Mar 20, 2007

Preventative Relationship Maintenance Workshops

This one made me laugh out loud!

Several counties in Florida are starting relationship classes, costing 5.5 million dollars, to help build healthy marriages. These programs are being billed as a preventative measure to help couples succeed - a modern approach to love.

What's so funny about trying to teach people about relationships with the hope that couples will get along better?

I admire the goal, but I question how effective these workshops will be.

Our close relationships are enormously complex, emotionally driven, and much of our behavior has been shaped by millions of years of human evolution.

Will sitting in a relationship class have much of a lasting impact?

Of course, knowledge helps solve problems. But knowledge isn't the answer, it's only part of the answer.

Romantic relationships are influenced by our early, childhood experiences with our caregivers, personality characteristics, cultural backgrounds, and our innate, instinctual responses to situations (e.g., jealousy, love, attachment), just to name a few.

Many couples struggle to get along, even after extensive, hands-on counseling. And it is quite possible that some relationships are just not meant to be.

Personally, I think these workshops will help couples who are already headed for success... but, I doubt that they will have much of an impact on couples who are headed for trouble.

Want to know why I really don't think that these workshops will be of much help?

Just spend a little time around "relationship experts" - people who have their PhDs on the topic (like me). It can be an eye-opening experience... kinda of like discovering a plumber who has leaky faucets throughout his (or her) house.

The relationship between "knowing something" and "doing it" is never very straightforward, but especially so when it comes to love.

No comments: