Cupid's Pulse Article: Relationship Advice: Is it worth it to try relationship counseling in the dating phase, or is it a lost cause?Cupid's Pulse Article: Relationship Advice: Is it worth it to try relationship counseling in the dating phase, or is it a lost cause?

By David Wygant

I’ve been coaching for 17 years and I’m a firm believer in any type of counseling, therapy, or coaching that you can get will actually make your life far more fulfilling than just trying to get advice from friends and Google searches. As a relationship expert, I’ve been asked this question many times: Is worth it to try relationship counseling in the dating phase or is it a lost cause?

Find out if you and your loved one could benefit from some counseling with the following relationship advice.

Here’s my take on it. It all depends on what the counseling it all about. To me, when I look at couples come into my office, I always look for the foundation of their relationship. Is the relationship based on mutual values? Do they have the same language of love? Meaning are they understanding each other’s desire and need to be loved? How are their communication skills when it comes down to crisis management? How are their communication skills when they have to ask each other for needs, wants, and desires? What is their sex life like? Are they able to understand and fully satisfy one another in that way? There’s a lot of other things that I can list here. But when it comes down to couples, you need a foundation in order to go and actually counsel through periods of roughness.

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There’s not one couple out there that I’ve not met and seen that have all the tools in the tool chest to be able to negotiate through every relationship issue. So you need to look at your relationship and ask yourself this. What seems to come up over and over again between the two of you? Because anything that comes up over and over again is a dynamic that you don’t have the tools to fix or change. Take a look at your argument history. Are there arguments that you’re having on a regular basis? And is it always about the same thing? A couple once came into my office and they were having the same dynamic over and over again. He didn’t feel like he was being heard. She kept cutting him off whenever he said that because she went into defense mode. So he felt frustrated and wasn’t able to express his needs and desires in the relationship. And this perpetual cycle kept going on and on and on. I was able to counsel them through that. I was able to get them to understand one another. I was able to get her to listen to him more clearly. And he was able to express his needs, wants, and desires to her without feeling cut off or shamed; and this was achieved with only a few dating tips. So you need to take a hard look at your relationship and find the source of your problems.

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Once again, if there’s one or two dynamics that seem to be repeating over and over again and you can’t seem to come up with a solution or find a way to make each other satisfied and happy, then couple counseling is fantastic. Especially if you really desire to be in a long-term partnership and/or relationship with this person. But if it’s a list of things and you’re not understanding each other on many levels, then you’re in the wrong relationship in the first place and you haven’t done the work on yourself to really figure out exactly what you’re looking for or need. However, with an open mind and a good counselor, you can learn worthwhile relationship advice. You never know when you can apply these tactics to another relationship.

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So I’m all for couple counseling to negotiate through some of the tough journey through things that you can’t negotiate through yourself. And it doesn’t matter if you’re in the dating phase or if you’re in the romance stage or whatever stage you’re in. If you’re committed to that person, counseling is telling that person I’m committed to understanding you on a much higher level and I’m committed to making this relationship work out fantastic. And I know I don’t have the skills or the tools to get past some of the bumps that we have coming up in the road. So it’s great to be able to talk to somebody. I’m all for it. It’s healthy, it’s fantastic, and I appreciate when people have the guts to stand up for the one they love in effort to avoid relationship problems.

David Wygant is an internationally-renowned dating and relationship expert, author of the book Naked, and speaker. Through his boot camps, personal coaching, and his website, his love advice has transformed the relationships and love of hundreds of thousands of people from every corner of the globe. 

For more expert relationship advice from David, click here.