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November 2007

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Conscious Relationship Article Bank

David Steele
David Steele
Relationship Coaching Institute

Frankie Doiron
President & CEO
Relationship Coaching Institute

Tara Kachaturoff - Photo
Tara Kachaturoff
Editor | Conscious Dating News

Copyright 2008 by All rights reserved.

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Program #3- Finding Lasting Love by Experiencing Your Experience

Program #4- Should We Live Together?

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Program #7- Sharing Our Vision

Program #8- Deciding "Is This The One?"

Program #9- When We Must Say Goodbye

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Ask Our Coaches:
Love vs Infatuation. What’s the Difference?

... How do you really know when you’re in love?

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’m 41, divorced, and a mother of two young twin boys. I’m a successful business professional and everything in my life is going very well. Three months ago, I met a man who is 45. He’s divorced with two older teenagers who live with his ex-wife. We get along in every way possible. I’ve even met the ex-wife and she’s really great, too. We haven’t been intimate yet, but we both plan to move to this next step soon.

Recently, we both expressed that we love each other. We both want to move forward with our ultimate goal of getting married. This is the second serious relationship I’ve had, the first being to the man from whom I’m currently divorced. I have dated others, but this relationship is clearly different. I don’t feel my judgment about him is off in any way.

My question has to do with love. How do you really know when you’re in love? How does love differ from infatuation? My girlfriend says that we’re just infatuated – that we haven’t known each other long enough to be in love. I disagree. I’m not a teenager and I feel that I am in touch with my feelings. But, now, I’m wondering about this. How can anyone tell the difference between the two? Do you think I could be infatuated?

Rebecca from Maui

Lori responds …

Sometimes there is a fine line between infatuation and love, especially when you move from infatuation into love. Every loving relationship started someplace, and this might very well be the man for you. I think it’s awesome that you’ve been seeing him for three months and you haven’t slept with him. This means that at least you are not mixing or confusing love and sex. Give yourself a pat on the back for being so wise.

Ultimately, if you keep dating and are moving forward in this relationship, it really doesn’t matter. You both are happy. Keep moving forward, keep getting to know one another, and keep a look-out for whether he meets all of your requirements. Also notice whether there are any red-flags or deal breakers

Rebecca, don’t look towards experts to tell you whether or not you are in love. If you are happy and FEEL LOVE for this man, then validate yourself and BE loving. If you are really only seeing him through rose-colored lenses, time will certainly let you know. Enjoy what you have.

Lori Rubenstein, JD, CPC | | 928.634.0252

Don responds …

I believe there is a significant difference between infatuation and love, which if not understood could result in a very bad decision. Infatuation is a feeling, while love is a decision.

Certainly, the love decision includes the impact of your feelings but must also incorporate a deeply pondered head-based evaluation of your requirements in a relationship and whether this man can meet them. Likewise, he needs to go through this same type of evaluation. This is called "balancing your heart with your head."

It also may define the difference between a conscious and an unconscious decision. You mention that you are in touch with your feelings. Are you as much in touch with the facts, your requirements and your head? Using a coach may be an effective way to help you with this.

You mention that you are anticipating becoming intimate with this man soon. I caution you in doing so as the presence of sexual intimacy is almost certain to increase the positive "feelings" and encourage you to lose your objectivity concerning "head" matters. Sexual intimacy is best saved for a committed relationship based on a love decision, with the heart and head in balance.

Don Bailey | | 941.266.1944

Lisa responds …

Great question – what is the difference between love and infatuation? My first question to you would be what is your definition of love? You shared that you were no longer a teenager and were in touch with your feelings – so what are those feelings telling you? Only you have the answer – your girlfriend doesn’t. Does this man fit into your vision of a loving relationship? Does he fit the criteria that you define for a relationship? Are your relationship requirements being met with this man?

If you were able to answer “yes” to all of these questions then it is probably fair to say that you are in love. However, if you hesitated with any of these, I would recommend getting a little clearer on these issues before moving the relationship to a deeper level of commitment.

If you are unclear about your relationship vision or relationship requirements, you will undoubtedly be led down the road of disappointment ad disillusionment. Get clear on what you must have in a relationship and then determine whether he is in alignment with that. By doing so, you will be able to determine whether or not it is love or infatuation.
Lisa A. Fredette | | 814.594.5817

Feature Article:
All You Need is Love …
Plus a Few Other Ingredients

by Annette Carpien

You’ve found that special someone. You’re both in love and hope and expect that your life together will always be this happy. Yet you know that hurt and disappointment often happen. What else, besides LOVE, do you really need to be happy and satisfied and for love to last?

Here are ten indispensable ingredients for lasting love:

1. Friendship

Do you actually like, respect and admire each other? Imagine spending countless hours over many years with someone you neither like nor find interesting. This often happens in relationships that were built primarily on attraction, and perhaps hope, and nothing more substantial.

2. Communication and Conflict Resolution Skills

Relationships naturally move into a power struggle stage where each of you is likely to experience your needs not being met. Learn to avoid the danger signs when arguing and to use the skills that are known to enhance communication and understanding, so you can work towards win-win solutions.

3. Self-knowledge

Clarify your own goals, dreams, and vision for your life. Find out whether your partner can and will support you in achieving and living them. See if you can align with his or her goals, dreams, and vision as well.

4. Relationship Requirements and Needs

What qualities do you need in your relationship to be happy? Focus on the qualities in the relationship that are crucial to you, rather than on the physical or personality characteristics of your partner.

