Relationships Podcast Post

Long Term Relationships with Dr. Kathrine Bejanyan

George Grombacher March 2, 2023

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Long Term Relationships with Dr. Kathrine Bejanyan

LifeBlood: We talked about long term relationships, how best manage and set expectations, how to ensure you share common values, how to deal with red flags, and why you get what you tolerate with Dr. Kathrine Bejanyan, therapist, and dating and relationship consultant.  

Listen to learn how to get the info you need without feeling like you’re interrogating your date!

You can learn more about Kathrine at and LinkedIn.

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Our Guests

George Grombacher

Kathrine Bejanyan

Dr. Kathrine Bejanyan

Episode Transcript

george grombacher 0:02
Well, leopard. This is George G. And the time is right. welcome today’s guest strong and powerful. Dr. Katherine Johnson. Dr. Catherine, are you ready to do this? Yes, let’s jump into it. All right, let’s go. Doc Catherine is a dating and relationship consultant, she’s therapist helping to demystify dating and relationships, helping people to connect in genuine, authentic ways that can develop long term successful relationships. Catherine, tell us about your personal lives more about your work, why you do what you do.

Dr Kathrine Bejanyan 0:32
I wish I had some kind of compelling reason like most people do when they develop their careers, but I just actually really just enjoy it. I started off as pre med at college, and found myself finding every reason to skip class. But I was a minor in psychology. And those are the only classes I went to. And it didn’t occur to me that you can actually develop a career and something you liked in my head, you know, you had to grind when it was your career. So eventually, I just it was like, I couldn’t, I could not go to another pre med class. And so I decided to switch over to psychology. And it was just a perfect fit. And, you know, I didn’t know where the heck I was gonna go. But one after another. I ended up in London from California with a private practice focusing on romantic relationships.

george grombacher 1:30
So, do you have a lot of work? Or are you sitting around wishing you had more stuff to do? Or are people doing great? Or are they struggling?

Dr Kathrine Bejanyan 1:39
You know, it’s funny, it’s almost like the better we get at managing other aspects of our lives, particularly career careers, the more difficult finding and sustaining a long term relationship is. So it’s interesting, you know, our standards or expectations, our wants and needs, our time, our availability, so much has changed about the world. And it has directly impacted how we choose who we choose, and how we do our relationships. So yeah, no, I have a very, very full practice.

george grombacher 2:14
Yeah, I don’t thought that for a second. I mean, we have finite resources, I have a limited amount of time and attention. And therefore if I’m pouring more of that into other endeavors, then I have less time and energy and all those things to pour into either finding a relationship or or improving it.

Dr Kathrine Bejanyan 2:34
Yeah, definitely. It’s both resources time. And, you know, expectations certainly have changed. I think the thing about you know, generations ago was, not only were you likely to sort of stay in the same area, right, people didn’t move a lot. They weren’t global, as global as, as they are today. They also didn’t have as many options for their own life, right. So they had limited options to choose from, they tended to stay within the vicinity of where they sort of grew up, or at least within the vicinity of their sort of country or state or town. And they didn’t have online dating. So they had limited choices in terms of who and what they could become limited choices in terms of who they can choose from. And at the end of the day, they also, like I said, sort of stayed within the same vicinity. So the people that were coming across sort of thought like themselves. So now we have an immense amount of choices, not only through sort of online dating, the amount of people to choose from, but also in terms of who we become how we want to live our life, how we want to conduct ourselves. And so it becomes more difficult to try to find that fit.

Unknown Speaker 3:44
Right, you’re more unique than you were 40 years ago, let’s say than your neighbor. Right? All of us are such unique compositions because we’ve had the options to be and so it’s difficult, more difficult to find the right fit for a partner.

Unknown Speaker 4:00
Tyranny of choices. Yeah, yeah, unfortunately, yeah. Something we did not expect until we were facing it. Yeah. Right. It’s, it’s it’s so very human of us. So expectations have changed, our situations have changed options are now probably pretty close to limitless, which isn’t necessarily serving us.

