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December 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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Advanced Conscious Dating Strategies

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-
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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:
Attraction: Do we both need to be in synch?

"What if you don't share a mutually strong chemistry from the start...?"

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 dating someone for about 5 months. We really enjoy the time we spend together. He's definitely more attracted to me than I am to him. Don't get me wrong -- I really like him and want to continue to date him. We're both excited about the possibility of enjoying a committed relationship in the future -- and, yes, even marriage and children. We're both in our thirties, never married, and we both want to be conscious in our dating decisions and actions.

He meets all of my relationship requirements. I'm not passionately in love with him or strongly attracted to him, but I am happy, content and calm which is important to me. He's a really good-hearted person. Having strong chemistry wasn't one of my requirements. I'm not really wired that way and can genuinely experience happiness without having a blockbuster emotional experience with someone. Much of that wears away with time anyway.

I haven't experienced any of the "fireworks" or excitement I had when dating two other men in the past -- and neither of those relationships lasted. In your opinion, is this a problem? Can you grow in attraction to someone? If you don't share a mutually strong chemistry from the start, is this a sign that the relationship might not sustain for the long term?

Kathryn from Ottawa

Lori responds …

Yes, I believe you can grow in attraction to someone, but I think it takes time. To create a long-lasting relationship, I think the focus needs to be on values -- yours, his and the ones you share in common. It's important to find out who he is and what he believes in. And it takes time to find out all of this information.

Having strong chemistry right away doesn't mean it's going to turn into love, and many times it's just attraction without much more. Many people get caught in these types of relationships and then wonder what went wrong weeks or months down the road. From what you stated about having strong chemistry with others in the past and those relationships having ended, you can see from your own experience that perhaps something different could lead to a wonderful relationship.

The more you get to know this person, the easier it will be for you to know if he's the one. With time, you'll be able to see if your attraction grows stronger. But keep in mind that it doesn't have to be something like we see in movies or on TV. And because strong chemistry is not a requirement for you, it's all the more reason to take your time to see how things unfold. It sounds like you both respect and care for each other – two important things for any healthy relationship.

Lori Josephs |

Jack responds …

Have you ever known fireworks to be anything but fleeting? Boom! Light Show! Darkness! Seems like this is a good metaphor for a lot of relationships.

As you state about your prior relationships, "neither of those relationships lasted." You insinuate you want a lasting lifetime of love, so let's review:

A – I really like him
B – I'm excited about being in a committed relationship for the future
C – Marriage
D – Children
E – He meets all my requirements.

I'm taking a liberty, but I do believe that we as coaches and RCI are inundated with questions from people wanting to know how to create A, B, C, D, and E. You may never have the "fireworks" as you had in your past experience, but imagine this -- the love and joy you get from your wedding, your marriage, having a child, walking hand in hand, and still more. Relax. Enjoy. Leave shoulda, coulda, and woulda behind as you move into the future. Be at peace knowing you are surrounded in love.

Jack Cook | | 904.312.0693

Michelle responds …

I'm pleased you and your sweetheart are serious about being conscious daters! It's wonderful to be "happy, content and calm" as you stated. Still, your question about whether the difference in passion is a problem is what we're discussing here. Have the two of you discussed this?

You said that in your two prior relationships things didn't work out and you attributed this to the lack of "fireworks." What else in these prior relationships didn't work? If you can determine if it was simply lack of excitement, or if there were other problems, you may be able to gain some clarity around your question.

I do not believe that passion has to diminish the longer we're with someone we love. I'm afraid that is a myth we've bought into which has caused a lot of pain in many relationships. I have seen that when it does diminish in one partner, the other becomes frustrated and feels neglected.

I think that healthy intimacy in a relationship is necessary for a relationship to thrive, although "healthy" means different things to every couple. Having said that, I would encourage you to talk with your sweetheart about this because it is a valid concern. It would be a wonderful idea for both of you to do some premarital planning with a relationship coach if you do get to the stage of talking seriously about marriage. I wish you the best.

Michelle E. Vásquez| | 210.663.9462

Hazel responds …

The dilemma of one person being more attracted than the other is not uncommon. It doesn't mean the relationship can't work. Sometimes the most successful happy relationships are those that don't have actual "fireworks" and are built on a different kind of solid base.

Sometimes those "fireworks" can be a big red flag even though they may feel wonderful at the time. If the person doesn't fit other relationship requirements, and the relationship is based on chemistry instead of friendship and getting to know and respect each other, it often doesn't last because that's all it was to begin with.

As a coach, I would ask you to consider these questions:

• Am I open enough to allow or let this person fully into my heart and consciousness, or have I shut down a part of myself based on past relationship experiences?
• Is fear the reason I say having strong chemistry is not a requirement?
• Is this someone I could see waking up next to for the rest of my life?

