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August 2008

In this issue:

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Conscious Relationship Podcast

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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Conscious Dating Virtual Coaching Program for Singles

These programs provide advanced information, strategies, and tips to help you find the love of your life.

Each program includes the MP3 audio recording, complete written transcript, and Study Guide to follow along and take notes.

Program #1- Are You Ready for Love?

Program #2- Being The Chooser

Program #3- Ten Steps for Finding Your Soul Mate

Program #4- Conscious Dating: How to Connect to Your Life Vision

Program #5- Conscious Dating for Boomers: Finding Love After 50

Program #6- Scouting: Where to Find Your Soul Mate

Program #7- Advanced Strategies for Sorting, Screening, and Testing

Program #8- Conscious Internet Dating: Using Your Computer to Find Your Soul Mate

Program #9-Conscious Dating at a Distance: What to Do When You're Attracted to Someone 1200 Miles Away

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When dating someone do you ever wonder-
"Is this the right relationship for me?"

Our Conscious Mating Audio Programs provide detailed, comprehensive strategies for dating and mating, addressing all the relationship and decision-making challenges that arise when you're single and seeking your soul mate.

These audio programs are recorded from our live tele-seminars and include the MP3 audio file for playing on your computer, MP3 player (iPod or other), or burning onto a CD, AND a complete PDF transcript for following along and making notes.

Program #1- Is This the Right Relationship for Me? Introduction to the Pre-commitment Stage

Program #2- Am I Ready to Be a Couple?

Program #3- Finding Lasting Love by Experiencing Your Experience

Program #4- Should We Live Together?

Program #5- Dealing With Our Baggage

Program #6- Are We Compatible?

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:
Ready for a committed relationship – or not?

"... ready and available to be in a committed relationship...?"

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,

How do I assess whether a man is ready and available to be in a committed relationship with me? I often feel like I'm putting pressure on a man I'm dating if I am the only one expressing what I am looking for. Is there a non-threatening way to speak about this?

Marissa from Madison

Hazel responds ...

This is a question I've been receiving from clients for years. My suggestion is that first you decide what it is "you" really want. Make a list of 10 things that are absolutely non-negotiable for you if you were to meet someone. Become very conscious about what you are looking for, what you want from a man, how you would like to be treated. Do your values line up with his? If you've made mistakes in relationships in the past, make a list of the things you would not want going forward.

If you feel you want to get to know someone better, you can do this without them feeling you are putting them through a 3rd degree. Keep it light. Ask them what it is they are looking for. What goals do they have in life? Have fun.

For much more information about conscious dating I really encourage you to read David Steele's book, Conscious Dating: Finding the Love of Your Life in Today's World. I think this might answer a lot of the questions you have and will certainly help you to move forward very consciously with dating so that you don't make mistakes. I wish you lots of luck.

Hazel Palache |

Kat responds ...

I hear your frustration and your desire to have a different kind of conversation with the men you are dating. You want to be able to speak what is true for you in a way that it will be well received. What I notice in your question though, is that your focus seems to be on the other person. Instead of focusing on the man in question, let's put the focus on YOU.

How do you know that you are ready to be in a committed relationship? How do you know that a particular relationship is worth spending time on? What lets you know? How do you feel about yourself in this relationship? In what way does it fit your criteria for a good long-term relationship?

Often, when we find ourselves in the kind of situation you describe, it is because we are not telling ourselves the truth and so we hand our power over to another. When you know what it is that you want, and are able to honor your own truth, that will open the way for you to have a different kind of conversation -- one that allows for both of you to be honest.

Kat Knecht | | 805.804.6282

Jennifer responds ...

When I read your question, the first thought that came to my mind was the phrase "Actions speak louder than words." Sometimes it is the non-verbal signs that you need to be looking for without saying a word. If you are ready for a relationship and not sure if he is, my suggestion would be to let him bring it up. However, you need to figure out a way to do this in a non-threatening manner. Your actions can speak volumes as well.

Are you always available when he wants to do something? Do you find that you are compromising more then he is? When you are in the pre-relationship phase, it is important that you still remain a little aloof/play hard-to-get. Not in the sense of deceiving him. But let's face it, it's the challenge and the mystery in the beginning of relationships that keep us intrigued.

If you are trying to fit into his life, perhaps you should look at it from a different perspective and see if he fits into yours. Call your girlfriend and go out. When he asks you, you don't have to tell him with whom you are going out, just that you have plans. Add a little mystery and help him focus back on you.

Jennifer Wallingford | | 727.443.4919

Frances responds ...

From your question, I get a sense that you are not dating someone at the moment, so I will deal with it as if you aren't. In dating, I believe it's very important to get clear from the very beginning if a person wants a committed relationship, not with you, of course, he doesn't know you, but with someone in general.

