Pressure to commit within a couple
"We'd been together for two years when Fiona started talking about living together. I didn't feel ready for it at all. I was too young and I'd only just started out in a new job so it wasn't that secure.
The idea scared the life out of me and it ruined everything that we had. I left her a year later because she'd become so obsessed with it, and it was putting more and more distance between us..." Richie, 30, illustrator
When a couple are at different stages of commitment, is breaking up the only solution?
'Why should it be the only solution? Building a relationship requires conviction and effort.'
'I often see couples in my clinic whose feelings don't seem to be at the same stage of development. Often, the one who's holding back is confronted with a sort of inner lock that impedes their ability to express their love.
'Help your partner to unpick these locks: a bad experience in the past or parents who weren't very expressive, for example. This is a good exercise that will bring you closer together.'