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May 2012

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Join us on May 9 , 2012 for Reigniting Intimacy After Major Illness.
Carol Page

Experiencing major illness does not need to mean the end of sex or intimacy. Join the discussion with Rabbi Ed Weinsberg, Ed.D., DD., Healthcare Educator, Intimacy Coach and AASECT-Certified Sexuality Counselor.

In this program Rabbi Ed will share:

— His Cancer Journey and Mission
— When Major Illnesses Disrupt Intimacy
— Three Strategies for Reigniting Intimacy and Sexuality

1."Making Love" versus "Having Sex"
2. The S-T-I-C-K Method for Whole-Body Sex
3. Open Communication

— Invitation to Greater Intimacy & Sexuality
— Q & A and Case Studies

Visit for information on how to join this call.

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Check it out! And please pass the word to the singles in your life that you care about. They'll be glad you did!

Ask Our Coaches: 
What's wrong with being picky?

"Can someone ever be too picky when it comes to something as important as a relationship?"

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 never been married. I've dated regularly and have been in one relationship that lasted three years. That's long for me. I would love to settle down and get married, yet I can't seem to find someone who truly fits my relationship requirements. My mom and some of my friends think I'm too picky and that I should just settle down because I'm "getting old."

Can someone ever be too picky when it comes to something as important as a relationship? Should I give up on what I'm seeking and just settle? I'm wondering if perhaps my mom is right -- I'm not getting any younger. I just don't want to make a mistake by giving up on what I want. Any thoughts on what I might do?


Maeve responds ...

If you want to experience a fulfilling relationship with the person who is a perfect match for you then settling is not the way to go. There is nothing wrong with waiting until you meet someone who meets your requirements. Your family and friends want to see you happy but also worry that time is running out. This could be their "stuff" surfacing and I encourage you not to feel forced into rushing anything because of their expectations.

When you settle for less than you truly want or deserve, you only end up with less and this can cause long-term dissatisfaction and heartache.

It is great that you have a supportive network and you could make it work in your favor. I suggest that you talk to your family and friends and let them know exactly what you are searching for in your relationship as well as the type of person you would like to spend your life with. Once they are on board, especially if they are concerned that time is ticking, they could help you in your quest for your future husband.

Maeve Crawford | | +07955671733

Jackie responds ...

Nothing is wrong with being "picky" as long as you are mindful, intentional and make your relationship choices consciously which means:

1. Know who you are and what you want;
2. Learn how to get what you want;
3. Say "No" to what you don't want;
4. Make sure you are really ready for a committed relationship;
5. Attract your ideal partner by developing yourself and living the life that you want; and
6. Take initiative and responsibility for the outcomes of your conscious dating plan.

Instead of labeling behaviors as picky, how would it be different for you if you decided that being intentional and consciously engaging in the dating process and NOT giving in, giving up or settling for less was actually the path to finding the love of your life and co-creating your BEST life and love-life forever?

Lastly Jen, be fully engaged in your life doing the things that matter to you and that are aligned with your values and your passion and prepare to find your ideal match by hiring a relationship coach today! Give yourself the edge. You deserve it! Remember, only YOU can make it happen!

Dr. Jackie Black |

Anita responds ...

Ah, yes, the tricky word "picky." Being picky can save you from experiencing hardship or it can sabotage you from having a relationship. Here are three helpful thoughts to review your picky-o-meter:

• Not Picky: You're looking for a person with similar values to yours.
• Not Picky: You discontinue a relationship based on deal breakers that surfaced. (i.e. You don't want children. She does.)
• Not Picky: You don't give a person a second date because there's no chemistry.

Being picky is positive when looking for realistic, enjoyable and compatible experiences instead of settling for those which bring you down and are clearly incompatible. However, if you find yourself avoiding/ending relationships that (1) you haven't given enough time to in order to learn about the person, or (2) have the ingredients you desire for a great relationship, you may sabotaging your relationship success.

If this is so, consider what holds you back from the idea of commitment. A fear? A negative past experience? History sometimes leaves a mark in our hearts, suspending us from moving forward. We want to forget to help us heal, but as adults, it may be a time to face the gremlins trying to sabotage your ability to love completely.

Anita Myers |

Susana responds ...

There is no such thing as being "too old" for finding true love. Your unwillingness to settle and question your relationship needs demonstrates wisdom and profound courage. Mom and friends may have good intentions, however their approach is flawed.

While you ask great questions, I think the better questions are, "Have you consciously chosen your relationship criteria?" and "Are they aligned with your current relationship skills?"

