Dating and Relationship Advice – Not Sure When To Try Couples’ Therapy? If You Have Any Of These 5 Problems, You Should Go

If I relied on everything I learned from romantic comedies, I would be convinced that after one week of dating is exactly when to try couples therapy. That’s when Kate Hudson’s character, Andie Anderson, dragged her new boyfriend, Benjamin Barry (played by Matthew McConaughey) to a couples therapist in How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days. To be fair, it was Barry who first suggested they try couples therapy after an explosive argument about Andie’s coming over on guys’ night.

If you don’t remember the premise of the movie, it’s like the name suggests. Anderson sets out to chase a guy away in 10 days as experimental research for her job, while Barry makes a bet with his coworkers that he could make her fall in love with him in the same amount of time. Under normal circumstances, they probably would have waited a bit longer before seeking the help of a couples therapist.

According to psychotherapist Jeffrey B. Rubin, Ph.D., who has worked extensively with couples, the best way to know if couples therapy is right for you is to try a session or two with a therapist you believe is caring, empathic, and insightful. He explains that it’s especially worth considering if you’ve experienced one or more of these relationship problems with your partner.

You Frequently Get Into Heated Arguments With Each Other

How do you know if you’re arguing with your partner to much? When your arguments begin to interfere with your overall mood and daily happiness. All couples fight but if you find yourself worn out from emotionally-exhausting arguments all the time, your relationship is probably taking a toll on your mental health.

The reason fighting makes for healthy relationships is because it’s expected that you and your partner will eventually come to a mutual resolution. If you’re fighting constantly, it’s obvious this isn’t happening. A couples therapist will be able to mediate your discussions and help each of you understand why the other is upset.

You Have Fundamentally Different Values Or Goals That Are Getting In The Way Of Your Relationship

For some people, this is a relationship dealbreaker but if you’re willing to make it work, it’s OK to ask for help. Let’s say you’ve mapped out a life plan for yourself that includes college, grad school, and post-grad fellowships but your partner wants you to take time off to go backpacking  across the world with them.

One option might be spending some time apart so that you can pursue your life goals separately. Another might be talking to a professional about ways you can reach a compromise that validates both partners’ life choices and preserves the relationship you care so deeply about.

You Or Your Partner Feels Contempt For The Other Person

This isn’t just about hating your partner. It’s a blatant disregard for the other person’s feelings, opinions, and well-being. You and your partner should always treat each other with respect. If one of you is constantly making the other feel worthless or unwanted in any way, you should address this problem immediately.

As the victim, it might be easier to explain to a couples therapist why you feel the way you do rather than to your partner. This way, you avoid having to initiate a difficult conversation on your own with someone who is often reluctant to hear what you have to say.

You Have Fantasies About Leaving Your Relationship

Being single has it’s benefits, but if you’re in a relationship, it’s because you agree you have more to gain from life with your partner. When you begin lusting over your single life, you’re saying to them and to yourself that you’d rather be alone than with them.

Often, this happens because you feel like your relationship has lost its spark or that you and your partner are stuck in a rut. Instead of breaking up, turn to a couples therapist who can help you remember why you fell in love in the first place and teach you how you can feel that way in your relationship every day.

You Or Your Partner Has Only Been Exposed To Poor Examples Of Relationships And Intimacy

Technically, this isn’t your or your partner’s fault. It has more to do with the types of love you were exposed to growing up than it has to do with your willingness to be in a relationship. Dr. Rubin says, “Poor or lack of healthy [relationship] role models increases the chances that a couple will not know how to handle conflict and may have excessively low expectations.”

The best thing you can do for yourself in this situation is to work on changing your perceptions of love, romance, and what it means to be in a healthy relationship. Trust me, romantic comedies will not teach you how to love or be loved. Better to go with an expert on this one.

Even if you’re ready to make an appointment with an experienced couples therapist like Dr. Rubin, your partner might be on the fence about it. Dr. Rubin says, “Explain to them that therapy is an opportunity to preserve and strengthen the relationship.” There’s nothing to be ashamed about.

Relationship goals aren’t just about cute photos on Instagram. It’s about making a commitment to show up and work hard on your relationship even when things aren’t as glamorous.



Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day at 8am & 12pm EST.

