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Episode 12: We Get a Therapist

August 22, 2012

Lots of couples need therapy, right?  You reach a place in the relationship where you need sage guidance—a mediator—to assist in building bridges of greater understanding.  Therapists are our partners in understanding our pasts, transforming us into being the best, most openly loving, understanding spouse we can be.  With a little work, they say, we can emulsify your separated oil and vinegar differences to create a lovely, satisfying balsamic marriage.

No, our relationship had not suddenly devolved into the need for counseling, but it was time to get a therapist.

Our book had been coming along steadily when Stefanie appeared on the scene.  Stefanie was one of Judy’s friends.  We had met at a party Judy hosted a month after we started going out.  Stefanie was bright, cheery and intelligent.  She also just happened to be a therapist with more than 20 years’ experience counseling couples.  And as I got to know her, I discovered that she was a truly gifted counselor.  She had incredible intuition and insight into human relations. Hmmm…  And we’re writing a book on dating and relationships?  It seemed like an outstanding opportunity for a fruitful collaboration.

Stefanie was elated when we asked if she wanted to become part of our book team.  She had personally experienced the change in Judy since we had met.  Judy had become softer, more tender.  Things what would have really bothered Judy in the past now barely even registered.  These changes in Judy made Stef curious, even more when I described that the changes were part of a relationship that had been engineered–created as the result of that Jan 2008 date when I first experienced a different kind of connection: profound, deep, and peacefully easy.  That date was the biggest turning point in my life.  It produced the amazing profile that captured Judy and ignited this project.

But even with Stef’s experience, perhaps more because of it, it would take 3 months of meetings to explain, discuss, and understand the nuances of the different type of relationship that I had spent the last 3 years personally researching and experiencing.  At first, Stefanie was skeptical that there could be such a thing as frictionless relationships.  I needed to explain all the unpinnings of the relationship.  She needed to understand that the walls erected by daters aren’t best lowered as a function of trust (as is commonly but erroneously believed), but instead as the result of sharing similar experiences and life paths that, in turn, create overwhelmingly compelling connections.  I had to explain my conceptual difference between matching and pairing.  While I was writing lines like “find a different type of relationship, put a therapist out of work”, Stef was still questioning whether anyone had a perfect match.  Gradually, she had to acknowledge that it was possible; the engineered relationship standing directly in front of her was difficult to discount.

Too, there was the question of how best to use all three of us in producing the manuscript?  How would three people effectively collaborate in the actual process of writing?  We decided that it would be genius for each person would write a portion of the book from different perspectives.  Me: the unbridled, idealistic romantic.  Judy: the converted skeptic. Stefanie: the provoked thinker.   The different perspectives would provide a macro view of the relationship, speaking to it from all possible angles.  It sounded great! It was only later we would discover that executing this plan was extraordinarily difficult.  One of many miscalculations that I would make along the way.

Click here for Episode 13: You’re Not Perfect—You Moan Too Loud

From → The Book

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