Singles coaching is an invaluable process in consciously exploring your "must haves" for a relationship. It helps you clearly identify the five or six key requirements which must be present for you in a healthy, high functioning, juicy and intimate relationship. Coaching also helps you identify the relationship skills you may need to work on in order to attract the person who meets your criteria.

Without a clear knowledge of your "must haves" and your relationship skills, it is difficult to attract your beloved. The level of clarity that singles coaching provides also helps you learn how to quickly find, test and sort people in the dating process thus preventing you from wasting your time with inappropriate people.

Susana Gonzalez | | 1.941.447.8231

Nina responds ...

There is a difference between being "picky" and having unrealistic expectations. It's critical that you know your absolute minimum requirements and have them met before committing to a relationship. Unmet requirements lead to the eventual failure of the relationship.

Functional and emotional needs can be met in a variety of ways and can be negotiated if you have a willing partner. (A partner who is willing to negotiate is one of my own Requirements). Your "Wants" are like the candles on the cake and here's where unrealistic expectations come in. If you are holding out for someone who is perfect in all of these areas, that's not realistic. If you are holding out for someone who meets your absolute minimum requirements, you are not picky, but very smart!

I have not talked to anyone who married someone that didn't meet their Requirements who isn't either unhappy or divorced. I know some happily married women who are glad they "held out" for the right person until their late 50's. The men they chose were also happy they had waited because they are free of all the excess resentment and baggage that so many couples endure.

Nina Potter | | 1.651.773.0732

Jianny responds ...

For anyone interested in marriage, a warm body just won't do. Set your bar high. The following are some "Do's" to help in your mate selection:

• Know yourself: values, goals and aspirations
• Know qualities you require in your relationship: honesty, openness, faithfulness, etc.
• Seek compatibility in the above areas
• Examine your relationship history: recurring themes, such as emotionally unavailable, indicate personal work to be completed to start attracting and engaging an available mate
• Enlist friends and family to help find a mate

Marriage is not to be entered into lightly. Set your standards high. If you want to marry an A+ man, then make sure you are an A+ catch. If you meet quality men and have been too picky (i.e. issues with the way he cuts his food) rather than selective, as in considering qualities with long-term effects such as how he speaks to you, ask if you are really ready.

Perhaps there is something standing in the way before you will feel comfortable to love and receive love from a man. No man or woman, for that matter, is perfect. Love is a risk worth taking when you have each other's best interests in mind.

Jianny Adamo | | 1.954.495.4566

Feature Article:
First Date Advice: What you need to know to make your first date light, friendly and fun!

With RCI Coaches Anita Myers and Ann Robbins

First dates mean different things to different people. For some singles, they eagerly look forward to meeting, in person, that mysterious someone who they initially met online or through an introduction by friends or family. For others, they dread it, yet they know this is the only way to start the process of finding the love of their life.

So what can you do to make your first date fun? Where should you meet? What should you talk about and what are some first date do's and don'ts? Find out this and more when I interview two of our RCI coaches who specialize in coaching singles!

Tara Kachaturoff
Editor, Relationship Coaching Institute

Question: What's the most common mistake singles make on first dates and why? What’s the remedy?

Anita: Singles tend to hold tightly to an "expectations list" as if it were the Ten Commandments of Relationships -- but their list is way, way longer. As expectations develop from experiences since childhood, it's unrealistic to create a mold and mercilessly squish your date into your perceived perfect fit. It's kind of Frankenstein-ian: Mix parts of this guy, that guy and the other. Remember what Frankenstein was like when he came to life? Grunty. Noisy. Messy. Unproductive. Trash the list. Instead, be yourself and let him be himself. Keep it simple. Enjoying the adventure might even help you unlock love's door!

Ann: The most common mistake is treating the first date like it's a job interview -- making it obvious to your date that you have a checklist and you're attempting to check all the boxes. This makes your date feel like you're simply evaluating their candidacy and it's a "pass/fail" meeting, which can kill thoughts of romance! The flip side of that is talking too much about yourself and not learning enough about your date! Balance is the key.

Question: What's the one thing singles should never do on their first date, no matter what, and why?

Anita: Leave alcohol off the first page of your possible love story. On your first date, you need to stay in control so you can get a clear picture of who your date is. You never get a second chance to make a first impression. Here are five reasons alcohol shouldn't play the main character on your first date:

1. Skewed judgment.
2. Magnified misunderstandings.
3. Mature logic walks out. Irresponsible emotions barrels in.
4. Manners start as My Fair Lady's Eliza and end as Jersey Shore's Snooki.
5. "I never kiss on a first date" turns into sex.

