Therapy Observations

Therapy Observations As a clinical psychologist and marriage & family therapist since 1997—and as a fellow member of the church—I have noticed and experienced many things across my 1000s of sessions throughout the years. For my LDS singles audience (um, singles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints), there a number of things I wish to share in this article that I think can be of help in your dating and relationship journey. These ideas are simply my opinions and observations, not objective “truth”. However, hopefully, you can find some of these things useful and helpful, which is the main goal.

Some Wisdom, Suggestions, Observations, and Opinions:

*Men are more “what” creatures and women are more “how” creatures. We men are far more likely to focus in a conversation on “what” the issue is, what the main point is, what the bottom line is, and what the ultimate purpose is of the discussion. Conversely, women have shown me that they are more into how we men talk to them, how men treat them, and how they (the women) feel. Both what is being talked about and how it is talked about are important to both men and women, but how much each factor matters seems to vary widely across genders. Remember this general difference and adjust your conversations and approach with these things in mind.

*Behaviors matter most in a relationship. How we think and feel about the other matters. However, what factors most in determining how the other thinks and feels about us is how we behaviorally treat each other. A “relationship” can be literally thought of as a “ship of relations”, with relations meaning behavioral interactions. How we treat each other matters most. Focus on treating each other better in a relationship to best improve how you think and feel about the other. New positive, supportive, affectionate, nurturing treatment of the other will help ease and melt hurt feelings, grudges, and resentments.

*Dating and relationships are like a part-time job. There is an old saying: “if it is to be, it’s up to me”. Dating and relationships operate the same way. They require regular, consistent effort and work to find and nurture companionship. Try to pace yourself but regularly work at it. Consistent, persistent effort is what is needed. Taking large breaks or waiting for others to find you rarely if ever works out. Find ways and opportunities to socialize as often as possible and put yourself out there. Such regular efforts will increase your chances and opportunities for dating success dramatically.

*Study and learn about relationships and the opposite sex. Knowledge is power. Read, watch, or listen to whatever good quality materials you can find that tell you about the mysteries of relationships and the opposite sex. Listen to audiobooks while driving to work. Read before bedtime. Watch videos on your phone or computer when time allows. Two great books I suggest to read or listen to in order to strengthen your knowledge about relationships and gender differences are:

Why Marriages Succeed or Fail by John Gottman
Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus by John Gray

*Become better at talking and flirting through study and practice. Wherever you are at with your conversational and flirting skills, work to get better. Practice them as often as possible and be daring. Some interactions will go poorly and there will be some trial and error. But unless you are willing to try and risk, you will not grow and improve. Look to others you can emulate and incorporate whatever seems to work and that you can feel comfortable enough to do.

*Learn to forgive and apologize. Offering forgiveness and apologies in relationships today is a pretty rare occurrence. Work to be the rare exception. Freely forgive offenses, let go, and move on. Apologize whenever you can when you make mistakes. Apologizing and forgiving are two efforts that will allow you and a future partner to better work though conflict, arguments, offenses, and misunderstandings. Conversely, grudges and resentments put the entire relationship at risk.

*Have fun. Whether you are talking and chatting or going out on actual dates, have fun. Laugh. Enjoy yourself. Remember that dating and relationships are supposed to be about having a good time as well as learning about the other person. If you aren’t having fun you somehow aren’t doing it right.

Final Thoughts. Even though there are many other thoughts, ideas, and suggestions I could have given here, these are the ideas I most recommend for you to not only have greater relationship success but to also enjoy the process much more along the way. You can have relationship success and are more likely to do so by incorporating the ideas in this article. Go make it happen! Because “…neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord.”—1 Corinthians 11:11.

Dr. G
P.S. If you can questions, comments, or a future article request for me, feel free to contact me at
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2019-11-18 Randy Gilchrist Psychological health

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About the author

Hello, my name is Dr. Randy Gilchrist (aka "Dr. G"). I am a licensed clinical psychologist, a licensed marriage & family therapist, and a certified hypnotherapist in private practice in Roseville, CA (, practicing since 1997. Also, I am happily married in the temple (Manti) since 1996 and have 4 sons. I am a volunteer writer and contributor to LDS Dimension. I use my training, education, and experience to share insights with LDS Dimension on all things of interest to the LDS dating community. Please read my articles and columns on this site to assist you in your online dating journey. Also, to be considered for an answer in a future Q and A column, please email me your dating/relationship oriented questions to Finally, I also offer a powerful, effective worldwide custom hypnosis recording service just for LDS Dimension members for weight loss, pornography, and many other issues of concern to those in the LDS dating community (please learn more now at; email me questions to