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November 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 Dollars:  When Money's an Issue

"Except for the money, I love dating this guy."

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 this guy for a while - 6 months. We're both in our thirties, never married. Every time we go out, he wants to split the bill 50-50 – whether it's for a weekend at a hotel, a basketball game, or dinner – whatever. I thought this was okay when we first started dating, but now that we're dating exclusively, it seems like too much. He likes to go out a lot, but it's economically challenging for me. When I bring up issues around money, I sense "anger" arise in him. Naturally, that keeps me from saying more.

Except for the money, I love dating this guy. We have a great time and we get along really well. What should I do? What's the money protocol when it comes to dating nowadays?

Anne from Anaheim

Melanie responds …

First, you need to openly communicate your issue with splitting all the expenses 50/50 with your boyfriend. Discuss this with him and try to reach a happy medium. If you are fine with the current arrangement, offer to continue on, but let him know the frequency needs to be cut back. If he meets you with anger on the issue, you need to re-evaluate your relationship.

In order to have a fulfilling, long-term relationship that is able to grow and thrive, you have to be honest with your expectations and feelings and your partner should be open to listen and understand. A true partnership and healthy relationship is a willingness to compromise and meet in the middle. Compromising your goals now, much less your financial well being, will lead you further into an unhappy relationship and dismal future.

Melanie Matcek, CM | | 210.497.5724

Paige responds …

I empathize with your confusion surrounding money and relationships. It sounds like you are trying to figure out what the money protocol is nowadays in order to see if you or he is "out of line" with societal norms, and how you or he might fix it in order for the relationship to be sustained. Have you considered what value his money behavior has for you and your relationship? I'm wondering what meaning his behavior of needing to split 50/50 has for you? You might be questioning values essential to you in a partnership such as generosity, security and dependability.

I invite you to explore whether or not his and your values are in alignment with one another. If not, are you willing to accept his behavior? If so, I would encourage you to get clear with yourself on how often you would be willing for him to exhibit this behavior and under what circumstances. How much "wiggle room" does the relationship have before you would be willing to walk away?

His behavior (not the money) may signal that he does not have the same value requirements for a successful relationship. If you are unclear about what value money holds for you, I highly recommend getting a coach who can support and challenge you in not settling for less than you deserve in life and love.

L. Paige Armstrong, MSW, LCSW | | 919.306.9367

Gina responds …

It is really important to be open and honest with this guy, and let him simply know you are not able to afford all of the dates. Then he can decide whether he wants to put a little more money out on the dates you can't afford and pay for you.

Another option is for each of you to split the date cost proportionate to your income. For instance if you make 2/3 of his salary, you contribute slightly less than half towards the date costs. If he doesn't want to pay any extra, consider whether or not you will be okay with this for the rest of your life if you get serious with him. This means you will always have a very calculated financial future with him.

I am greatly concerned you are not able to communicate with him without feeling he will get "angry." This is a huge red flag, and by ignoring it, you are burying your head in the sand. Why is he so easily agitated? Where else will you have this problem in your relationship in the future?

The future success of your relationship is reliant on your ability to communicate with him. Don't sell yourself short. Money is a big issue, and if you don't work out something now, then there is no point in continuing with this relationship.

Gina Daniels | 905.873.4463

Randy responds …

First of all, six months is really a very short time in terms of really getting to know each other, and this money issue is likely just one of many issues that will arise over the next few years if you continue dating. How you feel about the resolution of this issue will contribute to your ultimate decision regarding the long-term future of the relationship.

I'm not too much into "protocol." My view is that cultural norms do more to harm rather than help relationships. So my recommendation is that you work something out that feels good and fair to both of you, and keep an eye on the process as well as the solution.

You might discuss your respective incomes and that might suggest a money split other than 50-50. You might discuss your (and his) past experiences; he may have felt like a prior girlfriend took advantage of him, and once you understand that, you may find common ground. You might decide that there are some events that he likes that he will be willing to pay for, and others that you like which you decide to pay for. You might consider whether there are aspects of the relationship with non-monetary value that should be considered in the complete equation.

If you open up the discussion to finding win-win solutions that are outside the box, you can possibly increase the closeness you feel in your relationship.

Randy Hurlburt | | 858.455.0799

Rick and Jo Harrison respond ...

Given you have been dating for 6 months, the time for protocols is now past! There is no right or wrong way to handle the sharing of expenses. What's important here is the kind of relationship you want to develop with this man.