Ann: Never talk too much about the past or the future. Many singles spend their first date talking excessively about their prior relationships, their ex, and things that happened in the past. Big, big mistake! Equally as bad is talking too much about the future which makes your date feel like you're pressuring them into an instant relationship. Keep it light, keep it easy and just have a conversation. Look at the first date like it's a screening process (without the feeling of an interview) to help you determine compatibility and potential for future dates.

Question: What's the one thing singles should always do on their first date to ensure that they make the most of the experience?

Anita: Always be your authentic self. We put a lot of pressure on ourselves when it comes to dating. We're always finding ways to market ourselves better. For example, look at all the ads for thicker, longer-lasting mascara. Mascara has been around since 4000 BC. You'd think that by now lashes should be at least 300 feet long. The reality is that lashes are lashes and no matter what you put on them, at the end of the day, you're loved and are special to someone because of what you said and did. Be authentic.

Ann: Assuming you know your relationship requirements, the most important thing to do is to learn as much as you can about your date relative to your requirements without making your date feel like you're grilling him/her. Create and invite conversation and be easy to be with and focus on learning about your date while having fun. Learning early on whether or not someone is right for you saves time and heartache and prevents you from mistaking strong attraction and chemistry for love. Be authentic, answer questions honestly, don't go into incredible detail and learn as much as you can!

Question: What are 3 easy first date ideas that will keep things light, easy and enjoyable?

Anita: When dating, keep a "Matthew McConaughey perspective": Whatever happens, it's good. Enjoy. Smile. Have fun. If you pressure yourself or your partner to fit certain parameters of enjoyment, you'll deflate any chance of making your time together worth fondly remembering. Three dating ideas:

1) Visitors Date: Go for a tour in your city as if you're out-of-towners.

2) Food Critic Date: Find three restaurants. You pick one for appetizers, partner picks for the meal and you pick the place for dessert.

3) WalkieTalkie Date: Go to places you can walk and talk with fun scenery (i.e. zoo, fairs, museums, etc.).

Ann: It's important that the first date is something that is of interest to both of you. You would not want to select an outdoor activity if your date prefers to be indoors! However, if you are very outdoorsy and your date is the opposite, is this going to work? That being said, here are three ideas for both indoor and outdoor lovers. For outdoors, try hiking, an art festival, or if you like golf, go to a driving range. Indoors, try an aquarium, a gallery, or explore antique shops. One really fun thing is to play tourist in your own city!

Question: What are two important questions singles should ask on a first date and why?

Anita: On a first date, you'll want to know a zillion things about the person you're meeting, and though it's important to learn about your date, it's also important to avoid interrogating the poor soul.

Consider two top priority questions to ask:

1) What kind of relationship are you looking for? (And find out why!) Your date's answer(s) should help you determine, right off the bat, if you have a similar outlook.

2) What is your definition of a successful, loving relationship? What should it include or not include? Ask this, then sit back and listen. People typically love to be interviewed, especially when the topic is about them. This question should provide you a decent spectrum of your partner's views that either align or not with yours. It's important to ask questions, but remember to try making them appetizing enough to receive answers that help you make smart decisions.

Ann: It's important to first learn what your date is hoping to accomplish through dating. If your date is looking to date a lot of people and you're hoping to get married soon, you're probably not compatible. So ask about relationship/dating goals. This is best learned by asking tactful questions rather than bluntly asking whether they're looking for marriage and children within the first three minutes.

Another important question to ask is how long they have been single (indeed, ARE they single?). Again, if your date is fresh out of a relationship, it's best to assume they are probably not ready to jump into something serious. And, if serious is what you want, again, probably not a good idea. (By the way, there is no such thing as "almost divorced." Your date is either single or not!) Relationships are all about readiness, so asking questions to determine readiness is important.

Question: If you could give one piece of advice that would help reduce first date anxiety, what would it be?

Anita: "People were once forced to marry one another" my college sex education teacher said to me. "It still happens in some areas of the world. Not here. You're free to choose! Dating's an adventure. There are people waiting for a date to happen and you get to go on one! Enjoy it!"

Having a perspective that your date is an adventure releases pressures that strangle your ability to have fun and enjoy your date. Remember Rumi's quote: "If you are irritated by every rub, how will your mirror be polished?" Let your dating be adventurous. It'll keep you polished in relationships!

Ann: If you accept the premise that you want your future mate to love you for who you are, exactly as you are, rather than in spite of who you are, you're half way there! Be yourself -- it's a great person to be! If you know who you are and what you want and you are able to adopt the "chooser" mentality, you will be able to approach the first date with confidence. Be authentic and simply be yourself. Most of all, let go of any attachment to outcomes. Just try to make a friend. Everything else is a bonus.

