Partners in Life Logo

March 2006

Couple holding hands

In this issue:


logo: RCN

Free to our subscribers!

Conscious Relationship Resources

Conscious Relationship
Tele-Seminar Series

Conscious Relationship

Conscious Relationship
Article Bank


David Steele
Founder and CEO,
Relationship Coaching Institute

Cindy Briolotta, President
Relationship Coaching Network

Linda Marshall - Photo
Linda Marshall
Director | Couples Programs

Tara Kachaturoff - Photo
Tara Alexandra Kachaturoff
Editor | Partners in Life Couples News

Now Available!

Conscious Dating: Finding the Love of Your Life in Today's World

Order a copy today for your single friends and family members at

This newsletter is designed especially for YOU if:

  • You have met someone and are wondering if s/he is the "Love of Your Life"
  • You are about to get married and want to co-create a fulfilling life partnership
  • You have a good relationship and want to make it great!

Ask Our Coaches:
What about my feelings?

This column answers questions submitted by our readers. Submit your questions to who will forward them to our coaches all over the world. Each issue, we'll publish a few answers from our RCI coaches.

Dear Coaches,

I’ve been with my boyfriend for four months. He’s amazing. He is the most emotionally evolved man I have ever dated. He is fun, attentive, sexy, non-defensive, desires me, and on and on. My problem is that I don't know how I feel about him. I feel so guilty for thinking that this relationship might not work. He is ideal for me.

I’m 34 and he’s 36. We both have had plenty of relationship experience. I'm still confused as to how I can feel so unsure. I’m going through the motions, but don't feel “crazy in love” with him. Any thoughts?

Jill from New Jersey

Marcia responds …

Your confusion stems from rushing the courtship stage while feeling an appropriate sense of trepidation about doing so. You say he’s "amazing,” "emotionally evolved," and "ideal," but you've known him just four months.

You haven't waited long enough for the other shoe to drop -- and it will. How does he handle a crisis? Will he be there for you when you’re at your worst? Have you been through any holidays or met each other's families? Have you been ill and needed his care? Have you discussed monogamy, or are you assuming that he likes you as much as you like him?

If he is the one responsible for rushing things along, consider that as a red-flag to be on the look out for exactly why he wants to hook you. What is it he might be trying to get you to overlook that will play out later, once you've moved in together, gotten married, become pregnant, or all of the above?

It'sprobably not guilt you're experiencing, but rather your gut instincts (which will always tell you the truth) warning you to slow down. It's your responsibility to protect yourself by controlling the pace of the courtship while you get to know this man. Honor your feeling of being unsure and give yourself permission to put the brakes on until he reveals more about his character.

Marcia Augustine

Sandy responds …

Imagine this scene: You’re with the man you love. He’s been dropping some hints, and you’re excited when he falls to his knees and says, “My dear, I don’t know how I feel about you, but you’re amazing, emotionally evolved, fun, attentive, sexy, non-defensive, and you love me. Even though I’m not sure how this could work and I’m just going through the motions, I want you to marry me.” How does that feel?

Not good, right? The man you describe deserves more than this. Real passion cannot be manufactured, and each of us deserves to be in a relationship where both members are passionate. Even the best marriages challenge us daily, and to be in a marriage in which we are not fully committed sets us up for failure. The same thing applies to any relationship.

It sounds as though you have identified much of what is important to you, and I congratulate you for that, but do yourself and your boyfriend a favor. Don’t settle for less than your heart demands. Look for someone who not only embodies your requirements, but who also ignites your passion.

Sandra Rohr, M.A.

Peter responds ...

There are two questions that might be worth exploring. First, you say you have "plenty of relationship experience." Since you’re the common denominator in all of your prior relationships, it might be interesting to explore what, on your end, brought these previous relationships to completion. For example, what of your needs, wants, requirements may not have been met? And, more importantly, did you have these clearly defined before entering these relationships?

My second question is, What is it that makes you feel guilty? What is the "should" or "ought to" that leads to your confusion? In addition, are you experiencing an underlying fear of some type? For example, you may be reacting to a feeling of making a commitment, a loss of independence, or a changing lifestyle. It might be helpful to explore the inner dialogue that accompanies your confusion.

