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What's the Biggest Dating Mistake?
and what can be done to avoid it?"
This column answers
questions submitted by our readers. Submit your questions to Tara@relationshipcoachinginstitute.com
who will forward them to our coaches all over the world. Each issue,
we'll publish a few answers from our RCI coaches.
What's the biggest mistake singles make when it comes to dating?
Editor, Relationship Coaching Institute
One dating mistake
singles make is continuously
looking to a partner for fulfillment;
that is, believing someone else has the ability to complete them --
allocating their happiness to someone else. This path always
disappoints because no one has the ability to satisfy or fulfill us as
well as we can ourselves.
When singles operate
through the lens of this limiting mind-set, often life and their
enjoyment of it is placed on hold. Every situation is weighed and seen
through the filters of "single" and "couple." "I can't go to that
party, that movie, that trip . . . by myself. I'll be alone!" These
thoughts diminish them; opportunities that abound for fun and
relaxation, or whatever might present itself are then wasted and never
realized. They tuck themselves within themselves -- like turtles -- and
stay hidden from the world.
The remedy for this?
Self-coaching. Try it for thirty days. Every thought we think bears
fruit when combined with enough energy and emotion. Complimenting
ourselves on our uniqueness must take the place of berating ourselves.
Over time, when done with enough persistence, we'll believe we're
capable of doing anything in our wondrous state, and deserving of
happiness and joy with another individual.
Lyles | 301.249.0979
an exclusive couple too soon
is likely the biggest mistake a dating single can make. Although a
monogamous relationship holds great appeal to those who seek one,
taking shortcuts to get there is risky. You wouldn't build a home
without a foundation, so don't do the same with a relationship.
Committing too soon could
be the result of being caught up in the exhilaration of chemical
attraction. Those thrills that feel so good at first might actually
postpone discovery of incompatibility by compromising objectivity. You
might have sex soon after committing and find yourself invested in a
way that would not come about if sex had been postponed. You might
ignore negative character flaws even if they are glaring because you
want to avoid the discomfort of a break-up. Worst of all, you might
miss a better suited partner because you got locked in too soon.
To increase your chances
of finding the right partner, date several people at once because
having options keeps your dating lens clear. When you do settle upon
one individual, move slowly, including in the bedroom. Take your time
to be sure this new relationship is truly ideal for you.
Manyoky | www.maverickinspired.com
The biggest mistake
singles make when it comes to dating is not
being themselves. This is a
problem because while you are getting to know someone, they want to get
to know you, too. If you spend your time being someone other than
yourself, they are going to get a false sense of who you are, and
ultimately you are not going to be able to maintain the
The other thing about not being yourself is that you prevent the other
person from being their authentic self with you so you really don't get
a true idea of who they are. This will prevent you from being able to
tell whether or not you have a true match, or if the other person is
someone you would rather not pursue. It is altogether better to totally
be yourself when you are dating, to know and be happy with who you are
and to make choices based on your authentic self and not what you think
others want you to be.
Crawford | www.love2learn2love.co.uk
The biggest dating
mistake singles make is to
assume that they do not have to put forth any effort to find their
ideal partner. This is a
problem because many singles expect the love of their life to just
magically appear without any work on their part. Some of the problems
that result from making this mistake is accepting the misguided belief
that good relationships "just happen" and experiencing immense
frustration and discouragement each time the relationship fails.
In order to avoid
way of thinking, it is important for singles to take responsibility for
their love relationships just like they would for their career, health,
and finances. Singles should become an active participant in their
quest for love by first taking the time to learn more about themselves
and identifying the things that are most important to them in a
relationship. When singles are clear and committed to their vision and
goals, dating can be more effective. And once singles begin revealing
their true self to others, they will have the most success in finding a
partner who is right for them.
Fraser, CRC | www.balanceyourheart.com
The biggest mistake singles make is not
becoming knowledgeable about relationship pitfalls.
Love is a minefield. Love is so important to life, it is a shame to see
it blown up by lack of information. It is possible to navigate the
minefield of love, but only if you know where the hidden bombs are.
Singles try to go through
the minefield aided only by their own desires and the (mis)guidance of
friends. Sooner or later (usually later) the relationship or marriage
fails. They do the same thing again, somewhat more cautiously, but they
make the same mistakes and get the same result. In the end they avoid
relationships or settle for unfulfilling ones.
