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July 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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Ask Our Coaches:
Dating and Unemployed: Is it Possible?

"... How do you make yourself attractive to others when money and employment status are such strong criteria for so many people...?"

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 live in the Detroit metropolitan area which is suffering from the nation's worst unemployment and foreclosure rates. People are under a lot of pressure economically. It's even tougher for singles because they only have one income to depend upon -- and when they lose it, they don't have a lot of options. Many are finding they need to move in with friends or back with their parents.

I want to date, but I'm one of those unfortunate folks downsized from General Motors. I'm 45, I have three kids and share custody with my ex-wife. I've been single for 4 years and want to date. I was dating someone for about a year and half, but she lost her job, too, and took a new job out of state. I've been unemployed for a little over a year and my benefits have just run out. I've been looking for work the entire time, but haven't had any success.

When I meet women I want to date, I'm honest with them that I'm currently unemployed. That doesn't lead to more dates. I think that the last person a woman wants to date is someone who is unemployed. I know I'm certainly not the only one who's experiencing this problem in Detroit or anywhere else in this country where the recession is hitting hard. It's hard enough to have stress in the financial part of your life, but it's even harder when there's pressure in the area of relationships. I want to move on with my life. I want to get married again.

What's your advice for dating when you're unemployed? What can I do? How do you make yourself attractive to others when money and employment status are such strong criteria for so many people in our society?

Warren from West Bloomfield

Ann responds ...

As a former career coach and executive coach, I worked with countless unemployed professionals. I think I have a good sense of what you're going through.

Looking for a job is a full-time job. And, certainly it is a stressful time. I know from experience it is also a time when self-confidence and self-esteem suffer. There are many unknowns - not only about what the next job will be, but also where and how much money you will be making.

Because you're still young, you have many years ahead of you - for career and personal relationships as well. I would recommend taking a break from active dating. From a relationship readiness standpoint, you have much to sort out. If you happen to meet someone with whom you want to have dinner or go to a movie - great! Keeping it casual just might lead to more dates! But don't actively seek out a partner at this time. There are too many unknowns.

You indicated you've been looking for work for over a year. My recommendation is that you focus on that for now. You certainly are facing many stressors as a result of your extended unemployment. Have you consulted a career coach? It would be helpful to have someone who is knowledgeable to reassure you that you're on the right track.

Ann Robbins  |  |  954.561.4498

Ellie responds ...

You're letting your circumstances decide how things will be, in both your job and your (potential) relationship. The circumstances are "there are fewer jobs in the Detroit area," and "many singles prefer to date someone who's already employed." These circumstances don't inherently mean that you can't earn a living or find a date. You're only stuck if you stop trying.

Let's assume the circumstances won't change. The question becomes, "What will you do in the face of your circumstances?" In a tight job environment, maybe it means finding a new industry, trying a new type of job, starting your own business, or moving to a new city. In a dating scenario, maybe it means wooing her with your great cooking, or going to inexpensive local plays.

When you take ownership of finding that job, your enthusiasm will infuse your ability to find a relationship too, whether you're finding the job or not. The key is to be facing the challenge. People who overcome adversity are more alive and attractive, and you'll attract someone who supports you in having what you really want.

Ellie Pope  | | 303.455.0606

Jack responds ...

"What's your advice for dating when unemployed?" Keep it short, keep it cheap! On the first date, you only need to know if you want to see this person for a second date. You know that in five minutes or less. Go for coffee somewhere. Do you want to see her again? If so, set it up and go home a "happy camper."

"How do you make yourself attractive?" Warren, my intuition about you tells me you are a man of integrity. You recognize your responsibilities and take care of them. You are intelligent and you have a caring, loving Spirit. These qualities are what make you attractive -- not the car, clothes, dinner, flowers, time or money spent in trying to impress Miss First Date.

Let the who you are outshine what you have. Go on the first date. Set up the second date -- something a little more than the first. This is a time for disclosure. One last thought -- the person you are meeting is as apprehensive as you are. While giving yourself a break, you are creating a lasting impression by keeping it short and cheap! I bet the ladies will love you for it. Good fortune and God's Blessing to you.

Jack Cook | | 904.312.0693

Hazel responds ...

I'm sorry to hear you're having challenges because of the economy and congratulate you on being willing to reach out to request suggestions while you going through this period of time.

I truly understand you would like to get married again and move on with your life. I'm also aware that most women would likely find it fearful to be involved with someone who doesn't have employment or benefits, especially in a rocky economy.

You say it's even harder when there's pressure in the area of relationships! Who is pressuring you? Are you doing this to yourself? If so, ask yourself why you feel it is so important right now, when things are shaky, that you date.

