Barry is a tall and handsome fifty year old corporate attorney who was referred to me by one of my scouts.
When we first spoke, he told me he wanted to meet someone special, get married and start a family. He’d never been married and never dated anyone with children.
During our initial consultation, he shared that he’s been overwhelmed with work and family issues related to the recent loss of his father. He has never done any on-line dating, having met women in the past through his work or community activities.
Barry’s wish for marriage and family takes time.
The average dating relationship starts casually, moves to exclusivity, and becomes a committed relationship where people are discussing a future together in about a year. Add to that the time that it takes to plan a wedding and marry, spend time together as a couple before trying to start a family, and that usually takes at least another year. If Barry were to meet ‘Ms. Right’ tomorrow, it would take at least two years before Barry was married with his first child.
Barry doesn’t seem to be in any rush, however. He’s slow to return my calls and emails and since we met, hasn’t replied to me regarding the first referral I recommended for him two weeks ago.
Barry isn’t alone. I’ve never understood how someone can say they want one thing and do the exact opposite.
The relationship therapists I’ve conferred with explain this as “commitment phobia.” This makes sense to me, since there doesn’t seem to be any other rational explanation for this behavior.
The solution, according to them, is relationship therapy to help the client overcome their ambivalence and move forward with their goals. While this kind of work also takes time, it at least advances the cause towards fulfillment of the client’s goals.
Over the years, I’ve met with hundreds of people who say that they can’t believe their age and how much time has passed since they first decided to pursue a relationship. This is time that can’t be replaced. The way Barry is going, he’ll be 55 before he turns around, when beginning a family begins to make far less sense and is less likely to happen.
I hope to be in a position to help Barry and others overcome their fears in order to find the kind of love that they’ve been saying they want, but which they haven’t been prepared to fully invest in until now. It doesn’t come knocking at anyone’s door.
If this resonates with you or anyone you know, I’d welcome hearing from you and would be happy to support you in this difficult, yet uniquely rewarding process.