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July 2012

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Relationship Coaching Institute

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Frankie Doiron
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David Steele
David Steele
Relationship Coaching Institute

Tara Kachaturoff - Photo
Tara Kachaturoff
Editor | Conscious Dating News

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Ask Our Coaches: 
No close relationships: Is this a red flag?

"Is this a red flag? Is there anything I should do or am I overreacting?"

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 met this guy at a friend's party two months ago and we've been going out on dates fairly regularly. He's intelligent, witty, charming and intriguing. He also happens to be incredibly handsome. I can't believe he's still single! He's 34, never married and teaches science classes at a nearby college – we live in a college town. He treats me well, we get along fabulously and I definitely think there's some potential. There's just one thing – he seems somewhat mysterious. He doesn't have close family ties and he doesn't even have a best friend or hang out with a group of friends.

I'm really different. I have a big, loving, close family and tons of friends and I'm always spending time with them. I've really never met anyone who didn't have similar social ties like me so that's why I'm wondering about him. I really like this guy and definitely want to get to know him better. It just seems awkward to me that I'm not able to meet his family and friends. He doesn't like talking about his family so I don't push it. And he's told me that he doesn't have any close friends or anyone he hangs out with. Should I be concerned? Is this a red flag? Is there anything I should do or am I overreacting?


Denise responds ...

Your relationship is still young; your boyfriend is under no obligation to disclose his intimate details about his family. He may be waiting until he's sure your relationship is committed to allow you into his close circle of trust. Pushing him for details will not encourage him to share, if he feels you are going to judge him, his choices or his family dynamics. In order for trust to develop, judgment must be removed.

Being social does not mean being intimate and vice versa. I know plenty of families and friends that spend time together, but lack intimacy. Prioritize trust and intimacy over socialization. The closeness you share with your family may be unique and not universal. This may be your own "limiting belief" surfacing that all families must spend time together. How will this thinking factor into your future relationship if it advances?

He may be an introvert personality that prefers to spend time alone, as many professors, researchers, and scientists are. In order to make this union work, you would have to respect this. Will you be willing to release this belief, that because his relationships do not mirror your own, there is something suspicious about him?

Denise Wade Ph.D. | | 1.215.913.7997

Lisa responds ...

Secrecy versus privacy versus a preference for a quieter lifestyle. Given the significant social differences between you and this gentleman, it's a good idea to understand the source of his isolation. You're already asking questions in your mind.

Get answers so you can dismiss your concerns or disengage. Is he hiding an unsavory past that could negatively affect your life? Is there an unresolved family ordeal that is embarrassing to divulge? Does he simply take time to open up and share his world? Or does he simply prefer a more solitary lifestyle?

Secrecy can create conditions for suspicion and anxiety for a social butterfly like yourself. But being more private or having a lower threshold for active social circles could just be indicative of his personality—which could strike a balance between you both or be divisive up the road. Dating your social opposite can be alluring. Add bright, charming and handsome to the mix and you have a great recipe for intrigue. Enjoy getting to know this man, but give serious consideration to lifestyle differences that have potential to cause relationship conflict when the bells and whistles of newness subside.

Lisa Manyoky | | 1.609.890.6645

Nina responds ...

If you're sensing a red flag, please listen to yourself! I don't know anyone who broke up with someone that didn't admit there was a red flag when they met but chose to ignore it. Your intuition is valid.

For more concrete validation, notice how emotionally intimate he is with you. Do you sense total honesty or do you sense secretiveness? How open is he about his feelings, work and other things like his own home?

How does he interact with your friends and family? Does he obviously enjoy them? You're going to be spending a lot of time together so he had better be more than tolerant of time spent with them. Do your closest, most supportive people like and trust him?

If this guy is a loner, can he meet your requirements for time with family and friends? Does he relish their company or try to back out of their events? If he has any need for community, he will have some kind of relationships. If he's holding out on introducing you, then make sure you aren't being exclusive until he does. He may just be cautious with new partners. Continue dating others until you know.

Nina Potter | | 1.651.773.0732

Jackie responds ...

This man is telling and showing you exactly who he IS. I think you are asking the wrong question: "Should I be concerned?"

Conscious Dating means that you observe, listen, and believe people when they tell/show you who they are, and you ask yourself important questions: Who am I? What do I want in a partner? What qualities of life do I want to enjoy with my partner? Does who this man is BEING match with me and who I am being and will choose to be moving forward? Will I be happy for 50 years with a husband who doesn't have/want close family relationships and friendships?

