A Huge Success!
Relationship Summit was a huge success.
Thanks to all who
Many of the world's
top relationship and personal development experts shared valuable
strategies for creating conscious relationships.
We also raised close to
$6000 for the following charities that work directly with families and
children, helping them create a better life:
Infant Crisis Services
Rescue Task Force
Child Family Health
The Olive Branch for
If you missed the
Summit, we have great news! You can still access all 35 life changing
presentations. The audio recordings will be available for sale
beginning May 1st.
Download all 35
recordings and listen to them at your convenience. Proceeds will go to
the 5 charities we support.
For more information go
Ask Our Coaches:
How Do You Breakup with Someone?
"How do I breakup
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.
How do I break up with someone who has stronger feelings for me than I
have for them? This is one of the hardest conversations I have been
confronted with. How do I soften the impact on their feelings, while at
the same time make it absolutely clear that a relationship with me is
not an option?
If you absolutely know
this is not right for you, I would encourage you to be as honest as
possible. I believe the song title -- "Breaking up is hard to do" --
and it can be; however, the longer you put off doing this, the more
challenging it will be both for you and the other person.
If someone has strong feelings for you, whatever you say, they are
going to feel hurt. Although there's no right or easy way to do this,
be as gentle as possible.
Use phrases like, "as
much as I wish this was the right connection for me, I just don't feel
the same way you do." You might also say you really care and want them
to be with someone who loves them the way they deserve to be loved.
It's OK to be true to
yourself. If this is not right for you, then it wouldn't be right for
either of you in the long run. You, too, deserve to have the kind of
relationship you truly want.
Palache | www.SayYestoYOUCoaching.com
I really appreciate that
you want to be tactful and spare this person's feelings. The Conscious
Dating program teaches its participants that when dating, it's
important to create an exit strategy and to memorize it. It's also used
to quickly assess whether the person is someone who meets your
requirements, needs, and wants, by sorting, scouting, screening, and
You have not said how
long you have been together, nor how serious this relationship has
become, but you do indicate that you want to "break up." If you've only
had a few dates, you could tell him that you don't think your
requirements are the same as his and wish him well as he continues to
date others. However, if you've become an exclusive couple, your
partner deserves more of an explanation.
Consider writing out what
you want to say and practicing it carefully. When you rehearse, focus
on your relationship requirements, making sure to keep blame out of the
speech, but rather telling your partner about what you need that is not
going to be met in a relationship with him.
Remain firm, but gentle,
as this person may tell you he will change, since you've said he has
stronger feelings for you than you do for him. If the chemistry and
attraction are not there, you cannot make them appear. Be very clear
about your requirements, which are the deal-breakers that you cannot
ignore, and without which any relationship would be unworkable.
E. Vásquez, MS, LPC | www.MichelleVasquez.com
Breaking up is only hard
to do when one party is harboring guilt or is a people pleaser. Are you
clear about your requirements and do you know, in your soul, that this
person is not right for you? If so, then staying in the relationship is
unhealthy for both of you.
Delaying the inevitable
is dangerous to your emotional well-being. Brie, feelings are going to
be hurt no matter how you break the news. More often than not, there is
no easy way to tell the truth. In the long run, the truth is the best
path, as I am sure you already know.
How would you like to be
told that a relationship with you is not an option? What do you want to
say that you are not currently saying? How can you acknowledge the
person while stating that you are on a different path and need to
pursue that path without them? Thank the person for being who they are
while letting them know that you do not share the same feelings for
Darshana Hawks | www.RelationshipSuccessSource.com
| 704.846.0932 x11
Lori responds ...
Breaking up can be hard
when you know the other person has strong feelings. Being honest is the
best approach. A way to soften the blow would be to let him know it
would not be fair to either of you to continue when you do not see a
future. Be positive when talking and know ahead of time what you are
going to say.
If it applies, talk about
a requirement you have that cannot get met or one he has that you
cannot meet. When people understand about requirements and how
important they are to sustaining a long and happy relationship, it can
help with moving on. This approach should soften the hurt by giving a
legitimate reason for going your separate ways.
When you've defined your
own requirements, it will be easier to find the perfect person for you.
You may want to hire a relationship coach to get some clarity. Working
with a coach can help you avoid dating the wrong person.
Josephs | www.MyDatingBlueprint.com
and Jo respond ...
We appreciate your
concern for this person; however, you are not responsible for another
person's feelings. Keep reminding yourself that you are doing both of
you a favor by ending something that has no future.