Sometimes it takes longer than five months (a fairly short time period) to feel really connected to someone and to know this is the person you want to spend your life with. In the meantime, it sounds to me like you have a lot going for you with this man and perhaps you just need a little longer. Allow your heart to be fully open to him, let go of doubt, have fun and enjoy the relationship you have.

Hazel Palache |

Rick and Jo Harrison respond ...

Jo and I can definitely say that chemistry – the euphoria of falling "head over heels in love" – is not necessary for a soulmate relationship. However, there does need to be some mutual physical attraction allowing for physical intimacy. Without it, one or both of you will be left unsatisfied -- which could be a recipe for an unsolvable problem.

While the euphoria of falling head over heels for someone is a wonderful feeling, Jo and I believe that the euphoric chemistry is actually a red flag, and the stronger the chemistry, the greater the danger!

Given that you seem to be contemplating making a commitment to creating a family with this man, we suggest that you do some more work on your requirements. Why? Because if you were certain about your requirements, there would be no doubt as to whether this man is your potential soulmate.

Once you are sure of your requirements, our experience is that you don't need chemistry. You do need some attraction and you must be sure your requirements can be met.

And the wonderful thing we've found is that as a soulmate relationship grows and develops, the attraction and chemistry grow steadily, too. Finally, Kathryn, don't rush it. Pre-commitment coaching could make a huge difference in putting this concern behind you.

Rick and Jo Harrison | | +613.5420.7366

Laura responds …

My first reaction is your relationship to this word – it's "pleasant." After reading your post several times for understanding, one thing that really stands out as a question is, Are you willing to marry someone who you are not physically attracted to?

While it is certainly possible that you will grow in attraction to your partner/spouse, it's not something that can be counted on. I would worry that you're basing your choice on the fear that this is as good as it gets, or that you're getting older and worried you might not find someone. It is possible to have all of your requirements met. While chemistry doesn't appear to be on your written list, it apparently means something to you or you wouldn't be posing the question. Just a few things to think about.

Laura Moorman | 603.387.6114

Janice responds …

The fact that you say, "Having strong chemistry wasn't one of my requirements," should reassure you that you are on the right track with this man. I don't believe it's anyone else's place to tell someone what their relationship wants, needs and requirements should be. So, if you have consciously determined that this man shares enough of your relationship values and goals, then I say "go for it." But I do have two caveats:

#1 Is your boyfriend aware of how you feel in the chemistry department? I hope that you are being genuine in your affection towards him and that he is not expecting mutual fireworks if you cannot generate any. He, too, should have enough information to make his own decision about moving ahead with the relationship;

#2 Since you ask if chemistry can grow over time, I would say "yes." However, chemistry can grow only if you work really hard to pay attention to the inner characteristics that make your boyfriend (and potential husband) unique and special. These are the enduring qualities that I believe truly attract people to one another -- kindness, loyalty, honesty, generosity -- and are more lasting than sparks and fireworks.

If you can navigate these two caveats, then I say "go for it!" And good luck!

Janice D. Bennett, Ph.D. | | 212.874.1470

David responds …

Great food for thought from the above responses and I would just add-

1. Do you have physical chemistry?

Does he turn you on? Do you enjoy physical closeness and intimacy with him?

Physical chemistry tends to be there or not, you can't "make" it happen. If you don't feel physically attracted to him that may be OK with you, but is that OK with him? In my experience this could become a serious problem over time if he's hot for you but you're cool to him.

2. Do you have emotional chemistry?

Is he your best friend? Do you feel safe and enjoy emotional intimacy with him?

Emotional closeness stimulates oxytocin and you feel warm, loved, loving, and bonded. This is the experience most of us want in a long-term relationship after the fireworks die down and is part of a fulfilling relationship.

If you can say "Yes" to both questions you might be compatible as long as one or both of you are not rationalizing and settling to make it work. I strongly recommend talking this over with him, preferably with a relationship coach so you both can become clear if this relationship will meet both of your needs and requirements without "settling." The extent you settle for less than you really want sets you up for future unhappiness, as we never really let go of what we want, need, and require.

David Steele |

Feature Article:
Your Personal Image: Improve Your Dating Success

This month I interviewed Melanie Matcek, a Certified Professional Matchmaker and dating and relationship coach for singles. Melanie discusses professional image and how it can help singles to achieve more dating success.

Tara Kachaturoff

Tara Kachaturoff: What is image consulting?

Melanie Matcek: In addition to offering professional matchmaking services, I offer image consulting to single men and women to help them fine-tune their overall persona and how they project themselves to others.

