Tag: Relationship Advice

Dating Advice–How To Avoid The Scarcity Trap–(Date Happily)


 What Is It

The scarcity trap is when you believe that there is a limited supply of possible partners. You act on that belief by thinking you have to take what you can get or be alone.  In other words, you SETTLE for less. And let’s face it–expect less and you get less.

What Was It Like For Diane

I live in Fairfield, Iowa-a small town of 10,000 in the heartland of America. When I did start to date many years after my divorce, I realized that I was not finding a match. I started to worry and think that maybe I should not be so fussy.  The next man I dated was “cute and nice” but his vision for the future was so different from mine it was ridiculous. Don’t be so fussy I told myself.  I decided to make the best of what this man did offer and spent 6-8 months of my time with him, knowing I would eventually not be fulfilled in this relationship. It wasn’t his fault–it was mine–I settled. Eventually I was “in the way” of the direction his life was moving and he broke up with me. Ouch, Ouch, Ouch!

How Diane Got Out Of The Scarcity Trap

I was mortified and mad at myself for settling.  I took a long hard look at why I let this happen.  I read books, worked with a coach and attended workshops. This allowed me to become real clear about my purpose, my vision and what I valued in my ideal relationship.  I made up my mind and found a support system to ensure that I held to my commitment not to settle, even in this small Midwest town.  It worked-I met the love of my life-Lewis.

To stay out of the Scarcity Trap say NO to what you don’t want so you are ready and available for the YES.  There is a person for you and you are worthy!


Diane and Lewis





The Marketing Dating Trap-What Is It-Learn More About the Marketing Dating Trap (Avoid It Now)

1.       WHAT IS IT

In the marketing trap you believe that you need to make yourself more appealing and “sell” yourself with an attractive packaging or presentation. The bottom line and the sad thing here is you have told yourself that you cannot be yourself. The risk: disappointment, anger and relationship failure.


Diane talks about the Marketing Trap.  I could write a book on the time I have spent in this trap! I probably could have won saleswoman of the year award! 

 Here are a few examples of the things I did to make myself more appealing. 

  •    I was overly agreeable.
  •    I rarely expressed an opinion. My line was “I don’t care, or “That’s OK.”
  •    I wanted to always appear nice so never expressed anger or disappointment.
  •    I was overly helpful.

  Maybe you show more cleavage, leg, or muscle than normal. If it’s for marketing – beware!   Maybe you pretend you have more or less money than you do, maybe you say yes when you really mean no.  If you are doing this and more; you are in the Marketing Trap.

           Let’s face it we are human and we want to love and be loved.   Just don’t be false. The results are devastating. 

  •       When the “sizzle” starts to settle into reality one of you is left disappointed and angry. 
  •       Exhaustion sets in. Being fake is a waste of energy and bad for our health.
  •        It’s unfair not to be honest-more hearts are at risk of being hurt.


            Getting out of the marketing trap is a two word answer: BE AUTHENTIC. 

            Be yourself, no faking, no lying.

            Face and deal with any fears you have around being authentic.  The basis for any love is self love. 

 Be Authentic! No more Marketing!





Four weeks from today, I will be leaving the peace and quiet of Fairfield, IA (population 10,000), to give six workshops in six days.  I am looking to connect with three groups of people: men, women and couples (did I leave anyone out?).

One of the workshops is geared exclusively for men, The Power of Presence and Choice.   Let’s face it men, we are the weaker sex and I want to help us check up to the women on this planet.

  • Syracuse, NY on Tuesday, October 9, 7:30pm, CNY Healing      Arts Wellness Center and Spa. 191 Intrepid Lane, Syracuse, NY 13205
  • Albany, NY on Wednesday, October 10, 7:30pm, Albany      area location TBA
  • Bozrah, Connecticut on Saturday, October 13, 1pm, The      Centerspace Wellness Studio 46 Lebanon Road, Bozrah, CT 06334

The second workshop is for men and women, Responsible Speaking, Effective Listening for Deeper Relationships.   In my humble opinion, everyone can benefit from clearer communication.

  • Syracuse, NY on Monday, October 8, 7:30pm, CNY Healing      Arts Wellness Center and Spa. 191 Intrepid Lane, Syracuse, NY 13205
  • Albany, NY on Thursday, October 11, 7:30pm, Unity      Church. 21 King Avenue, Albany, NY 12206

Finally, my week on the road culminates with a workshop for committed couples, Rituals for Intimacy.  Even couples who are Madly In Love Forever will discover a few tricks for nurturing their precious connection.

