Image by Priscilla Du Preez

Dating, Sex & Relationship Coaching

• Identify Patterns

• Get Out There

• Date Healthier

• Identify Red Flags
• Getting Physical

• Establish a Conscious Relationship

• Learn to form Boundaries

Starting to date or beginning a new relationship can be both exciting and daunting. In either case, the process can provide an opportunity to grow as an individual and set the foundation to an authentic and loving relationship.  

Dating, Sex, & New Relationships

We are relational and social beings. Our relationships and connections to others are one of the principle ways people find safety, care, touch, emotional support, and fulfillment in life. These relationships aren’t limited to intimate partners, but can be extended to friends, family members, and acquaintances. Each of these relationships differs in the problems that can arise. Further complicating these relationships are the variety of ways people approach them.

 

Getting Out There

Many individuals may feel uncomfortable joining or getting back into the dating pond. Some may feel inadequate, discouraged, or uncomfortable. The mere idea may be anxiety provoking and may put into question their sense of self. Dating which has now primarily gone online, can feel distant or like a complete misrepresentation of who you are or who you’ll find. It can sometimes feel like a roller coaster without an end. The ups and downs however can serve as an opportunity to get more familiar with the ride and the people on it. Therapy can help you explore how it feels when you are high and how you feel when you are low and how those that come in and out of your life hear and support you. 

 

Dating may also be a way of turning a new relational page finally placing closing the chapter on an old love. A new date could bring hope and optimism, which may feel great, but may also palliate the pain, grief, or pain which has perhaps not yet been explored. Individuals may sometimes jump in too quickly to find a new life raft without ever exploring their loss or the readiness to date more openly. This is neither loving to themselves or authentic to another. While in this phase, the exploration of previous relations can provide significant insight into your new quest to find love. Perhaps a healthier relationship where you can recognize parts of yourself that interfered or contributed to an eventual break while learning and identifying aspects in someone else that made you feel hurt, angry, lonely, or unfulfilled. Together, a new understanding can help create a healthier dynamic in a future relationship. Therapy can help you grow, understand, and love more authentically.

 

Identifying Patterns

When it comes to dating or learning how to connect with a stranger can seem like a daunting endeavor. Some individuals may be more comfortable in new settings, while others prefer the presence of others who in some ways may feel more familiar. Symbolically, nearly everyone we meet demonstrates some aspects of what we know or what may feel somewhat foreign. Most of us prefer to align with those who seem more familiar even if certain dynamics may be unhealthy to us. In this sense, your new date may remind us of a warm and happy holiday, but at other times, we may be able to identify that the holiday was not really all that great. Behind the decorations, music, and food, which may have seemed appropriate, you may have noticed that the family may have been fairly liberal with their drinks revealing some underlying dynamics which we may internally feel compelled to solve. Other times, we may notice that the holiday distractors can feel empty, underwhelming or uncomfortable making us want to run without truly understanding why. Dating can present us with a number of potential pitfalls and patterns which often lead us to wonder why we always end up with the “wrong type of person.” Until we break free from our story, we may not ever be able to embrace a healthy relationship. 

 

Identifying Red Flags and truly getting to know your date.

Most individuals enter the dating world with a map, or an expectation which is rooted in earlier relationships, healthy or not. When they attempt to shape a new connection, they often fail to really understand what is pulling them towards or away from their new date. Subsequently, they usually find themselves with the same type of people or scenarios literally repeating the same relational patterns without ever exploring whether it's truly an authentic connection, or even a healthy one for that matter. Many individuals are often caught with the “looks” or “successes” of their date, without actually exploring the depths of their being. They may drink to “connect” but fail to really know how to consciously and authentically open up a space to get to know themselves and their partners. The problem with why most relationships eventually fail, is not what’s been missing 5 years into a marriage, but rather what was simply missed within the early phase of a relationship. Individuals fail to recognize red flags, fail to ask the right questions, or get caught looking at the wrong things.

Getting Physical

Dating and sex are similar, as there are many different influences that change the way we view them and our partners. How we are raised typically has an influence on how we both perceive and make relationships with others. For some, sex signifies the strongest connection you can have with someone, whereas for others it can be simply seem mechanical or essential only to procreation. Knowing how to identify these potential differences and communicate them with a potential partner effectively is a skill that can be learned and practiced. The physical connection a new couple attempts to establish is often guided by chemicals in our brains which after some time will inevitably decrease. Sex can be an exciting phase to any new relationship but it can also set the wrong expectations or create a layer within the relationship which is not necessarily seen or explored at first. 

 

Setting Boundaries

In the establishing of any new relationship or dating protocol, there are also problems associated with boundaries. Identifying, communicating, and holding to the boundaries you set can be very difficult. Likewise, understanding and respecting a potential partner’s boundaries can also be complex and feel somewhat rejecting. Getting to the bottom of both of these dynamics requires communication and awareness of the boundaries. Individuals in therapy often explore the importance of boundaries, how to set them, enforce them and create the necessary space for them. These skills may not come easily to most, but are in fact indispensable in any mature and loving relationship. 

 

Being aware of where we are coming from and what we are seeking with a potential partner allows us the opportunity to establish meaningful connections. So whether you are seeking to get back into dating, wanting to know how, need support during the process, or see how your past may continue to color your relational world, our clinicians can help you understand and learn techniques to build you build deeper connections at every stage of the process.