Portland Relationship Counseling: Our Culture Pushes Singles to Hook Up

February 2, 2013 by

A number of my Portland relationship counseling clients come into my office because they’ve been with their significant other about a year or so and they just feel like they’re not connecting anymore.

When I ask these people to talk to me about the evolution of their relationship, I almost always hear the same story. They met and had a lot in common so they went out, had fun, and ended up in bed. Typically, the recitation is a strange combination of casual and inevitable—they got together because they felt like they should be together or friends were pairing off and it just happened.

The initial excitement and attraction was enough to keep them together at first but now things seem to be falling apart and they’re not sure why. They like each other but they don’t want to stay together if it’s a mistake and they’ll have nothing but relationship issues in the future.

Portland Relationship Counseling: Starting Fast Leads to Ending Fast

Ultimately, what most of these problems come down to is the fact that people today jump too quickly into relationships. Decades and decades ago, two people would “spark” to each other much like they do now but instead of just immediately hooking up or getting into a relationship, they had to go through a courting process.

Now, I’m certainly not recommending that we go back to the days of chaperoned dates and repressed feelings, but there’s definitely something positive about actually being forced to get to know the person you like—or think you like—before it becomes too serious. Spend several months just talking and hanging out with each other in a romantic way when you both know there’s no chance of sex and you’re practically guaranteed to get a good sense of each other. This will help you to avoid relationship issues and allow both of you to feel better about breaking things off if they’re just not working.

Portland Relationship Counseling: Moving Too Fast Doesn’t Mean You’re Doomed

But don’t panic if you already followed the typical too-fast trajectory and now find yourself drifting apart. Long-term relationships take work and, if both of you are willing to put in the effort, there’s a good chance that yours can be saved.

Skipping the part where you were supposed to get to know each other just means that you’ll need to take a little extra effort now. Take the time to learn each other’s likes and dislikes, hopes and fears. And if it ever gets to be too hard alone, remember that there’s always Portland relationship counseling.