FACT: He doesn't have close family ties and he has never had a best friend or hung out with a group of friends. QUESTION: Is this way of being in the world a good match for YOU?

This doesn't make him a bad person. It probably makes is a poor life-partner choice for you.

Observe what is. You're not judging. You are DECIDING that this man's way of connecting (or not) doesn't affirm and esteem you and your BEST Self! P.S.: Any notion that he might change would be seriously misguided.

Dr. Jackie Black |

Diane and Lewis respond ...

Lisa, you seem to have found a man that meets many of your relationship requirements and with whom you get along fabulously. Yes, it is a red flag that this man does not have any close family ties and friends he hangs out with. There may be, however, legitimate reasons for this.

For example, maybe he is shy, slow to make new friends and hasn't been living in your town that long. Some families do have disagreements that keep members from communicating for many years until something happens to break the ice.

Because you have only been dating for two months, continue to get to know each other better. With more time, he may feel more comfortable sharing things about himself that explain his family and friends situations. Take more time to let the intimacy build.

What are your requirements around your partner integrating with your family and friends? Do you have children? Do you want children with your next partner? Does your partner need to attend all your family functions? Have a conversation about your needs around these family issues and see what his response is.

Diane and Lewis Denbaum | | 1.800.639.4505

Feature Article:
How to Deal with a Break Up:
Seven Tips for Healing Your Heart

by Tara Kachaturoff

We have all been there. You dated someone you loved or thought you loved and now it's over due to what you think is no fault of your own. You feel rejected, alone and abandoned. And, just as deeply as you loved him or her when things were great, you are now hurting to that same degree. Time does heal your heart and soul; however, there's much you can do -- both on your own and with the help of others -- to navigate through the emotion that now consumes you.

Here are some tips to help you through your break up:

#1 Accept the situation. Don't look at it from the sidelines or pretend it's not really happening to you. Accept it for what it is no matter how much it hurts. Allow for the reality of the breakup to come to the surface. Only then can you deal with it head on and begin to heal.

#2 Feel the feelings. Don't avoid your feelings, don't stuff them inside yourself and don't pretend they don't exist. Feel them full on. If you feel like crying, cry. If you feel like yelling and screaming, do that, but do that in the privacy of your own home. If you feel like hitting a pillow, go ahead and do that, too. You need to work out your feelings by expressing them. That being said, always make sure you're in a safe place and that you are not harming or inconveniencing others when doing so.

#3 Avoid blame. Avoid blaming yourself or the other person. A break up does not mean that you or your former partner was bad. It doesn't mean that God or some other supernatural power hates you. This is part of life; things happen in life and bad things happen to good people – and all the time! Don't go down the path of blame. It's a waste of time and energy. It will never accomplish anything and will leave you bitter and angry – possibly escalating into more unhappiness as toxic energy can take on a life of its own.

#4 Restructure your daily life. After a breakup, you'll find you have a lot of extra time in your day. Once you've passed through the initial shock of the situation and have regained some semblance of stability in your life, it's time to consciously reschedule your life.

The best way to start is to make a list of things you enjoy doing. Include a list with at least two columns – one for things you like to do with others and another for things you like to do by yourself. This list will serve you well when you find yourself sitting alone, possibly bored, out of ideas and wondering what to do next. You won't need to wonder anymore because you'll have your handy list to consult.

Another possibility is that you can use this significant time of change to completely restructure how you run your life. Maybe you'll incorporate some permanent new habits -- like daily workouts. Perhaps you'll start a company on the side or add volunteering to your regularly scheduled activities. Or, maybe you'll dive into a hobby you've always wanted to try. By engaging in new experiences, not only will you enrich your life, you'll be opening yourself up to opportunities to meet new people.

#5 Schedule your downtime. Don't spend every minute of your day pining over your loss. Life's too short. Instead, set a scheduled time each day when you can focus on just feeling bad, crying or journaling about what happened to you. There's nothing wrong with spending time feeling sad and dejected about your breakup – just set some limits around it so it doesn't consume your life. Remember, the more you repeat something in your life, the more deeply it gets programmed into your way of being – thus underscoring the importance of positive thinking over its undesirable alternative!

Once you've completed your "downtime" for the day, it's time to turn to more productive activities – like focusing on your family, your job and other important responsibilities and interests in your life. This is a time when you need to exercise great self-discipline.

Don't allow your mind to wander back to thoughts about your breakup when you're supposed to be doing other things. Be present to the moment and contain your "downtime" to specific times of the day or week. Before you know it, you won't even be looking forward to that time as you will have replaced it with more productive things that bring you happiness and joy.

