4 Ways to Transform Your Relationship Through Mindfulness


Whether you’re looking for a relationship, just beginning a new relationship or have been with your partner for years, you’ll be amazed by just how much you can totally transform your connection by applying four elements of mindfulness. Mindfulness is just another way of saying you are being more present and aware and mindful of your self, your actions and those of the people around you. Let’s talk about the four ways to transform your relationship with mindfulness that you can also easily apply to your everyday encounters and begin practicing immediately. As with all things, practice makes perfect. And, dear friend, mindfulness is no different. While certain methods might feel a little weird or awkward initially, I urge you to continue. It’s only with dedicated practice that the power of mindfulness is truly unlocked.

1. Mindful Meditation

Before you write off meditation as “too new age” or “a fad,” take a moment to hear me out. Meditation doesn’t have to mean sitting in a circle making “mmm” noises. Don’t get me wrong, group meditation can be a powerful experience, but it’s probably not the easiest idea to wrap your head around if you’re a meditation newcomer. And that’s OK! What I’d like you to do, instead, is to simply find a calm and quiet place in your home to visit once a day. Give yourself 10-20 minutes to sit, rest, clear your head and take deep, steady breaths. Think of it as decompressing the brain - often it will feel that way!

If you’re like me and appreciate a gentle, guiding voice then I’d recommend downloading a meditation app, like Insight Timer or Headspace, to help you get started. There are many meditation apps available that offer a range of guided styles, types of sessions and session lengths.

You can do solo mediation or even invite your partner to join. Either way, you’ll bring the benefits of taking time for yourself, allowing your mind to clear and really hitting that “reset” button to ensure you’re living in the present, into your relationship. Mindful meditation is also an effective way to decompress after the workday, or going into the weekend, allowing you to focus on your relationship, in the now, without negative thoughts or distraction.

2. Mindful Speaking

While mindfulness involves living in the moment, it also involves taking a step back and developing the ability to recognize behaviour in our selves – and to change it. If you’ve ever found yourself blurting out something you wish you hadn’t, or feel as though in the heat of the moment you have “no filter,” you will likely benefit from speaking more mindfully.

As with meditation, mindful speaking requires practice. Starting with your very next conversation, whether it’s a phone call with your mom or a text to your boyfriend, really observe the intent of your words, the language you use and the tone in which you communicate. Seemingly insignificant habits, like beginning sentences with “You always” or “You never” can actually have major impact on how your words are received, interpreted and reacted to. These words will shut down the conversation before it even gets started. The only direction it can head is toward an argument.

Recognizing that each word you use carries power and creates an effect will allow you to begin phasing out words and phrases that lead to negative experiences, as well as become a better communicator with the ability to clearly express yourself in a positive way. We can feel pressure to get our words out but take a breath, review it's potential consequences, and then speak.

3. Deep Active Listening

I’ve spoken before about the importance of active listening, not only in romantic relationships but also in all relationships, and now I’d like to explore how you can take that one step further. Deep active listening is more than showing acknowledgment that you hear and understand someone. It involves practicing great empathy and really allowing yourself to step into the other person’s shoes and try to feel and understand as they do. It’s one thing to hear about your partner’s good or bad day through the lens of your own life, and it’s another – more effective – thing to envision experiencing it as your partner. Picture their day, what has been going on prior to the conversation, step into their shoes.

Remember that, as with all active listening, you are not simply listening to respond. You are listening to truly and authentically understand and appreciate. Doing so will help you develop stronger, deeper relationships and evolve to be a more compassionate, informed human being!

4. Act With Purpose

Last but not least, I want to talk to you about living, and acting, with purpose. So often people find themselves entering “autopilot” mode. It might be on the drive to the office, on the phone with a parent, folding laundry or even during intimacy. Part of being mindful, present and living in the now is doing all things with purpose.

Let’s say that you’re walking to a restaurant for lunch, simultaneously flipping through your news feed or checking emails on your phone. You’re probably walking slower than you would had you put your phone away, and you might even bump into a few people or walk right by your intended destination. This is because, in this moment, you’re not acting with purpose. You’re doing what so many men and women have – believe it or not – learned to do. You’re multi-tasking.