  • Bozrah, Connecticut on Saturday, October 13, 8pm, The Centerspace Wellness Studio 46 Lebanon Road, Bozrah, CT 06334

I am looking forward to making new friends and re-uniting with old friends.  Although I will only be visiting three cities on this trip, I do plan to visit all fifty states of this great country by the end of 2013.

If you are live near these cities and want to invite me to speak at your group, please call me at 800-639-4505.

Do you want to know about other events near you? Then join this blog list, if you are not already on it.


All the best,

Lewis Denbaum

Relationship Success Expert/Author/Educator/Motivational Speaker

PO Box 189

Fairfield, IA 52556


www. MadlyInLoveForever.com




Tale of Two Men-Dating Question and Answers

Excited to tell you that our response to a question asked by a 58 year old women was published in the monthly Relationship Coaching Institute newsletter.  As  you scroll down to find our response certainly read the response of other RCI coaches.

Ask Our Coaches:

Which Man Should I Choose?

A Tale of Two Men: How do I choose?

“I’ve met two men that I really like …. How do I choose ?”

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.

Dear Coaches,

I’ve met two men that I really like and both meet my requirements. I don’t fight with either of them, however I like different things about each one. I wish I could just combine them into one man! I’m 58 years old so I can’t be too picky either. One is 8 years younger than me and the other is 8 years older. How do I choose? Which traits are more important for a happy marriage? What’s your advice?


Jackie responds …

Conscious Dating is not limited to those under a certain age. The principles of Conscious Dating apply to everyone who is committed to asking and answering 3 questions: Who are you? What do you want? How can you get what you really want in life and love?

I invite you to seriously challenge your (faulty) belief that at 58 you are too old to be picky. After all, whatever you believe is true, is! It sounds like either one of these men would be a fine companion. But does either one touch your heart in that v-e-r-y deep place? Or curl your hair or knock your socks off? What if it is possible that neither one of these fine men is your ideal match!

If for a moment you decide to be “picky,” would you choose one of them to be your partner for life for the rest of your life, or would you decide to keep dating until you met the man who really did match all of your requirements? Please consider hiring a professional relationship coach to help you create your Conscious Dating Plan so you can choose the right man once and for all!

Dr. Jackie Black | www.DrJackieBlack.com

Maeve responds …

You are in a strong position to choose consciously for your love life, dating two men, both of whom meet your requirements. However, you wish you could combine them into one man, indicating something’s lacking somewhere.

You think you aren’t entitled to have what you want and “can’t be too picky at 58.” Write down all your relationship and partner requirements — your list of absolute must haves for the relationship to work.

Ask yourself “If I spent the rest of my life with this person, is there anything I would want to change about him?” Picture yourself with him in five, ten, twenty years. Pay close attention to your intuition and the feelings that surface for you. You may discover some truths that you’re currently unable to see. Write down your insights and compare them for each person.

The person you choose to spend your life with must be a good match for you, so don’t settle for less. Be clear about what you want for your relationship, choose someone who shares the same values as you and take your time to get to know people. There is no rush when it comes to choosing a life partner.

Maeve Crawford | www.becomingyourownsoulmate.com | 0800 270 7559

Nina responds …

You have 2 great guys to choose from and think you can’t be picky? If they aren’t asking you to make a commitment, there is no reason for you not to take more time and simply enjoy both of them while you decide. That combination guy might just show up!

If you’re ready to commit, both fit all your requirements and you like them equally, try this:

Spend one whole day imagining or pretending that you made the decision to commit to one of them. Spend the entire day assuming that you whole heartedly chose one of them and notice how you think and feel having made that decision. On a different day, imagine that you whole heartedly chose the other one. Again, notice how you think and feel having made the decision with no wavering. Repeat this process until you’re clear.

Consider what kind of “we” you will be forming with each of them. Who will most readily fit with your life vision? This will be the most important thing you’ll need to keep your relationship healthy and alive going forward.

Nina Potter | www.ninapotter.relationshipcoach.org | 1.651.773.0732

Denise responds …

Congratulations Sherrie on meeting two potential soulmates. If you feel that both men meet your requirements then there may be a good possibility that your requirements are too vague. Take your requirements and define out each detail until they are broken down to the smallest element.

Remember dating is a staging. Dating may be chemically and biologically enhanced. Everyone is in character and on their best behavior. Although both candidates appear to meet your requirements, on a day-to-day basis when you share living quarters, finances, domestic responsibilities, and extended families that may change the dynamics of your relationship altogether. So put these men through the litmus test.