Unknown Speaker 4:24
But it strikes me that

Unknown Speaker 4:26
the fact that we need to be clear on what our expectations are is as true today as it ever has been, if not more, so. If not more so. Yeah, I would definitely say no more. So it really is. Because again, the options that were available to us were also not available to other people. And so, you know, we we came across the, I don’t know, three to five people or 10 people in our lifetime, right back in the day because if you think about if you took online dating away, and we say think about last year thinking about organically how

Unknown Speaker 5:00
How many people have you come across that you would actually want to date and potentially see a future with right? Most people say zero to, if you were lucky, two, three, right? So in a lifetime, if you think about our grandparents, they just didn’t have the options, had three to 10 people, let’s say at most, in their entire lifetime that they came across, right?

Unknown Speaker 5:24
That you had, you had to make do what what was in front of you. Whereas now you have hundreds 1000s of people that are available to you. So you better be clear about what you’re looking for and who you are, and what you think would be the right fit for you. Otherwise, you are going to be lost in a in a pool of people. And you simply don’t have time. Today 1000 people to figure out the perfect fit. So you really, really before you go into the dating pool, it’s very important to get some sense of what you’re all about. And that’s where a lot of the singles that I get come in, I think people think that I’m a relationship therapist, they go well, you know, I don’t need a relationship until I’m or a therapist until I’m in a relationship. And actually, now more than ever, the relationship starts with you way beyond or before you’ve met the person.

Unknown Speaker 6:19
Do you find that?

Unknown Speaker 6:21
I could be totally wrong, I commonly

Unknown Speaker 6:25
the expectations of dating between men and women, are they similar? Are they different?

Unknown Speaker 6:32
Um, look, I think when you’re looking for a long term relationship, those expectations converge a lot more. So when you’re younger in your 20s, and you’re just looking for lots of fun and experiences. There are more differences between men and women. But as people get older, they’re in their sort of their mid 30s, to later to for whatever, whenever they start to want to settle down and find that long term partner partner, we sort of see that men and women are starting to look for about the same things, right, they’ve got to be attracted to someone, there’s got to be some humor between them so that they can belong, they’ve got to have some shared interest. But they’re also look for characteristics is loyalty and openness and honesty, and just that general sort of good person. Because that’s what you know, that’s what we want from long term partners. Those are the things that are important long term. So men and women start looking for the same thing. Although

Unknown Speaker 7:33
all in all, yeah, there I would say, men probably emphasize looks more, and women emphasize success of a man more,

Unknown Speaker 7:43
there is nothing more difficult for a woman to manage than be highly accomplished.

Unknown Speaker 7:50
And not have that in, in a man as well. For a lot of women, they look for someone that they can respect and someone that they can respect is generally someone that is as driven as ambitious as them. And I think we sometimes mistake this just for money. It’s not always about the money. Money is an easy measurement to someone’s success, right? If someone makes a lot of money genuinely can say generally, they might be successful, but women are keen to find someone that’s driven like that. So if they are over ambitious, more so than the guy that’s going to be problematic. And I think initially men are much more visual, we know that about how men’s brains work. And so as as more visual beings, looks matter,

Unknown Speaker 8:39
certainly attracted to the person, but funny enough, men will rate women much more favorably in terms of looks than we women, rate men and favorable and looks. So men find, you know, lots of women attractive women, you know, don’t women, in terms of physical attractiveness, we give men a harder time

Unknown Speaker 9:04
very well. All right. So that that criteria we talked about, that we need to have a respect for the other person doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re making a ton of money or you have a bunch of money, it can come in many different forms. So it’s once I’ve decided I am dating to have a quality relationship, I’m I’m looking for a partner here, then it is I need to determine what does that mean, what what what are those criterias respect looks? What are some of those other ones that I need to be spending time thinking about?

