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June 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:
He lied to me! What should I do?

"... I want to confront him but I'm embarrassed...."

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 a guy for a while. He told me that he has had other girlfriends in the past, but that he didn't feel the same about them as he does for me. Also he said he hasn't been intimate with them like he is with me.

I was taking care of his house/dog while he was on an extended business trip. While I was at his home, I found a Valentine's Day card from a female that went into detail about how passionate and loving he is and how dear he is to her. She goes on to talk about how she loves every precious moment with him and how she longs to wake up in his arms and make love, etc. 

There's no question that this woman is deeply in love with him and he has frequently slept with her. There was another similar card posted on his wall. It made me sick.  Since he has returned from his business trip, he has no clue that I found these cards and he continues to date me. I want to confront him but I'm embarrassed that I read his cards. Should I just walk away from him or should I tell him how I feel and that I found the card? I can't believe I still have strong feelings for him despite what I now know. What should I do?

Sherri from St. Augustine

Angel responds ...

Being in a relationship sometimes requires compromise. Unless you have agreed to a casual and open relationship this is not an issue for compromise. The mere fact that you are in this situation, it is obvious that it was not your understanding. Look at what you really want in a relationship. Write down your requirements, needs and wants.  Look at the list and be honest with yourself. Is this the type of relationship that fits your vision? If the answer is "no," then you have two options. 

You can tell your partner of the exercise and let him know the result is a relationship that is no longer synergistic with your vision. You can then part ways before there is any more hurt experienced. Your other option is to come clean about what you found.  He probably already knows because his carelessness may have been subconsciously intentional. Tell him what matters to you. Discuss whether this is something he's willing to conform to, being fully aware of the fact that he may comply simply to get out of the hot seat. Decide whether you can trust the answers. If he says he's not in the same place, then you know. Remember, this is not an issue to compromise about. 

Angel Uddin, CRC | | 651.283.1152

Ellie responds ...

It's wonderful when your man wants you and only you -- and devastating when maybe you aren't as special as you hoped. But then again … maybe you are!

First, don't jump to conclusions. Those cards could be very old, and he really might mean everything he's said to you. Second, don't make him wrong. Be really generous - you love him, so give him every chance to show you that he's as great as you think. If you accuse him, he'll be on the defensive, and not able to respond lovingly – even if he is innocent!

And, for your peace of mind, you need clarity about whether this other woman is a current lover. You didn't say whether you were snooping, or came across the cards by accident. If you were snooping, come clean and make an apology of your own, first. You can't expect his honesty if you're not being honest, too. Coming from an intention that's loving and generous will make this much easier. 

Ellie Pope  | | 303.455.0606

Jack responds ...

"I can't believe I still have strong feelings for him despite what I now know."
Consider this: Knowing and feeling are two different issues. What you "know" is subjective, even within your self. What you "feel" is a window to your emotional state. That you still have strong feelings is not only understandable, but appropriate.

Honor your feelings for what they are -- an established connection to a person you have enjoyed/loved. "What should I do?" Here are two possible scenarios: First, if both mind and heart agree that your trust is irrevocably broken, get out of the relationship. Second, explain your predicament to your friend. Finding the card was accidental on your part. Give him the benefit of doubt. Be specific concerning your feelings and what you expect from your relationship and his behavior in the future. Let his response be your guide. Seems simple when written down; however, I recommend you locate and hire a relationship coach to partner with through your course of action. At the same time, a coach can help you learn to trust both your feelings and thoughts (new knowledge) to create the best possible situation/relationship for you.

Jack Cook | | 904.312.0693

Jennifer responds ...

Before you jump to conclusions, think of the following. Have you ever kept old letters from past loves? How long ago do you think he received this letter? I know, personally, that I have kept old love letters. They help me out in times of loneliness and self-doubt. They remind me of better times and of what wonderful moments I shared in past relationships. Even though they are the past, they still bring a smile to my face. Before you knock this guy for cheating on you, here are a few things you might want to consider. 