You’re hungry so you’re walking to grab lunch, right? By being on your phone, you’re allowing yourself to be distracted. And, given the nature of social media, it’s fairly likely you’ll come across an article or post that makes you unhappy or stresses you out. So, now you’re not only feeling physical discomfort (hunger) but you’re feeling emotional or mental discomfort, too!

Whenever you have the opportunity, make the conscious effort to singular task. It’ll take practice, yes, but will also feel much more rewarding. Carry this same practice into your relationship. Instead of chatting with your partner about the day while putting away dishes or folding laundry, sit with him and focus on just the conversation. If you’re in the bedroom, really be in the bedroom – try to not allow your mind to wander into what you need to go and do before you go to sleep or where you need to be first thing in the morning. Phones don't belong in the bedroom so leave those tempations plugged in elsewhere in the house! The gift you can give your partner is your undivided attention. That's what you want. That's what they want. So give that to each other.

To your authenticity,

Love, Christine

Want to Become a Certified Dating Coach and Help Others Find Love?

5 Questions That Make Men Cringe


You may have found that, by nature, women tend to be more talkative than men. In fact, women on average speak twice as many words per day than their male counterparts. Wow! This isn't right or wrong, it's just a difference that exists between us and note, I am speaking "on average", not all men or all women. :) Men, on the other hand, tend to rely more heavily on action over discussion. They also tend to place more meaning on the words they hear, and say. Even the most well intentioned question, or one simply asked to spark a conversation, can have the complete opposite effect. In this post, we’re going to talk about the top five questions that make men cringe and, more importantly, why it happens.


“What’s wrong?”

When it comes to this question, timing is truly everything. If your guy comes home from work mid-day and is visibly upset, then of course you would ask what’s going on and try to help. If he’s enjoying a little quiet time or doesn’t feel like going out to dinner with a big group of friends, then asking him a question that implies his behaviour isn’t normal can be agitating and can come across as confrontational.

If you’ve noticed a pattern of behaviour that’s outside the norm for your guy, then have a conversation. Let him know that you’re curious if he is doing okay and you want him to know that you’re there if he needs you, but the key is, don’t press him on it. It could be the case that he had a stressful week or perhaps didn’t even realize he’s been sending you these vibes. As women, we are programmed to take everything personally and want to fix people who are feeling down. Sometimes, it's not needed, he is just processing but knows you are there if he needs to talk.

“Where’s this going?”

This one’s a real doozy. The question, while so short and simple, can mean an incredible number of different things to different people. At the beginning of a relationship, it most often means, “Are we exclusive?” Later on it might evolve to mean, “When will we move in together?” or even “When will we get married?” or “Are we going to have kids?”

When dealing with loaded topics such as these, it’s important to engage in the right setting and with clear, honest language. Leave ambiguity out of the equation and put what’s on your mind on the table, but in a way that's not confrontational. Confrontation rarely leads to conversation as everyone is on guard. This will help keep the conversation from seeming intimidating or overwhelming and is much more likely to get you a clear answer in return. If you are asking "where's this going?", don't keep it opened ended, it is way more productive to be specific "we've been together for 6 months and I think it would be good for us to chat about what our future looks like...."

“Who is she?”

[ctt template="2" link="pb50w" via="yes" ]Confrontation rarely leads to conversation as everyone is on guard.[/ctt]

I’ve spoken before about how jealousy is one of the top traits that turn men off, so it’s no surprise this question makes the list of topics that make men cringe. Whether you’re asking about a woman he’s mentioned from work or someone who passes you on the street and gives a friendly hello, letting the little green monster take hold of you is sure to end in an argument. Similar to the first two questions, there’s a right way and a wrong way to approach the subject. Even with the “right” way, it’s incredibly important to avoid coming across as accusatory or confrontational because, friend, it can backfire.

If you notice that your guy seems to be spending more time with a female co-worker than before, even though you’ve never met her, it’s only natural to want to know more – and it’s completely OK to ask. To keep things open, you can say something like, "Tracey seems interesting, what sort of work did she do before joining your company?" Showing him that you’re genuinely interested in all aspects of his life, including his co-workers and friends, will allow the conversation to run smoothly as opposed to coming across as an accusation. The fact is, both of you are going to have attractive, single people come into each of your work lives and so coming from a place of curiousity is going to go way further in having both of you share openly and building a trusting relationship. 

