What Marriage Counselors Teach Us About Matchmaking

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Our matchmakers take pride in what we do – not just because we watch couples fall in love on a regular basis, but also because we know matchmaking is the tried-and-true way to gain a lasting relationship. Los Angeles is a big city, but our matchmakers can narrow down the city’s population to just a select few (or one) who is right for you. This means our clients have higher rates of success in their marriages.

To create successful matches, we have to study all aspects of relationships and marriage. This means the good, the bad and the ugly. The more we understand how long-term relationships grow and flourish, the better we are equipped to help our own clients develop lasting relationships. With this in mind, we asked real marriage counselors what they would tell their clients if they could say anything. We mean anything – no professionalism involved. Here’s what they said:

They play favorites. . . but really, neither of you is right.
It’s true: your marriage counselor probably likes one of you more than the other. It’s a little hard not to when there are two people attending the same session. One person usually hits it off with the counselor more than the other and this is perfectly natural, but it can hurt your relationship overall.

Counselors who show preference to one spouse over the other are actually one of the biggest complaints people have when they go to therapy. While your counselor’s opinion matters, it doesn’t validate one partner as being “right” and the other as being “wrong.” Instead, your counselor probably thinks you’re both in the wrong. Fortunately, they are still going to help you build better communication skills to move past the issue.

They know when your marriage is destined to fail.
Many therapists refer to the works of Dr. John Gottman to determine whether your relationship is going to make the cut. Gottman’s theory of The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse encompasses four defense mechanisms that prevent effective communication. If a couple isn’t able to change their behavior to eliminate the so-called “Four Horsemen,” the counselor knows the relationship was doomed from the start. Here’s what to watch for:

1)      Criticism

2)      Contempt

3)      Defensiveness

4)      Stonewalling

Our matchmakers schedule introductions only when we are certain both parties involved meet two conditions: 1) they are ready for love 2) they are both effective communicators who operate on the same relative level. Once those conditions are met, we know the couple in question has a relatively good chance of success on their first date (or the relationship as a whole).

Your spouse is not a mind reader… and neither are they!
Communication is key when it comes to any relationship – including the one with your marriage counselor. If you have a concern, it is important to talk to your spouse and be honest about your feelings. Remain open to your partner’s perspectives and think about how you might feel in their shoes. Discuss these problems with your counselor so they can help you and your partner find solutions together. They don’t know what you don’t tell them!

It takes time.
Relationships aren’t built overnight. Similarly, problems with your spouse will not magically disappear with a one-hour marriage counseling session. If you really love your partner, put the time in and recognize that you both might need to compromise for the relationship to work. There are no quick fixes for relationships, but marriage counselors can often offer helpful communication skills and insight into your relationship that neither you nor your partner previously considered.

Anything you say can and will be used against you.
Marriage is tough, but divorce court is tougher. Therapist-patient privilege generally prevents details of one-on-one counseling sessions from making it to the courtroom, but that privilege does not extend to sessions that are not one-on-one with a counselor (i.e. when your spouse is present). The best way to avoid a courtroom disaster? Work on your communication skills, treat your partner with respect at all times, and never say anything you wouldn’t want made public.

What does this all tell us about matchmaking? You are more likely to have a successful relationship when you find the person that is best suited for you from the start instead of waiting to ‘fix’ the problems that will arise being in a relationship with someone that is not really compatible with you. If you are properly matched, a great deal of problems can be avoided as your relationship grows and evolves. This means less stress for your relationship and more time to simply enjoy being happy together.

Are you ready to meet your perfect match? Contact us today and learn about personalized matchmaking services that will increase your chances of a successful long-term relationship.

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