It sounds like you are taking a submissive stance here. It's not okay with you that he earns more yet he expects you to pay 50/50 on dates. Do you decline dates with him when you know you can't afford them? If not, why not?

From what you said, he doesn't actually get angry. Instead it sounds like you sense some negative energy which pushes your buttons and you feel unsafe. There is something for you to develop in yourself here so that you can be confident around discussing things that don't work for you, without holding back due to fear of rejection or retribution. A good coach can work with you to identify and break through the limiting beliefs that are making you wary and timid of honest and open communication.

If you are willing to discuss money with him, make sure you set up the conversation. Tell him that you love dating him and why. Tell him you are uncomfortable about discussing what you want to discuss but you see the need to resolve it and to grow more confident in your partnership with him. Ask for his support and understanding.
Then tell him what you experience around splitting bills 50/50 and ask for his experience at those times. That way you give him permission to be uncomfortable discussing it too, and you'll both be free to say what you need to say. Hopefully, he'll respect you and trust you as a result.

The Communication Map available online at is a great tool for working systematically and respectfully through difficult issues together.
If your man responds angrily then you really need to ask yourself why you want to stay with him. Every moment you spend on a poor choice prevents your soulmate from finding you!

Warning: Given all the above, trust your intuition about this man. If you believe that physical violence or abuse is a real possibility, do not raise the issue of money. End the relationship. Speak to the police or a help line about the best way to stay safe if you fear retribution for breaking off the relationship.

Rick and Jo Harrison | | +613.5420.7366

Ann responds ...

Money is one of the top three issues that cause arguments or stress with couples. It is an area that is difficult for many people to discuss. Think about it … we're comfortable telling people many things about ourselves, but how many of us are comfortable telling people how much money we make, or how much we owe? It is a sensitive topic.

There are no rules in today's dating world that suggest who pays for what – it is up to the couple to decide. Those who believe in more old-fashioned, traditional gender roles, typically expect the man to pay in the beginning of the relationship. Then, as they become more established as a couple, the woman contributes to the dating expenses as well. More "modern" couples are comfortable splitting things 50/50 from day one. You have to decide where you fit in that area and do what is comfortable for you. It sounds like you may be more "traditional" where your partner is more "modern."

If your relationship is to grow and prosper you both have to be comfortable with your expectations of each other -- not just in dating, but also in lifestyle, spending, saving, investing, etc. Money is a critical area. Have you tried suggesting alternative ways to date that would not cost so much or be as economically challenging for you? Reassure him you still want to see him and be with him, just in a less-costly fashion.

With the economy affecting so many people today, you might use that as a segue into the conversation. Be honest with him about your finances, and if he reacts negatively to your suggestions of less costly dates, or if he gets angry with you as you have sensed, run – don't walk – to the nearest relationship coach! He may have beliefs about money and spending that are not compatible with yours. Left unaddressed, this situation will only increase frustration for you.

Ann Robbins | | 954.561.4498

Feature Article:
The Lost Art of Flirting

by Ann Robbins

I remember when I was in high school and would hear someone say, "Oh, she's such a flirt." Hopefully they were saying it about someone else and not me! It was usually meant as a negative comment. Borderline trashy, certainly inferring promiscuous potential. They could have said, "Oh, she's such a hussy" and it would have meant the same thing.

How sad. Flirting is wonderfully adventurous, seductive, and creates intrigue and excitement in getting to know someone and in keeping the love fires burning. Done correctly and with intent, it adds mystery and romance to any interaction. Done incorrectly or inappropriately, it makes you wish you could press "rewind."

A Forgotten Art?

Perhaps flirting has become a lost art due to technology and our increasing dependance on email, instant messaging, texting, and other forms of electronic communication. Perhaps we've become less creative in the human communication arena. Perhaps we avoid it because we never learned how, or we feel it carries the "hussy" stigma. And sadly, for those who do know how to flirt, flirting often stops when the relationship becomes steady and routine.

Flirting Defined

So, what is flirting? Webster's describes flirting as, "To behave amorously without serious intent," or "To show superficial or casual interest or liking." I beg to differ. Flirting should be intentional. It should send a signal, more subtle than overt, that you have an interest in someone, that you notice them, you like them. Done correctly, it is a series of mutual exchanges in which both parties are having fun and anticipating what's next.