Why were you looking through his things?  Do you think he will have a problem with this? Even if you were over there to just take care of the house/dog, it's hard to believe that he left anything out in the open for you to look at, beyond the postcards on the wall. If you really felt that it was okay to look through his things, what does that say about the trust you are giving to the relationship? Were you looking for something to find so that you wouldn't be surprised if the relationship didn't work out? Will he be able to trust you any more knowing that he trusted you to look after his place but instead you may have looked through his personal items?

As for the letter that was posted on the wall, have you asked him why he keeps it up on the wall? One of the hardest things to do in a relationship is to keep an open mind. We often feel that we need to protect ourselves in a defensive manner when there is the slightest chance that we may get hurt. We tend to accuse instead of inquire. First we need to calm ourselves down before we confront the situation. 

We need to remember we are there to keep an open mind and listen to his/her explanation of why the situation is what it appears to be. Then we need to try our hardest to keep our defenses down and logically use our mind, not our heart or our bodies, to figure out if the answer that was supplied makes sense. Listen to your gut, but logically use your mind. 

Jennifer Wallingford | | 727.443.4919

Ann responds …

Your situation is a difficult one because of your two choices; both are equally difficult.   You can confront him, thus letting him know you looked at his personal things while you were house/dog sitting. In doing so, a trust issue surfaces for him. He may feel like you invaded his private space while he was gone. However, I have to wonder why he left a card on the wall, in plain view, for you to obviously find while he was away. It occurs to me he might have known you would find it. Perhaps it was his way of "getting caught" or coming clean, so to speak. You do not say how you found the Valentine's card. If it was put away, and you found it by searching through his things, you have an even greater trust issue that will surface.

On the other hand, if you don't confront him, you will be the one with the trust issue.  You will find yourself second-guessing everything he tells you, wondering if he's being straightforward with you, or if he's simply telling you what you want to hear. It will be difficult, at best, to believe him in almost anything he says if you leave this unresolved.  If you simply walk away, nothing will be resolved.

You did not indicate if you have discussed being exclusive. It appears he is seeing someone else -- are you? If would be a shame to waste your time and heart on a man who has no intention of making a commitment. In any relationship, trust and communication are key. Right now, you have neither. While you may feel embarrassed that you looked at his cards, you may feel much worse down the road if you continue with a partner whom you don't trust. It's time for what I call a "courageous conversation."

Ann Robbins  |  |  954.561.4498

Elayne responds ...

An integral part of any relationship is feeling comfortable enough to voice your concerns. Until you do, the information you uncovered is likely to weigh heavily on your mind and prevent you from being fully present in the relationship. Perhaps the cards were from several years ago, but you'll never know until you ask. If he cares for you as much as he claims to, he will respond with honesty and understanding. However, you should also trust your gut feeling. The most obvious answer is usually the right one, and it would appear that this man has a problem maintaining monogamous relationships.

Finally, don't beat yourself up for continuing to have feelings for him. Once those romantic feelings set in, it takes an awful lot to extinguish them. Accepting your partner's imperfections is imperative, but you have to clearly establish what is acceptable to you and stick to your guns. Are you willing to share him with other women? If not, as much as it may hurt initially, you must accept the fact that his behavior is incompatible with your needs. In the long run, you'll feel that you
dodged a bullet.

Elayne Gale | 281.482.2354

Ron responds ...

Although it may have not been your best choice to read his cards, you can't deny what you now know. I don't believe that walking away is your best option -- not without an explanation. I would suggest calmly talking to him. It's possible that he has wanted to tell you about the other woman, but just didn't know how. Leaving the cards out so you would find them may have been intentional. If you walk away, you have no resolution or closure. If you speak to him about this, you will find out what you need to know so you can make the right decision for you.

Question: Do you have an agreement of exclusivity or are you operating under an assumption? If you don't have an agreement, then he has not broken any commitments. Although the other woman speaks of deep passion, that may not be the way your man has experienced their relationship. Do you see the possibility that this may be a huge misunderstanding? Just because she feels that way about him, doesn't mean he feels the same for her. So often, one person in the couple will think they are in an exclusive relationship, but if you haven't made that agreement jointly, then it is based on complete assumption.

