Evolving Relationships with Kathrine Bejanyan

September 23, 2020

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I grew up in California. Growing up my parents were quite strict and very focused on education. I quickly learned education was my way to greater freedom and personal agency. I started college pre-med but soon realized I didn’t like the subject and regularly skipped class but I found myself more and more drawn to psychology which came very easily to me. I switched over to psychology and did a study abroad program in London, where I promptly fell in love with the city and vowed to return.

Seven years later after getting my Master’s I ended up in London doing a PhD focused on romantic relationships cross-culturally. I now run my own private practice in London. I work with individuals and couples on dating and relationship issues with a focus on building deeper intimacy, connection and authenticity in their love life. Outside of my private practice, I also have done consulting work for a high-end dating agency and taught university courses on social and cultural psychology

John Shegerian: This edition of the Impact podcast is brought to you by the Marketing Masters. The Marketing Masters is a boutique marketing agency, offering website development, and digital marketing services to small and medium businesses across America. For more information on how they can help you grow your business online. Please visit themarketingmasters.com.

John: Welcome to another edition of the Impact podcast. I’m John Shegerian, and I’m so honored to have with us today, Dr. Kathrine Bejanyan, she’s calling in from London. Welcome to the Impact podcast. Dr. Bejanyan.

Dr. Kathrine Bejanyan: Hi, John and hi, everyone out there.

John: Hey, listen, and thanks for, you’re doing. This is so nice of you, you know, Kathrine to stay up late, and do this interview. It’s in the afternoon Pacific Coast time here in Fresno, California, and you’re almost 10 o’clock in the in London. So thank you, for staying up late to do this interview. But I was so excited to have you on. And before we get, you know, going here and talking about your thriving practice, and what you’re doing actually in London. Can you share, a little bit of your back story and journey, leading up to how you became basically, a dating and relationship therapist?

Kathrine: Well, I’m sure, the listeners can tell, I have an American accent, but I’m confounded. So, I grew up in the States. And yeah, it was interesting getting to Psychology because I was always, sort of, focused on pre-med in high school. I was part of this, sort, of pre-med Honors Academy, and that was my focus. But when I got to college, I was Physiology, and like, Chemistry major, if I can recall correctly, but that was my aim to get into medical school. And what was interesting is, I noticed myself, like I would just skip out on classes, for literally any, any reason. I’d be like, ” Oh today. It’s a really sunny day.” And I’m in California, every day is sunny day, right? But I’ve used literally any excuse to skip class, and I just found it harder, and harder to make myself want to go down that route. And I think, one of the things, that was frustrating, it’s like, you know, the human body, no matter who you are, what background you come from, or what race, whatever, it’s the same in all of us, but with Psychology and the mind, every human being no matter how similar external factors are, it’s different, right? The interaction of various different variables create are each unique individual. And I was drawn to Psychology, quite a lot, and my minor was Psychology, but I was taking those classes for fun. And then, one day, after you know flunking on this Chemistry test. I just thought what am I doing? You know, my passion is Psychology. Why don’t I make this focal point for work? And that’s just kind of, it just took off, on its own. I ended up changing my major and one thing, sort of led to another. And I didn’t have a clear-cut plan because again, pre-med was always my thing. But, but it just, it just flowed, you know, and when you take to something and you really enjoy it, you’re also quite, aware of various opportunities that come up, and opportunities always present themselves as challenges. But again, when you love something, you’re willing to go through that process, and it’s not, it’s not perceived so much as a challenge. You’re just more excited about the possibility of making something of yourself in that realm. So yeah, so I just sort of went along with it. Step-by-step, after eight steps, something else presented to itself. And then, here I am, I guess, in London, with the private practice.

John: So, wait a second, all right, first of all, just for a little bit more context. I’m always fascinated by the backstory. And when you were younger, starting your journey in Psychology and really, you know taking a a great affinity to it, and doing what you had to do, to evolve to becoming, Dr. Kathrine Bejanyan. And for our listeners out there, who want to find the great doc. They could go to her website. I’m on it, now. I love it. It’s beautiful. It has tons of information. Go to www.kathrine, K-A-T-H-R-I-N-E, Kathrine Bejanyan, B-E-J-A-N-Y-A-N.com, katrinebejanyan.com. You know, were you a matchmaker, as a young lady? Did you like, to like fix up friends, or we’re friends fixing you up, are you fascinated by that, or that really wasn’t your thing as a young student, starting to fall in love with the art and science of Psychology?

