Dating while in therapy
Her last piece for NEWSWEEK examined the phenomenon of pet psychics.
Relationships require work and are bound to face challenges large and small.
A 24-year-old in Austin, Texas, changes her Facebook status from “In a relationship” to “It’s complicated,” then comments that she plans to begin couples therapy.
Message boards abound with questions from those trying to navigate information about couples counseling.
“People who are ‘just dating’ rarely come to see a couples therapist.”When unmarried couples consult Ziff, she does not view them as any less serious than couples a generation or so earlier, who were quicker to marry and less likely to cohabit or date for long periods of time without marrying.
Instead, she views these unwed monogamists as a population hyperaware of the risks of tying the knot.
So almost everybody coming out of college or high school knows people whose marriages have failed.“When I was in graduate school,” says Broder, “we were taught—in what we then called ‘marriage counseling’—that it was successful when the marriage was saved, and not successful when it wasn’t.I believe there’s no such thing as a ‘happy couple.’ There’s such things as two happy individuals. It’s kind of like a corporation.” To keep two people together unhappily, he says, is to do no service to anyone.Broder says he sees couples coming to therapy to reevaluate whether a stagnating relationship is one they should continue, after the initial passion, the lovestruck honeymoon period of the early months, has worn off.“I define a longterm relationship as one that survives the dopamine high,” he says.