Relationships (and dating) can be frustrating. Whether it’s the nagging wife whinging about that pile of dishes, having your hopes built up by yet another Tinder boy who just sees you as a sex toy, or having to fend off unrequited love from that stalker who sends you Roxette tunes – this stuff is enough to make a person lose their mind (and give some serious consideration to a life of Spinsterdom – DON’T).
Luckily, most of us have good friends we can vent to about matters of the heart. In most cases, these people have been there themselves and can offer insights and advice. Furthermore, your friends should know you pretty well and are therefore in a good position to put things in perspective For example, once when I thought I was dying of a broken heart, a friend told me to scroll back through a FB convo to see that I had been crying about the same thing just a couple of months previously (with another guy) and pointed out that I would bounce back from the latest rejection in a matter of days – Thanks Umarian!
But how about if you don’t have such fabulous friends? Well then, go cry to mummy Or get a diary … I always find writing helps. Better yet, jump straight back on that horse. Go on Tinder date and vent away, utilise the dude as a therapist – hopefully you’ll get some useful male insights into your issues and free drinks thrown in for good measure. BOOM!
But jokes aside. What if there comes a point when your problems become too big for you and your besties to handle? How about when people start to roll their eyes when you mention the latest bad boy you’ve fallen for? Does there come a time when a person should seek professional help for their relationship woes? Hmm…
Not so long ago, after one too many dating disasters, I found myself considering therapy. But being a ‘Solve-My-Own-Problems’ kinda chick, I was very sceptical about it all. Maybe it’s that British stiff upper lip of mine but the thought of lying on a couch (I know … it’s a stereotype) and paying (yes, the financial implications can be significant) a stranger to listen to my first-world problems seems a little self-indulgent.
What surprised me most in my investigations into the whole therapy thing was how many people were actually into this thing. I thought therapy was one of those things that only Hollywood celebs did but it turns out that even the most humble, seemingly-sorted people you meet have a shrink (maybe, the shrink is the reason they are so sorted. Who knows?).
The other important thing I learnt is that while there are obviously good therapists out there – there are also plenty of charlatans. These ‘professionals’ will wave a piece of paper in front of you (claiming it’s a degree certificate when in fact it’s just their utility bill) and happily let you chit-chat away for an hour before collecting your hard-earned bucks (to pay for that electricity bill). So, I may not have a PhD is psychology but surely someone who advises a person to do something irresponsible and mean just to make themselves feel better isn’t really helping solve the problem but merely offering a quick fix solution.
To conclude, I guess the idea of therapy is good for some. In theory having a neutral person analysing your situation objectively should help, provided that they are suitably qualified for the job. However, in this instance I was fortunate to have good people to chat to/distract me from the bleak situation until I eventually snapped out of my depression and decided to take to all that money I would have spent on ‘professional’ help and go on holiday instead (getting away from the weird and wonderful men of Cape Town may have just been the answer to all my problems :P).
So Rinsers. What are your views on therapy? Have you ever sought professional help for your relationship/dating issues? If so, did it help? Are you one of those people who think that therapy could be the answer to everyone’s problems? Do you have any alternative advice for those who can’t afford to fork out for a shrink? Provide some insights in the comments below.