An Interview with Raffi Bilek – Dating Experts Month
Tell us about yourself. What makes you a dating/relationship expert?
I’ve been working with couples for 10 years, from intervening in abusive relationships to helping people with great relationships sustain them. So I’ve seen the full spectrum of relationship situations and can spot where the strong points and weak points are.
What are some of the biggest challenges/frustrations you see from the people you work with?
The #1 issue people come to me with is communication problems. And I think that makes a lot of sense – we simply don’t get much education on this topic as we’re growing up. We learn calculus and trigonometry, but the very basic tools of day-to-day communication with the people in our lives get skipped over! It’s quite a shame, and I can relate to the frustration people feel when they’re trying to communicate with a loved one and just can’t seem to make it happen.
Member submitted questions
I’m 49, female and recently divorced. I met my husband when I was a teenager so I’ve never really done the whole dating thing. Where do I start?
– Catherine, 49
Start by finding people in your life who will be able to support and encourage you through the process. Whatever approach to dating you take, you’re likely to encounter some bumps in the road. The best thing you can do to set yourself up for success is to have a close friend or family member at the ready to help you through those challenging times.
Tell us about some of the projects/books/events you’re currently working on/just completed
I’ve been working on growing a nonprofit I created to provide low-cost marriage counseling in the community. Counseling can be a huge help for people struggling in their marriages, but it can certainly get expensive, and insurance generally doesn’t cover couples counseling since they don’t consider it a medical issue. As a marriage counselor, I know how beneficial this kind of help can be, and I really want to see it made available to more people.
What are the main things women are looking for in a man? What are the main things men are looking for in a woman?
Here’s the pattern I’ve seen most often: women want to feel desired; men want to feel successful. That means that if you want to attract a man, make him feel successful – let him know that the restaurant he picked was great, that the trip he planned was a winner, that he’s really given you a good time. And if you want to attract a woman, make sure she knows you find her attractive and desirable – that’s she’s special to you, that you want to be with her, that you can’t wait to see her again.
How can people connect with you on social?
Finally, what’s the one piece of advice you hold close to your heart?
Go to bed angry! Well, you don’t have to. But you certainly don’t have to avoid it either. Whoever said “never go to bed angry” didn’t know what they were talking about. You can’t solve a problem when you’re angry! You just end up arguing until 3 in the morning and then falling asleep still annoyed. There’s nothing wrong with going to bed angry. Sometimes we get angry with our partners. More often than not, that is not the moment to try to resolve the issue. Wait on it, sleep on it, and if you find the next day that the issue still needs to be talked about (and often you realize it really doesn’t), you’ll be in a better place to do so.
Visit Baltimore Therapy Center for more information.