New Conscious Dating App!
MyDatingCoach, a free Conscious Dating app for singles is now live for Apple and Android devices. The HTML5 version compatible with any mobile device is here
It's free, with great stuff for singles such as audio and video programs, Conscious Dating tips and strategies, access to our comprehensive Conscious Dating Knowledge Bank, and much more.
Check it out! And please pass the word to the singles in your life that you care about. They'll be glad you did!
Monthly Conscious Dating Seminar
Join RCI Mentor Coach, Judith Geiger on February 8, 2012 for Finding Love after Divorce
Starting over after divorce often feels like diving off a cliff without a parachute.
- Does change feel scary?
- Are you unsure how to piece your life back together?
- Is your fear or lack of energy holding you back from
having a life you love?
- Are you worried that you might spend the rest of your
Join Conscious Dating Mentor Coach Judith Geiger as
she helps you discover how to piece your life together
after divorce or major breakup and float into love
with your own Patchwork Parachute!
In this program you will learn:
To join this complimentary program visit http://consciousrelationshipseminars.com/ and scroll to the bottom of the page.
- The two biggest dating mistakes you make after divorce or major breakup.
- A heart opening exercise that allows you to let go of past hurts while opening your heart to be in love again.
- Taking control of your happiness level. Be in love with you, your life and your ideal partner.
- How to easily create 10 new habits that support your goals.
Our Valentine's Day Gift for YOU
As a member of our network you are cordially invited
to join us for a very special Valentine's event:Your Most Romantic Valentine's Day Ever
With David and Darlene Steele
While accessible by telephone and internet, this event will be an EXPERIENCE, not a seminar.
Very simply, we want you to have your most romantic Valentine's Day ever, no matter your relationship status.
This experience will be live and no recording will be available.
If you want to have your most romantic Valentine's Day ever, mark your calendar now, get off work early, get a baby sitter,
and do what it takes to join us and make your love life a priority.
After all, aren't you worth it?
Just as the best things in life are free, so is this event; it's our gift to you.
This event will take place on Valentine's Day,
Tuesday, February 14 at 5:00pm pacific/8:00pm eastern
To join us on this experience, go to: http://AttendThisEvent.com/?eventid=26245830
Ask Our Coaches:
What's love? I'm not sure I know
"What's love and how do you know
when you're "in 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 love and how do you know when you're "in it" -- for real? When does "like" turn into love and how do I know if what I'm feeling is real or just something I'm caught up in at the moment?
Nina responds …
Philosophers have been asking "what is love" for thousands of years! In the Conscious Dating® program, we introduce the three stages of Love as described by Dr. Helen Fisher. If you are in "like," but are not obsessing about sex or being with the other person all the time, you are not likely in the first two stages of Lust or Attraction. That leaves Attachment, the third stage, which is more complex.
The hormones that flood your body after orgasm create bonding along with emotions like affection and trust. These are wonderful to have in a relationship that is fully compatible and can make a lasting, fulfilling lifetime connection but can be a ball and chain in an unsatisfying relationship.
You cannot truly "love" a person whom you do not "like." If the absence of this person would cause you to be fundamentally unhappy (not just temporarily sad) then the person is probably more of an addiction than a true love. Pining after someone is not love. Admiring, respecting, and wanting the very best for them is. When mixed with attraction, it can be a powerful connection indeed. Enjoy yourself and take time to grow together.
Nina Potter | ninapotter.relationshipcoach.org | 1.651.773.0732
Jianny responds …
Love is fluid, with many flavors and depths. Being in love is an emotion producing strong affection and obsession for another. When a beloved reflects those sentiments, life's experienced from the extraordinary. Driven by chemistry this phase last about 18 months.
When values and life goals match then love has a greater chance for longevity. Intimate love enjoys chemistry; however, it is driven by deep attachment and commitment. Here, love leads with actions and choices even when you don't feel in love and at times you may even question it. Making choices congruent with loving and respectful actions and attitudes, even when you don't feel loving, as well as upholding the responsibilities to the life you have co-created, leads to personal growth and fulfillment and to deeper, stronger love.
In lasting love, each partner has taken great care to satisfy each other's needs and regard the other as his/her most valued prize – held in high esteem and gratitude. There is a great sense of security and freedom in this form of love which comes with time. Statistically, lasting love has a greater chance in marriage than in cohabitation. It all starts by knowing that you are worth it.