Kathrine: Yeah. No, it wasn’t, like love wasn’t my area of focus when I was young. When I think, growing up, so I’m Armenian, but growing up in the States, from very young, and I think but I was fascinated by was these two cultural contexts, that had such clear-cut, like norms, and rights, and wrongs, that were often, to me, like quite opposing. And I was fascinated by that, and trying to figure that out, and integrate these two. Again, what felt to me when I was young, is like opposing rules, or cultural norms was quite a struggle. So, I was initially quite interested in Cultural Psychology. And you know, when I came here to do my PhD, it was romantic relationships within a cross cultural context, but that was that was my initial area focus when I started to look into Psychology, that was something that, and in that, I was quite interested, in how our minds, are really malleable to our external environment.

Right, how we grow up, what are the norms, within the context of how we grow up, that really shape who we are. And, in sometimes, we think, you know, this is me because I make these choices. And we don’t realize how much of that, of who we become is influenced by our environment, our parents, our culture, all kinds of things. And so, yeah, so that’s how I got into it. And then, when I was at, when I’m starting to do my masters, and we have to do, just like do, sort of, a practicum. I’m not sure, but I was just drawn, to like the domestic violence arena, and I, just female empowerment. So, culture is important and the female empowerment became more, and more important to me, as I got older. And then, so that, you know, and ending up in domestic violence. Then I was introduced, to really, sort of, toxic relationship dynamics, and that kind of, started to pique my interest, but the two hadn’t crossed yet, the cultural part, and the relationship part. And those two, really came together, when after, I was done with my Master’s, I sort of, decided I was going to move to Hawaii for a bit, and do my practicum there. But you know, why not? Write everything for vacation, why not go live there.

It’s brilliant, why shouldn’t anybody figure this out? So yeah, I ended up there and I worked for the military as a civilian, and I was dealing with, serve the same realm of domestic violence, sexual assault, and stuff. But I did seen, quite a lot of soldiers that would like, get stationed to different countries and then they would meet people there and fall in love. Butt then, when eventually, when they move back to the States, that relationship sometimes or often unraveled. I was curious, as to why that was, and initially, you think, well, maybe, you know, they just didn’t love each other, or you know, it’s was a quick courtship, or whatever. But after talking to them, it became apparent, that love is one thing, feelings are one thing, but relationships are, at the core of it, is having mutual values, and expectations of what, you know, husband, wife, or the dynamics of romantic partner, and what a marriage should look like. That those have to align between two people. And if they don’t, no matter how in love they are, if they can’t figure that out, then it starts to aggravate. And that’s where I was like, “Oh so, you know, relationships are so much more than this idealistic notion that we have of like, oh, you just fall in love, and then, like love solves everything.” Right? Then you end up the relationship.

John: Right.

Kathrine: And so then, that’s how I ended up in London doing sort of, a cross-cultural PhD in romantic relationships.

John: Fascinating. So, I’m on your website, and if I’m single, young, whatever, and I come to your website, what are the services that I’m coming to you for? If I’m single and I want a relationship, are you the go-to person to come to, to help, first, try to access who I am, and who would be the right match for me, or how does this work? This is all new to me. This is fascinating, frankly speaking. That’s why, I was so excited to have you, on today, as a guest. Explain what you do exactly, for the people out there, that might want to use your services.

Kathrine: So I get, either singles, or couples that come to me. So the single individuals that tend to find me, are individuals who have tried, as they can, on their own. But have done their best, but just seem to end up in these relationships that aren’t going anywhere. And after a while, they just go, ” I don’t know what’s happening anymore.” Right? So, that’s the point where they often pick up the phone, and find me, and call me, and say, you know, ” I don’t know what I’m doing wrong, but I am the common denominator here. So maybe, something about the way I’m presenting, or the people I’m attracting, or something, is off here, so can you support me in that?” And so, my work as a therapist, isn’t so much, like to solve people’s problems on an external level, like for an individual. It’s not like, “Oh, go here, and you’ll meet men and women.” Or you know, practical tips, or one thing, but really the work is more deeper than that. It’s sort of, deconstructing who you are and this individual, how you have come to, sort of, see the world, how you’ve come to understand love, and relationships. And how you are choosing certain types of partners, why you’re getting attracted to certain types of partners in doing the relationship, as you are.