My suggestion would be to concentrate and focus on you for the next few months. Focus on what it is you would really like in life. Do things you enjoy. Spend time with friends and family and have fun. Remove the focus from dating.

If you haven't already, I encourage you to read David Steele's book, Conscious Dating: Finding the Love of Your Life in Today's World. It may not give you the exact answer with regard to your own situation; however it will give you a lot of clarity about dating and relationships. I wish you the best of luck with your life. Always remember your own brilliance.

Hazel Palache |

Angel responds ...

Unfortunately, many in the country are in your position. My recommendation is that you stay focused on the priority of finding some form of employment. There are many groups that meet weekly for the sole purpose of networking in the effort of seeking employment. Find one of these in your area (usually found in the calendar of your Sunday newspaper in the business section).

While meeting with others in your same situation, you might be surprised to meet someone who understands and is willing to accept you as you are. The fact that you have joined such a group would illustrate your initiative and desire to regain employment. It could also be a great support relationship. To be clear though, your primary objective should be networking for employment, not dating. Remember, you're only good for someone else when you're good for yourself. In addition, remember you have your children to think of. At this point, perhaps dating is less important in the big scheme of things.

Angel Uddin, CRC | | 651.283.1152

Feature Article:
Singles Meeting Singles: An Interview

Recently, I conducted a survey of several hundred singles for a local group. With over 100 responses, 80% of them from singles between the ages of 40 and 60, their most urgent question was, "Where do I meet eligible singles to date?" I interviewed RCI relationship coach and author Randy Hurlburt to find out his thoughts on the topic.

Tara Kachaturoff | Editor

Tara: Why do you think singles perceive there is such a difficulty in finding places to meet other singles? There's a virtual explosion of online dating sites, online activity postings for singles, and more options than ever before for meeting singles. What do you think is going on?

Randy: There are ample numbers of places to meet "other singles." The problem is meeting "other singles who match your requirements." Solving the problem then becomes a two-step process: knowing your requirements and then finding places (or ways) to meet people who are potentially aligned with your requirements.

Most singles have a vague idea of what they want. Or perhaps they have a long laundry list of "requirements." Neither one of these is helpful. You have to be very clear with yourself about what you absolutely must have, and what you are willing to give up in order to have a relationship. No relationships are perfect - all come at a price. What price are you willing to pay for a relationship that is not perfect (but might be good)?

Also, there is a lot of false information out there about how to choose a partner. Online dating sites that offer "compatibility" screening do a disfavor to their members. There's nothing wrong with identifying common interests and values, but there is much more to making a successful relationship, and you should be informed fully before expecting mere compatibility to result in a happy relationship.

Frankly, clearly and realistically identifying your requirements is not as easy as it sounds. And the flip side of the coin is equally important -- upgrading what you bring into a relationship. What worked for you in your 20's is not likely to work in your 40's.

Tara: Where are the best places for singles to meet other singles?

Randy: Given what I've already said, there are some places that are better than others, and some "ways" that are worth exploring. First of all, generic places such as the grocery store or singles clubs offer little or no screening and so you start at a disadvantage. You might meet someone here, but the chances are less than at a more quality venue.

Online dating sites that provide compatibility screening can help as long as you know that meeting in person is critical before making ANY judgments about the chances for success. Online sites that cater to important core values such as religion or spirituality can provide an additional screen that may help, but it is still important to meet in person, and frequently!

Personally, I prefer local activity organizations where you can do things you enjoy in the company of others with common interests or values. In this way you can observe and get to know someone over time, and vice versa. A church, athletic club, a charity or volunteer organization can be such a venue.

A singles club that combines activity focus and value focus can be good, such as Sierra Singles (combines outdoor activities with environmental values and singles). Other similar organizations can be found that reflect who you are. Involvement in several such organizations can provide diversity and increase your chances for success.

I think personal growth venues should be seriously considered. One of the main "requirements" that you should have is to meet someone with a reasonably high level of emotional maturity (lack of same is a significant cause of relationship failures). People who attend seminars, workshops, or other personal growth programs might be somewhat more likely to be emotionally mature.

Referrals from family and friends should not be discounted. I know that blind dates and being "set up" often do not work out, but those who know and like you, at least, have your best interests at heart and many good relationships have begun this way. Swallowing your pride and asking others for assistance and referrals is probably the best way of unearthing those jewels who are also unsure of where to meet singles, and thus are not going out.

Tara: Are there any places singles should avoid and why?

Randy: The main thing to avoid is making any decisions too quickly. Sure, bars are likely to generate alcoholics, but this is a generalization and certainly it is possible to meet a quality person at a bar. I don't recommend bars, but I use this as an example to illustrate that at any venue there are good people and bad, and even among the good people, there will be those that meet your requirements and those that don't.

