Cinderella’s Slipper: Exploring the Concept of “Fit” in Couple Relationships

Bergner, L. / Published 2021 / Presentation

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Presenter Laurie Bergner, Ph.D.
Date September 30, 2021
Abstract: As Dr. Pete Ossorio once said, when it comes to how good romantic relationships are or will be, it’s all about “selection, selection, selection.” In discussing couples’ issues, clinicians often focus on personality deficits in one or both individuals. But in my clinical work with couples, I have often found that rather than personality deficits, the core problem may be that they are simply a bad fit in some important ways. It’s a different way of clinical thinking about the issues that couples present with, but it’s actually something that we implicitly understand and utilize in ordinary usage. In this presentation, I will explore the concept of “fit” in couples’ relationships. First, I will look at the definition – or lack thereof – of the concept. I will follow with discussing how and why an initial good fit can become less good, or even bad, over time as a relationship develops. Then I will present a paradigm case of a relationship with good fit and discussthe varied elements that go into fit, discussing how weighting of these varied elements affects the importance (impact) of different kinds of poor fit. I’ll follow with examples of common differences in fit, and consider what can compensate for different kinds of lack of fit. Finally, I will discuss how clinicians can use this concept in work with couples.
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