Dating site for counselors
Anne Ziff describes her work as “divorce prevention.” As a marriage and family therapist, she has been in practice since the late 1980s, and works in Westport, Conn., and New York City.
“Increasingly I see couples who are entirely committed but not married,” she says.
“People who are ‘just dating’ rarely come to see a couples therapist.”When unmarried couples consult Ziff, she does not view them as any less serious than couples a generation or so earlier, who were quicker to marry and less likely to cohabit or date for long periods of time without marrying.
Instead, she views these unwed monogamists as a population hyperaware of the risks of tying the knot.
“The therapist helped us understand what’s normal—or rather, healthy—and what’s not.
For instance, I grew up where screaming was normal in the house.”“I wanted to make a good-faith effort,” she added, “and I believe in him as a good person.” The phrase “good-faith effort”—or something similar—is repeated often by uncertain couples, along with the notion of giving the relationship “one last try.”Some professionals have less patience for unmarried partners in troubled longterm, live-in relationships.
Broder says he sees couples coming to therapy to reevaluate whether a stagnating relationship is one they should continue, after the initial passion, the lovestruck honeymoon period of the early months, has worn off.
“I define a longterm relationship as one that survives the dopamine high,” he says.
Once in a while, Ziff says, she learns in private consultation with one member of a couple that the person would rather call it quits, but doesn’t really know how.
“Where you get past that point where everything happens automatically.”In the case of unmarried couples in longterm relationships, therapy serves as it has done traditionally, as the tipping point for bringing ambivalent partners closer together.