PSYCHOTHERAPY: DIFFICULTIES IN FINDING A PARTNER
The issues related to building and maintaining relationships with close people seem to be the most commonly discussed with my clients during psychological consultations and psychotherapy sessions. Many people visiting psychologists and psychotherapists encounter difficulties in finding a partner – a person that will be not only attractive in numerous ways, but with whom they will want to share every aspect of life and with whom they will feel safe and build a stable and close relationship that will last for years.
Moments in which we “are stuck” while looking for a partner
Usually, the efforts of people looking for a partner come to a halt in a specific moment, just as if they “got stuck” at a certain point while building a relationship. Some of my clients, both men and women, are not able to establish relationships and, despite age suitable for start a family or plans regarding marriage or having children, are still single. Others tend to get involved with “inappropriate” persons, which brings them suffering, as they are treated as an object or abused in many ways, or get involved with people too dependent or too distant, or build relationships with addicted or violent people, which they only find out when it is too late. Others are able to establish promising relationships, but cannot function in them: be really close to the other person, talk about themselves openly, allow themselves to show tenderness and warmth, release themselves from the “armour” they show and wear every day. As a consequence, they leave the partner, provoke him or her to leave them, or stay in very distant relationships, feeling unhappy and lonely.
Experiencing such difficulties for a long time, and similar stories happening over and over again may result in a situation that, after years, we not only start fearing establishing relationships (fearing repeating the same stories and suffering again), but also sometimes we develop additional mental health issues: loneliness and sorrow may develop into recurrent depressed mood, depression and feeling of a lack of purpose of life. Long lasting fear, anxiety and stress may lead to development of neurotic disorders. We should take care to prevent such consequences, especially when we notice that something alarming, something we cannot manage, is happening to us. Turning for psychological assistance or individual psychotherapy may be a solution.
A psychologist, even the best one, cannot find a partner for us, but having knowledge about the client’s personality, as well as some influence over the client’s actions, the psychologist may help recognise the reasons for being alone and show the way to change the client’s behaviour. In a situation, when not having a partner does not depend on us and a method to change the situation does not exist, a psychologist or psychotherapist may give us support to cope with the situation, redefine ourselves, find joy and meaning of life and go through the period of mourning over lost dreams.
My method of conducting psychotherapy with people experiencing difficulties in finding a partner
While beginning a psychotherapy with a client, I always set up initial consultation sessions (psychological assistance sessions), during which we look at the problem, define goals, which the client wants to achieve and discuss modalities I use as a psychologist and psychotherapist. More information about psychological consultations here link.
In further course of the individual therapy and during specific therapeutic sessions at my office in Warsaw we aim mainly at:
- understanding the situation: what is the nature of the difficulties, at what stage of looking for a partner the client is, what is the habitual pattern which hinders finding a partner, which emotions, thoughts and behaviours construct the non-adaptational pattern
- define the reasons for difficulties: too high expectations towards other persons or the client himself or herself, the client cannot enter into a small talk, the client abstains from action because he or she fears rejection, the client chooses emotionally distant people as partners, or simply there are not enough people that would be a suitable partner for him or her
- define methods for better managing the situation – most often together with the psychotherapist the client looks for possibilities to change their reacting patterns, finding new meaning in situations the client encounters, learning new emotional reactions, testing new behaviours
- use the solutions, which the client worked on together with the psychotherapist, in practice – first in a safe situation in the psychologist’s office (the client imagines different possibilities, practises them in their head, draws or describes them, role plays different scenes with the therapist, etc.) and then in real life outside the psychotherapist’s office, testing whether the solutions the client worked on with the therapist and between the sessions, actually work and introducing modifications, if needed
Conducting psychotherapy regarding difficulties in finding a partner helps to understand the reasons why you are single. Visit my office for specialist psychological consultation or psychotherapy. I will help you understand the reasons for the current situation, you will learn new methods to better manage looking for the partner and maintain relationship. I encourage you to give me a call.
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If you need psychological help, contact me.