoiding going home and phone conversations: The feeling of wanting to go to happy hour, shopping time, golf time, boys night, etc instead of heading home or calling your significant other is a red light. When a relationship is healthy, one should seek out the comfort of a spouse or partner, not avoid it.
  6. Dragging family and friends into problems: The need to pull in a third person as mediator or an ally is an absolute attempt to stabilize your relationship. However, our friends and family are often ill-equipped and biased to help us effectively. Not to mention it burns out your other support systems and can cause resentment as well as mistrust in your relationship with your love.
  7. Flirting and Fantasizing about single life: Our eyes never stop working, we can see attractive people and admire them in passing; However, regular fantasizing and flirting is not harmless and is an indicator of a lack of fulfillment in your relationship. These behaviors unchecked can lead to unconscious and eventually purposeful boundary crossing.

 

Do you think you have one or multiple signs of needing counseling? Reach out to a qualified professional for a consultation.  Not all couples are suitable for dating coaching or counseling. In cases where domestic violence, abuse, addiction or other severe mental health conditions are present, it may be better to address individual and safety concerns first.

 

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