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September 2007

Couple holding hands

In this issue:

F`ree to our subscribers!

Conscious Relationship Resources

Conscious Relationship
Tele-Seminar Series

Conscious Mating
Tele-Seminar Series

Conscious Relationship Podcast

Conscious Relationship Article Bank


David Steele
Founder and CEO,
Relationship Coaching Institute

Frankie Doiron, President
Relationship Coaching Network

Linda Marshall - Photo
Linda Marshall
Director | Couples Programs

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

Copyright 2007 by All rights reserved.

Now Available!

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

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Conscious Dating Success
Story of the Year Contest

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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

Conscious Mating
Tele-Seminar Series

Note: This is our FINAL Conscious Mating tele-seminar. We been conducting these to help us write the book, and this is the final chapter!

Wednesday, September 26, 5:30pm pacific/8:30pm eastern

Linda Marshall - PhotoConscious Mating:
When We Must Say Goodbye

With David Steele and Linda Marshall

When singles become pre-committed couples they ask themselves "Is this the right relationship for me? Is this 'The One' for a lifetime commitment?" The answer for one or both might be "No," so then what?

Saying good bye is hard. When a couple breaks up, even if they were not in a committed relationship, they experience grief and loss. Many move on with their lives without closure because it's so uncomfortable.

Completing a relationship with integrity helps you move forward and become ready for your next relationship. Not getting closure results in carrying more baggage into your next relationship.

In this program you will learn:

- Three primary reasons for experiencing pain in a breakup, what they mean and what to do about it

- Our step-by-step "Goodbye Process" for getting closure on a relationship after it ends

- Strategies for saying goodbye for the initiator and receiver

- Our #1 Strategy for handling the pain of a breakup

- And more!

No need to register! To access this seminar use this link-

As a subscriber you will receive reminders a few days prior and the day of the seminar.

Can't attend? No problem. The recordings of all our programs are available f`ree at

Conscious Relationship
Seminar Series

Each month we strive to bring you the best relationship information from top experts F`REE to our subscribers!

Thursday, September 13, 5:30pm pacific/8:30pm eastern

Ilene Dillon, MSWAddressing Relationship Energy Drainers

With Ilene Dillon, MSW, MFT, LCSW

Do you know that "the way a relationship starts off, it tends to continue"? 

Too often we spend weeks or months in a relationship, only to find it is not working for us because we feel drained, guilty, very angry, or used in the relationship. 

You can save yourself time, energy, and pain by learning to recognize immediately when your energy is being drained and what you can do about it.  Whether you have a penchant for attracting energy draining individuals or you experience energy draining only occasionally, you'll appreciate having readily-available tools for dealing with this all-too-common relationship challenge.

In this program you will learn:

  • How and why energy draining occurs
  • 6 ways to immediately recognize when your energy is being drained.
  • Two prominent patterns of energy draining.
  • Three actions you can take to neutralize energy draining from others.
  • How to utilize the 72-Hour Rule to strengthen yourself in relationships.
  • The D.E.S.C. Plus-A-Step method for communicating powerfully.

No need to register! To access this seminar use this link-

As a subscriber you will receive reminders a few days prior and the day of the seminar.

Can't attend? No problem. The recordings of all our programs are available f`ree at

Ask Our Coaches:
 What Do I Do About Him?

...I brought up the subject of marriage. He indicated that he "kinda likes things the way they are."

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,

Five years ago, a younger man sold his condo and moved in with me. He is in his late 40's, has never married, and has no children. I have grandchildren. He owns his own business, I make more money than he does, I pay the larger portion of the bills, and he pays me "rent." We don't combine our incomes or co-mingle our money. He seems very concerned about money. When we go out to dinner, we each pay for our own. He does bring me flowers and gifts, sometimes small, sometimes larger. We say that we are committed and demonstrate that in various ways.

He has a lot of good qualities. He's kind, thoughtful, lets me know when he will be late, makes plans with me for holidays and for future events.

