Who am I this time?
So my last boyfriend said, very early on, “Don’t analyze me.” I gave him my standard response. “Are you paying me? No? Then I’m not analyzing you.”
But, it really isn’t that simple. A therapist can’t unlearn what they know from years of experience working with people. We CAN turn it off when we are with you, and we usually do. Doing therapy for friends and lovers is not only unethical, but it’s also no fun for us. So, no, I am not trying to fix you when I’m dating you. However, I will try to figure you out, especially if there is a chance that you are not being authentic and real with me. It seems to be those types who insist that I not analyze them. What I can do, as a girlfriend and friend, is be your cheerleader, help you make plans, and support you emotionally while you travel toward your goals. Life Coaches do much the same, without the benefit of sex.
Recently, I added Life Coach to the services I offer. Some people need someone to help them lay out plans and to hold them accountable for reaching goals. People we are in relationships with are not always so happy when we do that. Although, within a healthy relationship we can ask each other to help us plan and hold us accountable.
When Life Coaching clients can’t follow through on plans, or make progress toward goals, then therapy can help them discover sub-conscious reasons or deep seated obstacles they put in their own way. The two can blend, but I find it most effective to wear two different hats. Life Coaches can certainly suggest that there are things holding someone back. We can do that for people we are dating, too. We can also point out what those things are if they become obvious, which is possible in relationships but not always accepted. In relationships, we can ask our partners to do the same for us. Reciprocity makes acceptance more likely.
I believe it takes a therapist to help people change their negative expectations, and the stories they tell themselves that lead to failure. A Life Coach and a therapist working together can help you climb mountains and swim rivers in your life and career. Your lover can climb and swim with you, too, if you are both open to being a support for each other.
You can choose a separate Life Coach and Therapist. Or you can work with someone who combines the two, as long as they can change horses midstream without causing anyone to fall in the water.
As you see from above, dating when you are a therapist or life coach is it’s own special journey. It takes a whole different set of skills. It is a lot easier though, if the person you’re dating is self-actualizing and self-analyzing. That way, you don’t have to even consider doing that for them, unless they ask for feedback.
Avoid dating people who want and/or need you to fix them. As therapists we may find ourselves drawn to relationships with people who need our help. But why should we do that? A little boost, a lot of nurture, and a certain amount of cheerleading is fine. Full blown analysis and therapy is not how we want to spend our free time. Besides, If we ask you “How does that make you feel?” in the middle of an argument, you can imagine how that might stir the waters.
And if, as mentioned in the first paragraph, you are not being authentic with me or yourself, I will analyze you, and then back the hell up. No need for either of us to dive in over our heads. Keep swimming, keep swimming.
If you need a Life Coach, check me out on Newchoicesguide.com, or email me at email@example.com. If you are looking for a therapist, check me out on PsychologyToday.com and HealthGrades.com. If you are looking for a girlfriend, I’m available. Applaud like crazy and I’ll check you out.