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October 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

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Program #7- Advanced Strategies for Sorting, Screening, and Testing

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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?

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Program #8- Deciding "Is This The One?"

Program #9- When We Must Say Goodbye

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Ask Our Coaches:
Let's Talk First

"We would like to move forward and become intimate."

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 divorced father of two grown children for 3 months. We would like to move forward and become intimate. We want to get to know each other better and think this would deepen our relationship. I think I'm ready. I was married for 15 years and divorced for 2. I dated here and there, but only casually.

This sounds crazy, but I'm not sure how to best approach this with my partner. Today there's a lot more to worry about – AIDS, hepatitis, STDs, etc. And, I haven't been intimate since I was married. It's a big step for me. Any thoughts about what I need to think about or do before taking the next step? I know the obvious -- like birth control -- but what else might I not be considering?

Teresa from Tampa Bay

Randy responds ...

The very first thing is to get clear about something very important. You say you want to more forward and "become intimate." I think you mean you want to "have sex." Being intimate and having sex are two VERY different things. You can be intimate and not have sex, and you can have sex without being intimate (of course both together is best). If you have any confusion about this, you should consult a relationship coach.

Next, you must ask yourself how much sex you want given the level of intimacy you are experiencing at the 3-month point in your relationship. I would recommend what I call "progressive sex." In other words, don't go all the way the first time, and maybe not for a while.

Get to know each other's bodies without penetration. When you are ready for penetration, when it is comfortable in the progress of the relationship, either use a latex condom or go together to get tested. Use of a condom is best until you can be absolutely sure of sexual exclusivity, and this is not a good assumption at the three month point.

Do this exercise to test yourself on progressive sex: write down 20 steps that could exist between "holding hands" and "penetration." Then plan on spending at least a week or two (or more) at each step. And don't forget to have fun!!!!

Randy Hurlburt | | 858.455.0799

Carol responds ...

Approaching the subject of sex can be a little intimidating. You have expressed your concerns beautifully, and your partner and you are already communicating with honesty. Keep this up.

Know that if this is someone who holds your best interest and well-being at heart, he will appreciate your wishes to ensure each others' safety. If not, this is a good way to discover his level of concern for you and the level of responsibility he takes for his own well-being. As you may already know an HIV test is readily available and confidential at your doctor's office. Knowing you are both healthy and physically ready for intimacy is a great gift to give to one another.

Now, let's look at what this means to each of you, and for the direction of your relationship. Are you already dating exclusively? If not, does this mean that you will be? Are you ready? Do you have any concerns? Remember, it is possible to avoid unwelcome surprises by sharing and receiving information clearly and lovingly. That way your choices can be made wisely.

Rev. Carol Baxter | | 772.785.7862

Hazel responds ...

I think after 3 months, if you've been seeing each other on a regular basis, you probably know each other reasonably well. Having sex will not necessarily allow you to actually get to know someone better, however it will give you a different level of intimacy.

You say, "I think I'm ready." You sound a little doubtful. I would encourage you to be sure that you truly are ready to take this next step by asking yourself some questions:

  • What am I fearful about if I take this next step?
  • Do we both have the same goals for the relationship?
  • Does it feel right when we're together?

I would suggest you be open and honest with him about your concerns. If you care about each other, asking him questions (gently) should not be any kind of challenge for him. Today, it's not unusual for people to request that each takes an AIDS/STD test.

Also, if you haven't already, read David Steele's book, Conscious Dating, I think you will find it has lots of great suggestions that will be very helpful. I'm sure you will make whatever decision is right for you.

Hazel Palache | | 818.972.4415

Ann responds ...

I congratulate you for having the foresight and thought to think about your situation carefully before taking your relationship to a level of physical intimacy. Once that occurs, the relationship changes quite profoundly.

You have stated that you think you are ready. Please be as sure as you can before you take this step. Typically, physical intimacy deepens feelings of emotional connection and love for a woman, but not always so for a man.

Consider, first and foremost, if you haven't already, exclusivity. Have the two of you made a decision not to see other people? Have you agreed on this or is it assumed? Be sure your expectations are the same in this area. I have seen many of my clients go through agony over this area alone.

The second thing you should consider is longevity. Do both of you plan on this being a long-term relationship? Are you in it for the long haul? Is the intent to stay together, or to see how it goes? You should have intent of longevity prior to having sex.

Finally, have a candid discussion about your health and potential STDs. If there is any question, a simple blood test can provide the answers.

If you find him unwilling to talk to you about any of this, particularly unwilling to commit to exclusivity, I would advise you to proceed with caution. However, if you are able to have a candid discussion and you find him to be understanding and in agreement with your concerns, then you are probably more than ready!

Ann Robbins  |  |  954.561.4498

Feature Article:
Dating as a Single Parent

by Katherin Scott

As a single parent, the dating game has just gotten more complicated. In addition to the usual difficulty of meeting people, dealing with rejection, and dealing with jerks, you have the kids to consider. You also have the ghost of your past relationship to deal with—which, thanks to your kids, keeps coming back.

It's easy to say I'm too busy for all that and just snuggle in with your children for some wholesome family movies. But the desire for romance and companionship is just as real as it was before you had kids, and you are no less deserving. It's worth getting out there, once you're ready and try again. All it takes is a little planning and a little care.

Your kids always come first.

You know it's true, and you have to make sure your kids know it, too. You also have to make sure your dates know it. Remember that your kids are dealing with relationship changes, too. You don't want to have them attach to a revolving door of role models.

Don't introduce your kids and your date until the relationship is serious.