Image consulting is a very personalized service. We work on everything from the client's general aesthetic appearance and body language, to their communication and etiquette skills.

I've provided guidance on literally hundreds of issues including proper table manners, makeup application, and eye contact all the way to referring clients to cosmetic surgeons for post-mastectomy reconstructive surgery. I have a large professional referral network so if something falls outside my area of expertise, I can easily refer my clients to the right person who can assist them.

The benefits of image consulting are many whether for personal or professional reasons. For single men and women, when they feel good about themselves, they tend to exude more confidence and positive energy and thus attract the same. Even just a few simple changes in habits or attitude can make a difference in their dating success.

Tara: Why is our image so important when it comes to dating?

Melanie: First impressions do count. Just as in business, it's important to make a solid first impression when it comes to our social lives. It's your premiere – your opportunity to project the best of who you are and what you have to offer. It's important to look and feel your best when you meet someone for the first time.

Remember – you only get one chance to make a good first impression – and first impressions make lasting impressions. By working on little things about how we project ourselves to others, we can create more success when it comes to dating.

Tara: Etiquette is an important part of one's image. What are three areas which would help virtually anyone to make a better impression?

Melanie: Etiquette is a culmination of decency, decorum, social graces and courtesy. Here are three areas where a little more attention will make a big difference in creating a positive impression with others.

Courtesy. Although I deal with strong independent women, the vast majority still appreciate old-fashioned chivalry in their men. One example that comes to mind is opening the door. Whether it's a car door or a restaurant door, the majority of single women expect this from their partner, mate or date.

And don't forget pulling out the chair for the female to be seated first. Chivalry is not dead! It's important for both men and women to know the rules of social graces, including such things as saying "thank you" in acknowledging the courtesy of others.

Table manners. I've run across many individuals who do not know how to properly hold a knife and fork during a dining experience. Some hold them like they're tools being used on an archeological dig, or even as weapons being wielded. This gives the impression of a lack of proper upbringing and sophistication.

Understanding dining etiquette is an important part of a successful dining experience, not to mention a successful date. Providing proper guidance in this area is an important part of image consulting.

Pay attention to your date. During a date, it's important to focus on the individual you're with. Towards this end, it's best to not answer or make calls on your cell phone (unless it's an emergency), refrain from sending text messages, and certainly don't have a wandering eye.

I interviewed one woman who was out on a date with a man that checked his online dating email while they were seated for dinner. Needless to say, that was their only date! Engage the person you're with -- maintain proper eye contact and always be respectful of the time and effort they've put forth in meeting you.

Tara: What are the top three image areas that you work on with singles to help them increase their dating success?

Melanie: There are many different areas that can make a big difference when it comes to dating success. A firm handshake, a pleasant smile, and engaging conversation can really create a better dating experience for everyone.

Firm handshake with eye contact. Properly greet your date from the start. Be firm with your handshake and immediately engage him or her by introducing yourself. I find that more women than men need to sharpen their skills in this area.

A weak handshake (I refer to this as the dead fish handshake) gives the impression of disinterest, passiveness and dismissal. Be engaging. Gone are the days of a woman simply holding out her hand, in a demure way, to be gripped by the opposite sex. Everyone needs to shake that hand firmly and make it count!

Your smile. This can be an instant "turn on" or "turn off." A nice smile showing well-cared-for teeth is important when it comes to increasing your dating success. As part of my client intake process, I have prospects list physical attributes they're seeking in a mate. Good teeth and a nice smile win, hands down, over body type. That's how important this is.

Some clients need a little guidance or referral to resources to help get their dental health in check. To that end, I often work in conjunction with a hygienist who offers cleaning and whitening procedures. Nowadays, accessibility to these procedures, at a reasonable cost, makes it easy for everyone to afford a nice smile.

Verbal communication and content. What you talk about and when is an important part of your dating success. In one example, I introduced two wonderfully compatible people, but things went awry during dinner when the client started talking about his former relationships and the issues he dealt with after the break-ups.

Discussing prior relationships during a first date is a big faux pas, plus a major turn off. It gives the impression that there is still a lot of baggage being carried around, not to mention unresolved issues. A first date is about exploring the possibilities of something new, thus old relationships should not be brought along.

Tara: What are some of the results and benefits that you've seen for singles who take the time to polish up their image?

Melanie: I think increased self-confidence is one benefit. Obviously, when someone feels good about their image, there is an increase in their personal confidence. They have a better sense of self and project a positive attitude, hence attracting the like.

Also, it makes it easier for both single men and women to engage in striking up conversations and asking each other out. It's easier to connect with others when you feel more confident.

Respect and self-worth is another benefit. We teach others how to treat us. If you carry yourself with value and decorum, people tend to follow suit. This is true both personally and professionally.