So, you know, and I always say, because people go, “Well, yeah, I know, I want a good relationship, and it’s not so much the intellectual understanding, or desire. It’s the emotional aspect, right? Because when we’re attracted to someone, when there’s chemistry, it’s coming from an emotional space. It’s not an intellectual. We don’t take our that our list and go, ” Okay, you know, all the ten things are checked off. I’m going to fall in love with this person.” It’s just, we get a feeling, a spark, and that feeling and that spark is coming from somewhere. About who we are, as individuals, and how we’ve come to be. So that’s, what we do is, sort of, deconstruct that because everybody, you know, look if you take a hundred, fifteen, sixteen, year olds, and you go, ” What do you want, you know, in ten, fifteen, twenty years, when you have your long-term relationship, what is it going to look like?” They all, say the same thing. It’s going to be amazing. It’s going to be full of passion. And we’re going to have adventures together. We’re going to be, so in love, right. Regardless, of what they’ve seen in their family, everybody for themselves, want an amazing relationship.

John: Right.

Kathrine: And, in fact, what do we find after 20 years of checking in, with that group? That all hundred people, didn’t get exactly, what they said they wanted, right? There’s a very different outcome. Why is that? Why do we say, what we want in a relationship but end up, in quite a different state, often? That’s what my job is, to help my clients figure that out.

John: Kathrine, is it a little bit, since you’re in London, I’ll go back, to the famous poet Mick Jagger. Is it a little bit, like Jagger song, and of Stone song, “Sometimes you, if you can’t get what you want, you get what you need.” Is that, sort of, what a relationship is, practically speaking is like?

Kathrine: Yeah, and what we need, that’s the key, because there’s often, unconscious things that are playing out, right? So, if you, let’s say, have issues with feeling connected or loved, as a child or sense of abandonment, or whatever it was, that as a child you experience, not because your parents were abusive, or neglectful. But let’s say, they just were young couple, and they were just too busy trying, to like, stabilize themselves, like make money, or they just….

John: Survive.

Kathrine: … from country. Exactly. All kinds of things, and they just weren’t able to be fully there, and present for that child, well, that child, you know, because children are egocentric, right? The world revolves around them. So, everything that happens good in the world. It’s about them, everything that’s bad is about them. So, when something’s not, their parents aren’t quite available, the way that they need to. We all make decisions about ourselves, and who we are. And those, as you said that, me then, develops, right? So if I didn’t feel, like I got enough attention. As an adult, I’m going to be looking for a partner, that gives me a lot of attention, right? And that need, that neediness, sometimes is going to be driving my choices, but the kind of partners I’m choosing, that are giving me that all-encompassing presence might not, might have other aspects that aren’t very healthy.

John: Got it, you know, there’s always that person, or people in your life, that you get to meet, as you travel through this journey, who never seem to click with the right people, and they go from one bad relationship to another. And for our guests who just joined us, our listeners who just joined us. We’ve got, Dr. Kathrine Bejanya, on with us, right now, to find the doc who’s in London. You could go to www.kathrine, K-A-T-H-R-I-N-E, Bejanyan, B-E-J-A-N-Y-A-N .com. What I love on the landing page of your website, is the line from Albert Einstein, ” If you always do, what you always did, you will always get what you always got.” Is that, sort of, the , the line, that’s the cue for, why some people keep going back, and having bad relationship, after bad relationship.

Kathrine: Yeah. That’s exactly it. Again, it’s not an intellectual endeavor, right? We are trying to solve this problem intellectually, but it’s something about their emotional patterns, that are drawing in, certain types of people. And it’s my job, to uncover that, and unfortunately, with our emotional dynamics, they’re not visible. It’s not something, we just feel, right? We don’t, we can’t, you know, how sometimes, you meet someone, you’re like, “Oh, I feel so comfortable with this person or I feel like I’ve known them forever.”

John: Right.

Kathrine: Or other people, just immediately piss you off.

John: Right.