Go to meet your date instead of being picked up at your home. Let the kids have their space. If your kids are older, you can let them know you're dating. A fifteen-year-old is just going to be annoyed if you introduce someone you've been out with three times as your "friend."

The key is to let the kids know that your dating life doesn't infringe on or threaten their stability or their relationship with you. You go to work; you talk with friends; you go on dates. Keep it simple and separate.

Portion your time so your kids get enough focused one-on-one time.

Don't let your dating life take much time away from your kids. If at all possible, schedule your dates for weekends when your kids are away. If you're dating another single parent, find out right away what your custody schedules are. If they conflict, you'll have a problem.

Remember that you're your kids' role model.

You don't have to kill your sex life, but you have to be more careful than when you were single. You have to stay healthy, and you have to behave the way you'd want your children to behave. Don't subject your kids to a parade of strangers coming out of your room in the morning. Make sure your dates understand your need for discretion.

If you're dating another single parent, they'll probably understand, but an adult without children may need to have things explained. Dating as a parent is different from what they'll be used to. Talk to them about behavior around your kids and about what to expect from your ex. When you're a single parent, you have to interact more with an ex than non-parents do. Your current partner will need to understand and accept that.

When it's time to introduce your kids, talk with your kids first.

Explicitly affirm your commitment to them. Make sure they understand who it is they're meeting. Solicit their thoughts and feelings, but do not ask for their permission or approval. You are dating, but you are still the parent. Your kids need to know they are first, and they also need to know you're still in charge.

Keeping your kids a secret will waste your time.

You can't end up with someone who has a problem with children. Be careful not to date someone who'll use your children to get in good with you. Date someone who is genuinely comfortable with kids.

You deserve to be in a healthy, loving relationship.

Don't let your past experiences trip you up. Also, don't tell your dates about them. Obviously, if you tell them you're a parent, it may come up you're divorced. But you don't have to subject your date to long stories of your ex's misdeeds. It's always in bad taste to complain about past relationships, and that still holds true when your past relationship was ten years long.

Finally - Go for it!

If it's been awhile since you joined the dating game, don't worry. Some things have changed. The essentials haven't. Look out for your kids, look out for yourself, and have fun.

Copyright © 2008 Katherin Scott. All rights reserved worldwide. No part of this article may be copied or distributed in any form without the author's information intact.

Katherin Scott, M.A., is a Dating and Relationship Coach, author and speaker. She has devoted her life to the pursuit of love and romance, not just for herself, but for the millions of single people who want love in their lives. Katherin coaches singles worldwide and teaches seminars and workshops to help people empower themselves to find love and happiness.

Bonus Article:
What's Your Relationship Destiny?

by Don Bailey

Do you believe your destiny is predetermined? Maybe you believe it is put in place by God (Jer. 29:11 NIV) -- "For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

I do believe God has a perfect plan for us in all aspects of our life, but we have the power to mess up the plan as He allows our free will to be at work. I recently found a quotation which I believe makes our part in defining our destiny clear.

Watch your thoughts,
They define your words.
Watch your words,
They define your actions.
Watch your actions,
They define your habits,
Watch your habits,
They define your character.
Watch your character,
It defines your destiny.

Author Unknown

Now, let's apply this to our relationships:

First, your thoughts. Do you think positively about your mate or date? Or, do you find yourself thinking about their faults more than their strengths?

Do you think about your relationship with commitment, or as one that is on the brink of shattering with every upset? Proverbs 23:7 KJV says, "As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he." That makes it pretty clear that the destiny of our relationships begins with our thoughts.

Now, what about the words we speak? Remember, they are defined by our thoughts. We have a choice as to what we say and how we say it. Prov. 15:1,2 NIV says, "A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger." It is clear that our words have a dramatic impact on the actions of our mate or date. Managing our tongue to speak truth with a soft tone produces the best results. Seldom are we forced to use angry words to accomplish our purpose.

What about your actions? So often we'd like to blame them on someone else such as our date or mate or even "the devil made me do it." Just like with our words and thoughts, our actions are our choice. Unfortunately, we may not stop to make a choice, but we react based on our emotions.

It will be much easier to make a choice about our actions if we are managing our thoughts and words. Psalm 1:1,2 gives us some insight as to how to do this. Specifically it says, "Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful."

Well, we're getting closer to our destiny. Now we need to consider our habits. They are defined by our actions and are a matter of conditioning. I believe I've heard that repeating an action twenty-one times causes it to become a habit. Some of us may be more resistant to change, so it may take 30 or 40 or 50 times. The key is that we are making a choice to change our habits. Why? Because it defines our character.

What is character? Well, it's who you are. I've heard that it is what you do when no one is watching. It's who we are when all of the masks are removed and our vulnerabilities, as well as our strengths, are seen by our mate or date. Hopefully, it is the greatest factor on which they make a decision about whether we are worthy of a relationship with them. And let's face it, our character is defined by our thoughts, words, actions and habits.

Well, here we are at our destiny in relationships. What we want is to be happy, to be loving, to be committed, to be caring, to be empathetic, and to be sensual and emotionally healthy. The list goes on and on as we consider who we want to be to our self and to others. We are forced to make choices which lead to a destiny in our relationships and the quality of our life.

So, we reach the end -- our destiny. It's based on our choices and we are responsible for it. We can't blame anyone else. But, now, we must go back to the beginning and start our again as life is constantly changing and we are presented with new choices. What a challenge it is! But now we know how we got to where we are and how to get to a better place in the future.

Copyright © 2008 by Don Bailey. All rights reserved.

Don Bailey
Don 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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