Jianny Adamo | www.fearlesslove.net
Marcy responds …
There is no one definition or feeling for what love is. We all experience it differently. You make a distinction between the feeling being real and just being caught in the moment. Yet, there is no distinction -- what you are feeling in the moment is real.
You may want to embrace that feeling and try to put meaning to it. Ask yourself if there were other times when you had that feeling – perhaps it was when you settled, perhaps it was when you were totally immersed in the chemistry and hormonal effects or perhaps it was when you felt your happiest and most fulfilled self. Get clarity on how those feelings show up for you and see which ones you are feeling now.
Here are three ways you can see when "like" turns into love:
• When you find your requirements have passed the test
• When you are focusing more on the relationship than you are on yourself or your partner
• When you are committed to helping your partner grow, develop, and mature and letting your partner help you do the same.
If none of this is happening now, accept it, enjoy it and use it as your own growing experience.
Marcy Rich | www.marcyrich.com | 1.602.573.6406
Denise responds …
First let's discuss what lust feels like so you can differentiate between love and lust. Lust is physical and unconscious, an indefinable attraction to another person based on sex appeal, looks, physical chemistry, and touch. Lust is usually not a choice, but a feeling that happens to you. Lust may be experienced by one party.
Love is conscious; it's intentional. Love can be defined as an attraction, by both partners, to each other, for their attributes contributed to the relationship. Real love is a choice, a decision.
Love has four critical components:
• Shared values – The premium you both place on children, faith, beliefs, and principles by which you live your life.
• Friendship – This is the person you enjoy being with more than anyone else in the world. You laugh with, cry with, complain to, talk to, argue with, forgive and encourage each other.
• Trust – You can become completely vulnerable transparent with all your flaws, limitations, and weaknesses with this person.
• Willingness to meet each other's emotional needs – This person has a strong desire to understand my unique emotional needs, in my own definition and love language, to help me feel loved and fulfilled.
Denise Wade, Ph.D. | www.sweetharmony.net | 1.215.917.7997
Lisa responds …
Love is a shared, reciprocal feeling of being with your truest, most loyal friend/confidant while enjoying a physical attraction to that person as well. Unlike lust—when bells and whistles are sounding, cheeks are pink and butterflies are taking flight in your stomach—true love is sustainable.
It is a deliberate choice to commit to someone because you can't imagine being with anyone else. It is a trusting relationship where "most of you shows up," meaning you can both be yourself with complete integrity and not fear rejection as a result. In fact, you likely bring out each other's best traits and respect—even appreciate—the differences.
The passage of time is a great test of true love. Moments come and go quickly, just like lust. But love becomes richer over time. Certainly, every relationship has its challenges, but couples in love are willing to do what it takes to weather those storms because they know and prefer conflict to be temporary. So take your time, and let time pass. Feelings of love will evolve and change, but the comfort, pleasure and fulfillment of togetherness—if your love is true—will endure.
Lisa Manyoky | www.maverickinspired.com | 1.609.890.6645
Randy responds …
Many people struggle with this question, and the lack of clarity often results in relationship or marital problems later on. We struggle because our desires can be very strong. Movies, books, etc. reinforce the misconception that "desire equals love." Strong desire can cause us to lose focus on a person's ability to have a good relationship, which is an equally important factor.
Desire without ability usually spells disaster, and ability without desire is sterile. Both are necessary in a reasonable balance. Furthermore, love is not a matter of "in it or not." Such black and white oversimplified thinking leads to confusion and disillusionment. Love requires balancing "how much" desire with "how much" ability (both yours and his).
When does "like" become "love"? When you are both satisfied that the balance of desire and ability in your relationship will work long term. This usually takes several years and much personal growth (though "desire" will probably exist sooner!). There are instruments which allow you to measure both desire and ability and that suggest the thresholds of each that are necessary for a good relationship. These will help you know more quickly if it's real, and if it's right for you.
Randy Hurlburt | www.PartnersinLoveandCrime.com
Bells, Whistles & Fireworks...UH-OH
by Lisa Manyoky
One of the most exhilarating dating experiences is meeting someone new who leaves butterflies in your stomach, a surge of heat behind your sternum and a flush across your cheeks. There is no mistaking chemistry. And when it's mutual, well...that's a recipe for delicious!
Dating is full of excitement, but maybe just after the bells and whistles start sounding, red flags should begin waving—and waving madly! It's thrilling to meet a new date who trips the powerful switches of attraction. Unfortunately, once those switches are activated, they can short-circuit others that keep you clear-headed and objective.