5. Sufficient Time, Talk, Togetherness, and Testing

Make good use of your time together to discover your areas of compatibility, whether your requirements can be met, and whether you and your mate’s behavior patterns and attitudes are ones you both can live with -- before you move into commitment.

6. Distinguish between Chemistry and Lust

Chemistry is the special energy that tells a couple they have the raw materials for success as a couple; it keeps them bonded and moving forward together. It could include physical and sexual attraction, but is not limited to these factors. The intensity of sexual attraction as the primary building block of a relationship will fade rather quickly, and will not provide the needed ingredients to overcome the power struggles and hurts that inevitably appear and reappear in a relationship.

7. Clear Choices

Step into a committed relationship with a clear sense of partnership, alignment with each other, and full assertiveness, without suppressing doubts or succumbing to external pressures. Can you align on money, and if relevant, parenting, religion, family and other important issues? Discuss them and get these handled before you move forward into commitment.

8. Prioritize your Relationship

Over time, the more you prioritize your relationship, your sense of US, the more strength and satisfaction you build into the fabric of your relationship. This can be a huge challenge later on in the relationship as work, home, family, friends, outside interests and other demands create pressures and conflict.

9. Building Trust in Yourself and in Your Partner

Learn how to create a culture of trust early on and how to keep feeding it, so when temptations that will sabotage that trust present themselves (probably when you feel most vulnerable), you can muster the strength and inner wisdom to walk away from anything that will hurt and undermine your relationship.

10. Equality

You each bring strengths and challenges, fears and areas of confidence into your relationship. Areas in which there are imbalances of power or influence, which your current methods of communication are not resolving, may need new tools and skills to ward off reactivity, resentment and sabotage. If you feel unsafe or dominated in any way, it is best to exit the relationship.

Seem like a daunting list? There are many more ingredients that could be added to the list that encompass sexual satisfaction, embracing and/or setting boundaries related to other family members or friends, and many others issues.

Working with a relationship coach can help you address these from a perspective of self and partner discovery. A coach can also help you create the forum for openly asserting and validating your requirements, needs and wants, and for developing needed relationship and communication skills.

Copyright © by Annette Carpien. All rights reserved.

Annette Carpien |

Bonus Article:
10 Ways to Get Over Him (or Her!)

by Lisa Fredette, CTA

You really thought he was the one – the love of your life. Then you wake up one day and the relationship is over. Now what do you do? How do you get over him? How do you put the pieces of your life back together without him?

#1 Don’t Listen to Other People’s Advice

There is no question that the advice of friends or family is meant to be helpful, but it is not always the right advice for you. So the first step in getting over him is to not listen to other people’s advice. Believe it or not, you know what is right for you.

#2 Accept Yourself Where You Are

You may not always make the right choices at first, you may behave in unflattering ways and you may even make some serious mistakes. Be accepting of where you are right now. We all heal at different levels, so give yourself a break. Don’t rush it because others say you should.

#3 Don’t Blame Yourself

I am sure there are things that you did or said that you wish you could change now. You may even believe that those things caused the relationship to end. Rather than blaming yourself for the action or words, learn from them. Take this time to learn about yourself and what aspects of your life you would like to change so you can attract a more compatible partner into your life.

#4 Listen to your Intuition

Your intuition will help you make the right choices for you and guide you in the right direction. Pay attention to what your intuition is telling you. This is your compass that will help direct you out of the emotional fog that is surrounding you so you can begin to face the reality of the situation -- that the relationship is over.

#5 Face Reality

Byron Katie said “when you fight with reality you lose but 100% of the time.” If he told you it is over then it is over -- even if he talks to you the next time you see him, still calls once in a while or it seems like he still cares. Stop reading more into his actions than what is really there. Stop wishing and hoping that the situation was different. Just think, if you are too busy trying to hold on to something that is no longer there, your true love may walk right by and you will never meet him.

#6 Ask for Help

If you can’t move past the loss of this relationship alone, then ask for help. I mean help from a non-biased, unattached party – not from your best friend or your mother. They can be a great support system when you need a shoulder to cry on or to vent, but they can be part of the reason why you are not moving forward. You may want to consider hiring a coach, talking to minister or joining a support group to help you get through the roughest patch.

#7 Get Angry

Allow yourself to get angry. Let’s be real -- you’re going to get mad; it’s part of the package. You need to find a safe outlet for your angry feelings. You can’t just go over to your ex’s house and punch him out – I know that is what you were thinking. You need to find another outlet for your anger, whether it be running, kickboxing, punching a pillow or writing anger letters. Whatever method you choose is up to you – just get it out.

#8 Learn to Forgive

Forgive yourself for the mistakes you made in the relationship and learn from them. Forgive him for breaking your heart or the mistakes he made that pushed you away or whatever it is you find in your heart to forgive. Remember forgiveness is really about giving up the belief that you can change the past.

#9 Get Reconnected with You

The end of a relationship is a great opportunity to get reconnected with your self. Without the distraction of a relationship, you can really take the time to get reacquainted with your best friend -- you.

#10 Move forward

Think about what you want your life to look like now that you are no longer in the relationship. What do you want it to look like? What can you do today to start making that future a reality? Now is the time to start moving forward.

Copyright © 2007 by Lisa Fredette. All rights reserved in all media.

Lisa A. Fredette | CTA Certified Life Coach
Passionate About Life Coaching

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