Dating Tips From an Attachment Psychotherapist | Omega

Dating can be challenging, but it can go more smoothly if we know ourselves better, says attachment psychotherapist Stan Tatkin. Here are some of his dating tips.

Omega: How can the principles of attachment theory help with the dating process?

Stan: If we understand how people work—not just me or this person, but all people—that’s a huge advantage. If we understand our relationship attachment style and how it influences how we move toward and away from important others, that, too, is a terrific advantage. Unfortunately, we’re not taught to do relationships early on. There’s no school for that, though there should be. People who understand the brain, nervous system, and attachment, also understand the role of threat, safety, and security in all human relating, especially of the dependency kind.

Omega: What is the biggest challenge to finding a suitable partner for the modern single person?

Stan: I think dealing with the plethora of online dating services poses new challenges, along with opportunities. Yet the biggest problem is the same: people are focusing on the person and not the relationship. In other words, their list (if they have one) is usually about the qualities of Mr. or Ms. Right and not a formulation of what the relationship should be. Instead, if I have a vision of what a great relationship should be, not only for myself, but for my prospective partner, I can see if those I meet might be able to fulfill my idea of a great relationship—not my ideal of a partner. Good enough partner, but great relationship!

Omega: What’s your advice for online dating?

Stan: Don’t get addicted to the process of online dating; don’t flood yourself with too many options. Be clear about your goals and don’t waste your time with people who won’t or can’t go there with you. Understand that no matter how attractive someone can seem online or on the phone, nothing compares to face-to-face, eye-to-eye interaction for really vetting a person.

© 2018 Omega Institute for Holistic Studies

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