Kathrine: And it’s like, well, why do you feel that way? That’s my job, is to figure out why, why your emotions have certain patterns? And as a result, why there is spark, or attraction, within yourself, towards certain people. So, so when people come they go, ” Look, I’ve had one bad relationship, after another but.” And I go well, ” What are some, what are some patterns, we can identify?” And they always go, ” I don’t know. I don’t know what pattern.” Because each one was so different, right? And they’ll start to describe, like external factors that were really different. ” Well, one did this for a career, and the other one did this, and one was this tall, and the other one was this, and one was this race, and the other one was about race.” So, they’re looking for external fixes, from an intellectual level, and my concern more is what are the emotional patterns, that are being recreated, in this dynamic. So, so that’s that, and it will take…

John: So you help people break out of that negative loop, and negative cycle that they’re in, and try to find, you know, change the way, they’re doing things, so they could get a different result.

Kathrine: Yeah, yeah. And emotional patterns are form, so early on, because as soon as you come into the world and you have interactions and bonding experiences with your parents, that’s when the emotional patterns form. Before you even have conscious intellectual thought, right? You just have an emotional experience. And so, how you were held, how close were you held, how you were, you know, gaze that, and made eye contact. That’s the stuff that makes up our emotional, internal world. And it happened so early on, that it’s just normalize for us. It’s just normal. So me, as an observer, I’m looking for beyond, what’s on the surface, to understanding how this person is showing up, as an individual, in all different aspects of their life, but particularly in relationships, and trying to identify, and uncover those patterns that were formed so early on, that the person is unaware of themselves, right? It’s just, this is just who I am, people will say. And it’s like, no no. No, it’s not. It’s not exactly just, who you are. This stuff was formed at a very young age, and it’s getting in the way. So we have to undo some unhealthy patterns that were formed and recreate new ones.

John: How about changing the topic to know couple, couples counseling. Kathrine, what about couples, that everything clicked the first five years of their relationship, whether it was a marriage, or just a great love affair relationship. But then, as people evolved, they evolved differently. Some faster other than others. They change what they want. They change their goals. They change their aspirations. There’s, all sorts of, resets that people go under. How does a couple continue to stay together, and find the common bond to, not just, throw the other one away and sort of, keep going in a world where it seem though, divorce rates are higher than ever.

Kathrine: Yeah. Yes. Well, okay. So in terms of a long-term relationship, what we have to accept and understand is, who we are, when we meet someone, and what we experienced with that person when we meet that, is not going to be the same if we stay together, as you were saying in long-term relationship. You could be crazy in love for the first several years, and things changed because you’re changing. I think that’s something that we forget, is that, the relationship isn’t happening outside of you, right? It’s not like you found this person, and then you were like that, you fell in love with, and then you were handed this great relationship. It’s a relationship is a composition of you and the other person. You know, if we have two circles, one is you, one is your partner, and we intersect those circles, that the intersection is where the relationship is, what we are creating by lieu of who we are, and what work, how we’re coming together. We’re creating this relationship. So, therefore, as we evolve and we change, and that’s a given, right? Who you are now, is not who you were five, ten years ago. It’s not going to be who you are five, ten years from now. You are guaranteed to evolve and change, and they are as well. So, when we find this great love affair, when we go, ” All right, now, I want to keep it like this forever.” That’s impossible. So, either, you’re going to restrict your own growth and evolution, right? And feel confined enough in ship in an effort to keep things how it was, or you’re gonna lose sight of it, and evolve separately.

So, there’s a fine dance, where you have to continuously evolve the relationship ,as the two of you are evolving. Regularly pay attention, to how you’re growing, and how your needs are growing, and changing and how to consistently grow the relationship on that level. So, for instance, when you first, let’s say, me and you are in the dating phase, you know, you’re constantly texting each other every morning a hi, and you’re so wonderful and blah, blah, blah ,and you know, all these date nights, and stuff. But let’s say, five years from now, or even a year, or two, one of you is really invested in their career, and they are, you know, or developing a business. Now, that same way of showing interest and love for one another by texting and staying constant contact is actually going to undermine that person’s growth, right? Like, I can’t focus on my work and my business, because now, when I’m not texting you ten times a day, or having, you know, three date nights, a week. Now, either I have to do that, as we did, to reinforce the, ” love,” that we had in the relationship.

