Cultivating Healthy Romantic Relationships While Dating
A week ago, we had a counsellor speak to our communities about cultivating healthy romantic relationships. The psychologist, Rebecca Wamwene offered expert advice on various topics and answered questions raised in the WhatsApp chat. We are going to share the pieces of advice in a series of articles. In this article, we’ll share answers to the questions on cultivating healthy relationships while dating.
Have you seen healthy relationships between believers and non-believers? How can a good relationship be cultivated if they differ in their spiritual virtues?
I want to hope that you talked before getting married or if you are courting you are factoring that in
- Congruent communication is key.
- Define boundaries of what can be done and what cannot
How can I help a divorced lady to go through the experience and once she’s out of it and ready to date again, how can I support her or encourage her?
She needs to go through loss and grief. She also needs to set very realistic goals so she doesn’t go through a cycle of divorces. She also has to REPACKAGE herself. You may need to introduce her to counseling.
How do you cultivate a healthy romantic relationship when there is a gap between the two of you created by infidelity and the person involved is not owning up?
If you have talked about it and your partner does not own it you may try the following:
- Intentional forgiveness.
- Seek professional help for yourself so as to overcome the pain.
- Try talking to your partner into counselling.
Communication is key to closing the gap and cultivating healthy romantic relationships. Express how you feel about the infidelity and how it is you would wish you address it
Discuss the new changes with your spouse so that none will feel cheated:
- Have unity of purpose
- Be organised as the mother so that none will take the time of the other ie dad and baby.
- Come up with new romantic tactics ie you can give him a different menu, emphasize on love languages that he loves most, and be sexy
- Self-care is very key at this period of time
- Call one another and write to each other love messages.
My new boyfriend’s kids from his marriage are coming to stay for the weekend and I am worried about what they will think of me as I have never met them. They are aged 13 and 15 and I want to make a good impression, any ideas?
I pick two key things: the former marriage and the fear of teenagers. You seem to have the fear of rejection. Could you have been rejected before? How did the former marriage end, i.e. separation, divorce, or death? If death did the children process the loss properly; if divorce or separation have they accepted and advanced?
When meeting someone for the first time it is normal to have mixed reactions and some level of anxiety. However you may need to assess the source of the worry eg, do they have a specific reason to think about in a way that would worry you? For example, were they neglected by the dad in your name, have you discussed your fears with your boyfriend?
I’m scared to go for couples counselling. But my partner insists. How should I overcome this fear?
You may consider visiting a therapist alone before going with him so you can address the fears. You may need to investigate the source of your fears. Are there some unspoken traumatic experiences that you fear might manifest during the sessions? Are there some behaviours you are holding dear to you and you fear change?
Also analyse the type of fear that manifests, when and how they manifest. Do you fear when he raises the issue of seeing a counsellor or do you fear at the thought of seeing one? What could be the reasons he wants you to visit a counsellor? Have ever undertaken counselling before? To cultivate healthy romantic relationships, you have to explore these fears first.
Is there a particular timeline to when one is supposed to get back to the dating scene as a single mum?
This can only be answered with a question or questions. Have you repackaged yourself? If yes, how? What circumstances led to single motherhood eg.separation, divorce, teenage pregnancy?
How well did you deal with the cause of singlehood e.g, were you the one who left or were you left, did you fight either physically or verbally?
Are there unfinished businesses between you and your ex, i.e. defined co-parenting, wealth in case there was marriage, unresolved legal processes?
How old are your children? Are they aware that at some point you may start dating and are they comfortable?
Have you healed? Wounded people wound people. Thus dating with fresh wounds would mean bleeding on your innocent partner. This may cause more harm than good. I suggest you come up with goals and you set up timelines for yourself. Take time to heal and repackage yourself so that you are able to cultivate healthy romantic relationships when you get back to the dating scene.
As a single mother when are you supposed to mention your child when you are dating?
You are the first definition of behaviour to your child. Make sure that you are friends, create humour, release the news in small doses. This should be done when you are totally ready and sure that you are ok with the said partner. Avoid overexposure of your child ie from one partner to another.
This damages the developing brain, self-esteem and confidence with you. It may result in an emotional distancing between you and the child. Assess the age and the level of understanding as well as the maturation of your child. Prepare your partner and have well-defined boundaries. That young life depends heavily on you.
Marriage and relationships require commitment, communication, and consistency. If you are having problems that can be solved, it’s advisable to seek the services of a great family psychologist or marriage therapist. If you are going through abuse or you know a person going through abuse, the Gender-Based Violence-free hotline is 1195. Furthermore, if you would like to join a community of women healing from abuse, WhatsApp +254736275978.
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