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

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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

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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:
Taking a Break vs Breaking Up

"... I want to take a 'break' from my 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,

I've been dating my boyfriend for 6 months and we've had the best time ever. We've both professed our love for each other and we're both interested in a long-term commitment. 

Lately, I've been reading a variety of books on self-improvement, spirituality, and meditation. As a result, I now have this desire to get "quiet." I want to focus more on myself. I want to wake up in the morning and just think about me. That presents a bit of a problem since I'm actively dating someone who I care about very much.

I want to take a "break" from my relationship. I don't want to break up, but I would like to "take a break" -- to do some personal introspection. I don't want to lose my relationship -- I treasure it and I'm not sure I could find one so perfect ever again. But, at the same time, there is a deep longing to explore my life on my own. 

I want to take a break for 2 to 3 months during the summer. I can bet that my boyfriend won't go for this. I don't want to let go of this relationship. Any suggestions?

Erin from Edmonton

Randy responds ...

You have hit dead center on one of the primary issues in relationships. It is the conflict between the need for freedom and the need for connection. This conflict almost always manifests itself, sooner or later, and for you it simply seems to be "sooner." 
This is not just a "light" conflict. It is one that goes very deep into the human psyche and is fueled by misguided social conventions as to what is right and proper in relationships.
The central battleground for relationships, therefore, is fighting out each person's need for both autonomy and closeness, and determining if there is a higher ground that is possible as a couple.
The solution is to find a series of "in-between" relationship steps. Conventional all-or-nothing, boyfriend/girlfriend templates leave no room for unusual solutions unique to each couple. If you can get outside the box of seeing this as "staying together or breaking up," and if your partner can do so as well, then perhaps you can build something special. It will help if you both see the relationship as potentially long term, and not just 6 months or a year. That way 2 or 3 months one way or another is not a long time.

Randy Hurlburt | | 858. 455.0799

Michelle responds …

I am excited for you and the new "season" you are entering. Being quiet and growing spiritually is important for you, as well as those around you. You indicate that you have what sounds like a good relationship with your boyfriend. 

What about sitting down with him, expressing your desires honestly, and asking him for his opinion about how you could do this while still considering his needs in the relationship? This would affirm him, while also asking for what you need. How he responds to this honest exchange could tell you about the future relationship you would have.

The Bible speaks about husbands and wives setting time aside for a period of prayer.  Although this applies to a different set of circumstances than yours, it does seem to apply – even in a marriage to allow time apart for prayer. Could this apply to your situation? Also, what about asking him to join you in his own spiritual journey at the same time?

Michelle Blacksher | | 503.504.7052

Hazel responds ...

I congratulate you on wanting to explore yourself and do some personal work; however, is it really necessary to take a complete break to do this?

You say you've both professed your love for each other and are interested in the relationship being long term. You also say you're not sure you could find such a perfect relationship ever again! Two to three months break, at this stage of a relationship, is a long time to hope or expect that someone will just hang around and wait until you decide you're ready. Ask yourself how you would feel if he made the same request of you. Would it feel comfortable, safe and loving?

I encourage you to ask yourself why you think you need to take a "complete break" for 2 to 3 months to do personal introspection. Quiet time is something we can find within ourselves even when there is a partner around.

It is possible to do personal work while in a relationship provided there are some boundaries in place so you get the time you need and he also gets what he wants.

If you are truly sure this man is "the one," perhaps you can choose to make some compromises. Maybe consider taking a few days, each month, where you get your "quiet time" and have no contact during that down time. If you really don't want to lose him, I would encourage you to talk to him about how you feel on this issue and work out something that feels comfortable for both of you. I wish you all the best.

Hazel Palache | | 818.972.4415

Ron responds ...

I admire you for listening to this calling you speak about as so often people just push that to the back burner. Your question seems very black and white -- like it is an "either/or" situation. My question is, "Could you take time for you and the introspection that is calling to you and still find time for your boyfriend, or does it have to be a complete separation for 2 to 3 months?"

My guess is there might be several right answers if you are willing to look for them. I suggest you have a long heart-to-heart conversation with your boyfriend where you share, in detail, what is going on for you. This would be an excellent test for the relationship.  If he doesn't get it at all, then you will be learning some good information about him and how he is likely to respond to you and your needs as your relationship progresses.

If you don't take the time you need now, you may regret it for possibly the rest of your life. Search for the gray area -- the win/win situation where everyone gets what they want. I bet you will find it, and if you don't, this relationship probably isn't as perfect as you thought.

Ron Maddox | | 214.528.5426

Feature Article:
Moving Beyond the Break-Up:
5 Steps to Take Before Dating Again

By Susan Ortolano, M.A.

So, you have ended a relationship. You are feeling lost, sad, and angry among a host of other emotions. You are experiencing many thoughts in your mind and you are drawing conclusions, making assumptions, and declarations as you try to analyze what happened and decide where to go from here. The need for boxes of chocolate may be quite strong at this point!

What I suggest is not about finding a new hobby, running away from home, or buying a new wardrobe. It is also not about jumping back into the dating world as fast as you can. While those are logical external next steps, I am suggesting a different approach.

I am prescribing an internal retreat process that will not only help you heal, but also will rebuild your inner foundation so your external steps are more conscious and effective. This process will also profoundly affect your next relationship experience.

While getting back into the dating world may be part of your plan, I recommend these five steps before posting your next internet profile.

Step 1: Wallow in it!

Huh? Yes, wallow in it. It's important to allow the gut-wrenching raw emotions to come up to the surface. Why? Well, we normally resist them and do our best to stuff them back in. When we resist them, they persist; they push back even harder and when we suppress them, they grow even stronger.

