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February 6, 2018

My Advice for Strengthening & Repairing Relationships

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This morning on Global TV’s The Morning Show, Jess addressed some more viewer relationship questions with Jeff McArthur. Check out her expanded notes and video below.

The other day I heard you say that if you’re both willing to go to therapy, it’s a good sign for your relationship. But what if my boyfriend refuses to go? Does that mean that we are incompatible and if so, what can I do?

  • You’re not the first person to respond to my statement with the same concern. And I certainly did say that compatibility is a matter of being willing to put in a similar amount of effort (and therapy is one form of putting in effort), but it’s important to note that the way you invest in your relationship may simply be different. You may be more inclined toward working with a therapist and your partner may be more inclined toward working on it in a different way (e.g. workbooks, self-development, non-facilitated conversations as a couple).
  • My best advice is to go to therapy on your own. Don’t let your partner hold you back and certainly don’t use their unwillingness as an excuse not to go on your own. A therapist can help you to manage your own thoughts, feelings, and behaviour in the relationship.

I’m new to modern dating having just come out of a 12-year relationship. I’ve been going on a bunch of dates and they seem great! In several cases, we made plans to meet again, but then in both cases, these guys never followed through. They just disappeared. Why would men do this? Am I doing something wrong?

  • This behaviour (which is not gender-specific) is often referred to as the ‘future fake’; I’ve heard many similar stories, so you’re not alone and there are many reasons why they might behave this way. And it’s not necessarily a matter of your doing something wrong.
  • It’s possible that they’re saying what they think you want to hear. We all do this and need to stop. I’m a people pleaser. Even when a stranger I meet on a plane says “we should meet up while we’re in town”, I have trouble responded with a clear “I’m not interested”. I make excuses, avoid responding and engage in other untoward forms of communication. I’m working on it and you can too!
  • It’s also possible they don’t realize they’re faking it. At the time, they do plan to call and stay in touch, but a mitigating factor intervenes (e.g. they meet someone else or realize they’re not ready for a relationship).
  • Of course, it’s possible they’ve changed their mind. It happens. Research suggests that men and women are equally concerned with considering their future on a first date, so it’s likely not a matter of gender.
  • And if you are texting/messaging after the first date, it’s also possible that you said or did something after they referenced seeing you again that was a deal breaker for them. As long as you weren’t offensive, don’t worry about it. It’s just as much their loss. Next!