Unknown Speaker 9:41
Um, similar sort of values, values that you live by and lifestyle and lifestyle, I would say not just now because what I get in London is to professionals that meet and they’re about in the same sort of time in their life. They have lots of disposable income, they’re going out doing lots of fun stuff or

Unknown Speaker 10:00
Right. But in the long run in 10 years time or so, one wants to move out into the country and one wants to stay in the city and want and wants to really develop their career. And so things change. And so I would say like, if you are exploring long term, what someone really look at not only the lifestyle that you share now, and this is really important, and this is where finances kind of play a part in that, it’s important to be able to continue to the, to do the kind of stuff that you want. Of course, there’s a certain level of negotiation in every relationship. But if everything becomes a negotiation, that becomes a strain on that relationship. So look at the lifestyle you guys are leading now, is it a good match and look at the lifestyle 510 1520 years from now are you guys going in similar directions, values as well, things that are really important to so if someone really values their family, and then when the other person has a distant relationship, or someone really has a strong spiritual connection, and the other person can care less, these things may be an issue.

Unknown Speaker 11:05
So these things in all of these things to say, it’s not that you have to match, it’s that you should explore and see how much you can tolerate differences, right. And these are the kinds of things that when we’re dating, they don’t naturally come up, we don’t need to talk about how someone manages their finances and 10 years from now, whether they you know, where they want to live, or what kind of connection they have to their family, we tend to focus on fun a lot. And so this is where I really emphasize to a lot of my clients is, when you are updating, of course, you want to be able to have fun with the person you want them to like you and you’d like them and to enjoy your time together. But don’t forget that you are assessing individual for the right fit for a long time long term partner, that’s what you’re looking for. Don’t let that point be lost in all of the fun. So you want to be asking significant questions as you move along. Because lots of people end up having a great time together, being tons of fun and falling in love and thinking, Alright, you know, this is this is great. So let’s start to move in together or get married. And as soon as they do that, and they start to build a life, suddenly those things that hadn’t been explored. Right? How close are you to your family? Because they seem to be wanting to come over every weekend. Right? Oh, suddenly, you know, you’ve decided that you don’t really like your career, and you wanted to do a career change? Why never heard of this? Right. So those kinds of things when they start to build a lie, these are the things that are going to come up. And that’s where they hit lots of challenges and obstacles, and then that love that they had starts to wear down and no amount of fun can can make up for those differences. Yeah, I think that we all know that. That’s true. Yeah.

Unknown Speaker 13:02
All right. So I think that everything you said makes a lot of sense to me. Can we tolerate the differences and red flags? From my perspective, red flags or red flags, we need to treat them like it. It doesn’t mean it’s a non starter to your point. But we need to explore and dig into it. Because once the fun wears off, and reality sets in. Yeah. And we follow particular we follow patterns, right? You may be different in the future, but you also might be exactly the same. So

Unknown Speaker 13:34
yes. So as I’m going through this, and these are, on my mind, everything we’ve been talking about, how do I how do I walk the line of not interrogating this person and bringing everything up too quickly? And being like, oh, my gosh, what’s up with that guy or that gal? Yeah. So this goes back to be clear about your expectations when you’re going into a date, because you sort of keep those things in the back of your mind. And you try to see seek opportunities where you can weave these things into the conversation, right? So but say, you’re out on a date, and he says, oh, yeah, next weekend, my brother and I, you know, are gonna go wherever I Oh, great. Your brother knew it sounds like you have a good relationship with your brother. Is your family really important to you? And so that’s where you can start to organically bring it up. Most people would hear that and go, okay, cool. So if he was saying, Oh, I can’t see you next weekend, because I’m going to be away from my brother, that the person would go okay, that that I that was they would sort of start that conversation with stop there. Oh, I got that information. They’re going to be away for the weekend. And so we’ll find the date for the weekend after they would never sort of think to explore that the information that got up came up. And that’s why Yeah, if you start to look back, sit down and look back at your previous relationships, look at your friends, relationships, really think about why things didn’t work out. Right. What obstacles they’re

Unknown Speaker 15:00
Were what challenges there were, you know, so you’re thinking about your wants and needs. But you’re also thinking about areas where, you know, we don’t know what we don’t know. And so once we start to date, we start to realize, Oh, I didn’t realize this was going to be that much of a problem for me, or I thought this was going to be a problem, but it no longer is. So you kind of want to, as you’re dating, and keep track of the things that are appealing to you the things that you’re finding difficult, and you sort of just start to make note of that you’ve got to really know yourself. And as then you are on date, you’re looking for opportunities, when those topics spontaneously come up, to start to bring in more depth of conversation to ask a follow up question, to start to explore it.