But I give up, this you know, this focus that I need in my career. One’s got to give, right? And so, instead you go, right? Okay, so we used to express our love and interest for each other in these ways, but right now, when my partner’s trying to grow in their business. So a loving acts now, is actually, instead of me, texting them and expecting response, five, ten, times a day. I’m going to give them, a lot of space and go, ” Honey, we’re going to do date night, only twice a month, instead of every week. And I’m going to take a little, bit more effort in organizing the dates, and I’m going to give you your space, and not expect these texts.” That would be, a loving act, that is, almost opposing, five, you know, couple of years ago, how we express our love. So, that’s how it has to evolve, but in order, for the relationship to grow, we have to be conscious of how each person is growing, and how their needs are changing, and how to consistently show up for them in the process of their growth, rather than insisting, ” We made this relationship a certain way, and this is how we express our love, and we have to keep it that way.”

John: So, if we don’t adjust, and evolved, and accept the evolution, at some point, we’re going to hit a wall, and that’s going to be more like, a revolution, at that point.

Kathrine: Absolutely.

John: I got it, you know, Kathrine, we’re going, obviously, the whole world, and of London, and in California especially, are under siege from this Covid-19 tragic period. But the world is also living through this very, very tough, and messy, tragic period. How is that, affected your practice, and affected relationships, with regards to people who are seeking your professional help?

Kathrine: This has been a really interesting time, as therapist. Like, I’ve sort of, seen the gamut of different expressions in people during this time. What’s been very clear is that, this period of time, has forced people into in introspection, whether they liked it or not. You know, we often talk about that we live in a world, where we are over stimulated, nowadays. And what overstimulation does, is it removes us from ourselves, right? The second, I feel, an inkling of loneliness or discomfort. I pick up the phone, really quickly. I turn on YouTube, I go out, and hang out. There’s you know, and especially in a place like big cities, like London and LA, there’s always something to do, right? And yet, with Covid it’s like, you’re forced inside in your home, in isolation. And whatever you feel about yourself, is just going to come pouring out, and has been coming. You know, and I often say to people, ” Look, if you can’t be alone with yourself. How are you, how someone else, supposed to be alone with you?” Right. And that, the realization people are getting is like, ” Oh, my God, like, all this schmuck that’s coming up within me.” You know, like angry voice to self-hatred. This like, all this is, this is what my partner has been dealing with, but I haven’t recognized it because I’ve just outsourced it, every time that feelings come off. I run off and done something, I’m trying on.

John: Right.

Kathrine: I picked up a glass of wine. I’ve called my friends, and they’ve told me, how great I am, and I’ve been able to like, dismiss that, those feelings, right? But it was an interesting process to see, as this time period, because initially, in London, it was like, you know, we had like, three weeks locked down. And it just kept getting longer and longer. And as I watched that process, it was like people really started to go deep, right? Because you can maintain it for short period of time, but after a while, it’s like, ” Okay, now I’ve been in isolation for a month or two. I really can’t get, I can’t do, anything else, to really get away from myself.” And a lot of deep-rooted core issues, started to come up, for people, and for couples, and for couples.

John: But as a woman entrepreneur, besides, dating and relationship consultant. Has this been, a boom time for your business because of this introspection coming to, bubbling up, and people not having, all their typical outlets to medicate themselves, and divert themselves, has this been a tsunami of business coming your way, say ” Hey, I need your help. I didn’t know, I need your help. But now, I really do know, I need your help.” Is this, that’s happened as an entrepreneur to your business?

Kathrine: Yeah, it’s been, it’s been two-fold, right? Because yeah, the economic ramifications of what’s been happening is also being [ inaudible] for people. So, there’s been financial, intense financial worries for some individuals. Particularly, you know, I have clients who are, you know, either as big here in London. So, they’re in the entertainment, theater business, or they were fitness coaches, and like, either, it’s where required larger groups of people, and freelancers, and like, people lost their jobs. And so, that’s, they struggled in that. So, there was that, there was sort of this, like two groups of individuals, ones, that like, just wanted to, sort of, save up every penny, gratefully so, because we didn’t know, how long this was going to go on. And it’s still, sort of, going on, right?

John: Right.

Kathrine: So, and sometimes, therapy feels like it’s a luxury, but then, you know, other individuals, who now have the time and if they had the resources and all their stuff came up. I had clients, go, ” You know, I don’t want to do, once a week. I want to do twice a week.” Sometimes, three times a week, you know.

John: Wow.