Follow their actions and not their words. Words are merely intentions of what or who a person wants to be or intends to be. Actions define their character. Which man aligns more with your values, principles, priorities, morals, and ethics?

Also, a good relationship barometer is how responsive is each man to each one of your physical, emotional, and relational needs when it’s not convenient for him? How responsive is each one when there is absolutely no benefit for him? And, lastly which one shares a vision with you for the future?

Denise Wade Ph.D. | www.sweetharmony.net | 1.215.913.7997

Diane and Lewis respond …

Being 58 years old doesn’t relieve you of your responsibility to choose the best mate possible; we would not call it “picky”. This person could be your loved one for the next 30 years!

We suggest that you re-visit your requirements, including life vision, life purpose, values and needs. Make sure you aren’t overlooking something. How long have you tested the requirements with each man? Have you consulted the dating red flag checklist for insights into each of these men?

The only difference between the two men that you mentioned was age. Age and sexual energy can be a significant factor. How is your sexual energy and how does that match the energy of the two men, bearing in mind that the older may wane faster. There is a 16 year difference to consider here.
The older man may have health issues sooner or could pass on sooner than the younger man. Does that matter to you?

What else is in their environment that they would each bring to the relationship? Do either of them have children or parents that might consume their energy, time or money? Are they both still working or is one retired and the other working?

Diane and Lewis Denbaum | www.DatingWithIntention.com | 1.800.639.4505


Sometimes You Just Have To Eat Cooked Food

I know this is a relationship blog! And with that said here goes.  One of our associates is a “raw foodist.” I do wonder how people can live on only raw food but that’s another story. One day he told us that he does “cheat” now and again. He gives in to cooked Indian food now and again. I can’t blame him!

Last night I could not, for the life of me, practice what I suggest to my coaching clients: see everything as an opportunity. What do I mean? I sat with Lewis and just spewed out a big list of things that “I am not happy about, or are not fair, or are hard to do.” I was on a roll!!

Suddenly I thought of Bill and his occassional cooked meal. That’s what I did last night-I had a cooked meal. My cooked meal was “a complaining smorgesboard”

Today I’m back on raw food. In other words back on track: seeing everything as an opportunity.  Life is good, it is what it is, I am grateful and moving forward. Matter of fact in about a half hour I’m off for a swim!

Bill tells me it feels good to eat cooked food now and again. In the same way it  feels so good to flow with the “off days” and then get back on the living and loving life train to the best of my ability.

Hope you get my drift!!

Relationship Goal-Setting: It Isn’t Sexy, But It Works

It’s January and if you are like us, you are busy thinking about your New Year’s resolutions and 2011 goals.  When you think of goal setting, it’s not a sexy topic. At first blush, you might not think about goals and your relationship at the same time. However, unless you give attention to your relationship, it will stay the same. We just love that quote defining insanity:

 “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.”

So ask yourself: Has your relationship been “stuck?” Are you going insane? Maybe it’s time for you and your partner to start creating some relationship goals.

For example, if you are dating casually, you may have a goal to advance the relationship to exclusivity.  If you are in an exclusive relationship, you may have a goal to get engaged, get married or move in together.  If you are happily married, you may have a goal to build an extraordinary relationship. If you are unhappily married, you may have a goal of reviving your relationship.

Individual Goals  vs.  Joint Goals

We will make this very simple. There are two categories of relationship goals:

(1) Individual goals about the relationship, and

(2) Joint goals about the relationship. 

Here is an example of each.  “I want to become a better listener” is an individual goal.  “We will add more play and fun to our relationship by making an extra date night on Wednesdays” is a joint goal.  Here’s the difference: with the joint relationship goals, both partners must agree to them and participate in them.

Our Goals Setting Process

Our process every year is simple.

1. On our own, we revise our own individual goals for the new year.  These individual goals include personal goals and individual relationship goals. These do not need to be agreed upon, and sharing is optional.

2. Next, we individually write some ideas for joint relationship goals.

3. We share our joint relationship goals with each other and begin the process of crafting mutually agreeable joint goals.  When we both come up with a similar goal, it’s easy to meld our individual versions into a common goal.  When they don’t meld, we discuss them. Some become joint goals, and some get pitched.

For example, Lewis’ proposed goal of a scuba diving vacation got nixed when he discovered Diane is not a fan of the underwater world.  However, Diane’s proposal for working together on a flower garden was happily adopted by Lewis.  We never try to coerce each other into adopting a joint goal that we are not both excited about.

