Love, Sex & Couples Counseling

#BlackLove, #Relationshipgoals, #Couplesgoals, #Luckyinlove I see these hashtags all the time and seriously, what do they mean to people?

The hashtags I need to see #Couplestherapy, #Fairfighting #Madbutstillinlove, these are the hashtags that need to be trending. I love seeing the previous hashtags but that’s only one side of the story. Being in love with someone is a lot of consistent hard work and effort. To be in love is to think of the us and we, before the I and me. It’s to constantly think of the needs of your partner, as well as, your own, and that shit can be...exhausting! Although, it can be quite rewarding.

I was never the girl who took the love she saw in movies or read in books too seriously. I wanted a relationship that mirrored my parents. In reality, I wanted a relationship where we fight, we argue, we get our points across, can fix it and then we get the fuck over it. I’ve never wanted the type of relationship where we never argue or fight because we’re too busy being passive. I am way too confrontational to be passive and I am way too accustomed to being alone to stay in a relationship that serves no other purpose than to piss me off.

The current relationship with my boyfriend has lasted over a year. During that time we have put in work to maintain our relationship. We’re great communicators. We talk about the issues and the things that bother us. We have arguments that lead to an understanding. We have sex, laugh, we cry, we do it all. And even still, with all of that we still ended up breaking up at one point. During that time, I was crushed. The feeling can be attributed to someone physically trying to rip the heart from my chest. He was my first everything: love, sexual partner and back then my first heartbreak.

It was hard enough dealing with my heartache but you couldn’t fathom the amount of ‘what happened’ from friends and loved one. Everyone saw the #Relationshipgoals” and never the hardships. The first few weeks before the break up were hell. It wasn’t until it dawned on me the reason for our breakup: we got lazy; we started taking our free-flowing relationship for what it was and started taking the easy way out with things.We had stopped fighting so much because we just let shit go. We spent time in the same room, but we weren’t together. We still had sex, intimacy wasn’t a problem, we just became complacent. This is when I realized that being in a relationship is way more than Facebook and Instagram tags. It’s not just a body to sleep with or keep your bed/body warm at night. It is real work. It is two people deciding to put themselves a side and be responsible for the wellbeing of the other person. To be active and present within the relationship as well as upholding the basic foundations of loyalty, love and support.

About two months later, we decided to get back together. We realized (he realized) that our relationship was worth the work. So, we decided we wanted to be together. Of course, as a social worker first thing I thought of to help us with our journey was couples counseling. He agreed, so we began our sessions. We put in a lot of work in this relationship. If you’d ask my boyfriend what he thinks of therapy he’d say, “it’s a waste of money.” On the flip side he would also say “it’s useful to identify where you are and where you should be vs where you want to go and where you could be.”

I will always be an advocate for therapy. I would encourage therapy for myself, my partner, my friends, and my family. You could have the perfect relationship (which I thought I did) and you could still benefit from therapy. Talking to someone who is unbiased about what’s going on in your life and can offer tools, skills and mechanisms to aid you in your everyday life. The counselor my boyfriend and I currently see was referred from a friend. Of course this isn’t the only way of finding a therapist. You can google or ask your insurance provider. The most important thing I can say about therapy is never force your partner to attend therapy. At first my boyfriend was hesitant in attending couples counseling, but when he saw how important it was to me, he agreed to go with me. I told him, we would only go to the first session and if he felt uncomfortable we would either try something else, or find another therapist. It was very important to me that my boyfriend understood that though I was asking him to do this for me, I was willing to try a different route for him. It is VERY important for people to understand that if you do not like a counselor or therapist you do not have to stay with them. You will always have the option to leave, as well as, find another qualified person in the field. Needless to say, we are on our 3rd session and are making great progress to how we want to be loved, and how we can better love each other. Moral of the story: If it’s easy it won’t be worth it. If it’s worth it, it won’t be easy.