Ron Maddox | | 214.528.5426

Feature Article:
Single Once Again

By Angel Uddin

Getting back into the dating world takes a good deal of pre-work. You must assess your previous relationship(s), determine what your core values are and be clear on what your vision is for your life.

Some key steps include the evaluation of one's past history in relationships. Determine what has been real and what has been part of an illusion or false truth for you. In his book, The Four Agreements, Don Miguel Ruiz talks about the lies we tell ourselves or our dreams that delude us. 

When it comes to dating, you need to tune out the inner critic and tune in to your true self. You should live in the present using your conscious mind, play an active and intentional role, and don't sleepwalk through your interactions. For each negative belief such as, "I am not loveable," change it to, "I can love and am worthy of being loved."  If necessary, make it a mantra.  Repeat it and begin to live it.

Start a personal inventory of what your requirements, needs and wants might be as they relate to your own personal values. You must be really clear on what these words really mean to you and how they are manifested in your day-to-day life. Also, you need to be clear on what type of values are important to you in a partner (not necessarily identical to yours, but just as important). Determine what the deal-breakers are for you and listen to your inner voice (not the inner critic, but the voice that will never lie to you).

When you meet people that don't fit your vision and will not be a suitable partner for you on your journey, that doesn't make that individual a bad person -- he or she is just not the match for you. Imagine you have decided to go white-water rafting. You're all dressed -- but your wearing a tiara, a beautiful ball gown and stiletto heels.  This is a lovely outfit, but not for the journey you are about to undertake. You should not compromise your planned trip, but instead know that this is a lovely outfit -- just not one suited for riding the waves. Give up the outfit and not the journey. 

On this journey, you will have to revisit your values and life vision on a regular basis.  Actually visualize them as the points on a compass. Check in periodically to assure you are still on course. If you have drifted off path, recalibrate. Be aware of your deviation and what may have caused it and then get back on course. If the deviation is due to a change in your vision, be clear about that and again, recalibrate to make sure your partner is still a suitable partner for the journey you are on. Live your life AWAKE and ENGAGED. Don't be a passive participant!

Copyright © 2008 by Angel Uddin. All rights reserved in all media.

Angel Uddin, Relationship Coach, Speaker, Facilitator and Owner of Awakenings, a woman friendly retail establishment that addresses sensual issues for women and couples in a non-threatening manner located in St. Paul, Minnesota. | 651.283.1152

Bonus Article:
Flirting 101

by Frankie Doiron, President, Relationship Coaching Institute,

The first key to successful flirting is not an ability to show off and impress, but the knack of conveying that you like someone. If your "target" knows that you find him or her interesting and attractive, he or she will be more inclined to like you. Conveying that you like someone, and judging whether or not the attraction is mutual, clearly involves a combination of verbal and non-verbal communication skills.

When you first meet new people, their initial impression of you will be based 55% on your appearance and body-language, 38% on your style of speaking and only 7% on what you actually say.

1. Do initiate flirtation with people of roughly the same level of attractiveness as yourself. This will give you the best chance of compatibility. Most successful relationships are between partners of more or less equal good looks. There is some leeway, of course, and other qualities are also important, but statistically, relationships where one partner is much more attractive than the other tend to be less successful.

2. Don't flirt with people who are unlikely to return your interest. Even if you are not looking for a long-term mate, you will enjoy flirting more with someone who is interested in you. So it makes sense to approach people who are likely to see you as at least a possible partner, rather than those likely to dismiss you as unsuitable. Use the non-verbal signals to assess approachability.

3. Use Non-Verbal Flirting Techniques:

Eye contact: You can signal your interest in someone merely by making eye contact and attempting to hold your target's gaze for more than one second (not too much more, though, or you will seem threatening). If your target maintains eye contact with you for more than one second, the chances are that he/she might return your interest. If they glance back and hold again – GO!!