I actually encourage singles to clarify this up front before their first date or at their first date. Without this being totally clear for you, there is no point in continuing with anyone, no matter how many other requirements he fulfills unless he can say an unequivocal YES to this. IF you are internet dating, I suggest you ask this question on your first phone call when you are assessing whether or not to meet.

So, how do you do this? You ask if he wants such a relationship and why. The "why" bit is very important, as you get all sorts of information about what commitment means to him and this lessens the likelihood of him just saying "yes" to please you.

If you are dating already, please just take a breath, and ask him as soon as possible.
If he hedges, or freaks out, or gives a vague answer, that is your answer! NO.
And then it's best to move on, unless you are happy to take a chance and potentially waste a lot of time.

Frances Amaroux | | 0414 810 148

Ellie responds ...

You've had this problem repeatedly -- this niggly thing where you feel like you want the commitment, but they're not on-board. So it's not about "how" you ask that question.

Look at two things:

1) Are you "attached" to having a commitment? If you "need" commitment, men feel pressure to commit, to keep you from getting upset. Ironically, even if they want commitment too, that pressure will make them run! The solution? Make your single life even happier! When you're happy on your own, you never need a commitment.

2) What are you attracting? If you don't need commitment, maybe you're dating men who won't commit to anyone. These men might be so comfortable to you that you filter out commitment-oriented men before you even know them!

Look again at every available man in your life. Date men you normally wouldn't choose, and discover how your filter changes when you have more choice. Here's to your happy life as a single and in partnership!

Ellie Pope  | | 303.455.0606

Ann responds ...

If you're asking the right questions and looking for signs and clues, you should be able to uncover in three to five dates if someone is relationship-ready and in alignment with you regarding their desire and availability to engage in a committed relationship. If you feel like you're putting pressure on a man, you probably are. So here are some tips to avoid pressure and disappointment.

First, you have to get comfortable asking questions. This does not mean grilling your date. But it does mean learning early on about their relationship goals and desires. This is the screening process you should go through with each prospective mate.

Next, decide what questions to ask! These should be based on your relationship requirements. Requirements are the things that if missing would cause you to walk away. So, if one of your requirements is you must have a man who is willing and ready to make a commitment, formulate questions to ask!

Finally, practice phrasing the questions in a way that is non-threatening. To help with all this, I would recommend reading two books. The first is David Steele's Conscious Dating: Finding the Love of Your Life in Today's World. The second is, "Intellectual Foreplay" by Eve Hogan. Both are great books with "use-it-now" advice to help you seek out, sort, screen and find someone with compatible values, lifestyle, and relationship goals.

Ann Robbins  |  |  954.561.4498

Cher responds ...

My guess is that your intuition is correct if you feel like you're pressuring men. It's probably based on non-verbal clues, body language, statements made, and especially if he's not responding positively when you express wanting a committed relationship.

Get over thinking that it's threatening to ask direct questions; actually, it saves time and heartache. People are sometimes afraid to ask questions because they don't want to hear what they don't want to hear. Is that you?

To be able to communicate your requirements, needs, and wants to your partner without fear is immensely important for successful relationships. Otherwise, how can they be fulfilled? Know in your heart that we all have the right to express ourselves understanding that others may or may not choose to participate in our dreams.

Timing is the issue. If on the first date you pull out your checklist and begin interrogating your date on his commitment views, expect a mad dash to the nearest exit. However, well-timed inquiries after a reasonable number of "getting to know you encounters" is appropriate conduct for "conscious" daters. If you cringe about doing that, hire a relationship coach to get "on the Fast Track to Happiness."

Cher Tanner | | 727.432.9494

Tara responds ...

Before you think about asking a man whether or not he is ready for commitment, make sure that you are. What if the table was turned and someone were to ask you if you were ready for commitment -- are you? If so, then you're in a strong place for yourself, confident that you know what you want for you.

If you're doing online dating, clearly communicate your relationship requirements in your profile. Use it as a filter to attract others who want the same thing. Describe the type of commitment you're looking for. If it's marriage and a family, then state that clearly. Why waste your time emailing, telephoning and/or meeting people who don't meet your requirements?

If you're dating under other circumstances, be strong and make your intentions clear up front - at least in the first date or two. You'll save yourself a lot of heartbreak, time, and energy if you make your intentions known, but do it in a way that involves gently weaving what you want into the conversation. It can be as simple as mentioning what you want followed up by, "What are you looking for in a relationship?" Make sure to leave plenty of time and space for him to respond.

Listen closely. If you don't hear things that resonate with what you want, then you have your answer. If things seem aligned, proceed forward, while continually assessing if what he said is truly aligned with his future behavior.

