Thursday, August 7, 2014

Woman Falling For Counselor Wonders If She Should Look Elsewhere

Dear Tazi:

I have been seeing a therapist for about a year now, to discuss the problems I have been having in maintaining a romantic relationship with a man. In meeting with "Joe" on a weekly basis, I have been able to pinpoint the issues, and work on resolving them. My problem is, in a nutshell, that I date self-centered men who are only interested in having their needs met; men who are not the type to give or compromise to fulfill the needs of the woman in their life. Consequently, I end up being the one who does all of the giving and none of the taking and, when I choose to complain about how unfair things are, I am further victimized by being chastised or dumped.

Joe is the first man who has ever taken an interest in what I have to say - my opinions, my needs, my desires, hopes, and dreams! I never knew that a relationship with a man could be so fulfilling until I met him! Now, I realize that Joe is being paid to listen to me, but the euphoric feeling of the attention he gives me is one I would like to experience in a real relationship someday. I am trying very hard not to fall in love with my counselor, but it is difficult. For this reason, I have decided that it might be time that I dip my toe back into the waters of the dating scene. My problem is, I am scared that no man will ever measure up to "Joe".

Obviously, my concerns are something that I should be discussing with my counselor; but I am uncomfortable revealing to him that I have developed feelings for him. It would be a dream come true if he felt the same, but a nightmare if he did not - especially since it would mean that I would have to jump full-on into the dating pool to find someone I could care for the way I am starting to care for Joe. Is my letter even making any sense, Tazi? I guess what I am asking for is advice on what to tell my counselor: Should I tell him I am ready to start dating again; or that I would like to date him?

Ready To Take the Next Step

Dear ready To Take the Next Step:

You are correct in your belief that your counselor is being paid to listen to you - so please keep that fact in mind! This does not mean that Joe does not care about you as a person, or even that he has not developed a sense of concern for you; but as a professional he must draw a strict line between his personal and professional relationships. This may break your heart, but I highly doubt Joe will be willing to socialize with you outside of his office - to do so would represent an extreme breach of ethics on his part.

As a counselor, Joe is in the unique position of being the person you trust to assist you through an emotionally charged time. It is not unusual for people to develop romantic feelings for their counselors; however, it is unusual for the counselor to develop reciprocal feelings for their patient. As Joe could explain to you if you were to reveal your feelings for him, the balance of power in such a relationship would be tipped in his favor as you are already dependent upon him for nurturing care.

Rather than telling Joe that you would like to date him, make a list of the qualities he possesses that attract you. Obviously, good listener is on that list; but is there anything else? What about qualities you seek that Joe does not possess? Be sure to add those to your list, too! Once you have that list in your head, tell Joe that you feel you are ready to start dating again; and that he has served as a wonderful role model of positive qualities that you would feel you should be looking for in a man. This compliment will tell Joe that his guidance has been helpful, and can also give him an opening to reiterate that the relationship between the two of you is strictly professional. Hearing such a sentiment from your counselor's mouth might go a long way towards strengthening your resolve towards finding an appropriate man to date.

Once the topic of re-entering the dating scene has been raised, your counselor can help to guide you away from the shallow men you have dated in the past and towards deeper, more meaningful opportunities.


Ask Tazi! is ghostwritten by a human with a Bachelors of Arts in Communications. Tazi-Kat is not really a talking feline.

No comments:

Post a Comment