Finally, I think a forward momentum is created when singles start working on their image. Polishing social skills, communication skills and tweaking physical appearance have helped many of my clients get over certain internal barriers that have held them back from dating success.

Taking care of you is the first building block in being a successful single and a successful mate. Getting over your hurdles can be very liberating and can put you on the fast track to gaining personal happiness.

Tara: If you could give one simple piece of advice to singles when it comes to professional image, what would it be?

Melanie: If you feel your current image is holding you back, start by making just a few simple changes today. Whether it's your handshake, your smile, or even how you introduce yourself to others, keep in mind that these little things can greatly affect not only your personal confidence, but also the impression you make on others.

Remember to stay true to who you are. Fine tune your image to be in alignment with what you want and who you aspire to be. If you don't, you will end up projecting someone who you aren't, and attract someone you don't want. Be yourself -- but be the better version of you.

Copyright © 2008 by Melanie Matcek. All rights reserved in all media.

Melanie Matcek
Melanie Matcek is the president and owner of Innovative Encounters, LLC and Heart and Soul-mates. She is a Certified Professional Matchmaker and a Date and Relationship Coach for singles. She is currently earning her certification through RCI. 210.497.5724

Bonus Article:
Healthy Patterns in Dating

By Don Bailey

Nancy met Tom at a meeting of their church singles group. She wasn't really interested in dating at the time because she had been divorced only a short while and felt she needed some time to recover and get her life stabilized.

Tom, on the other hand, was anxious to find a mate for life. He had been involved in numerous relationships which always ended with him feeling the women he dated just didn't measure up to his standards. Of course, he never told them his reason for breaking it off. He didn't want to put them down or hurt their feelings. He just wanted to find the perfect woman, get married and settle down to family life.

Both found themselves attracted to each other and were soon dating, with Tom pushing toward commitment even though he saw certain characteristics in Nancy that he wasn't OK with. Nancy reluctantly went along with the exclusive relationship even though she didn't feel ready for this. But, he seemed like a great guy and she didn't want to lose a great Christian guy.

Do you see mistakes in the way this relationship is developing? Yes, there certainly are and I'd like to show you some strategies to help prevent this. We'll begin by exploring the stages of dating and discover how to use them to find the "love of your life." Frankly, being single can be a time for careful planning in how to get what you really want in your life and relationships.

Recreational Dating

Just because Nancy is still recovering from a troubled relationship doesn't mean she can't have fun. In fact, there may be many reasons you aren't ready for developing a serious committed relationship, but you may still need fun and distraction from the seriousness of your present state.

Recreational dating is just what the name implies. It requires serious honesty with the people you date and a commitment on your part to sticking to your plan. In our example, if Nancy had clearly presented her limitations in dating, both she and Tom would not have found themselves in such a compromising position as they are in right now.

Your dating plan must define the personal growth, emotional development and recovery required -- before you date with a committed relationship in mind. I admit this is not a popular concept in our world, but it may prevent you from falling into the trap of repeating past mistakes.

Pre-commitment Dating

This is a fairly new concept in the dating world. Just like Tom and Nancy, too many couples move quickly to exclusive dating and acting committed before they have consciously evaluated whether this is the right person.

Pre-commitment is a time of serious opportunity for couples to gain experience and knowledge about their relationship. It's about really getting to know one another. For example, Tom might use this time to evaluate whether these things which weren't OK about Nancy are deal-breakers or something he could live with.

During the pre-commitment stage you may or may not date exclusively. Remember, if you date someone exclusively who isn't really right for you, you may just miss Mr. or Ms. Right along the way.

Make it a serious and conscious time of evaluation before you become committed. Also, make sure you are not trying to make the relationship work when it isn't right. Pay attention to red flags.


The distinction of a committed relationship is that you are not moving toward commitment, you're moving toward marriage for life. The beginning of this stage should be marked by a conscious decision by both to "be committed." Having one person committed to the relationship without the other is a disaster in the making. You just can't become committed by yourself.

To have Tom and Nancy begin to talk and act committed at their current stage of dating would likely be one of those disasters. Further, the move to commitment should be marked by an event such as engagement, a commitment pledge or ceremony along with an announcement to friends and family. It is a time that signifies a change in behavior and expectations as witnessed by all.

Following these stages of dating properly has great potential to bring you to a wedding ceremony with lasting love and relationship.

Copyright © 2008 by Don Bailey. All rights reserved.

Don BaileyDon Bailey is the founder of LIFECare Coaching/Counseling.  He is an ordained minister, a Board Certified Pastoral Counselor and RCI Licensed Relationship Coach.  His passion is to see new love relationships "begin right" and existing ones "reach their peak."


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