Therefore, I advocate using all the avenues that are available to you, prioritizing them for the likelihood that someone who meets your requirements will frequent such a place. I suppose I would avoid prisons, as well.

Tara: Some might say that the only reason someone isn't meeting other singles is because they really don't want to on some level -- law of attraction, etc. What are your thoughts?

Randy: I don't think it's so much a matter of "don't want to" as "don't know how to" or "afraid to." This could be interpreted as "don't want to" in that such a person does not "want" enough to go get the necessary information or overcome the fear of rejection or fear of getting hurt. Desire, without action, is not worth anything. Even the law of attraction can be seductively unhelpful to the degree that it is interpreted as "all you have to do is to think about it." Action is necessary.

Fear is a natural part of life and love; taking action to find and build love takes courage. A relationship coach can help increase your knowledge and skill, thereby decreasing your fear.

Tara: If a new client asked you, "So where do I find other eligible singles to meet?" what would you say?

Randy: I'd say, "Let's get clear on your requirements! You don't want just any eligible single. And let's upgrade your skills; you want to be a person of interest to those who meet your requirements!" How you present yourself is more important than where you present yourself.

Copyright © 2008 by Randy Hurlburt. All rights reserved in all media.

Randy Hurlburt
is an internationally acclaimed relationship coach, speaker, and author.  In his worldwide relationship coaching practice, Randy is dedicated to helping singles and couples find extraordinary love by breaking the rules of cultural conditioning.  He has two books, "Love Is Not A Game" and "Partners in Love and Crime." 858-455-0799.

Bonus Article:
6 Dating Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

by Relationship Coaching Institute Coaches

Dating Mistake #1: You're moving too fast!

Finding strong chemistry with someone is so exciting! That feeling is such a high -- it often sends us sprinting into the Romantic Love stage of our Relationship Journey. We feel we've struck gold, and often start behaving as if this were the person with whom we will spend the rest of our lives.

We start making decisions that have us on the fast track to "forever." But when the Romantic Love stage ends, the high wears off, and we move into the integration or Power Struggle stage where we learn to distinguish the "I" and the "We," we see what is actually real about the relationship, and often we're shocked. Sometimes we've moved so fast and gone so far that it's hugely painful to realize we've made a mistake and this isn't quite the ideal relationship we thought it was. Hopefully, we haven't already visited a Vegas chapel.

How can we avoid this dating mistake?

1. Wait until the bubble bursts. Let the Romantic Love Stage run its course and reveal what's real about the relationship before making important life-changing decisions.

2. Spend time evaluating whether this person meets your needs, wants, and requirements outside of the romance.

3. Check in with your inner voice, your intuition, for "red flags" and pay attention to how they "wave."

And, of course, hire a good relationship coach to help guide you!

Susan Ortolano, M.A. CMRC | | 818.232.3186

Mistake #2: You edit or change yourself to "fit" with your new love interest.

It's easy to get wrapped up in the euphoria of new infatuation. When you're in the grips of these overwhelming feelings, it's tempting to convince yourself that you'll do anything to "win over" the object of your affection. But the truth is that you can't win someone over under false pretenses.

When you're not being authentic, you're simply immersing yourself in a role or a character and your true self is being eclipsed. The danger here reaches far beyond the fact that your potential partner is falling in love with a person that doesn't exist. It even reaches beyond the inevitability that your true colors will eventually bleed through. The real danger is that you are losing yourself in an attempt to snag a person who might very well fall in love with the real you.

It is a myth that couples must have a long list of common interests. Decide what qualities are most important to you and avoid dating individuals who don't exhibit these qualities. Celebrate your differences! Enjoy exposing your partner to new experiences and expect the same in return.

Elayne Gale | 281.482.2354

Dating Mistake #3: Dating When You're Not Ready or Available to Date

Dating when you are not ready or available stops you from getting to know yourself and your dreams. If you aren't clear of your own vision and purpose, you'll be swept up into someone else's. Would you rather be a pawn in someone else's game, or the King or Queen of your own life?

When you play the field when you aren't ready, you ...

  • Lose your inner compass and direction
  • Imprint into yourself that you are not worth the best life you deserve
  • Leave a trail of people who are hurt and angry for being used rather than honored. If you want to have an intimate relationship – without the relationship bit -- you devastate those who want something more. You life is polarized by the turmoil of fighting and love-fests. With the emotional rollercoaster you never have the energy to achieve your own dreams.

Why not take the time to fall in love with yourself and gain self-respect?

