Dating relationship counseling
Generation Y-ers ages 18–29 represent a mere 8.9 percent of the married population of the U. In years past, couples might have been married before quarrels developed, but as an increasingly higher premium is put on one’s capacity for personal growth, along with fear that marriage can lead so quickly to divorce, some younger couples try to sort through their issues of compatibility for years before heading to the altar.
Of course, most young people today consider relationships of more than five years or so almost like a marriage.
But increasingly, it also functions as a tool to ease them more comfortably apart.
“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.
“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.
So almost everybody coming out of college or high school knows people whose marriages have failed.
It’s not a reluctance to make a commitment, but an anxiety.”Of course, as any good therapist, counselor, rabbi, or priest can attest, just because someone expresses interest in making a relationship work—by attending couples therapy, say—does not mean that it should, or even that that is what the person really wants.
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.
Much more frequently than is discussed or written about, says Broder, one partner in therapy is more invested in the longterm success of the relationship.