Interpersonal distance: The distance you keep from the other person when flirting will affect his or her impression of you, and the quality of your interaction. Perhaps even more importantly, paying attention to the other person's use of distance will tell you a great deal about his/her reactions and feelings towards you. Are you whispering in their ear? You are too close!

Posture: When flirting, you can use postural mirroring to create a feeling of togetherness and harmony. Experiments have shown that although people are not consciously aware of someone deliberately mirroring their postures, they will evaluate a person who does this more favorably. If you mirror your partner's postures, he/she will not only feel more at ease in your company, but will perceive you as more like-minded.

Facial Expressions: SMILE!! We rely more on facial expressions than on any other aspect of body language. As a general rule your face should be constantly informative during a flirtatious conversation. Inexpressiveness - a blank, unchanging face - will be interpreted as lack of interest.

Touch: Touching is a powerful, subtle and complex form of communication. Experiments have shown that even a light, brief touch on the arm during a social encounter between strangers has both immediate and lasting positive effects. Polite requests for help or directions, for example, produced much more positive results when accompanied by a light touch on the arm.

Vocal Signals: Attraction and interest, for example, are communicated much more by the tone of voice than by what is actually said. Depending on the tone, volume, speed and pitch, even a simple phrase such as "Good evening" can convey anything from, "Wow, you're gorgeous," to "I find you totally uninteresting." Aim for moderation in volume and tone, with enough variation in pitch and pace to hold your companion's interest.

4. Opening lines. Your opening line is really not very important, and all this striving for originality and wit is a wasted effort. The best "openers" are, quite simply, those which can easily be recognized as "openers" - as attempts to start a conversation. Ask a direct, open question such as, "What do you think of this weather?" A direct question demands and requires a reply.

5. Turn-taking. Once you have initiated a conversation with your chosen target, your success in making a favorable impression will depend as much on your social skills as on what you say. Try to make your contribution to the conversation roughly equal to that of your partner. The essence of a good conversation, and a successful flirtation, is reciprocity: give-and-take, sharing, exchange, with both parties contributing equally as talkers and as listeners.

6. Talking. Negativity is a real turn off, as is revealing too much about yourself too soon. Simple compliments are always welcome, but keep it light and general, since excessive use of compliments will make you seem ingratiating. Look into the eyes!

7. Listening. Good listeners have distinct advantages, but being a good listener is not just about shutting up and letting the other person talk (although this certainly helps). Good listening is essentially about giving good 'feedback', which involves giving both verbal and non-verbal signals to show that you are a) paying attention, and b) interested.

8. Reciprocal Disclosure. One of the most important aspects of verbal flirting is 'reciprocal disclosure' - the exchange of personal information. In fact, unless partners disclose at least some personal details, the conversation can hardly be called a flirtation - even something as innocent as the fact that one likes warm weather or Italian food, is a move towards intimacy. The key to successful flirtation is to escalate the level of intimacy gradually, always maintaining a balance between your disclosures and those of your partner. Avoid getting too far ahead by revealing too much, or lagging behind by revealing too little.

9. Humor. Judicious use of humor can reduce anxiety and establish a relaxed mood. You'll be perceived as more likeable, increasing levels of both trust and attraction.

10. Parting. If you'd like to see this person again you have to ask!! Simply say: "Would you like to meet for a drink sometime next week?" (or some equivalent, the exact words are unimportant, but it must a be a clear request). If making a date on the spot would be awkward or inappropriate, say something like: "Perhaps we could meet again sometime - could I have your phone number?" If you are female, instead of asking for his phone number, offer your own. Say something like: "Maybe we could have a drink sometime? - here's my number". This makes it perfectly clear that you are interested, but still requires the man to take the initiative in asking for a date.

Copyright © 2006 by Frankie Doiron. All rights reserved in all media.

 Frankie Doiron
Frankie Doiron
is the President of the Relationship Coaching Institute.

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