Make a time for a brief
face-to-face "catch-up." Prepare a script of what to say. Then when you
meet, don't beat around the bush, just say your statement. Here's an
example from the Conscious Dating Program: "It's been great getting to
know you over the past few months. I've learned lots about myself and I
appreciate the awareness that you've brought into my life. I've come to
realize that we have a different vision and different goals and values,
so I don't feel we would be a good match. I wish you much happiness and
success finding the right one for you."
Then leave. Do not stay
to console them or justify yourself - that would be sending mixed
messages. If they want to talk about it, decline. Request that they do
not contact you, for say a week, after which time you'll call them to
have another chat to complete whatever there is to say.
The RCI Conscious Dating
Program teaches you to be the chooser of your relationships. Being the
chooser means you must un-choose people who do not meet your
requirements and needs. Choosing to say "no" to the wrong people will
leave you free to say "yes" to your soulmate.
and Jo Harrison | www.SecretsToSoulmateSuccess.com
Sheryl responds ...
This is a common issue
that comes up. You sound very sure that your feelings will never be
stronger than they are right now -- in other words -- that you will not
catch up with where your boyfriend is. If you are certain about this,
then my advice is to be as honest as possible. When you speak with him,
talk about your feelings and what you need that may not be present in
your current relationship. Be careful not to say anything about what he
may be lacking, etc. As long as you are open, honest and sensitive,
this the best way to soften the impact. The bottom line for him is that
your relationship will not continue and he has to come to terms with
that fact in his own way and in his own time.
Sheryl Spangler | www.HeartnSoulCoaching.com
unfortunate that relationships don't work out, other times it's a
blessing. Whichever one it is, it will most likely involve hurt or sad
feelings from one or both parties. It sounds like you would like to let
him down easy in order to make you feel less uncomfortable.
Here's the reality -- you
can't. If you are anything less than direct, you run the risk of
sending too weak of a message, thus elongating the painful process. He
deserves honesty delivered in a respectful and compassionate way.
Take some time to write
down some thoughts on how you can deliver your message respectfully.
You might try dialoging with a trusted friend to see how it sounds.
When we say things aloud sometimes they sound different than in our
minds. Good luck to you with your task as well as your future.
Moorman | www.RelationshipAwakenings.com
Ann responds ...
As a former senior
executive with a human resources consulting firm, I had to assist many
companies in the never-easy task of employee terminations. Breaking up
with someone is a similar process.
Begin with, "As you know
...." This causes the person to acknowledge what you're about to say.
Next, state the obvious such as, "As you know, you and I have been
seeing each other for X months." Explain what has occurred -- "During
that time, I have enjoyed being with you, getting to know you...."
State the positive here. Say some nice things about him, but don't
exaggerate or patronize him.
Continue with, "As a
result, I have made a decision that you and I do not have what I am
hoping to find in a relationship." You may state two or three reasons
why at this point in the conversation. Next, and most importantly,
clearly state you are ending the relationship. "Consequently, I have
decided to ... date other people, stop seeing you, take a break from
dating...," whatever fits your situation.
It's OK to say some
encouraging things to him, but don't placate him too much. Remember, it
is definitely the right thing to do if you're sure he's not the one for
Select a private
time/place to deliver the message, do it gently (but firmly), and allow
him to express his feelings. Be prepared for anger, hurt, shock,
disappointment. Whatever you do, don't argue your position or justify
your decision. Be clear, honest, and prepare for the conversation ahead
Robbins | www.LifeWorksMatchmaking.com
Yes! You Can Date as a Single Parent!
by Ann Robbins
Single parent -- the two
are not mutually exclusive! You can be a great parent and still enjoy
the benefits and perks of being single - including having a social life
and dating - whether for fun or to find a future life partner.
Adding children to the
mix doesn't have to complicate things, but it does demand awareness,
wisdom, and boundary-setting on your part. Here are some things to
think about to make the most of your single parent dating experience:
You Ready to Date?
Before embarking on
dating as a single parent, it is important you are ready, willing, and
able to date. This means your divorce is final, legal entanglements or
financial problems are behind you and custody issues are agreed upon.
Support of family and friends is nice to have. Talk to them prior to
beginning to date after divorce or becoming widowed. Most often you can
find at least one person who is on your side and willing to be there to
help if you need it.