Things Not To Forget

We make our goals comprehensive, covering all aspects of our relationship: home, family, work, leisure and finances.  We ask two questions that help us create our joint goals: (1) What do we value in our relationship, and (2) What do we want to improve in our relationship?

We write down our goals. Why? The kinetic energy of hand writing goals seems to helps with the manifestation process.  Our goals, whether joint or individual, become clearer and easier to understand when written. Most importantly, we can refer back to our written goals to see how we are doing. This helps us stay committed.

Think Big, Plan Small

We think BIG about our goals so that they excite us.  For example, a set of financial goals might include: be debt-free, obtain a vacation home and retire at age 62.  However, once we agree on the big goal, we plan the small steps necessary to achieve those goals.  These small action steps are things we can achieve in the current year. We love feeling successful and we always celebrate our little wins.  We make sure our celebrations are ridiculously fun!

Benefits Of Goal Setting

First benefit: We connect to each other as we dream about our future together. 

Second benefit: We discover where our dreams are not in alignment and decide how to deal with that without judging or arguing

Third benefit: We create action steps that will ensure our success as a couple.

In our office, we took the advice of the wise and created a vision bulletin board.

“Hold an image of the life you want, and that image will become fact”.  Dr. Vincent Norman Peale

The Fun of Sharing Our Individual Goals With Each Other

 Although our individual goals don’t necessarily have anything to do with our relationship, we choose share these with each other.  This helps us understand what is important to each other.  Intimacy is instantly created. Furthermore, we find ways to help and support each other accomplish our goals.  For example, Lewis has a goal to walk 20 minutes each day and Diane has a goal to do two Toastmaster speeches a month. We support each other by scheduling daily walks together during which Diane practices her speeches.  

Using a Coach

When you have a coach, you do what you say you’re going to do.  Why? Because you know that your coach is going to ask you if you followed through. We like to call it “healthy pressure.’

Throughout history, kings, presidents, rulers, athletes and actors have used coaches. Today, coaches are used in many areas of life, including relationships.

There is no lack of information about coaching. Suffice it to say that we have used a fabulous coach and now offer relationship coaching to others.

S.M.A.R.T. Goals

Here it is–an oldie but goodie–like business goals, relationship goals should be S.M.A.R.T.: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely.  The more your goals embody these five characteristics, the more likely you will achieve them.     

Speaking of  Goals

“There’s no telling what you can do when you get inspired by them. There’s no telling what you can do when you believe in them. And there’s no telling what will happen when you act upon them.”  Jim Rohn

Happy Relationships at Christmas and Chanukkah Time

Here we are having some fun at our friend’s holiday party where both Christmas and Hanukkah are celebrated. Our good friend Steve, who usually plays Santa at this party, was ill.  So Lewis stood in as Santa. Definitely a first for Lewis, a wonderful Jewish man. That’s Diane on his knee and our friend Carolyn playing Mrs. Claus.   We honor and enjoy each other’s traditions. It definitely helps keep us madly in love forever!

Playfulness in Relationships

Playfulness was the theme of the couples meeting we held around our fire pit this week. Why? Couples tell us that life is intense these days-leaving little time for playfulness.

It was a gorgeous November evening in Iowa so Lewis was able to build an incredible fire in our backyard fire pit. After the couples gathered round the fire,  we put on I Feel Good by James Brown.  Everyone started dancing around the fire.  Next we demostrated a 10-second kiss and a 7-breathe hug and a 30-second compliment.   Like teenagers, when we said “GO” the couples got to run into our woods or bushes and kiss and hug and appreciate until we called them back to the fire. Laughter and lightness was in the air.

We ended the evening with a slow dance around the fire to a  Norah Jones tune.  All the couples checked out feeling more connected.  We felt fulfilled.

What Are You Waiting For?

Don’t be like us.  We waited too long to do even one thing different or gain one piece of informations that could have helped us in our previous relationships.

Recently we coached a couple whose relationship was nearly dead.  By the grace of God,  they realized their deep commitment to each other, and finally reached out for some support.

Feeling overwhelmed, they didn’t want to bite off more than they could chew.  We offered them one tool from our relationship toolbox.  They committed to using it.   With this tool, they were able to get their relationship moving forward.  The absolute pain and misery is over. This one life preserver is saving their relationship.  That’s all they want for now.

Maybe that’s all you need. So please……don’t suffer excrutiating pain any longer.  Give us a call and let us help you unfold what you already know or offer you one of the tools in our toolbox and see what happens.