When we embrace the sadness, anger and frustration that come up, we can then let them run their course and then set them free. So write it out on paper, scream it out in a pillow, cry, do whatever you need to do. Just let those feeling do their dance.

Step 2: Reconnect with Yourself

Often when we come out of a break-up, we want to escape. We want to move away from the pain, the thoughts, and the memories. We may also want to escape from ourselves and from who we are. But this is the moment to do the opposite and to take contrary action.

It's time to turn inward and reconnect with yourself. You have just left a world that was about someone else's needs and wants; it's time to center yourself in your own. Spend some time in stillness each day -- whether you spend 5 minutes or 60 -- just be in your own energy.

Get to know yourself again. Check in with your core, rediscover your values; reconnect with your inner sense of spirit. Fall in love with yourself again.

Step 3: Examine and Release the "Stories"

Notice your thoughts. Notice your assumptions. Pay attention to the conclusions you've drawn. These are the beliefs that create the energy that becomes your reality. Following a break-up, these "stories" intensify and feel real. Let them speak and tell their tale! Invite them forward, examine them; see what they are trying to create for your future.

These "stories" are actually based on "what was." We cannot change "what was," but we don't have to let it predict our future. There are several techniques that help this process along and are quite effective. I recommend The Sedona Method® and the work of Byron Katie. These inner "stories" and beliefs can influence the future that hasn't even happened yet. After you examine and release these thoughts, you can tell a new and improved story.

Step 4: Vision a New Future Relationship

Creating a new vision for your life not only feels good, but also gives it a new direction. It opens up space and allows a new path to appear in front of you. There may be a future relationship on that path and you may even find some of your relationship needs, wants, and requirements have actually evolved. Create it in writing and create a vision board with inspiring photos that are vibrant and alive to you. You can then energize and visualize your board daily.

Step 5: Acknowledge the gains

Every relationship offers opportunities to grow, evolve, and expand your consciousness. Relationships can bring you closer to your spirituality, inform you of issues that require healing, and let you know where you stand in relationship to yourself. At first, it may not seem clear that there were actual gains or blessings from your time with that person; but as you move forward, you'll be able to see them.

Maybe it helped you to know how strong you are or showed you a particular quality you have. When we can see the gains and blessings, we can look back and appreciate our journey, knowing it has brought us that much closer to who we really are and to having the right relationship.

So, before you run out and cut your hair off, buy a new car, or eat 5 quarts of ice cream, give yourself the dignity of the inner retreat time. Allow yourself to grieve, examine, release, vision, and acknowledge, so that when you get back into the dating world, you are rejuvenated, open, and ready to embrace love again. And, of course, a good relationship coach can guide you through that process!

Copyright © 2008 by Susan Ortolano. All rights reserved in all media.

Susan Ortolano
Susan Ortolano
, M.A., is a Psychic Relationship/Life Coach & award-winning educator. She is a Certified Master Relationship Coach and Instructor with the Relationship Coaching Institute. Susan holds a Master's Degree in Spiritual Psychology from University of Santa Monica, a Bachelor's degree from UCLA and Teaching Credentials from CSU Dominguez Hills. | 818.232.3186 

Bonus Article:
7 Dates that Won't Break the Bank

by LaTricia Smith

Going out on dates, on a regular basis, can really add up. If you would like to save money and still have fun, consider these seven low or no-cost date options.

Plan a Themed Picnic

Everyone loves a picnic, but a themed picnic is even better. How about a detective-themed picnic? All you have to do is pack up your picnic food, grab a blanket and some Post-it notes with clues written on them.

Have your date find the clues in your picnic area. The answers to the clues can be anything you packed, anything either of you is wearing, or something in the environment. If you aren't the outdoorsy type, make a picnic area in a cozy room in your home and carry out the theme.

Take a Trip to the Gardens

Most large cities have botanical gardens with low admission fees. In fact, many have special times of the month when entrance is free. Take advantage of the free admissions days and visit the gardens. Take a light lunch with you and sit on a bench in the gardens and enjoy one another's company. After lunch, take a stroll through the gardens and enjoy a wonderful conversation while admiring the beautiful plants and flowers.

Plan and Prepare a Meal Together at Home

Sit down with your date and come up with a meal plan. Make sure you have all of the ingredients on hand. Each person is then assigned a task to complete in preparing the meal. Be creative. Once the meal is prepared, sit down together and enjoy your creation. After dinner, clean up together and sit on the porch and star gaze.

Take a Bike Ride

Dust off your bikes and head to the park to take a spin on the bike trails. Bike riding is fun, relaxing and great exercise. After the ride is over, park your bikes and enjoy the great outdoors. You might combine this with a picnic so you can have another great activity to look forward to.

Attend a Free Cultural Event

Many cities have free or low-cost museums. Museums are great places to talk and learn about each other as well as to enjoy art, history or whatever the theme of the museum. Items in museums can serve as great conversation pieces, which helps you avoid those awkward moments of silence.

Visit Your Local Coffee Shop

You can't go wrong with a coffee shop -- even if you don't drink coffee. Coffee shops usually have live music, poetry readings, and other events on different nights. If there is no event going on, consider bringing a board game along to play while sipping on your favorite hot or cold drink.

Schedule a Movie Night at Home

Movie night at home is a great low-cost date. Turn your living room into a movie theater. Pick up a couple of movies from your local movie rental store along with popcorn, drinks and movie theater candy. Now it's time to dim the lights, increase the volume on the TV and enjoy the movie. Remember to turn off your cell phones.

The possibilities for low-cost ways to enjoy time together are endless. All you need is imagination. Think of all of the things you already do that don't cost you much money, add a twist to them and now you have the perfect venue to enjoy with your special date.

Copyright © 2008 by LaTricia Smith. All rights reserved in all media.

 Maureen Staiano
LaTricia Smith   |

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