Whatever you do, do not schedule your "downtime" any time during the last 4 or 5 hours of your day as you don't want any negativity seeping into your subconscious during your sleep. Always end your day with positive, happy and upbeat thoughts as you close your eyes for the night.

#6 Reconnect with friends and family. More often than not, your primary relationship can actually divert your attention from other core relationships you have with your family and friends. It's completely understandable as you only have so much time in a day. Often, it's only when a significant relationship ends that you discover how you've been neglecting all the other important people in your life!

Now is a great time to think about reconnecting with others. Friends and family can provide great healing and comfort as you can focus your attention on their lives rather than your own. A change of pace and environment is good for you!

Call up your girl or guy friends. Plan some monthly gatherings or find activities you can share. Explore activities in your local community or search online for other casual meeting groups. Not only can this be a great time to connect with people you know, it's an opportunity to meet new people as well. Staying involved with others keeps your thoughts externalized and grounded in reality.

#7 Understand and internalize three key principles about relationships:

Principle #1: There is someone in the world just for you. In fact, there are probably many "someone's"! Do the math. With over 7 billion people in the world, there are many individuals with whom you can co-create a happy, healthy and fulfilling relationship. Don't think that you're going to spend the rest of your life alone. Being alone or single or married is a decision. You, and only you, decide what you want for your life.

Principle #2: It takes time to heal. Give yourself time and space. There is no running time clock when it comes to healing just as there is no deadline for meeting, dating and creating committed relationships. Go at the speed that's right for you. Avoid jumping into another relationship until you're clear, both mentally and emotionally, of the one that just ended. It's best for you and is thoughtful and respectful of the next person with whom you get involved.

Principle #3: Life reward actions. You create and script the life you desire by the feelings you feel, the thoughts you think and the actions you take. You can design it any way you wish. You are a powerful being!

Healing is a Journey

The fastest and easiest way to work through your breakup is by dealing with it in a grounded and conscious way. Try out some of these tips to help your heart to begin to heal. Enjoy the journey – all of it. Whether traversing a valley or scaling a mountain, all of your experiences come together to make you a unique and precious individual. Move forward, step-by-step and at a pace that works just for you. Before you know it, this troubled time will have passed and you'll be on to life's next great adventure.

Copyright © 2012 by Tara Kachaturoff. All rights reserved in all media. Used with permission.

Tara KachaturoffTara 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

Bonus Article:
How to Identify Your Perfect Mate

by David Steele, Founder, Relationship Coaching Institute

Believe it or not, finding your perfect mate is completely possible. But if you don't believe this, stop reading here because the most important principle for success in anything is, "What you believe you can achieve."

Here are the precise five steps you can take to find your perfect mate:

Step One: Allow yourself to be single

Sounds paradoxical, but if you want to find your perfect mate you must not be involved with people that aren't a good fit for you. Staying available (and single) can be hard, but necessary, for finding the love of your life. Let your motto be, "'I'd rather be single than settle!"

Step Two: Get ready

Wanting a relationship is not the same as being ready for one. Handle any unfinished business that might sabotage your future relationship -- legal, financial, emotional baggage, kid issues, problems with your former partners, school or job demands, etc. It would be a tragedy to finally find your soul mate, only to have the relationship bomb because you weren't ready.

Step Three: Identify your top deal-breakers

You have non-negotiable relationship deal-breakers. What are they? Vow not to get involved with anyone that doesn't meet all of them.

Step Four: Find your perfect mate by following these Four Steps for Conscious Dating:

• Scouting (find compatible people to meet; on the internet, through friends, etc.)
• Sorting (assess chemistry and quickly determine if someone you meet has potential)
• Screening (collect enough data to identify any possible relationship deal-breakers)
• Testing (date a few times and compare the reality with the data)

Implement these four steps as long as it takes to find your perfect mate (don't worry, it will happen faster than you think).

Step Five: Get support

Don't do this alone. Dating can be scary and isolating. Get a coach and lean on your friends and family for support to stay on track.

This is the most important relationship and journey of your life. Finding your perfect mate requires developing yourself and your life so that you're ready to attract and keep the love of your life. Be proactive and go after what you want instead of waiting for it to come to you, or hoping it will just "happen." Now, go for it!

Copyright © by David Steele and The Relationship Coaching Institute. All rights reserved in all media. Used with permission.

David Steele, MA. LMFT is founder of Relationship Coaching Institute and author of the ground-breaking book for singles -- Conscious Dating: Finding the Love of Your Life in Today's World. For more information, visit

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