There are tons of
pitfalls. Making wrong choices, succumbing to cultural conditioning,
holding tight to limiting beliefs, failing to prioritize needs, etc.
All these things, and more, are lurking in the dark to frustrate your
The solution is to become
knowledgeable. Read books, take classes, and get coaching. Look for a
variety of sources that challenge you to take risks outside your
comfort zone. Staying within a narrow path usually leads to a dead end.
"The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom." (William Blake)
Randy Hurlburt | www.partnersinloveandcrime.com
by Michelle E. Vasquez,
research on how the
brain changes when a person is in love revealed three stages people go
through in the process from initial lust to producing a long-term
relationship. The three stages of love include lust, attraction, and
attachment. Each stage is distinct, with different hormones being
released in the brain. These hormones serve a variety of functions to
get us to mate and to form lasting relationships.
Dr. Fisher had her
subjects scanned with an MRI. She discovered that the hormones the
brain releases during these three stages look an awful lot like your
brain on drugs. If after reading this article you want to know more, I
highly recommend her book about this research, Why
We Love: The Nature and Chemistry of Romantic Love.
The hormones in your
brain have an agenda: to get you to mate, thus propagating the species.
"Be fruitful and multiply" is a command the brain gives you. You don't
have a choice here; these feelings and reactions are involuntary and
When you are in an
environment with the opposite sex, you release pheromones, the
chemicals your brain emits to attract a partner. You don't do this
consciously; your brain does it for you. Your brain also senses the
pheromones someone else is releasing, thus paving the way for lust.
Testosterone is increasing your sexual desire and your sex drive. In
men, the testosterone increases. Women get a dose of both testosterone
Of course, just because
the brain is releasing hormones to get you to respond by mating,
doesn't mean you have to obey blindly. As a conscious dater, you know
that giving into lust without considering whether the object of your
lust is an appropriate love interest can have serious, if not
I'm sure you have felt
the rush of attraction to someone, so you know what it's like. You have
probably expressed feeling "high" or "on top of the world." Countless
songs have been written about the feeling of being in love. Can't
sleep, can't eat, can't concentrate…it must be love. What
you're experiencing is attraction. It's the chemistry that happens when
you find that you and another person have created a spark together. Or,
sometimes, it's a spark that only you feel.
During this stage, the
brain releases some more hormones. Dopamine and norepinephrine are
natural mood enhancers, affecting the pleasure centers of the brain.
Phenylethylamine (PEA) is a natural amphetamine. It also makes you feel
good, giving you that "high" you may have experienced when you have
felt attracted to someone.
Adrenaline, the same
hormone that has sometimes allowed people to become much stronger than
normal during a time of high stress, is present during this stage. This
may be why you don't need to eat or sleep as much. It allows you to
function in your daily tasks after staying up way too late with the one
to whom you're attracted.
A word of caution: this
stage may make you feel a bit crazy. Your judgment will be a bit off.
If your family and friends don't approve of the person you are
attracted to, you may ignore them or even become angry when they
suggest you slow down or take a good look at your situation.
You may even ignore
blatant warning signs. If you see the signs that your love interest is
inappropriate for you, you may begin to make excuses for her/his
behavior or minimize it. You may think, "That will change once we're
married," or "It's just a phase he/she will grow out of."
I know you're having fun
and you feel really good in this stage. Still, I urge you to pay
attention to those nagging red flags. Listen to your family and
friends. Resist the urge to ignore their advice or to think, "They're
During the third stage,
you feel bonded to your love interest. You feel you can trust the
person you are attached to. Life is great and the two of you are
progressing toward a relationship as a couple.
Hopefully the two of you
have taken the time to get to know each other, but even if you haven't,
sexual intimacy can bond you to each other. The hormone oxytocin
affects the hypothalamus, creating emotions. It has been referred to as
the "cuddle drug."
When a woman reaches
orgasm, she produces oxytocin. As a result most women will become
bonded sexually to their partner when this happens. Men release
vasopressin during orgasm and this leads to bonding behavior in males.
As a caution to women, this bonding is stronger for females, in
general, which is why women must be even more cautious.
does all of this mean for you?