If you're recently
divorced, your children should be reasonably adjusted to the divorce
and their new life. It is also important that your relationship with
your ex will not interfere with your dating. Custody arrangements and
schedules should be finalized so you know your availability. If you
need a babysitter in order to date, line up a few with whom you're
comfortable and you consider reliable. And, most importantly, do the
things necessary to ensure your children still feel like a priority.
With Your Children
It is recommended you
have a conversation with your child(ren) and let them know of your
intention to date. If you already started dating, but have not talked
with them yet, not to worry. It's not too late --do it now! Let your
children know the reasons why you want to date, and most importantly,
that you aren't trying to bring another person into their life to
replace their mom/dad.
Your Children's Reactions
Reactions will vary and
at best will probably be ambivalent. Distinguish between their needs
and wants and help clarify this for them. They may not WANT you to date
because they NEED reassurance that your dating will not take you away
from them in a detrimental way. They may have fears about your dating
as well, and the more you can clarify and understand their reactions,
the better you can cope with them and the more likely they will become
accepting of the idea.
Remember, if your
children react strongly and do not want you to date, you have a right
(if not an obligation to yourself) to have a social life. It's very
important to remember who's in charge (that would be you).
You can listen to their
concerns, but make clear to them that although you appreciate and
understand their feelings, they are not decision makers in your life -
you are still going to date. While you value their input, you will not
allow them to decide what you do, when, and with whom.
to Introduce Your Date to Your Children
Wondering about the best
time to introduce your date/s to your children? Typically, not until
you're both dating each other exclusively and ready to explore a
permanent committed relationship. It is a bad idea, and often
destructive, to expose your kids to a revolving door. It's even worse
if they become attached to someone and you stop dating them. Or, you
date someone they don't like for a month or two, only to break it off
This can create
confusion, worry, and insecurity for them. Also, do not have dates
sleep over when your children are home unless you're exclusive and your
children have met and are comfortable with your new partner. They don't
have to like him/her; they just have to know him/her. The last thing
you want is to have your child meet your man/lady for the first time
while he/she is making coffee in your kitchen at 7 a.m.
Be aware and observe your
kids once they meet your special someone. If your partner has children,
pay attention to those dynamics, too. Notice how they treat your
children versus their own. Do you see any red flags such as
What is their
relationship with their own children? Are your children and theirs
compatible? Do they attempt to discipline your children too much or too
soon? A general rule of thumb is the biological parent does most of the
disciplining and maintains the primary parenting responsibility. Most
importantly, evaluate and observe compatibility for the two families
from a values perspective.
If you date someone with
children, do some reading and research on blended families and the
issues surrounding them. It's important you and your partner agree on
fundamental issues and discuss issues like discipline, boundaries,
You're Worth It
All too often, I hear
from clients that they don't have time to date. They tell me they're
too busy with work, kids, home, and other demands. While I understand
busy (I raised five kids and was a single parent for many years), I
also believe strongly that if you don't make time for yourself no one
will do it for you. Even if you aren't dating someone, you still need a
social life that does not include your children. Make yourself a
priority - you're worth it.
Copyright © 2009 by Ann Robbins. All rights reserved in all
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
Step Dating: Understanding the Challenges
By Yvonne Kelly
If you are a single
person on the dating scene today, there is an excellent chance you will
someday be dating a partner with children. And, of course, if you are
already a single parent dating, you will definitely be in a
relationship that involves your children and potentially your partner's
The term Step Dating is
applied when two single parents date or when a single person dates a
single parent because the dynamics have so much in common with living
in a stepfamily.
I will outline two
misconceptions about love in step dating relationships and seven of the
steps you can take to ensure your best dating experience.
It is important for
single parents and their partners to be aware of step dynamics in order
to navigate a successful step dating relationship while also
safeguarding the rights and interests of the children.
If it sounds easy, it
isn't; just ask anyone who has been there and they will tell you that
there are many myths or misconceptions that lead people astray. And
because it can be difficult for partners to talk about sensitive issues
that arise, the misconceptions persist and create unnecessary problems
for the couple and children involved.
We will touch on two
common themes that tend to trip people up -- both of which revolve
around a misunderstanding of the role love plays in step relationships.
#1 Expectation that the dating partner will "love" their children
Biological parents, of
course, are not just looking for a potential mate, but are hoping to
find someone that could be a suitable stepparent to his or her
children. In doing so, their enthusiasm about a new relationship can
often translate into expectations that their dating partner will "love"
This tends to put a lot
of pressure on their partner and it is simply not a very realistic
expectation. It is very important for people to know that loving the
other person's child(ren) is not a prerequisite for a healthy adult
relationship or even for a successful step family. As the relationship
progresses, the requirements include having a healthy concern for the
well-being of your partner's children, ability to understand, respect
and protect their rights, and a willingness to serve as a role model
and friend to them.