Life is short; your time is valuable. There are men out there looking for exactly what you're looking for. Quickly sort through the ones who really aren't interested. Keep dating, keep an open mind, and remain focused on what you want.

Tara Kachaturoff

Feature Article:
How to Become Single and Satisfied
& Find the Love You Deserve

by Robynn Thomas

What does being single mean to you? What is the first thought that pops up? Does being single evoke thoughts of possibilities and future endeavors? When you think of being without a partner, does it conjure up feelings of despair and loneliness?

Are you feeling hopeless or have you just given up? Your perspective on being single is a key factor in creating the life you want, your future choices of partners, and whether your next relationship will be the one you've dreamed of.

Many will face singlehood, either by choice or circumstance. The number of single households is growing significantly. What does it mean to be single today? Being single doesn't have to mean you are destined to a life of loneliness and despair.

Today, you can be single and live a fulfilling and satisfying life. More importantly, being single means you have an opportunity to live the life you dream of and to find the ideal partner for you! What you do in the state of singlehood determines your destiny!

Here are 5 stages of singlehood and what you can do to get closer to creating the life you desire and finding the love you deserve!

Stage 1: Single and Stuck

• You're in a relationship that is not in alignment with who you truly are and you're feeling unfulfilled
• You're unable to let go of current or past relationship and are still holding on to the possibility of it "working out"
• You're unable to see the future outside of the current situation

Area of Focus for Positive Change:

Awareness. Become aware of where you are and where you want to be. Identify what fears are keeping you stuck where you are. Realize you have options and choices.

Stage 2: Single and Healing

• You're emotionally fragile; some good days and some bad days
• You're grieving and experiencing feelings of loss
• You're just trying to get to a place of feeling "ok"

Area of Focus for Positive Change:

Forgiveness. Begin the process of forgiving yourself and others. Identify what lessons can be learned and what new choices you can make. Forgiveness is a choice that will speed the healing process.

Stage 3: Single and Comfortable

• You're emotionally safe and now ready to take control
• You're living on autopilot and not willing to do anything outside of your comfort zone
• Thoughts of change or dating causes fear or anxiety

Area of Focus for Positive Change:

Vision. Start envisioning how you want your life to be and the kind of relationship you want. Be clear on what you want and choose not to settle for less.

Stage 4: Single and Ready

• You're open to new possibilities
• You're ready to take action
• You have a clear vision of who and what you want in your life with boundaries set in place

Area of Focus for Positive Change:

Action. What steps will you take? What are you willing to sacrifice in order to have what you want? Be willing to step out of your comfort zone.

Stage 5: Single and Satisfied

• You're living a satisfying and balanced life -- in all areas - financial, health, family, friends, career, and social; you're living in alignment with who you truly are
• You're open to new experiences
• You're living in a world of gratitude

Area of Focus for Positive Change:

Contentment. Enjoy being satisfied with your life and you will continue to emanate an energy that attracts everything you desire.

Being single is a part of life and nothing is guaranteed. How you approach being single is up to you. Take the time alone to heal your heart, forgive and identify lessons learned. Don't allow fear to keep you in one place.

Being single is an opportunity of a lifetime and puts you one step closer to living your dreams! Once you are able to identify what stage of singlehood you are in, you can begin to take the steps to move beyond and to begin creating the life you want. Get support, join a group, hire a coach! Be willing to do whatever it takes to get you on your way.

Copyright © 2008 by Robynn Thomas . All rights reserved in all media.

Robynn ThomasRobynn Thomas is a Certified Life Coach and a Singles and Relationship Coach. Robynn works with clients in preparing for, attracting and maintaining ideal love. 858.455.0799

Bonus Article:
The 14 Dating Traps

by David Steele, CEO and Founder, Relationship Coaching Institute

A "dating trap" is an unconscious relationship choice that results in an unsolvable problem in a relationship. Getting out of the trap often means leaving the relationship. When you are single, you can do a lot more than you realize to avoid these traps and prepare for a successful and lasting relationship.

1. Marketing Trap

You believe that you need to make yourself more appealing to attract and "sell" yourself with attractive packaging and presentation. When you fall into the Marketing Trap, you fear that nobody will want you as you really are.

By "marketing" yourself, you risk disappointment and relationship failure. So, when the excitement and promise of the "sizzle" conflicts with the reality of the "steak," one or both of you are left feeling disappointed and angry.

2. Packaging Trap

You focus on outside packaging – such as someone's body, looks, job, wealth, material possessions – and overlook the reality of the person inside. The Packaging Trap is the opposite of the Marketing Trap; instead of seeking to sell yourself with attractive packaging, you focus on the packaging of others.