After we were together for about 8 or 9 months, I brought up the subject of marriage. He indicated that he "kinda likes things the way they are." When I bring it up now, he won't talk about it. He does talk about "us" when we grow older and says he'll come with me if I relocate. He's very involved with me and my children and grandchildren. We have a social system of friends that we interact with.

He has a separate life with his buddies that I am not included in. He works most weekends, unless he's doing something with his buddies. When I was disturbed by pictures of him on his motorcycle with younger women hanging on him, he indicated that it was all in fun.

I'm concerned about how to take the relationship to another level. Am I unreasonable to expect more? Am I wasting my time? Where do I go from here?

Carolyn from Chicago

Brenda responds …

I commend you for seeking advice and first of all I would love for you to go back and re-read your letter very carefully, taking in everything you mentioned. It seems to me that your friend does like things just the way they are. It's obviously a very convenient situation for him. But are YOU getting what you require and deserve in this relationship?

That's the important thing for you right now. Are YOU OK with things the way they are? From your letter, you are not. And I'm glad this is stirring up questions and concerns for you. It's really important in ANY relationship to know what your requirements are in order for that relationship to work for you. This goes for your relationship with your friend as well as with every relationship in your life (including your relationship with yourself).

Are you experiencing the relationship the way you need to experience it in order for it to work for YOU? Or are you settling?

From what I've read, you have a lovely room-mate situation, or something that in today's society is called "friends with benefits." And while that may serve some purpose and get some of your needs met, it's not serving the larger purpose in your life and that's moving towards and into a fully committed relationship.

You see, Carolyn, while you are spending time with this man, who doesn't seem to want a fully committed relationship right now, you are closing yourself off from a man who does want a fully committed relationship with you. It appears from your letter that your friend is still available to someone else because he's not fully available to you. On the other hand, you are not available to someone else because you are fully committed to this relationship - a relationship that appears to be going no where.

You are selling yourself short here, and I highly recommend working with a relationship coach to find out who you really are and what you really want so you aren't settling for less. A coach can help you develop a plan to create the kind of relationship you really want. I'm sorry to say, but from what you have told me, you are settling. Sure, the good qualities of your friend are nice, however, is that enough for you? It doesn't seem that way from your letter.

You are certainly NOT unreasonable to expect more! You are important and your requirements for a relationship are important. Get the support you need with a coach and move on. There are plenty of other good men out there who can and want to share a fully committed relationship with you. Once you get really clear about who you are and what you want, you will no longer settle for less. You'll start attracting the right person for you. It may not be obvious to you right this moment, but once you truly align with who you are and what you really want, you will start meeting men who are in true alignment with you.

It's clear your friend is OK with things the way they are even though you are not and it seems that he is not even willing to explore the relationship any further. It may be time to let this "friend" go and do the work you need to do in order to have the fully committed relationship you truly desire. I wish you all the best!

Brenda Zeller  |   |  610.966.7947 

Susan responds …

It is never unreasonable to want what you want and to have the goals and dreams that you have. It seems like you are in a really painful place with this and it sounds to me like this relationship doesn’t have quite the right balance for you. It seems like the way it has been set up really doesn’t meet your needs, wants, and requirements enough to move forward or to stay where it is.

It also has a “parent-child” feel to it and not a sense of open intimate communication and sharing. I would encourage you to be really honest with yourself about what it is you want in a relationship and truthfully look to see if this is the best fit for you. It sounds like you have a partner that isn’t interested in taking things to the next level, nor being exclusive at the level you’re at right now. Unless he is willing to do some deep inner work around his resistance, it doesn’t seem like you will be able to move forward in a partnership that is ideal for you with him.

Once you get clarity for yourself about your own requirements and deal breakers, I would encourage you to stand your ground and stand in your ultimate truth. Ask yourself if you could be with this man exactly how he is if he never changed for the rest of your life. If the answer is “no”, then I would urge you to strongly consider honoring yourself and your needs by moving on.

