If you have been struggling with dating for a long time, this is not an easy problem to solve on your own. If you have friends to talk to about your situation, this can be helpful, but they may not be able to provide all the support you need.
Many people with dating difficulties have reported that psychotherapy helped them be their best self. Therapy or counselling can help you understand your own situation, make changes to lead a happier single life, and be in a frame of mind that attracts new people into your life. You can start the counselling conversation with our checklist of reasons for dating difficulties. Read more about getting therapy on our blog, and see more resources below.
Finding a counsellor
Psychologists, psychotherapists, dating coaches, sex therapists, speech therapists and other professionals may be suitable for your situation. You might find a counsellor through an online directory or by referral from your doctor or friends. You can ask them questions about working on dating difficulties. Keep looking until you find someone who can help you.
We have talked to a few counsellors who are open to working with inexperienced clients, and know about the issues you may be facing:
- Jenn Seeley, Toronto or online, Relational Psychotherapist with lots of art supplies and toys to express yourself with. Positive about queer, trans, non-binary, fat & neurodiverse clients.
- Larry Baer, Toronto, Psychologist. Cognitive-behavioural approach to social anxiety and depression, especially for gay men and trans clients. Knowledgeable about psychosis and schizophrenia.
- Dori Zener, Toronto or online. Registered Social Worker offering therapy for people with autism, learning disabilities & intellectual disabilities. Runs a free support group for autistic women.
There is lots of information beyond Connect2Hope about getting counselling. Here some tips for selecting a therapist. You could check out some free and low cost mental health resources and who to talk to when you can’t afford therapy.
If you are feeling desperate or suicidal, please contact a crisis centre on this US, Canada & international list or this international list for telephone or online chat.
We discourage you from joining the “incel” forums that foster disrespect for women, hatred and violence. There are however many more friendly peer support forums about related issues at PsychCentral, SupportGroups and other sites.
If you are a mental health professional and you have clients with little or no dating experience, our survey indicates that you may need to help them with some of the following common challenges:
- Self-confidence and self-worth
- Rejection sensitivity
- Anxiety and depression
- Loneliness and social isolation
- Body image and body dysmorphia
- Social skills
- Autism and neurodiversity
- Gender identity and sexual orientation
- History of abuse, bullying, assault, trauma
- Stigma of singles and virgins
- Various kinds of discrimination
We encourage mental health professionals to communicate with each other about how best to treat and coach your clients with dating difficulties.