But the pressure to love
another person's biological children in the context of a step dating
relationship almost always backfires and actually makes it harder for
individuals to get to know and get close to their partner's children.
It can also create resentment between the partners if unrealistic
expectations go unchecked and unmet.
#2 Love will conquer all
It is a common
misconception in dating relationships of all kinds, that love will
conquer all. The truth is that almost all couples who enter into step
dating relationships, and certainly the majority who go on to make a
remarriage commitment, on some level, trust that their love will get
them through --and yet the statistics tell us a very different story.
We have a divorce rate,
in second marriages with children, that hovers around 50-60% in Canada
and 60-70% in the US. So love, alone, is not saving second marriages
from the clutches of separation and divorce.
When you cite these alarming statistics, people often respond by saying
that "those other couples just didn't love each other enough," but WE
DO! Being naïve about what is required beyond love in any
relationship is a recipe for disaster and even more so in highly
complex step relationships.
Undeniably, love is very
important, however learning what you can expect in your relationship,
how to plan for it, and how to make good relationship choices will
significantly increase your chances of success in step relationships.
The reality is that step dating relationships and the step families
that often result from them are more complex and come loaded with
challenges that couples must prepare themselves for, in addition to
cultivating and nurturing their love for one another.
7 Steps for Step
The following seven steps
are highly recommended to assist couples in making good relationship
decisions and facing challenges they can expect in a step dating
1. Get clear on what type
of relationship you are looking for, what matters to you most and what
you are willing to commit to in a relationship.
2. Get to know each other
and the children involved over a significant period of time. Observe
how the children respond and interact within the new relationship.
3. Learn everything you
can about step family dynamics which are alive and well during the step
4. Discover what your
roles with each other's children should be at the various stages of
5. Be honest with
yourself about whether this is the right relationship for you. Don't be
afraid to recognize red flags or warning signs that may be telling you
this is not the right relationship for you or for you and your
child(ren). Now is the time to be choosy.
6. Recognize the
prevalence and problematic nature of common misconceptions when step
dating. Open up the discussions with your partner now. Avoiding these
discussions will spell relationships disaster.
7. If you are finding it
difficult to discuss certain things with your partner, seek out someone
trained in step dynamics to assist you in having discussions which are
necessary if you want to advance the relationship.
From step dating through
to remarriage and second families, couples are required to be aware of
what, beyond love, is required to make their relationships work. It
begins with being able to balance the feeling aspect of romance and
love with an emphasis on knowing what you are looking for in a
relationship (your requirements), and making conscious choices that
will satisfy your needs and requirements.
There is a lot at stake for single parents and singles dating single
parents. The importance of balancing your head's intentions with your
heart's inclinations is undeniably essential.
Copyright © 2009
by Yvonne Kelly. All rights reserved in all media.
MSW, RSW, is a Certified Stepfamily Coach and RCI Licensed Relationship
Coach. She founded The Step and Blended Family Institute. Yvonne works
with step dating couples who have children in the mix, offers
Remarriage Preparation, and coaches stepfamilies to achieve successful
our website at relationshipcoachinginstitute.com
for cutting-edge information and tools for finding the love of your
Listen to outstanding audio programs such as "Find the Love of Your
Life AND The Life That You Love" and "Conscious Dating for Relationship
Access our Knowledge Bank for innovative relationship tools, strategies
Check out our talented RCI-trained Relationship Coaches at relationshipcoachinginstitute.com/resourcecatalog.htm
you a coach or other helping professional who works with singles and
couples? If you want to know more about adding the Conscious Dating
Relationship Coaching tools to your professional toolbox, visit relationshipcoachinginstitute.com
Please share this newsletter with your single friends, family, and
co-workers, and you can be a partner in their success, too!
Links to Us
Tara Kachaturoff | Editor,
Conscious Dating Newsletter for Singles
Visit our resource
catalog for singles at relationshipcoachinginstitute.com/resourcecatalog.htm
Free introductory training! relationshipcoachinginstitute.com
To subscribe to this
newsletter and join our f`ree Conscious Dating Online Community
Free monthly tele-seminars! www.BuildingYourIdealPractice.com
Copyright © 2009
by Relationship Coaching Institute. All rights reserved. Feel free to
share this with others as long as our contact information and
authorship is included.