The fact is, the sex hormones, testosterone and estrogen, make the "lust cocktail" so very irresistible. Chasers of adrenaline, dopamine and serotonin—chemicals your body produces when you're attracted to someone—pack the next punch. Then, the after-dinner rounds of oxytocin and vasopressin—released during orgasm—bond you to your partner. Soon, you're literally drunk with love. Or so you think.
Here's how it all works....
Lust. Testosterone and estrogen get the party started. They are sex hormones that biologically predispose men and women to seek out a mate. They are present in the first stage of falling in love: Lust.
Attraction. Adrenaline, dopamine and serotonin are neurotransmitters, which are chemical substances that transmit nerve impulses. They cause the wild euphoria that makes us tingle all over and hunger for someone who appeals. They are actively present during the second stage of love: Attraction.
Adrenaline is the brain chemical that courses through your body the instant you become frightened. When you are attracted to someone, this same chemical makes you sweat and breathe fast, your heartbeat accelerate and your mouth feel like cotton.
Dopamine is the chemical that works just like cocaine. It delivers a surge of intense pleasure, a highly addictive sensation. When dopamine is operative, you have more energy, need less sleep, are not as hungry and are superbly delighted by the details of a novel, budding relationship.
Serotonin is the chemical that when reduced, creates obsession. In fact, people with obsessive-compulsive disorder are shown to have low levels of serotonin. Their obsessions are similar to the intrusive, repetitious thoughts you experience with a new love interest.
Attachment. Oxytocin and vasopressin are bonding chemicals that are signals of the third stage of love: Attachment.
Oxytocin, the cuddle hormone, is released during orgasm. It is the same hormone that is secreted during childbirth, and it results in a feelings of attachment. Some maintain if you have more sex, your feelings of attachment increase.
Vasopressin, the other bonding hormone, regulates the body's retention of water, but it also appears to influence the formation of stable bonds among pairs—the bonding that occurs in the attachment phase of love.
Chemicals at work …
When you find someone attractive, the chemicals your body produces can make you believe that person is your ideal match. Just say NO... to speed. Slowing down the relationship pace helps keeps you clear.
Surely it's possible to meet someone, hear angels singing while your heart beats out of your chest and then end up in a wonderful relationship. But too many times to count, a strong chemical reaction to another person is just that...chemicals at work. The result? Altered perspective, impaired judgment and loss of self-control.
Those waving flags you'd typically heed, warning you of serious incompatibilities, become faint specks in the distance. Before you know it, you're mixed up with the wrong partner. Feelings are invested, and maybe body parts, too. When the fog lifts, the emotional hangover makes you hurt all over.
The love chemicals your body produces are real. They affect you just like addictions to drugs or alcohol. They create longings, cravings, distraction and obsession. They cause you to become focused on your next "fix" at the expense of others who love and care for you. And they intensify emotion without regard for flawed character, destructive rapport, condescension, etc.
If only the chemicals of love were more discriminating! You could be spared the heartache
of bad relationship choices if just one hormone supplied you with a generous and constant dose of good judgment.
Here's the rub...the chemistry of love is an actual phenomenon. But, it can kick in even when a person is all wrong for you. The man who makes your stomach swirl could be the same man who crushes your esteem with verbal slights. The woman who makes your heart race could be the same woman who suffocates you with neediness.
So resist the temptation to overindulge. Sip your "love" cocktail slowly. Give that muscle between your ears a fighting chance of functioning as it should.
Copyright © 2012 by Lisa Manyoky. Used with permission. All rights reserved in all media.
Lisa Manyoky is a Certified Life Coach, Relationship Coach, and DiSC specialist. Landing on her feet after a life-altering divorce, Lisa was inspired to help others get clear about WHAT makes them tick, WHO makes them tick and how they can find the right ticker next time around. www.maverickinspired.com
Love: It All Starts with You!
by Tara Kachaturoff
If you don't love yourself, nobody else will. Not only that – you won't be good at loving anyone else. Loving starts with the self. Wayne Dyer
You can't really love another person until you can love yourself. For many of us, we will spend our entire lifetime learning how to love ourselves – how to accept our precious selves just as we are. Does that mean we can't love others or date or get married one day? Absolutely not. But it does add some challenges along the way.
If we don't know how to experience love for ourselves, then it's hard to experience that with others. If we can't be friends with ourselves, then it's challenging to be a true friend to someone else. If we don't like being alone with ourselves, then others probably wouldn't want to be around us either. That makes perfect sense, right?