Kathrine: So, it was, yeah, it was two groups of individuals, one that were like, I can’t actually, A. There was financial or B. It was like, I just, I’m barely hanging on, I actually don’t want to dig any deeper, because stuff is going to come up, and I’m stuck alone at home, and I don’t want to deal with it. I just want to, I just wanted to try, to figure out a way to numb myself, as much as possible. Or, B. People who really wanted to engage and said, ” All right, well, let’s do this. Let’s sort of jump in, the deep end and let’s tackle this.” And it’s been, really rewarding, working at that level.

John: Do you have clients, besides London, from around the world? And do you do teleconferences with people, and consult with them, and advise them, just based on Zoom, or Skype, or whatever, other platform is of your choice? Or is it just London-based people, who have to come to your office?

Kathrine: No. No, I mean certainly, I was doing Zoom and Skype sessions already, before this happened because, yeah, you know, like it’s primarily through Europe, but also China, throughout. Yeah, and and now that like, we’ve kind of, because of this switched over, primarily to online. Yeah, I think that moving forward. I’m pretty keen on keeping things online, that specific, for that reason in that, I can reach more people. My primary base is London, just because, again, before this whole thing happened, I would be, I gave a lot of talks throughout the UK, you know, and I’d lectured quite a bit, on this topic. So, obviously, you know, people come to your runs. They see you, they reach out.

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John: Right.

Kathrine: And that’s how I, sort of, initially, started to build my clientele. But of course, they tell each other and I’ve podcasting and such, and then you…

John: Right.

Kathrine: .. end up with a wider reach. So, I’m going towards that angle more of just being able to reach to, and that’s the beauty about technology.

John: Right.

Kathrine: It lets you connect with people all over, that’s yeah, the benefit.

John: Right. Hey, if so far our listeners out there that want to connect with you, no matter where they’re sitting right now. Whether, it’s Shanghai, Mumbai, Dubai, or New York City, they could all become your clients, if they need your help.

Kathrine: Yeah. Absolutely.

John: Got it. You know, Kathrine, you recently launched a meetup group called, ” Modern Woman, Modern Relationships,” with online courses and discussions as well as, real-life meetups. What does that look like? What was your vision and goal there, and how’s that going so far?

Kathrine: Okay. Well, I think there’s a lot going on between the sexes at the moment, and gender, and a lot of, sort of, tension and conflict, that I tend to see, creep up, as well in my sessions, these conversations. So my intent with this group is, I just keep getting women that are, in their, sort of, 20s, or 30s, or 40s, that are quite successful on multiple levels and their careers. They’ve put a lot of effort and focus and believe in that idea, of like, just you know, work hard, get your education, build a career, and prince charming will eventually show up, right? And it’s…

John: On a white horse, on a white horse?

Kathrine: Hopefully, that’s what, that’s what, yeah, that’s what we’ve been keeping the lookout for, and he hasn’t, he hasn’t come. And so, I keep hearing the same story and I have quite, a lot of women, that are going through, you know, egg freezing and such. And it’s just certain topics, that are related to this demographic, over and over again, that comes up. And so, my intention with this group, was to take women that are high functioning, and competent, and kicking ass, in a lot of areas in their life. But for one reason, or another, this isn’t working out, or they’ve kind of feel, like they’ve been sold a lie, right? Be great, were super women through this and he’ll just, it’ll just happen.

John: You’re appear.

Kathrine: It’s just not it, relationships don’t work like that. You know, it’s not in the movies where he just, you know, you’re walking one day, and he pops up from the corner and then you live happily ever after. So that, I just wanted, you know, and I have on that website, that this is not, we’re not going to have politically correct conversations. It’s a real conversations, because matters of the heart are not politically correct, right? And sometimes, I think, our emphasis on using the right terminology, and phrasing things correctly, actually covers up the real true emotions were feeling underneath. And I wanted to have real conversations, where people can express real pain, real struggles. And they can be feel safe, and honest, and respectful, enable to uphold people’s truths.

John: And share journeys, and see the similarities, etc.

Kathrine: Yes.

John: Good for you. And is it going well, has it been to your vision, in application? Has it been successful? And you have, you had a lot of people join upand become part of this?

Kathrine: Well, I’ve, I’ve actually just launched it.

John: Okay. Got it.