Relationship coaching would be a great way for you to help clarify what you value, need, want, and require. It would also offer you loving, compassionate support in your decision-making process and would help take you to the next level in the pursuit of your ideal relationship. Blessings,

Susan Ortolano, M.A. |

Vanessa responds …

You are wasting your time. You seem to want a man that doesn’t segregate his friends, money, and heart. Time to find the commitment you’re looking for. But don’t let the new guy move in right away. Make sure you are clear with what your deal breakers (requirements) are. You don’t have to settle!

Vanessa Dyer |

Barb responds …

Carolyn, here is my assessment of your situation and my recommendations:
First, what do YOU want?  What is your vision for YOUR perfect life and relationship?  Your question focused primarily on understanding his wants.  It's good you are seeking help at this time because it indicates to me you are in enough 'pain' to examine your situation more closely.  A couple of pretty big red flags popped out at me when you shared his responses to your question about marriage and his obvious desire to maintain a part of his life separate from you. 

Are you truly okay with what he's showing by his words and behaviors?  So far, after five years, this man doesn't show any interest in marrying you and he doesn't seem to care enough to address your concerns about what he does outside of your home.  Again, that's fine, if this is okay for you.  Is it?  Are you likely to be happy if your relationship continues, as is, for another five years, regardless of whether he continues to be positive in some of the ways he has been? 
Second, once you've figured out what you require, need and want in your life and in a relationship, evaluate your current relationship along those lines.  It should become much clearer to you if this relationship is fulfilling you in the ways you need to be truly satisfied in the long run.  If, after this conscious assessment, it is clear the relationship isn't fulfilling you, you have at least two options:  you can let him know where you stand and invite him to get help, together, to see if you can make the relationship more like you want it to be or you can end the relationship.

Some therapists and coaches even believe there is a third option: if your partner won't go and get help with you, you can go and get help alone and, if you change what you are doing, the relationship might change too.  For example, perhaps your boyfriend is being non-committal because you haven't been clear where you stand.
Just remember that love is not about forcing someone to be who he or she is not!  If I were you, if you decide to get help and hang in there, I'd set a deadline and re-assess whether getting help is helping you 'get more of what you want'.  Be careful about wasting your valuable time waiting for him to change.  Trust that there are men who would willingly or more naturally, given their values and personality, meet YOUR requirements.  
Here's my last recommendation for you: stop going it alone!  Get help with what I've suggested, above, by getting involved with a specially trained relationship coach or organization like RCI whose mission is helping singles, pre-committed couples and committed couples create deeply satisfying and lasting relationships.

Living an authentic life is hard for most of us because we live in a society that doesn't yet care enough about each individual's health and happiness.  For example, as women we are raised to put ourselves second and this leads many of us to choose relationships by default or in reaction to someone else instead of taking leadership of our own lives.

While I suggest you not do too much changing too fast and that you move at a pace you are comfortable with, if I were you I'd get the right type of support and stick with it for the next three to six months at least. This will help you to address the inertia and fear of living YOUR truth which is getting in the way of your ultimate happiness.  Congratulations on beginning to walk the path of what I call authentic love.  You CAN do it!  Doing so is well worth the rewards! 
Barb Elgin, MSW, LCSW-C || 866.396.2272

Feature Article:
The Dangers of Co-Habitation

Excerpts from “Sliding Versus Deciding: Inertia and the Premarital Cohabitation Effect"

A research project on pre-marital co-habitation conducted by the National Council on Family Relations reveals some interesting data on the dangers of co-habitation as well as the particular dangers that it poses for women.

Dangers of Co-Habitation: General

* Cohabitation is consistently associated with poorer marital communication quality, lower marital satisfaction, higher levels of domestic violence, and greater probability of divorce in the U.S.

* Those who began cohabiting prior to engagement had more negative interactions, lower levels of interpersonal commitment to their partners, lower relationship quality, and lower levels of confidence in their relationships than those who cohabited only after engagement or not at all before marriage.

* Individuals who cohabit prior to marriage for longer periods of time, especially with multiple partners, experienced an erosion of esteem or valuing of marriage and childrearing over time; associated with increased acceptance of divorce.