Unknown Speaker 15:43
And sometimes, you know, those topics, I would just if they don’t seem to be coming up, I would ask I would want to know about someone’s family and but you’re not doing it, you know, like you said, was an interrogation as an interviewer, you’re doing it of curiosity, you might open up with a story of yourself, you know, oh, last week, my mom called My goodness, you know, her and I can stay on the phone for hours and hours, Howard zero relationship with your mom. So that kind of like, really sort of casual way, but you are not overlooking it. I think some people don’t know whether they should bring up those topics don’t know how to bring it up, or when they bring it up. They’re too direct in their approach. Do you have a weird relationship with your parents? Right? Like, that is not the right question. So yeah, make sure that one of the things I always say is let people open up, let people talk ask a lot of why questions come from a curious place. The second, you have

Unknown Speaker 16:43
a question or a comment that’s posed in a sort of criticizing or defensive way, you know, what kind of relationship do you have with your parents? You’re just you’re gonna get the right answer for someone because they know that you want something from them, right? So they can’t gauge that, that you are, there’s a right and a wrong answer to questions. That’s why you’re kind of keeping things open ended. Because when we go on a date, that’s really we want to be liked, we want to put our best foot forward. And if the date, you know, that we’re on is giving us cues, that certain things are important to them, will naturally answer in a way that’s appealing. So you know, I tell this to a lot of people that they’ll have strong reactions on a day, you know, they come from, let’s say, certain political stance, or religious stance, or whatever, and the other person will come from a different angle or present a different opposing thought. And they sort of immediately go into combative mode. And I’m like, You are not really there on a date to teach someone something new. Right? You were there on an assessment. So if anything, really asked questions asked about their thinking process, this is a time where you really want to encourage someone to tell you as much as possible, so don’t lose sight of why you’re there to gather information, not to change the world not to change people.

Unknown Speaker 18:02
But that’s, that’s super helpful and wise, and also very funny, because I think we could all be like, What did I just do? I was trying to convince that person of why they should be, you know, conservative or progressive or whatever, not get me.

Unknown Speaker 18:17
Yes, yeah. Yeah, that you know, especially when you’re older, and you have really clearly defined, you know, values and expectations about the world and perspective. You know, the amount of times I get individuals coming in here, and could you believe he or she said this, I’m like, You’re not, you’re not there as their like political, you know, whatever, okay, your normal political campaign, you’re not their therapist, you’re not having to change someone’s mind. If someone’s not for you, right, get that information and walk away. You don’t need to do anything else with that. Because all you’ll do is end up frustrating yourself having a pretty bad date, right? getting annoyed, having an argument and then going, never going to find the one, right you’re going to deplete your energies. So that’s why it’s get the information that you want, encourage the other person to talk and then if it’s not for you politely, and that they can get out of there intact, rather than depleted and angry. Love it.

Unknown Speaker 19:16
Well, Dr. Catherine, thank you so much for coming on. Where can people learn more about you? How can they engage with you

Unknown Speaker 19:22
just go to my website, and if you’re interested, reach out there. In a few months, I’m also going to be putting out a course so much like this conversation, these things kind of keep coming up over and over again with clients. So I’ve kind of put all of that together things about how you know how to really look for the right kind of love what to ask for on dates, how to start to look for the right kind of partner and stuff. So there’s a lot of information there and if you’re interested and it will be on my website to purchase. Awesome. Give us the website address please. Katherine Johnson that calm that’s k eight

Unknown Speaker 20:00
The H R I N E Beja n y Excellent. Well if you enjoyed as much as I did so Dr. Catherine your appreciation and share today share with a friend who also appreciates good ideas go to Catherine and check out the great resources and keep an eye out for that course as well. And

Unknown Speaker 20:26
sharpen your skills, pick up some new ones on, on figuring out how best to find that relationship that you are looking for. Because that’s what life is all about. Dr. Catherine. Thank you again.

Unknown Speaker 20:39
Thank you, and until next time, remember, do your part by doing your best

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