Counseling for dating

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“Where you get past that point where everything happens automatically.”In the case of unmarried couples in longterm relationships, therapy serves as it has done traditionally, as the tipping point for bringing ambivalent partners closer together.

But increasingly, it also functions as a tool to ease them more comfortably apart.

“When I was in graduate school,” says Broder, “we were taught—in what we then called ‘marriage counseling’—that it was successful when the marriage was saved, and not successful when it wasn’t.

“Both of us have divorced parents,” said Meredith, a 29-year-old law-school graduate living in New York, who finally married her longterm boyfriend after years of indecision and six months of weekly therapy.Broder says he sees couples coming to therapy to reevaluate whether a stagnating relationship is one they should continue, after the initial passion, the lovestruck honeymoon period of the early months, has worn off.“I define a longterm relationship as one that survives the dopamine high,” he says.“What I have to say is: ‘Are we the only two people who know that?’ ”Caroline Dworin is a writer living in Manhattan.

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