Your brain doesn't care
whether the person in front of you will be a good life partner, nor
does it care whether you are happy in a relationship; it only cares
about the survival of the species. It's up to you to choose carefully,
balancing your knowledge and judgment with what you feel when you meet
someone with whom you have great chemistry. It's important you do not
let your emotions and attraction for someone override your common
sense. Your success and happiness in relationships depends on your
As a conscious dater, I
would never want you to end up in the situation I see repeatedly with
some of the couples with whom I work. One of the most heartbreaking
situations is working with couples who should never have gotten
together in the first place.
With one couple, when I
asked a typical question about how they got together, they said that
they had met at a bar, had sex the same night, and then he moved into
her place within the week. They wondered why they could not get along.
The sad truth was that they had nothing in common but great sex, which
was not so great now that they were fighting all the time.
Another couple had gotten
together because of great chemistry (lust) and the man told me, "The
sex is great. The problem is, I love her, but I'm not in love with
her." The woman added, "We argue all the time except when we're in
bed." The more we talked, the clearer it became that they were
confusing lust with love.
Great sex won't keep a
couple together. What makes my work so painful with these couples is
that they are not right for each other. They never were. They had come
together because of an initial attraction and they had never bothered
to figure out if they had the same values, the same requirements, and
the same life goals to make a relationship work.
It was all about
chemistry. Chemistry alone may get you about 18 to 24 months of
pleasure at best. As a conscious dater, if you are serious about
finding someone for the long haul, be careful.
does this mean for you?
When you are attracted to
someone, see your hormonal responses as just another piece of useful
information to determine whether he or she has other qualities that fit
with your requirements, needs, and wants. Otherwise, you are setting
yourself up for failure.
Keep in mind that lust is
not love. Lust is hormonally-driven and it is how the brain makes the
body respond to the instinctual drive to mate. Lust is powerful and
there is nothing wrong with it, but in your quest to find a life
partner be aware of the effects of lust. Likewise, attraction is not
love. Attraction can lead to attachment; however, by itself, it is not
Take your time and be aware when seeking the one for you. Enjoy the
feelings of lust, attraction, and attachment while recognizing them for
what they are. Meanwhile, keep testing to see if your relationship
requirements are being met.
If you are serious about
creating a strong foundation for a lasting relationship, balance your
heart with your head. Most likely you have let your feelings of lust
and attraction do the thinking too many times already. Are you ready to
do something different? Talk with your Relationship Coach about
creating a plan for successful dating.
Balance Your Heart With Your Head
Take some time to think
and write out your answers using extra paper. To do this right, you
will need more space than I've allowed for here.
When you consider these
questions, take time to write your responses and be very honest with
yourself. If you are working with a relationship coach, ask her/him to
evaluate your answers and talk with you in detail about them. If not,
ask someone you trust to do this.
Decide that you will stop
and allow yourself time to figure out whether the person you are
attracted to would be a good fit. Lust and attraction are wonderful and
feel great. Think about how much more wonderful it will be when you
have great chemistry and your requirements, values, and goals for your
life all wrapped up together!
Copyright ©2010 by Michelle E. Vásquez. All Rights
Reserved for all media.
LPC, is an RCI Relationship Coach who helps singles and couples attract
the life they want and create the relationships that bring them joy.
She specializes in working with couples who are experiencing
relationship difficulties as well as with singles who want to find the
love of their life. Bilingual, English and Spanish speaking. www.trueloverelationshipcoaching.com
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. You also have the ghost of your past
relationship to deal with—which, thanks to your kids, keeps
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 to try
again. All it takes is a little planning and a little care.
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.
introduce your kids and your date until the relationship is serious.
Go 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
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. Don't subject your kids
to a parade of strangers coming out of your room in the mornings. 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 relationship will need to understand and
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.
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 good with you. Date
someone who is genuinely comfortable with kids.
As for yourself, you
do 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.
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 © 2010
Katherin Scott. All rights reserved worldwide. No part of this article
may be copied or distributed in any form without the author's
Scott, MA is a dating
coach, speaker and author of "ABC's of Dating: Simple Strategies for
Dating Success." As an internationally recognized authority on dating
and attracting love, Katherin coaches singles worldwide and regularly
conducts seminars and workshops to help people empower themselves to
find love and happiness. www.katherinscott.com,
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Conscious Dating Newsletter for Singles
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