Tue. Feb 27th, 2024

Anais ForReal

Straight No Chaser

Therapy Session 22: Relationships, Friendships and Building Better Foundations

4 min read
Photo by womanOFimagery on Reshot

Photo by womanOFimagery on Reshot

Today’s session was virtual due to the Coronavirus, so we embraced social distancing, instead of venturing out. It was no less thought-provoking by video conference. One of the greatest things about therapy is, it provides you with a different perspective and allows you to give thought to your actions and behaviors. Self-analyzing is always a positive thing.

My therapist and I have covered relationships and my views of them quite a bit. We do this because I realize this is an area that has some room for improvement. A part of making these improvements involves me analyzing past relationships, looking at myself in the mirror, and making adjustments to behaviors. The ability to honestly self analyze is a huge part of therapy that you must be willing to commit to if you are going to be successful in sessions.

“What makes your platonic relationships successful and your romantic relationships challenging?”

I never thought of those two having any commonality at all. So, needless to say, that particular question made me compare the longevity of my friendship based relationships versus my romantic based relationships.

Additionally, I started to think of the foundation of my platonic friendships in comparison to my romantic relationships. Those two areas were so very different in so many ways, including longevity. My platonic friendships include friends I’ve had for decades, and the love is deep. My newest connection to a friend is thirteen years old, and that is also built-in love and understanding of each other. My romantic relationships have nowhere near that kind of longevity.

While having this discussion, I thought of the selection process of platonic friends as compared to romantic relationships. Most of my close friends, I believe, picked me to a certain degree. Or maybe it was mutual.

“The selection of your past romantic partnerships involved you selecting in a manner in which you had the power in those relationships.”

Well damn, doc no need to personally attack me in such a manner. YES, I felt personally attacked; however, I couldn’t say she was wrong. She’s never wrong. As I thought about past relationships while sitting there, my non-poker face confirmed that there was a certain degree a validity to that statement. When I say that I mean, she was 100% correct. I never thought of it that way, but I always selected in a way that would ensure I would not be overpowered by my partner.

Remember I mentioned earlier, that therapy was a LOT about self-analyzing, looking at oneself in the mirror, and adjusting behaviors. Well, I will be doing just that. Now that I’ve recognized the issue, it is up to me to adjust accordingly. Once you know better, it’s your responsibility to do better.

For me, therapy after the grief portion of it in the initial sessions has been about me discussing concerns and behaviors, then learning to recognize patterns and addressing them to move beyond paths that are not beneficial to where I want to be in life. That involves a variety of things, situations, and behaviors.

As humans, we are flawed it’s up to us to recognize these flaws and try to do better. Doing so allows us to become the best versions of ourselves that we can. We should always be striving for this and challenging ourselves to be better. I believe if we become the best versions of ourselves, that moves us closer to genuine happiness.

One of the things that I realized in these therapy sessions was, for a significant segment of my life, I have been living life not fully engaged to my wants and needs, as much as I could be. Instead of being in tuned to what I wanted, I was unconsciously living seeking the approval of others. So, as I peel back these layers in therapy it moves me closer and closer to getting in touch with my own needs. That process has allowed me to shed the expectations of those that are no longer with me and center myself in my own life and focused on getting in touch with my own needs.

A part of centering myself involves looking at where I want to be in life, who I want to be a part of my life, and making better choices in building relationships and friendships.

After today’s session, I realize that I need to be more purposeful in selecting romantic relationships as I am when I select my platonic friendships. The keyword here is friendships, and I realize that ALL relationships, platonic, or romantic must have a strong foundation in friendship. That could have been the crux of my issues in this area.

When selecting friends, I go with those that understand me and accept me, as I understand and accept them. There’s never a power dynamic in those relationships. That needs to be the same goals I strive for in romantic partnerships as well. It seems a natural line of thinking; However, I never thought these two selection processes aligned, but they do. That is especially the case since I am extremely successful in one area and not as fortunate in the other. So building a similar foundation for both is the key.

Funny how discussion during a session can clarify things and give you the tools needed to come to conclusions that you cannot seem to do on your own. Therapy is a game-changer and a life-changer.

I would love to know your thoughts on this session, therapy in general, and more about your journey in getting better in touch with who you are through therapy. Reach out, let’s chat on FBIG, and Twitter. Until then, Happy Healing.

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