This week we had the pleasure of speaking with Beatty Cohan, MSW, LCSW, AASECT and Cheryl Lazarus, CRC, CDC. They are hosting an exciting event on November 3rd at Tournesol, called "Never Make a Mistake in Love Again!" Read on to find out what they think are the biggest romantic issues we face today, and what to do about them!
T: What's the number one issue you've been seeing with your clients in terms of their romantic lives?
BC: People young and old are increasingly disillusioned about love and romance and many simply give up looking for a special partner with whom they can share their life. This is unfortunate, since there are plenty of wonderful men and women who are also looking for love.
CL: Clients are not emotionally available for love even when they believe that they are. They repeat the same patterns as they had in the past.
For example, they may sabotage a relationship when they feel too close and vulnerable, or not speak up because they are afraid of how the other person will react. These patterns get in the way of intimacy and being emotionally available for love.
T: Why is this issue so prevalent?
BC: This negative attitude isn't completely surprising - just look at the incidence of intimate partner violence and the divorce and extra-marital affair statistics. And most of us have experienced heartache and disappointments in our quest for love.
However, I encourage my patients (and friends) to take off their doom and gloom glasses and begin to explore all of the wonderful possibilities, including dealing with their own negative and self-defeating views about love.
CL: Even though people realize that they are stuck in a relationship pattern, the don’t know how to change it. Sometimes people attempt to do things differently, but their unconscious takes over and they end up in the same dynamic that they vowed not to repeat.
In working with clients, we transform their relationship patterns through exploring the root causes as well as practical solutions, new behaviors and the energy that they bring to dating and relationships.
T: What would be the top self-care tip that you would recommend to those experiencing this issue?
BC: For singles: instead of only spending time on the on-line dating sites, how about actually getting yourself dressed and taking yourself out to book signings, lectures, singles events, synagogues, churches and other venues where you will be able to meet people who may share similar interests. Nothing ventured, nothing gained! Also, how about educating yourself about healthy love and picking up a copy of my book, For Better, for Worse Forever: Discover the Path to Lasting Love, which will teach you my 10-step, fail-safe formula (already successfully used by thousands of men and women around the world ) for assessing who's right or wrong for you BEFORE committing to any potentially serious relationship. My formula will educate, empower and keep you safe! It will give you the confidence to begin a new love journey.
As for couples, all relationships go through ups and downs. If you find that you and your partner are in a downward spiral, the very best thing that you can do is reach out and ask for help from a qualified couples therapist. As long as people are willing to acknowledge, address, and RESOLVE their issues, relationships can become better and stronger than you ever dreamed possible.
CL: I recommend people explore the dynamics that were prevalent in their most significant romantic relationships. I suggest they look at the patterns they liked and the ones that caused anxiety or pain.
Decide what kind of support, knowledge and new skills that you need so that you can do things differently in the future. Then read books, attend workshops and/or work with a professional who can help you to change the patterns and become more open to love.