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5 Things Dating and Engaged Couples Can Gain from Couples Therapy

I want to introduce a few facts regarding relationships, which may help you see how couples counseling can be an important resource for dating and engaged couples.

  • 71% of singles say they’re more interested in long-term relationships now than they were before the pandemic
  • 22% of you “aren’t sure” about monogamy, and…
  • 18% of you have been in love with more than one person at once
  • 43% of Gen Z singles suffer from dating-related social anxiety. Case in point: Mentions of the word “awkward” in Tinder bios are up by 8% since the end of 2020
  • 8,056,993: The estimated number of unmarried partnered couples who are living together

The APA Dictionary of Psychology defines a relationship this way: a continuing and often committed association between two or more people, as in a family, friendship, marriage, partnership, or another interpersonal link in which the participants have some degree of influence on each other’s thoughts, feelings, and actions. As a licensed marriage and family therapist, I have the great privilege to sit down with couples who are dating, who live together, who are considering marriage, and who have tied the matrimony knot and are in need of some neutral interventions.

When a person decides they are ready for a relationship why not make an investment in yourself. First counseling may help you to get to know what you are bringing to the relationship. Second, counseling can help you to discover what is needed to make a great relationship. Third, counseling will help you uncover what you are looking for and need in a future partner. 

Here are five ways to benefit from couple’s therapy:

To Define and Explore Each of Your Expectations for This Relationship.

The two of you are coming from different points of view, cultures, experiences, values, and belief systems. Sitting down to define and discuss the expectations with your partner will get you off to a common ground which can help to establish a solid relationship.

To Learn How to Effectively Communicate When Conflict Happens.

Conflict is a part of life. Without conflict, we cannot address problems as they find themselves at our doorstop. I want you to know that difficulties in communication are the number one complaint I hear when I work with couples. This is a beneficial life skill that can be used in every aspect of your personal and professional life. 

To Address the Difficult Topics From Each of Your Past Experiences.

Recognizing that we all come from somewhere and we have all experienced many things is one main reason to sit down to unpack the bags of history you both bring to the relationship. Another big factor that I find when working with couples is unresolved trauma. Trauma is the response to a deeply distressing or disturbing event that overwhelms an individual’s ability to cope, causes feelings of helplessness, and diminishes their sense of self and ability to feel a full range of emotions and experiences. Trauma must be acknowledged and processed so that healing can emerge. Other topics can include sex, money, having children or not, parenting, our own upbringing, politics, spiritual or religious practices, fears and frustrations, hopes and dreams, and learning experiences. 

To Understand They Are Not Perfect. 

You are probably thinking, “Well, obviously. That’s why they need to see a therapist.” The reality is, though, that we can often have such high expectations for our spouses/partners that we don’t give them the grace and patience that they deserve. Sometimes we believe that they should know everything about us, but that takes time and building emotional intimacy (being safely vulnerable) throughout your marriage/relationship. Taking time to understand your spouse/partner and having an open mind about their perspective is critical.

To Connect, and Stay Connected, to Your Spouse/Partner.  

Couples can sometimes struggle with finding ways to connect to their spouse/partner and often don’t communicate how they feel most connected to their spouse/partner. Couples counseling can often bridge the gap between couples and assist them in rekindling the fire that was once there in the marriage/relationship and keep the fire going.

If you and your spouse/partner are considering couples therapy in Chicago, contact us at Symmetry Counseling today. We believe setting the right expectations can increase your success and happiness in your collective efforts to begin and maintain a healthy relationship.


Sources: Lovehoney and the Kinsey Institute; Cosmo poll; eHarmony; Tinder; OkCupid; Hinge; Gallup; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Pew Research Center; National Center for Family and Marriage Research; U.S. Census Bureau


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