Consciously exploring your past relationship history and patterns might lead to some insight as to why you’re confused in your current relationship. Is this relationship different from past relationships? If so, how is it different? If not, is there a recurring pattern that you’re seeing? My suggestion is to think about these questions and then continue your exploration of them with a qualified relationship coach to find out what is really underneath the confusion you’re experiencing.

Peter G. Vajda, Ph.D. |
| 770.804.9125

Lois responds …

Congratulations on attracting a lovely, appropriate, and delightful man into your life. It appears that the law of attraction is at work. I also hear a lot of judgment around your doubt. Nothing will sever access to inner guidance more than guilt or judgment.

Give yourself a hiatus from the "guessing game," and just spend some time in the relationship enjoying yourself, deepening your connection together, and letting yourself know you can trust yourself. Next, I'd explore some possible limiting beliefs or objections that you may have around having a life partner who is "ideal." Try to pinpoint what your objections are and give voice to them. What you resist will persist. Often by articulating these thoughts to yourself, and then to a few people you feel safe with, you’ll gain a great deal more clarity.

Stay curious, open and light. Don't put pressure or judgment on yourself to decide anything right now. Let the focus be on enjoying the relationship rather than deciding if he is or isn't your ideal life partner.

Look at your limiting beliefs around intimate relationships and your feelings around having what you say you most want. Revisit your requirements, needs and wants. Finally, see this experience as an adventure or a journey where you can really trust yourself.

Lois Barth |


Feature Article

The Mystery of Attraction

By Linda A. Marshall
Director of Couples Programs, Relationship Coaching Institute

In his book, Getting the Love You Want, Harville Hendrix cites several research studies around the nature of our attraction to one another from the perspective of several different disciplines.

Biologists notice that we select mates so that our species will survive. Men look for healthy women at the peak of their childbearing years. Women look for “alpha” men who dominate other males and bring home more than their share of the kill. While these attractions were more prominent in our ancient history, there is some truth to this even today.

Social psychologists focus on the “exchange” theory. This is the idea that we select partners more or less our equals in terms of physical appeal, financial status, and social rank, as well as personality traits like kindness, creativity, and a sense of humor. Most of this sizing each other up is unconscious, and we do it with lightening speed. This also moves us beyond mere biology to allow for attraction to someone outside the biological criteria.

The field of analytical psychology focuses on the “persona” theory, which maintains that we are attracted to someone who will enhance our self-esteem or our self-image. We put on masks to show our best selves to others, and we don’t want to be embarrassed by who we are with. Rather, we want to experience a sense of pride.

Hendrix notes the shortcomings of each of these three theories. What he noticed in his own experience as a relationship and marital therapist was that we all appear to be compulsively searching for a partner with a very particular set of positive and negative personality traits. He points to the unconscious forces in our minds to illuminate the mystery further.

One of the three parts of our brain, our old brain, plays a powerful role in our selection of a partner. One of the characteristics of the old brain is that we are largely unaware of its functioning. Neuroscientists have determined that the major concern of the old brain is self-preservation. It addresses the main question, “Is it safe?” With its hazy awareness of the external world, it scans our environment and gathers data from images, symbols, and thoughts produced in the new brain.

The result is that people are lumped into six basic categories. Is the person in front us someone to 1) nurture, 2) be nurtured by, 3) have sex with, 4) run away from, 5) submit to, or 6) attack? The subtler distinctions like neighbor, relative, parent, or spouse slide right by. Our old brain compares the image of the person before us with other observations from our past and determines if this person is safe and will give us a pleasurable or a threatening experience. This all happens at lightning speed, so we’re unconscious of all the scanning and comparing that is going on.

Furthermore, what Hendrix found is that the positive and negative traits we compulsively search for, match the predominant character traits of the people who raised us. The old brain is trying to re-create the environment of our childhood so that we can complete it and return to our original state of wholeness and relaxed joyfulness. The root words for “family” and “familiar” are the same. We are often looking for the person who provides us with a familiar (seems safe and may not be, depending on our family of origin) experience. The trick is to choose wisely enough that we don’t recreate our worst case scenario.