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Dating and Relationship Advice – General Dating Etiquette

Dating in today’s world can be very stressful. With the expectations constantly changing, it can be difficult to keep up. People should be able to enjoy the other person’s company without having to worry about how their every action will be interpreted. This article is intended to answer the most common questions of modern-day daters and provide the advice necessary to master today’s standards of dating etiquette.

The Conversation

The heart of dating lies in the conversation. Quality conversation requires more than just interesting topics, and extends to how you discuss these topics. Maintain eye contact, but don’t stare. Avoid any crude or profane language. You want your date to feel comfortable talking to you at all times. Along these same lines, do not be discouraged by moments of silence. These are much better than forced conversation and can be used to collect your thoughts.

Much of a date is getting to know the other person, so be sure to ask questions. The key is to inquire without interrogating. Ask questions, but do not question your date about their answers. Similarly, do not monopolize the conversation. Nothing turns a man off more than getting cut off or not being able to get a word in.


The three L’s of dating: listen, listen, listen! Take a genuine interest in what your date says. Show the other person you know them better after the date than you did before. Not only will this be appreciated, but true chemistry absolutely depends on it. Whether or not you feel a connection, the other person should be your number one priority throughout the entire date. This concept also applies to cell phones; don’t answer any calls or texts on your date. Nothing is so important it can’t wait until the date’s over. If there’s an emergency that requires your attention, explain to your date who it is and why you must take it so they understand.

Who Pays?

The issue of who should pay on the date has created a lot of confusion over the years. This is a very gray area, but some general rules of thumb can be followed. Men have always been expected to pay in the past, but the rules have changed as women strive for equality. Classic chivalry is by no means an antiquated notion, but today it’s good practice that whoever asked the other out should pay. Furthermore, if a woman finds she has no romantic interest in the other person she should offer to pay for her portion.

The problem lies in the perception we create. If a woman ignores the bill altogether, she may give off a false sense of entitlement which could upset the man. On the other hand, a woman who tries to pay the bill could appear pushy or overly feminist. Unfortunately, no two people are alike and everyone has different expectations when it comes to who pays on a date.

One good approach is to bring the topic up after the first or second date. If the man has been paying, he could indicate his fear of being too presumptuous and domineering by automatically paying every bill. A woman could explain that she appreciates the man’s desire to treat her, but it is important to her to also contribute. No matter what your situation, don’t expect or demand anything. Remember that your date’s actions are probably the result of a lot of nervous deliberation and should not necessarily be taken too seriously; give them the benefit of the doubt.

Dinner Date Etiquette

Dinner dates have their own rules for dating etiquette. Popular dating website teamed up with to survey singles and discover the dating do’s and don’ts for dining. The four most popular responses are listed below.

  • Do not order for your date (67%).
  • Be willing to try new foods (66%).
  • Do not ask to split the check (62%).
  • Never flirt with the staff (87%, the number one turnoff according to the dinner dating etiquette survey).

Drinking on the Date

We hope not drinking too much on your date is common sense, but some additional dating etiquette should also be followed.

Men: Never push your date to drink more than she can handle, or push additional drinks onto her. If your date has to be drunk to like you, it might be time to go back to the drawing board.

Women: Don’t attempt to go drink-for-drink with a man, or ever feel pressure to keep the same pace. It is not a chauvinistic stereotype; women are biologically unable to metabolize alcohol as well as men and thus feel the effects to a greater extent.

It is also a good idea for men not to exceed their female date’s alcohol intake, a concept supported by the survey mentioned above. In fact, 70% of women were turned off by dates who drink more than them. The flip side is that 23% of men surveyed said that women who don’t order any alcohol at all are a turnoff.

Be On Time

Always be on time, or early if at all possible. A late arrival may imply that you had better things to do than honor the scheduled time of your date. At the very least, tardiness is impolite and could be a sign that you may have commitment issues; if you can’t commit to being on time, how will you commit to the person?

Keep an Open Mind

One of the most important pieces of advice is to maintain an open mind when dating. Very few dates go perfectly, and you should not let a minor problem ruin the entire date. Try to give the other person the benefit of the doubt. If you still don’t like them when it’s over, you never have to see that person again. Keeping an open mind will make the entire experience more positive.

Final Word

Dating etiquette is constantly evolving. The information above provides a good overview of today’s standards, and many of the concepts outlined are timeless principles that should always be followed. The general notion of dating etiquette focuses on being polite and courteous. Just be yourself and treat your date with respect; the rest will come naturally.


Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day at 8am & 12pm EST.

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