  • Know who you are, and where you want to go – so that you are ready for a healthy relationship that supports your purpose.
  • Get yourself financially, emotionally, spiritually, socially, and mentally well.
  • Create a network around you that can support you finding the right person for your ideal life!
  • Develop the lifestyle you adore, and live the life that inspires you – so you are a gift to yourself!

... because you are worth it, aren't you?

Natalie Lamb | Integral Love Coach | +44 1342 826237

Dating Mistake #4: Talking About Prior Relationships (also known as, You're Just Not Over It)

I remember a client of mine expressing excitement about an upcoming date she was looking forward to. She had met a wonderful guy who seemed to be just what she was looking for, and based on what she knew, he met much of her relationship criteria. Her excitement quickly turned to dismay when he spent the entire evening talking about his former wife. It was obvious to her he had a need, for some reason, to fill her in on every detail - the good, the bad, and the ugly. Needless to say, there was no second date.

While it is important to gradually share your prior experiences with someone, it is not appropriate to talk about them in detail - particularly in the early stages of getting to know someone. As my client told me, she felt diminished and very much an outsider to what she had hoped would be an evening of fun and exploration. Rather than being asked about herself, she was being told about someone else. She had prepared a "mental list" of a few questions she wanted to ask him and never got the chance. She ended the evening frustrated and disappointed.

If you find yourself frequently wanting (needing) to talk about a prior relationship there's a good chance it's not over yet - that you have not moved on and aren't ready to begin anew with someone else. Chances are, you have unresolved feelings or have not put the relationship behind you. One key thing you can do is to ask yourself whether you compare your former relationships with your current one. Are you expecting someone new to live up to a standard set by a former spouse or mate? If so, this will sabotage any attempts to engage in a healthy relationship with someone else.

It's important that prior relationships, as well as other matters, are well behind you. Be sure you're "going to" something new rather than "getting away from" the old. To further explore this, you might ask a Relationship Coach to provide you with a Relationship Readiness assessment. This will give you a clear understanding of areas, if any, in need of resolution.

Ann Robbins | | 954.561.4498

Mistake #5: You Choose to Ignore Red Flags

Red flags – the red of a STOP sign - never turn pink. They are the things that make you feel bad - hurt, angry, embarrassed, scared, even if you don't consciously know why.

There are three truths about red flags: You won't suddenly become immune to them. If they show up at the beginning, when people are at their best, they won't stop later on. And relationships simply don't work when one person feels bad. (And a corollary: You only have to know HOW you feel, not why.)

Have you ever left a relationship over something intolerable, and then realized you could have seen it coming from the start? We all have. One woman cringed at a date's joke but told herself it wasn't THAT bad or important. After months of public embarrassment and insults, all attraction and some of her self respect were gone. Another was criticized for her dress on a first date. It later became serious verbal abuse. Both were red flags.

Should you bolt the minute you don't like something a date does? No, but do open your eyes. Give the benefit of the doubt. If other things are right, try respectfully requesting a change. If you see a sincere effort, great! You can be patient.

If you see defensiveness, dismissiveness, or self-justification, watch out. Your next move – no matter what else you may like about the person – is a graceful but firm good-bye. Then you will be free to find the one who makes you feel terrific!

Patricia Drury, CPCC, EGM | | 952.829.9233

Dating Mistake #6: Dating Someone Who Is Married

If you only learn one principle of dating, let it be this one: Never, never, never, NEVER date someone who is married. That includes someone who is legally separated, almost divorced, living apart ... all of the above.

I feel very strongly about this issue. I've seen countless individuals profoundly hurt by the fallout from this type of relationship -- not to mention the ethics and integrity issues that are obvious. Two "consenting adults" make a choice to proceed in a relationship. But, what about others who are involved but have no say? The spouse of the married party, the children, families ... the list goes on. These people are victims of the selfish and unethical acts of the couple.

From your own standpoint, I would challenge you with the question, "Why would you want to be with someone who is with someone else?" How can it be acceptable to you to know your sweetheart is going home to someone else, sharing house, home and bed with another? To me, this is the ultimate degradation of your value as an individual, worthy of someone's full-time love and affection. And, another obvious question: If s/he can cheat on their spouse, what is to prevent them from cheating on you?

Most couples today indicate that trust, honesty and fidelity fall into the "non-negotiable" category. In a relationship with a married partner, all three are non-existent.

If you're in a relationship with someone who is married, I urge you to seek coaching and potentially even therapy. It occurs to me you may have some limiting beliefs about yourself. Perhaps you don't feel you're worthy of someone's undivided love. Perhaps you think you don't deserve to be truly happy. Whatever the case, you deserve to be with someone who is available - in every sense of the word.

Ann Robbins | | 954.561.4498

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Tara Alexandra Kachaturoff | Editor, Conscious Dating Newsletter for Singles

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