Kathrine: Yeah, I’ve just, so I previously, I did workshops, but it wasn’t an ongoing group and the workshops resonated so well, that I was like, no I want, and you know, and it, but, and then, they’re also, the workshops are also pricey. So, I wanted to figure out a way, to like, make it accessible to larger groups of women, regardless of price point. and such. So this was, yeah my intention of doing that. So, I thought, okay, I’m going to launch this group, but it’s just come out of, again this whole Covid situation, to say, you know, what? Yeah, we can do this online and we can reach everyone, around the world.

John: Kathrine, you know, I would love to hear your opinion of, or take on Tinder, Bumble, and those kind of technology platforms, because technology, as you and I both know, can offer, so many great opportunities, and democratizing information democratizing, you know, people can access you, wherever they sit in the world. And find help, and that goes for doctors around the world, and all sorts of, other great advisors, and thought leaders. is Tinder and Bumble a plus, or minus, in terms of you know, good for the people who started it, in terms of entrepreneurs, bravo to them. I always cheer on entrepreneurs, but is this helping tear apart the fabric of relationships because the options are almost seemingly unlimited. And I’ve never had exposure to these things, never seen it, never worked it. I’ve been married, 37 years, and I’m 57 years old. So, obviously this was not part of my generation, just to be clear. But I see so many young people on that, and it seems like, they have limitless opportunities, in front of them, and they live that way. Is this an undoing of our relationship structure and is sort of, why people are running to great people, like you to find help, because that’s really, it turns out, not to be the answer?

Kathrine: Yeah, so online apps. What they’ve done is, they’ve expanded our reach, so lot of quantity, but diminish the quality of the experiences.

John: Got it.

Kathrine: But like everything else, when it comes to technology, you have to use it, rather than letting it use you.

John: Right.

Kathrine: And so, if the ultimate goal, is to create something substantial and significant with someone. But sometimes, people get into the bind of just matching, matching matching, going on date, after date, after date. Because it’s a dopamine here, it’s exciting. [inaudible] You know, but what that does, is it it trains your brain to see people as expendable.

John: Got it.

Kathrine: And that’s what people unconsciously, without realizing, end up training themselves. And to forget about the experience of being in a relationship, and the experience of creating something with someone, versus what online offers is, you know, if you stay there long enough, you’re going to find, you know, Mr. or Mrs. Perfect, with all the bells and whistles, and then, you’ll have your happily ever after. And that’s just not, how a relationship works, and you know, when you’re on this thing, forever, and have gone through a thousand people, and you finally find, ” Oh, I think this is it.” You know, this person seems to have everything, you missed again, the point of a relationship, which in, its the challenges that you face together, the imperfections that come up, and what the two of you choose to do with that. That actually, deepens the connection and the intimacy, right? Because what kind of a relationship is it, if I think I’m, you know, you look at me, and you go, you’re perfect for me, and I look at you and you go, you’re perfect for me. And then, as we all, are human, and imperfect, infallible, then something comes up in me. That’s like, ” Oh, she’s not going to like this. He’s not going to see this.” Right?

John: Right.

Kathrine: Now, all of a sudden, I have to fear that. I have to hide that, it creates insecurity. It creates, like loss. I don’t want to go back out there and go through another thousand matches, right? So I think it does help in that, you know, we have busy lives, especially as individuals get older, and you know, have a set pattern in their life. They go to a certain workplace. They hang out in the same places. They have a certain group of friends. They’re not coming into contact with new people. So use it for that, to expand your search, but don’t let it draw you into this, like shallow surface level, looking for the perfect partner, thought process because ultimately even if you ate it, really makes that search just exhausting, right? It’s like looking for a needle in a haystack. But even when you do find that person, there is no room anywhere anymore for actions. There’s no room in you, at showing up in your humanity, and the other person, doing that, in their humanity, and then us through our mistakes, and our, you know, and our imperfections coming together and loving each other through that process. You’re expendable, right? I can now go.

John: It’s so fascinating, you know, Kathrine. I have a story to tell you, from last week, and my daughter is a successful entrepreneur, like you, she’s a lawyer and she works in Los Angeles. Basically, an employment lawyer, and doing women’s rights work is also very important, very similar to your generation, has that, that’s really taken up this very important topic of abused, and other type of woman that have been put in a bad position. So, she just had a baby recently and I drove to LA to visit her last weekend and my wife was staying with her. And we were just visiting, on the couch and they said, “Well, we’re going to put on some TV dad, do you know any, of recent shows?” And I said, ” Yeah, I’ve been totally mesmerized by this new show.” And they said, ” Tell us about it.” And I told them about it, and they said, ” Well, let’s put it on and let’s watch it.” And it was a show on Netflix called, ” Indian Matchmaker.”