Flirting for Dummies

Don't know how to flirt? Watch a 5-year old. They are masters at flirting. But don't worry, you, too, can be an effective flirt. Flirting can be learned, and it needs to be practiced to be effective. It is one of the elusive forms of communication and can be interpreted in a variety of ways. Thus, it must be planful and targeted. Otherwise, it comes across as insincere or superficial.

Flirting Basics

Most agree that communication is 55% body language, 38% tonality or speaking style, and 7% spoken word. That means 93% of all communication occurs through techniques other than our choice of words. It is not what you say, but how you say it!

Eye Contact - The first step in flirting is to establish good eye contact. You can hold the gaze just a few seconds longer, blink once slowly, and allow your eyes to say, "You have my attention." Combine with a smile for best results!

Smile! - This shows warmth, friendliness and approachability. Allow your whole body to smile, not just your face. Practice in front of a mirror.

Listen Actively - When speaking with someone, give them your full attention. Do NOT answer your cell phone or look at other people around you. Maintain eye contact, ask questions, and show interest.

Personal Space - If you're talking with someone and want to show extra interest, move a little closer. Lean toward them. You will know you're too close if they back up. If this occurs, do not keep moving forward!

Touching - A sure sign of interest is to touch - subtly of course. A slight touch to the arm or hand shows active engagement and interest! If you receive this from someone it is a 100% sign you have their attention.

The Wink - Winking is an amazing art form all of its own. There is the full wink, in which you completely close and even squint one eye. A much more effective wink is the ever-so-slight wink. Barely perceptible. Combined with a smile, it gets killer results! If you don't know how, learn!

Surprise! - The little unexpected things you do to let someone know you're thinking about them are a great way to keep romance alive! A note in his briefcase, a "just because" card, a chocolate anything ... think of ways to surprise him with the little things.

Humor - Keep it light, have fun. Without being too aggressive, humorous teasing is a great way to flirt. A little silliness and humor go a long way!

Flirting Don'ts

Keep flirting out of the workplace - While you may think flattery will get you everywhere, do not mix business with flirtatious behavior. It is inappropriate and can be misinterpreted, regardless of how harmless your intentions. And worst case, it can be viewed as harassment.

Do not to be too obvious or pushy - Flirting is typically used to help create a positive outcome ... you want to send an, "I like you" signal to someone.

No means No - If it is not well received - stop!

Have Fun

Keep it light, enjoy yourself, and allow others to enjoy you. The more you practice the more natural it will become. If you make it a fun game it will add mystery, excitement, romance and anticipation to your relationships!

Be gracious, kind, subtle, sweet, nice, approachable, and have fun! You will find the long lost art of flirting a most effective way to create and keep romance in your life!

Copyright © 2008 by Ann Robbins. All rights reserved in all media.

Ann Robbins
Ann Robbins is founder and president of LifeWorks Matchmaking, a professional matchmaking and relationship coaching firm. She is a Certified Professional Matchmaker, a member of the Professional Matchmaking Network through the Matchmaking Institute of New York and a professional Relationship Coach through the Relationship Coaching Institute. 954.561.4498

Bonus Article:
The Law of Attraction for Singles

Interview with Cher Tanner

This month, RCI coach Cher Tanner talks about the Law of Attraction and how singles can use it to find the love of their life.

Tara Kachaturoff

Tara Kachaturoff: What's the Law of Attraction?

Cher Tanner: Just as there are the physical laws of nature such as gravity, there are meta-physical laws of nature that are equally as immutable, one of which is called the "Law of Attraction." It works on the premise that if you hold yourself open with a proper intention, in a proper space, you will draw to you that which fills the space while fulfilling your intention.

Try imagining being an ancient Grecian amphora vase filled to the rim with the elixir of your pleasure, provided by an abundant universe simply for the asking. I think you'll agree it is a powerful idea and explains the buzz around the book and movie, The Secret,which repackaged this ancient precept for the 21st Century.

Tara: What is the underlying process to use the Law of Attraction?

Cher: As described in The Secret, the underlying process is straightforward and appears to be as simple as following three basic steps for goal achievement: 1) Ask for what is wanted, 2) Believe that the universe will provide it, and 3) Be ready to Receive it. By following these deceptively simple steps, the Law of Attraction can be used to draw to you what you want.

Following that theory, with the right mindset, you should be able to turn yourself into an irresistible "love magnet" compliments of the Law of Attraction. The "Ask" step requires you to be thoroughly clear on what it is you truly want from a relationship. Once you have a true picture of what that looks like, you need to imagine who the person would need to be to create your amazing love match.

