That Guy

A young bride-to-be recently wrote to me asking if uber-successful, driven guys can also be "good" at relationships. Well, good question isn't it? It's June, and that means the bells are ringing you towards wedded bliss, but many brides-to-be have been quietly coming to therapy or bringing their special guy in for a pre-marital "fix." Thinking I can turn him into THAT guy who will be everything -- her knight, THE one, her forever and everThe shower, the dress, the ceremony, the registry -- it's all so exciting, I know. You are of that age, many of your friends are doing it. You tell me "it's time, I don't want to wait." I want to be happy for you, really I do! But it's painful when I see you both sitting on opposite sides of the couch, trying so hard to make it work. In our work together, we struggle to find shared values and goals, and even qualities that you like about the other, and yet the date is fast approaching, and on you go. Fear, I believe, is one of the worst possible reasons to marry now when it comes to picking your possible life partner. Unfortunately, there is so much noise in our society and from parents and friends, as well as concerns about being judged by others -- these are but a few of the reasons that so many young women will settle for a not-so-great partnership. As I listen to you talk about THAT guy, and as you excitedly tick all the boxes, something is missing. It all looks good on paper. The question should be: is this THE guy with whom I can have a wonderful relationship? Instead, I hear that he's on track for partner, will soon be making six figures several times over and so on. Seductive, sexy stuff right?  I'm really trying to save you here and I'd hate to see you disappointed, years later, and with a couple of children in tow, because you feel empty and lonely. Despair sucks -- really it does -- and so does divorce, for you and the kids.

What you need to know about THAT guy is that he may not be the kind of guy who is also as available as you'd like for friendship and a relationship. THAT guy works crazy hours, is focused on moving the career needle and carving a path to the top.  If emotional connection and intimacy is a need for YOU, then figure that out sooner, rather than later. Can your man can deliver the goods? You may get other things from THAT guy like tons of cash, a big condo in the right zip code, a stash of great shoes and bags, but unless he can duplicate himself, it's unlikely that he'll have the bandwidth to do all those other things. Figure out who you are. If you're a lady of substance, you may need to slow down and really rethink where you're headed and what you want for yourself, even forgoing the beautiful dress and hoopla for now. You may not get that, but you may set the stage for something deep and sustainable. You may get happiness; your friends who married "Mr right on paper" may be getting divorced. I see this often.

So, to answer the original question. No, it's unlikely that you can have it all. The masters-of-the-universe-in-training, bad boys and other emotionally available types rarely change. The trappings are appealing, but may leave you lacking, in terms of the quality of connection. If you're a lady of substance, then you may need to look at the bigger picture. It's hard to watch your friends marry one by one. It's not easy being single. You may fear that you'll never have the wedding package you dream of. In my opinion, the only fear that you should have is spending the latter two-thirds of your life unhappily partnered, with the wrong person.

Kim Seelbrede is a former Miss USA and a New York City psychotherapist, coach, consultant and EMDR therapist who specializes in a holistic approach to therapy and coaching, working with adults, adolescents and couples. Kimberly is trained to collaborate with you in developing the insight and coping skills to address many concerns including: relationships, anxiety, depression, panic disorder, self-esteem, self-harm, ADD, ADHD, social difficulties, adolescent challenges, family issues, underachievement, perfectionism, identity and sexuality concerns, addictions, compulsions, OCD, binge eating, PTSD, trauma, transitions, life purpose, spirituality, health concerns, weight management, stress management, performance problems, life balance, meditation and mindfulness support.  Please email her to arrange a consultation in her Manhattan office or online via Skype. 

Kim completed her graduate studies at New York University and has advanced post-graduate psychotherapy training and also holds an advanced certificate to practice EMDR therapy as well as specialized training in Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT), DBT skills, Non-Violent Communication (NVC), and applies the work of Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) and her training with The Gottman Institute in her work with couples. She Is a registered yoga therapist (200 + 500 RYT) trained with the Urban Zen Foundation.

If you are a fan of social media find Kim Seelbrede on: LinkedinFacebookTwitterInstagramPinterest, Google +Wellness.comPsychology Today, Network Therapy, Good TherapyTherapy TribeUrban Zen Foundation Integrative TherapistEMDR Therapist and