3. Scarcity Trap

You believe there is a limited supply of possible partners, and therefore think that you have to take what you can get or be alone. The Scarcity Trap results in relationship failure because there is a temptation to settle for less; you believe you can't get what you really want because there is not enough to go around. Unfortunately, it's a self-fulfilling prophecy because when you expect less, you get less.

4. Compatibility Trap

Assuming that if you have fun together and get along well, you are compatible and a committed relationship will work. Results in relationship failure when discovering the vast difference between a fun-focused, recreational "dating" relationship and a long-term committed relationship. Being so different, the process and criteria for choosing a recreational relationship needs to be very different from choosing a Life Partner.

5. Fairytale Trap

Passively expecting your ideal partner to magically appear and live happily ever after without any effort on your part. Believing that finding your soul mate will just "happen". Results in disappointment when the frogs that happen to jump into your life don't become princes.

6. Date-to-Mate Trap

Becoming an "instant couple" as if giving each person you date an extended test drive. Believing that if you develop an exclusive relationship with someone you are dating, a successful committed relationship will eventually happen. Other terms for this are "serial monogamy" and the "mini-marriage." This approach is a costly use of time and emotional energy. The inertia in this trap is pressure to make the relationship work, to attempt to solve unsolvable problems, and to fit the round peg into the square hole because breaking up and being single again is an undesired outcome.

7. Attraction Trap

Making relationship choices based on feelings of attraction. Interpreting a strong attraction to someone as a sign that the relationship is a good choice and "meant to be." This approach results in relationship failure when unsolvable problems surface because you ignored the red flags while infatuated. Unconscious choices usually result in repeating unproductive past patterns. Attraction is like the radar that helps you find your target. But the Attraction Trap is blindly following this radar.

8. Love Trap

Interpreting infatuation, attraction, need, good sex, and/or attachment as Love. "If it feels good, it must be Love." "Love is all you need." "Love conquers all." You feel so in love that you believe it must be a good relationship. After the initial infatuation is gone, you spend the rest of your time together just trying to get it back.

9. Sex Trap

Focusing on the chemistry under the covers by interpreting sex as love, using sex as a kind of "compatibility test" (if the sex is good then the relationship will be good as well), or becoming emotionally attached and considering yourself in a kind of committed relationship as soon as you have sex.

10. Rescue Trap

Hoping a relationship will solve your emotional and financial difficulties and bring you happiness and fulfillment, something like winning the lottery. You avoid taking responsibility for your life challenges, expecting to be rescued from them. Results in desperation, neediness, and relationship failure when your problems multiply instead of disappear.

11. Co-dependent Trap

You expect someone will love you and give you what you want by giving the other person what they want. You try to earn love and happiness by acquiescing, nurturing, giving, and helping. Needing to be needed often results in unconsciously attracting and choosing a relationship with a person who needs you but is unable to give you what you want. You really want to be in a relationship. You feel unworthy as you are and feel you need to earn love. You pursue relationships because you feel incomplete when you're not in one.

You want to be the hero and therefore seek someone who wants to be helped. But you learn the hard way that although it feels good to be needed, someone who needs you is not necessarily able to give you what you need. Needing to be needed often results in unconsciously attracting and choosing a relationship with a person who needs you, but as you discover later, is unable to give you what you want.

12. Entitlement Trap

Believing you deserve to be happy and get what you want in your life without effort or changes on your part. Results in relationship failure as you rely on your partner to bring happiness and fulfillment and inevitably experience disappointment. "If you do what you've always done, you'll get what you've always got."

13. Virtual Reality Trap

Believing that "what you see is what you get." Making hasty long-term relationship decisions based on short-term impressions and inferences instead of actual experience and knowledge. Getting involved in a relationship focusing on "potential," hoping that some things that you really need to happen will get better or change over time. Results in seeing what you want to see, and relationship failure when later reality doesn't match.

14. Lone Ranger Trap

You live your single life focused on your goal of finding your life partner, believing that you don't need anyone else in your life. You evaluate people you meet for their relationship potential and do not take the opportunity to cultivate new friends. Results in isolation, perception of scarcity of potential partners, and risk of settling for less than what you really want because you don't want to be alone.

David Steele, MA, LMFT is the founder of the Relationship Coaching Institute and author of "The Communication Map: A One-Page Communication System for All Relationships." For more information about The Communication Map visit

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For More Information, a resource for singles offered by Relationship Coaching Institute, is a worldwide relationship coaching organization dedicated to helping you 'find the love of your life AND the life that you love'. For more information about us, please visit our web site at

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Tara Kachaturoff | Editor, Conscious Dating Newsletter for Singles

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