Copyright © 2012 by Relationship Coaching Institute. All rights reserved in all media.

Our Coaches :

Anita MyersAnita Myers is a wife, a mommy, and a life/relationship coach carrying 20+ years of corporate and public relations experience. As President of InnerScope Consulting, Anita coaches women toward reaching successful destinations. She is also co-authoring the next anticipated relationship resource book, The Dating GPS™: Guys, Pricks and Sweethearts. 1.847.571.4710

Ann RobbinsAnn Robbins is a Certified Professional Matchmaker and Master Certified Relationship Coach. She is the founder and president of LifeWorks Matchmaking and dedicates her business to helping singles find love. She has been featured on CNN, ABC, CBS, FOX, NPR and in numerous newspaper and print publications. 1.407.895.8222

Bonus Article:
Dating Red Flags:
Pay attention! The heart you save could be your own!

by Ann Robbins

What's that song? "You've got to know when to hold 'em … know when to fold 'em … know when to walk away … know when to run …."

Many times I've worked with singles who have remained in a relationship for weeks, months, even years knowing someone was not right for them. What a sad waste of everyone's time. But it's even worse when a single doesn't really know what to look for, or, sadly, ignores glaring red flags. Based on years of coaching singles, I've completed a guideline to help prevent you from staying too long or wasting time on someone who is simply not right for you.

Begin with the end in mind by looking ahead to the future. The number one question you should ask yourself is, "Would I want to spend the rest of my life with this person exactly (yes, exactly) as they are today"? Think about it – dating begins like the job interview. Everyone is putting their best foot forward, trying to avoid pitfalls and hoping to make a good impression. The first few dates are as good as it gets. If you see anything that gives you pause in the beginning, it will only continue as you go forward.

Here are two very thought provoking questions. Even if you're not thinking about having children, or if you've already had your children, ask yourself these two important questions:

1. Would I want this person to raise my child? This means, if something happened to you, and you were not around, would you want this person to be the sole caregiver, role model, and parent of your child/ren?

2. Would I want my child to be exactly like this person? Having a child with someone means you could clone your partner. Think about it.

Once you have thought about the future, pay close attention to the present! Ask yourself if you're ignoring anything – and be honest. Are you talking yourself into a relationship simply because you want to be in a relationship, and being in a relationship with this person is better than being alone?

Are you attracted to the packaging? Are you focusing on the good qualities or aspects, such as money or sex, and ignoring unmet needs? Do you want to rescue them? Or do you see potential? Are you saying, "Everything would be really good if only …."? My mother always told me, "Never fall in love with a man's potential." Potential is the operative word here. Pay attention to details and don't ignore that little voice in your head and heart that always speaks the truth.

And, finally, here are some danger signs that mean walk … no, run … as fast as you can. If you see signs of anger or rage, or if your partner blames others or circumstances for life's situations, you are dealing with someone who will soon begin to direct this behavior toward you.

Another major red flag is anyone who tries to control everything, including you. Does your partner tell you what to wear? Do they ask you, in a suspicious or excessive way, where you've been and whom you've talked to? Do they question you? Do they read your email, or check your phone? These are all danger signs.

Look at unspoken or subtle character traits such as a judgmental or pessimistic attitude. Inability to listen, talking too much about themselves, or continually interrupting are all characteristics of someone who is more into themselves than to you.

Do you try to change yourself to fit into their lifestyle? Or, are you continually trying to change them? Is there emotional drama? Do they keep agreements? Do they accept feedback, take responsibility and demonstrate integrity?

Lastly, be sure your prospective partner is available for commitment! Are they married? (There is no such thing as "almost divorced." You are either married, or not.) Are they emotionally distant or void of affection? Are they still pining for a former relationship? All these things mean they cannot commit to you in a healthy emotional way. If you're attracted to someone who is unavailable, emotionally or otherwise, the best response is, "Call me when you're available." In the meantime, continue to date and expand your options.

Remember, as long as you're in a relationship with the wrong person, you prevent yourself from meeting the one who is right for you! Remain available and open until you are sure it's time to become exclusive and, most importantly, never talk yourself into a relationship. If you have to rationalize, make excuses or ignore things that really bother you, chances are, this is not the person for you. Just as a leopard does not change its spots, a red flag does not change its colors!

Copyright © 2012 Ann Robbins. All rights reserved in all media. Used with permission.

Ann RobbinsAnn Robbins is a Certified Professional Matchmaker and Master Certified Relationship Coach. She is the founder and president of LifeWorks Matchmaking and dedicates her business to helping singles find love. She has been featured on CNN, ABC, CBS, FOX, NPR and in numerous newspaper and print publications. 1.407.895.8222

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