Ask ...

To "prime the pump" of the Law of Attraction, viscerally feel and see you and your heart-mate in relationship. By creating a vision board with images, words, anything meaningful to capture you two in your relationship, it will bring your dream into reality. Then Ask the universe to give this relationship life.

Believe ...

Once tangible, you can savor your relationship making it easier to Believe which is Step 2. You must believe. Anyone using this practice must believe that his/her heart-mate exists and that the universe will actualize that special person into his/her life. You should continue savoring to actively participate in the creation process.

Creative affirmations will support your vision. Keep them positive and in the present tense. For example, "My perfect partner and loving relationship fills my life," or "I am having a loving relationship with the woman of my dreams." People grow to believe the affirmations because they are falling in love with this special someone through self-hypnosis.

Another great exercise is, "Wow, What A Match!" Here you write vivid, comprehensive, emotion-laden descriptions of you and your heart-mate living in perfect harmony. What would they look like? Make it full of images rich with feelings using your senses to beckon your special someone into your life. Then, carry them around with you so that you can read them and visualize them often. It's important to understand that this will happen in its right time. Remain patient. I can't stress that enough. And don't worry about how it will happen.

So to summarize to this point, initially you're Asking with clarity, Believing with conviction, and the next, Step #3, is to turn it over to the universe, your god, whatever it is that you hold worthy and expect to Receive it. In order to receive this special person, the space must be ready for it.


Let's consider again being that Grecian vase. Space needs to be available for the elixir to flow into it. So, if we are busy with extraneous, wrong people, there won't be any room in your vase for your love to inhabit. If your vase is filled with grain instead of the fine wine you desire, you'll remain thirsty, filled with angst, and convinced that you're never going to find your true love. Also, you need to be clear on which vase you are and what elixir will work in your best interest. You can't use an amphora when a lekythos is required. They serve different purposes, and are valued differently.

The same caveat applies where your readiness is concerned. If you desire love, you need to be loving. If you desire tenderness, you need to give to the world a compassionate heart. Your shape can be less than perfect, there can be cracks that have been repaired, but you need to be the right vase, at the right time, ready when your elixir of love gets ready to flow.

Tara: In what ways could a single man or woman use the Law of Attraction to find the love of their life?

Cher: Go about the business of becoming a co-creator with the universe by taking the right steps, thinking desirable thoughts, asking for the outcome you want, being confident it will happen, and welcoming with open arms your greatest love relationship. This is not magic, but magnetic, and becoming a "love magnet" is truly a secret weapon.

Tara: If the Law of Attraction doesn't seem to be working for someone when it comes to dating, what might be standing in the way?

Cher: There could be a multitude of reasons but let me touch on the top two that I consistently encounter.

Not ready ...

"Not being ready" is number one. And the major problem would be not having insight into "who" one is at this moment in time in his or her life. People get so caught up in living, overwhelmed with responsibilities to job, children, family members, church, etc. that they don't take time for introspection, re-evaluation of life purpose, beliefs, values, etc. Until people take time to do that, they can't possibly know what kind of person fits into their life, not to complete them, but to complement them, to build a shared future together.

Unwillingness to wait ...

The second reason blocking success is the one's "unwillingness to wait" for the right person. By "to wait," I do not mean sitting at home expecting your heart-mate to fall into your lap. No, I'm talking about not choking out the space in one's life by filling in the missing piece with any person that comes along because you don't want to be alone, or you must have someone on your arm for the holidays and seasonal parties, or summer's coming and anybody's better than nobody to spend your time with, etc.

Sadly, I see many people who are overly anxious about being alone so they'll settle for just about anybody, compromise their personal self-worth, and then continue to rail that they aren't able to meet Mr. or Ms. Right. Instead of settling (and I am not suggesting you shouldn't have occasional dates with friends or nice people you meet but have determined don't complement the future you visualize), a person should be making every attempt to have the fullest, most well-rounded life as a single person while waiting to feel the magnetic pull of the Law of Attraction.

Copyright © 2008 by Cher Tanner. All rights reserved.

Cher Tanner
Cher Tanner is a trained RCI relationship coach. She works with boomers over 50 who want to find their true heart-mates. She is also a certified Authentic Happiness Coach trained under renowned psychologist Dr. Martin Seligman as well as a member of the International Coach Federation. www.FastTrackHappiness 727.432.9494


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