Kathrine: Oh, yeah. I keep hearing about it. It’s like poor choice and not his choice.

John: Have you seen it yet?

Kathrine: I have not seen it.

John: Oh, I’m dying to but one day when I have you back on Impact and we’re going to talk about it because my daughter, and Bruce, and my wife, and I watched the whole series, all over again. We’re mesmerized by it, but it’s, but how it sets up is that the leading Matchmaker in India, a woman who was 54 years old, they follow her around, and matching different families and different young people. And it’s fascinating, and I would just love one day, after you’ve seen it, hopefully, at some point, to literally have you back on just chatting about it. Because it’s just culturally, just fascinating, to see what’s going on. Just different, just different. I’m going to leave you, with a quote that I read recently. I love your website, and for again, for our listeners, you could be anywhere in the world. And if you need help with dating, relationships, or to find out more about yourself, please go to the doc’s great website, Kathrine, K-A-T-H-R-I-N-E, Bejanyan, B-E-J-A-N-Y-A-N.com, katrinebejanyan.com. You can become her client and get helped, wherever you are in the entire planet. And there’s a great quote on your website, from Winnie the Pooh, ” As soon as I saw you, I knew an adventure was going to happen. ” That’s such, a great quote. And for my listeners out there, if you want a real adventure, I’ve been through therapy. I just think it’s great to learn about yourself. You know, we’re too complex to figure out on our own. So if you need help unraveling yourself, there’s going to be an adventure there, if you get in contact with Dr. Bejanyan. I’m going to leave you with a quote, I recently read, Kathrine. I’d love to hear your take on it. This is from the late comedian, Garry Shandling, Judd Apatow, was a great friend of his, and he put together, all of his notes, from all of his journals, into a book and I was reading his book a couple of weeks back and here’s the quote, I got out of it. ” Give more, give what you didn’t get. Love more, drop the old story.”

Kathrine: Doesn’t that, just summarize everything we talked about, so perfectly?

John: That has stuck with me, and I just memorized it. And I just repeated in my head, every day as a mantra. Like, ” How come I couldn’t have gotten this wisdom when I was 21, it would have saved me so many mistakes and so much pain.” It’s so good.

Kathrine: Yeah. Exactly, yeah. Anyway, out of your old patterns, is to do more, of what you want to be given to you, you know, you want more love, figure out how to give back. And that’s eventually, you’ll break through that old story. Yeah.

John: Doc, you also, besides dating and relationships, do you do, some matchmaking, as well, is that part of your consulting business.

Kathrine: No.

John: Okay.

Kathrine: I used to work for a high-end matchmaking agency, but I would do, like the initial interview process. It was like a five hour interview, before we accepted someone. And so, it’s a very deep, sort of, psychological stuff. And also, if they were struggling during it, we would, I would, sort of, support them through it and go through some of their relationships, or patterns, and stuff. But I’m no longer with that a group.

John: Got it.

Kathrine: This took off, funny enough, those clients started to ask me, more and more, to see them separately. And that’s how I, actually ended up, starting this, I didn’t really intend on opening a therapy practice. Butt they kind of, pushed me into it. And so here I am, now with the therapy practice. But having moved away from that.

John: Got it. And you know, listen, doc. This has been great. I want to have you back, as time goes on, anytime you want to come back on Impact. This is a place for you, to keep sharing, all your thoughts on relationships, where things are goin,g how your practice is evolving. You’re the reason I do this show, because you’re making an important impact on this planet. You’re helping people find out more about themselves, and when they become better people, and learn more about themselves, they interact better with others, including in their personal relationships. That’s important work and not talked about enough, quite frankly. For my listeners out there, to find Dr. Bejanyan, please, again, go to her great website. It’s really, really helpful and it makes it easy to contact her, Kathrine, K-A-T-H-R-I-N-E, Bejanyan, B-E-J-A-N-Y-A-N.com. Find, Dr. Bejanyan, go on adventure, learn about yourself. Doc, you’re making a great impact. You’re making the world a better place. Thank you, for joining me today on the Impact podcast.

Kathrine: I appreciate your time and your listeners time, John. Thank you so much, and a happy, healthy love life to everybody out there listening.