When we're born, we're lovable little babies. We're happy and playful and we don't have poor self-esteem or lack self worth. Yet, somehow and somewhere along the journey called life, we can lose that loving feeling. And worse still, it can turn into self-condemnation, hatred and an overall sense of no or low self-worth.
We become subject to criticism and judgments – by our parents and our teachers, by our siblings and our friends and through our institutions of learning and faith. Everyone has an opinion of us. And, then one day, unconsciously, somehow, we buy into what they're saying. Someone else's opinion of us becomes more important that our own opinion of ourselves.
We start believing what others say about who they think we are. We drink in the lies like we're drinking in the last glass of water before a hundred mile trek through the desert. Sadly, some of us lose our connection to our lovable self, our innermost essence which has always been and forever will be within us.
The Most Important Relationship is the One with Yourself
Life is all about relationships. The most important relationship you'll ever have in life is the one you have with yourself. And, little by little, by adopting new attitudes about yourself and taking actions which further behaviors that express love to yourself, you'll be able to love yourself and, thus, more fully love others.
In the meantime, you'll still be dating, making new friends and, hopefully, meeting the love of your life along the way. This isn't a step process; it's more like being on an escalator. It's fluid. It's a learning experience where you're slowly rising to the next level of understanding about yourself – loving and accepting yourself just a little bit more every single day.
No matter what you think about yourself, you can benefit from engaging in behaviors that help you love and respect yourself even more. And, as mentioned, the more you do this, the more you'll be able to express these same qualities to others.
Ideas: Loving Practices for You
Here are some easy practices to help you get started. Even if you focus on one of these, you'll notice your attitude about yourself and others will change over time. You'll begin to open your heart to yourself like never before. You'll feel lighter, happier and more at ease in your own skin. Others will notice it as well and will be more attracted to you and you to them. It's a win-win!
#1 Take time for yourself. Schedule in some regular "me" time to treat yourself well. Enjoy your hobbies, plan spa days or just do something fun by yourself and for yourself. You need to write these activities into your calendar so they aren't an afterthought or easily forgotten. An appointment with yourself is more important than any other appointment! You need to focus conscious time on taking care of you. You never need an excuse for rewarding yourself with the gift of regular self-care. It's healthy and necessary to take care of yourself so you are at your best. You deserve it!
#2 Be social. Friendships can lead to dates and dates can lead to committed relationships. So get out there and meet and greet some new people! Join clubs or groups that interest you. Take classes or start your own group around something fun. Plan at least one social event per week. This will keep you engaged and energized. You'll have the opportunity to share who you are – your personality, talents, gifts and your own unique view of the world. Love yourself by sharing who you are with others!
#3 Forgive yourself. You're not perfect. No one is. You've made mistakes. Everyone does and that's normal and expected. There's nothing you've done in your life that isn't deserving of forgiveness. If someone you loved had done the exact same things that you've done, could you forgive them? Of course. So save yourself the time and do this now. And, in the future, if and when you do more things that you don't like (all of us will do this), immediately forgive yourself. You deserve it!
#4 Be your own best friend. How do you treat your friends? What do you say to them? Contrast that with how you treat yourself now. Note any differences. You spend time with your friends. You're there for them. You speak kindly to them. You enjoy their company. What if you were your own best friend? You should be doing the exact same things you do for your friends for yourself. Try this out now.
For the next week treat yourself as if you're dealing with your best friend – because you are. Your self-talk should be positive and uplifting. Enjoy time for peaceful introspection and reflection. Find ways to care for yourself – for starters, refer to the other suggestions in this article. With practice, you'll be happier, more content and you'll really begin to feel the love!
#5 Accept yourself as is. You're enough. There's nothing to add. Know that you're complete as you are. If you choose to add things, great; if not, that's fine as well. Don't ever think that you didn't come fully installed with love, understanding, kindness and compassion. As mentioned before, our life journey is to uncover or unearth all these things within us that are already there. The next step is to share them with everyone you can!
Copyright © 2012 by Tara Kachaturoff. Used with permission. All rights reserved in all media.
Tara Kachaturoff is a Master Certified Coach for Singles. Since 2003, she has coached hundreds of single men and women to create better dating relationships through her onsite and teleseminar courses. Tara is also the newsletter editor for the Relationship Coaching Institute (RCI). Her personal site is www.relationshipplanning.com.
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