April 1, 2022

A Therapist’s Powerful Analogy for Relationship Work.

As I write this, I’m reminded that as a therapist, I often experience what is called “imposter syndrome.”

This happens when I’m providing therapy for those struggling in relationships. I’m single and in the middle stage of life. I’ve had quite the life journey. There’s been no shortage of life experience, still some self-doubt surfaces. This happens to the best of us.

When this happens, I remind myself that I’m human. It’s often my authenticity that draws people to me in the first place. I know what I desire in a relationship and what a healthy relationship looks and feels like.

No one’s perfect and we’re all learning and growing, especially therapists. Matter of fact, if you’re providing therapy, personal and professional growth is a constant.

In therapy, we often use the analogy of comparing people to houses. I love this comparison because it’s so relatable. In relationships and houses, we need to clear out the old to make room for the new. We need repair, restore, and get reacquainted as they change.

Relationships are complicated; they require tending and time. They’re our greatest commitments. Often, they’re what society measures as success. The strongest houses have a solid foundation but still require ongoing maintenance. Successful partnerships require constant renewal and dedication.

A few years back, I ended a relationship and bought an old house solo. This was an adventure and I’m still getting to know the place. A mature adult is also like an old house. Finding your partner at this stage requires understanding that people come with extra baggage. Like an old house, many are under renovation, or what I call healing. This work can happen before or after moving in. People are always changing. We can always work on our house. We must be able to dedicate time and attention to do it.

Old houses can be beautiful homes. Relationships in the ripening of life can be too. We need to understand and appreciate an old house’s nuances and complexities. We must take time to get to know the house and listen as much as we talk. We need to create a home within the house and take nothing for granted.

If you’re in the middle-life stages and looking for love, one of the most important things to remember is that like old houses, we need to clear the old to make room for the new. We need to let go of the past and be present in the here and now. It is okay to be “under renovation” and moving forward. This is work in progress. Enjoy the journey as long as we’re living, we’re recreating.

As long as we are living, we can love and be loved.


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