The primary purpose of the Partners in Life Program offered by RCI Coaches is to help people who think they may be right for each other to take a more objective look at their relationship. It’s designed to take the mystery out of the attraction. In fact, Jill who wrote our “Ask Our Coaches” question might find working with one of our coaches to be helpful in assisting her with sorting out her particular situation.

Linda A. Marshall, RCI Director of Couple’s Programs | 937.684.2245


Bonus Article

Ten Principles of Romance

Most people think romantic love and romance are the same thing, yet surprisingly, there is quite a difference.

Romantic love is that early period in a relationship when we begin to fall in love. It is a predictable, altered state of consciousness. While it is a delightful period of euphoria, it is fleeting and short-lived. It’s purpose is to bond two people together emotionally and physically. This bonding prepares them for the hard work, going forward, of building a life together.

Romance on the other hand is an on-going expression of love between two people, even when seeing each other in a less favorable light than might be expressed during the romantic love period. This is where the real work of a relationship begins.

10 Principles of Romance

#1 Be intentional every day, taking the time to please your partner in ways meaningful to them.

#2 Be mindful and attentive of your interactions with each other.

#3 Add an element of surprise that is pleasant and thus meaningful.

#4 Go the extra mile with your time, rather than with your money.

#5 Show mutual respect for each other, listening well with focused attention.

#6 Be playful and flirtatious, two key ingredients in romance.

#7 Be vulnerable, showing your sentimental and sensitive side. Be compassionate and tender with each other.

#8 Design special occasions and celebrations, creating your own rituals of connection with symbols that are meaningful to the two of you.

#9 Include romantic sexual encounters.

#10 Know your partner’s history intimately and pay homage to their past when possible.

~taken from Hot Monogamy by Patricia Love and Jo Robinson

Linda A. Marshall, RCI Director of Couple’s Programs | 937.684.2245


Words of Wisdom

The overwhelming predictor of whether or not you will love someone is knowing that that person loves you.
~Arthur Aron, Ph.D.

To be a true romantic, you have to see the world through your partner’s eyes. Find out what says “I love you” to your partner and do it.
~Pat Love, Ed.D


Free The Miracle of Connection Audio Programs

New! Free!

RCI recently completed a seminar series called "The Miracle of Connection" with Hedy Schleifer that is now available by recording, FREE to our subscribers:

Program #1: Growing our Passion
Program #2: Embracing our Differences
Program #3: Achieving Fulfillment

To listen to the audio or download the MP3 files, simply register at

Free Conscious Relationship Resources

Conscious Relationship Resources

Conscious Relationship
Tele-Seminar Series

  • February 9: The Couples Circle with David Steele, Darrell Holdaway and Nevin Valentine
  • March 9: Marry Yourself First with Ken Donaldson
  • May 11: Creating Love Beyond Words with Pat Love

Conscious Relationship Podcast

Conscious Relationship Article Bank


For More Information, is a resource for couples offered by Relationship Coaching Institute, a worldwide relationship coaching organization dedicated to helping singles 'find the love of your life AND the life that you love'; to helping new couples 'make a wise choice in a life partner'; and to helping any couple 'fine tune and keep their relationship healthy and fulfilling.'

Visit our web site at for Free:

  • How to Be Partners for Life e-Program for Couples
  • Communication Map™ On-Line Communication Training
  • Relationship Knowledge Bank
  • And much more!

  • Want to make sure you are making a wise choice in a life partner?
  • Want to make sure your relationship stays healthy?
  • What to give your relationship a fine-tuning?

Get a Relationship Coach!
Check out our coaches at:

NEW RELATIONSHIP? Congratulations in moving forward in your life partner quest! WHAT NOW?

for cutting-edge information and resources for couples.

You will be glad you did!
***Please share this with new couples that you care about.

Links to Us


Linda Marshall, M.Div. | Director of Couples Programs

Tara Kachaturoff | Editor, Couples News

Visit our website for couples at and become a member for free!

Relationship Coaching Institute
free introductory training!

Members of Relationship Coaching Network
free resources for singles and couples

To subscribe to this newsletter

Please refer singles your care about to
free monthly tele-seminars!

©Copyright 2006 by All rights reserved.
Feel free to share this with others as long as our contact information and authorship is included.