* Co-habitation is associated with higher levels of depression and lower levels of self-esteem, as well as lower life satisfaction.

* Co-habitation represents an ambiguous state of commitment for many, partly because of the fact that cohabitation is an ‘‘incomplete’’ institution in terms of a common understanding of what the cohabitation experience is and what it means, at least in the United States.

* The speed of entering into co-habiting and ambiguity about what it means in terms of commitment can combine to land people in situations that are hard to exit, thus constraining the search for a better partner fit.

Co-habitating Dangers for Women:

* Men who cohabited with their wives prior to marriage reported substantially lower dedication to marriage and their partners than men who did not.

* Married men who cohabited with their spouses before engagement scored lower on dedication than their female partners before marriage and after years of marriage, with the transition to marriage doing nothing to mitigate the asymmetry.

* A focus group of men in their 20s found a significant number of cohabiting men who reported resisting marriage essentially because they were waiting for a better partner or soul-mate to come along.

* Among cohabiting couples, men were more likely than their partners to endorse moving in together because they could not see a future together but did not want to break up.

* Men’s attitudes about sacrificing for their female partners are far less associated with levels of commitment to the future than those of women.

* Women may have more to lose by sliding into co-habiting without making a deliberate decision (many people report that co-habiting just happened and wasn’t something that was discussed thoroughly for all the implications).

* Women get pregnant and disproportionately do more of the work of raising those children when the relationship ends.

* Women are also more likely than men to be trapped in the most dangerous types of domestically violent relationships.

Excerpts from “Sliding Versus Deciding: Inertia and the Premarital Cohabitation Effect” by researchers Scott M. Stanley, Galena Kline Rhoades, and Howard J. Markman of the University of Denver, February 2005.

For the full article download here

© 2007 Relationship Coaching Institute– All rights reserved.

Bonus Article:
Stepping Back after Jumping Ahead

by Tereasa Jones

A common problem for singles today is jumping into moving in together before they completely understand what they want from a relationship. It would help if both people were willing to step back to take a look at what they want from their relationship before jumping ahead.

A couple of tools we use here at RCI that would help in this process are exercises called “My Life Vision” and "My Requirements, Needs, and Wants.” By completing these exercises, you will learn valuable information about what is most important to you. After identifying your vision for your life, you can see what you require, need, and want to live that vision.

Below is a brief description of the meaning of requirements, needs, and wants.


• Are non-negotiable. The relationship will not work if these are missing.
• Tend to be black or white, either met or not met, not much room for gray.
• Are subjective in that it is important that the requirement meet your standards.
• Have a lot of power. You know quickly that something is a requirement; however, if you have to spend a lot of time thinking about it, it is probably a need or want.
• Are behavioral events, not traits of the other person.


• Often experienced as an "issue."
• Can be negotiated (whereas requirements cannot).
• Can be either functional or emotional.


• Provide pleasure and enjoyment.
• Are interchangeable. You can substitute one want for another and still be happy.
• Are the "icing on the cake". The cake is still good without the icing, but is really good with it.

By understanding your requirements, needs, and wants, you’ll be better able to evaluate the individuals you meet. The more knowledge you have about yourself, the less inclined you’ll be to enter into a relationship which does not meet your criteria. These exercises will help you determine what you really want and will reduce your chances of settling for anything less.

Tereasa Jones, M.S. |

Words of Wisdom

Those who contemplate cohabiting specifically to test their relationship might benefit from alternative ideas for testing that do not incur as great a loss of freedom. For example, there are a number of activities that could give couples increased clarity and reduced ambiguity about their relationship…
-- from “Sliding Versus Deciding”

Testing means that you experience your requirements being met before getting involved with a potential partner.
-- David Steele in Conscious Dating: Finding the Love of Your Life

At RCI, we recommend ‘choosing versus snoozing!’
-- Linda A. Marshall, RCI Director of Couple’s Trainings and Programs and co-author of the upcoming book, “Conscious Mating.”

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 F`ree:

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

Tara Kachaturoff | Editor, Couples News

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