According to the case, Linda has several problems associated with her social well-being. One of the challenges she is facing is that she is unable to sustain a meaningful and everlasting relationship. She has quite a number of men interested in her, but she hardly believes in a relationship. This attitude has made her live without a boyfriend despite her being extremely attractive. The second problem about Linda is that whenever she gets engaged to a man, she realizes that he is just after a physical relationship and a meaningful one. This encounter usually kills her interest in a relationship with men. It is stated that Linda occasionally gets tempted to sleep with men because of her desperation in search for true love and a lasting relationship. As a result, she has developed a severe self-hatred for being overlooked. She is unable to sustain love in others. Finally, Linda does not believe in the advice given to her by a professional counselor. This makes her continue living in denial as the self-hatred broadens.
The social exchange theory developed by George Casper Homans in the year 1958 states that feeling and emotions must be reciprocated in a relationship in order to make it meaningful and long-lasting. In relation to Linda’s case, she never allowed her relationship to grow. Instead, she terminated the relationships after developing a negative attitude to the partner. The men who fell in love with Linda never showed a feeling of intimacy towards her. This contributed significantly to the break-ups with the men she has fallen in love as she searches for a meaningful and lasting relationship. According to the theory, a relationship cannot survive if it is based on one side. Maybe at some point, the men that Linda got involved with did not invest their time and energy to the relationship moving. Linda received less than what she expected from her relationship with men, and this explains the reason why she decided to quit.
The theory of social exchange explains the development and manifestation of Linda’s relationship problems. Exercising positive behaviour among partners enable them to learn how to trust each other, this increases the chances of a successful relationship. Pointing fingers to each other affect the relationship progress; as a result, such a relationship cannot be meaningful and long-lasting. At any point a partner engages in undesirable behaviour, they question the future of the relationship and the trust they have for each other. Linda seems to bring the memories of the past relationships which eventually makes her question the level of trust and commitment of the new partner. This makes it hard for the new relationship to survive, the past things should not be used for judging the new relationship. Her unsuccessful relationships with other men should not define her future relationship and the type of life that she would wish to live. Therefore, the past only gives a person experience to prepare for the future.
I would advise Linda to stop comparing her relationship with others. This explains the reason why she keeps on switching from one man to another in search for a more convenient relationship. Comparisons in relationships sometimes can be dangerous, and they focus on how to find a perfect partner rather than encouraging the partners to put their best in relationships. Linda should not think that she find a better relationship with another man. She needs to identify one partner, understand him and do as much as she can for him. If she is looking for a meaningful and lasting relationship with a man, she needs to do it first at her level and not to wait for the partner to do it first. Based on the social exchange, theory, Linda should have positive expectations and hopes that the relationship will survive. This will help her to achieve a meaningful and lasting relationship with her desirable partner. The fact that a single parent raised Linda should not be the reason for her inability to sustain love in others. In this regard, I would advise her to accept herself, develop a positive attitude towards men and be ready to move on with life.
I would advise Linda to appreciate men and stop underrating them because of her outstanding beauty. She should learn how to value a partner that gets involved with by doing the best she can for him. I would let her know that a relationship cannot be made strong without the efforts from the partners and in case her partner is after a physical relationship, she has an opportunity to change its phase. Women are considered the pillar of the relationship and Linda should emulate from others. I would inform her that getting an excellent partner is hard; therefore, she should mould one into a desirable man that she wants to have in life. Therefore, Linda should know that no partner is perfect and for her to achieve a meaningful relationship she should invest in it at her level.
What specific techniques would you use?
I would use a variety of techniques to handle Linda’s case and ensure that she gets the best advice to restore her hopes in a relationship. I would combine behaviour therapy with cognitive therapy to offer treatment to Linda. Linda seems to have certain thoughts and beliefs about a relationship which are likely to affect her behaviour. Therefore, exposing her to behaviour and cognitive therapies would help to restore her positive feelings about relationships. Further, I would listen to Linda carefully with empathy so that she feels free to share with me any hidden information. Also, I would inform her that I have passed through a similar situation but eventually managed to overcome it. Linda feels like she is the only one experiencing such a problem with her relationships; however, I would let her realize that we have other people undergoing the same.
In the case, it is mentioned that Linda has developed self-hatred because of the disappointments she encounters in her relationship life. This is a very dangerous stage her life; therefore, I would advise her to practice positive thinking as the handles her issues. She should know that compassionate love develops out of feelings and she should allow more time for her relationship to stabilize through mutual understanding. She should not just sit back and wait for an excellent partner of her dream but should make it happen. A meaningful and lasting relationship is centered on mutual understanding, love, and passion among the partners.
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