Life does not come with an instruction manual, and sometimes we need the guidance of an experienced person to help us make the best decisions. As we grow and mature, we go through different stages of life and our needs change. Sometimes, we are forced to deal with new and difficult situations.
Young and enthusiastic stage
Our sexual development during our teenage years and early twenties produces hormones that overwhelm us with exciting and unexpected feelings. We are optimistic and look forward to meeting a partner with whom we can share love and a lifetime together.
This is a time when our inexperience can lead us astray. Can we recognize true love from simple infatuation? Can our parents and close relatives help us to find a suitable partner? Unfortunately, many parents and other family members cannot provide the kind of guidance that we need because they are too emotionally involved. We may also find it difficult or embarrassing to talk about sex with a family member. We don't need a lecture full of negativity. We need a calm conversation that will help us organize our thoughts and provide a plan for our future.
In our early life we can encounter many frustrating situations that we may not know how to handle such as:
Doubt and uncertainty about how to deal with a situation usually requires the advice of someone who cares about our wellbeing and who can put things in perspective. We need someone with whom we can talk frankly without embarrassment to know what to do or at least to understand some of our options. Relationships are not easy and they only get harder as we mature.
Experienced and cautious stage
By the time that we are in our thirties, we have sufficient experience to know that the expectations that we had in our youth were perhaps naive or idealistic. At this stage, we may already have our own children and busy work schedules. A marriage nowadays lasts only an average of eight years in spite of the sincere vows and the promises made on the wedding day. We are familiar with betrayals, disappointment and divorce from the experience of our friends and perhaps from our own experience. How can we handle these problems? It is always nice to have a good friend who is sympathetic and can provide support when we are distressed.
Humans are optimists. We never lose hope that we will find something better, but we may approach new relationships with caution and skepticism because we don't want to make the same mistakes again. Doubts may cause us to avoid commitments and to have only superficial relationships that do not fulfill all our needs. During troubled times, when mistrust and hesitation cloud our thinking, we should seek outside help.
Can an advisor help? Sometimes yes and sometimes no. An advisor can only help if we can be honest and describe our situation in detail. This may take some time and several sessions. A new point of view sometimes can change the course of our life. We will be able to live a rewarding and satisfying life when we have a good plan of action and the confidence and perseverance to execute it.