Counseling and Dating Don’t Mix (Part Too)
Last week we opened our discussion on #5 of the TOP10 Signs You’re on a Bad First Date: Your date spends the evening seeking your counsel on how to get over their ex. I tried to convince you that counseling and dating go together like drinking and driving.
However, the sad reality is this: there most assuredly is someone out there who would love to help you get over your ex on your very first date with them.
Why would I say that’s sad? Why wouldn’t that be a sweet thing? After all, half the chick flicks from Hollywood feature just such a scenario: Lonely, sad, hurting, needy individual meets new love interest and finds companionship, happiness, healing, and completion. To help the guys understand this formula we’ll put it in mathematical form:
(Lonely + Sad + Hurting + Needy) Individual
+ New Love Interest
Companionship + Happiness + Healing + Completion
This may be the first time some men have ever been able to understand the chick flick formula. (Be sure to forward to other romantically-challenged men.) In fact, let me try to simplify further:
(L+S+H+N) I + NLI = C + H + H + C
You know what? Now that I look at it, that formula doesn’t make sense at all. Hmmmm.
It doesn’t make sense in real life either. That may be the formula, but the fact is it only works in films. In real life, it may seem to work because falling in love involves a natural chemical high that masks the emotional pain of your previous failed relationship. For a period of time. This may be the first time some ladies have ever been given cause to doubt the chick flick formula. (Be sure to forward to other Disney Princesses in Waiting.)
Not only does “dating therapy” not work, there’s another reason I think it’s sad that someone out there wants to help you get over your ex on a first date with them.
Let me pose a question: What does that say about someone? I understand that people go into counseling or ministry to help others find relational, emotional and spiritual health, and the world surely needs that! But why would someone want to date a relationally, emotionally, spiritually unhealthy individual?
When you’re counseling or in ministry you know maintaining objectivity is part of helping someone, while protecting yourself and the integrity of the relationship. But with dating you can kiss objectivity goodbye.
When you’re dating you’re inviting love to bloom. Do you want to create a situation where you might fall in love with someone who (if you fail to fix them) simply won’t have the capacity to reciprocate your love in a healthy, mature, intentional way? Why?
Or what happens when your “therapy date” falls in love with you, even as you’re ready to close your dating/counseling practice? That’s not going to have a happy Hollywood ending, is it?
Am I talking to a dating therapist (or do you know one)? Please consider asking yourself (or them) some tough questions in love:
- Why do I have this need to fix people?
- Do I think I can earn love by fixing other people’s problems?
- Do I validate my worth by helping others?
- Am I trying to control others?
- Do I need others to depend on me?
- Do I think I’m not worthy of a healthy whole dating partner?
- Do I doubt that God can (or will) provide me a healthy whole dating partner?
- Am I causing others to look to me instead of God for healing and wholeness?
- Am I the one who needs to see a therapist (or simply consult a faithful friend or mentor of the same gender where emotions won’t get out of hand)?
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