“Why’d you break up?”

Exes and past relationships are one of those topics that a lot of men and women find uncomfortable. Asking a man to sum up the reason for a past relationship’s demise in a single response? That’s another story entirely. As with most breakups, it’s hard to narrow down why it didn’t work out to a single reason. Even when there is a clear reason, such as infidelity on either partner’s part, it can be very raw and uncomfortable – and, understandably, the last thing a guy’s going to want to dive into discussing (especially on a first date!).

When it does come time to discussing past relationships, it’s important to do so in a safe and private environment – such as one of your homes or when you are out for a walk as opposed to a loud coffee shop. Consider asking questions like, “What did you learn from your last relationship?” and “What do you want to get out of your next relationship?” as opposed to focusing only on the negative, more gossipy stuff. From working with clients for many years, I have found that one of the most important things to process before heading into a new relationship is why the last one didn't work. Also, figuring out a way you can speak about it respectfully rather than begrudgingly is important. Don't bring the past into the future with things like, "well he was just a total prick who cheated on me". That will instantly close doors. As tough as it can be, have a more mature approach in the beginning, "things didn't work out between us, we had really different values and I learned a lot about myself" Then, as your new relationship progresses, you can aim to get into more details down the road. It's important to create space to get to know each other without the past cluttering things up.

“Are you listening?”

Women often show that they’re listening with gestures and speech.  I'm sure you notice that when you speak to friends, co-workers and family. Understandably, it can be difficult to sometimes tell if men are truly listening and easy to assume they’re not. What you need to understand, friend, is that men truly listen differently.

Men tend to focus in on key pieces of information – specifically if there are pieces of information they can put into action. They don’t always demonstrate that they’re listening in the same way that women do. It’s best to save, “Are you listening?” only for when it’s super obvious his mind has wandered or he can’t hear you. Instead, ask questions like, “What would you do in my situation?” or “Can I get your point of view on this?” to engage him and avoid the question coming across as accusatory which will immediately shut down the conversation. I'm sure you can think of times in your life where a man has said to you "yes, I AM listening!". This tends to come up with couples a lot. Just take notice that you both listen differently and neither is right or wrong. Communicate with each other on the physical or verbal cues you may need in order to know the other person is listening. Keep it simple and keep it light.

Want to learn more about men's listening styles? I highly recommend checking out my 6-part audio series - "Inside the Male Brain."

To your authenticity,

Love, Christine

Want to Become a Certified Dating Coach and Help Others Find Love?


5 Simple Steps to Creating Boundaries That Strengthen Your Relationship


Setting, and respecting, boundaries is key to any healthy, fulfilling and mutually rewarding relationship. Usually the need to set boundaries in relationships arises when one person or partner feels as though their needs are not being met. Boundaries can be set at any stage in a relationship, even before the first date. This may seem like overthinking things but essentially, you are teaching others how to treat you right from your first interaction. Not to worry, you are not literally saying things like "I have a boundary around you sending me a booty call text at 3am before we've even met in person." You simply establish the boundary by not responding to said text. Easy. The earlier you can establish healthy boundaries, the better. As you’ve probably already guessed, this post is all about how to do just that. So friend, keep on reading to learn the five simple steps to creating boundaries that strengthen your relationship and will lead to ultimate, mutual fulfillment. 1. Ask Yourself, “How Do I Feel? Are My Needs Being Met?” 

You may already know that you want (or need) to have a conversation with your partner about setting boundaries, but have you fully explored your own feelings and needs at this point? If the answer is no, then you’ll need to start here or your requests will come across unclear and likely difficult to take action on. Determine the feeling first. Have you been feeling drained? Exhausted? Fulfilled? Happy? Content? and what do your instincts tell you about why this is so?

Do you feel you’re giving far more than you’re receiving? What needs, be specific, do you feel are being neglected or left to the wayside? Is it attention? Appreciation? Helping with household stuff? Once you’ve fully explored and consider your own feelings and needs, it’s time to move onto step two.

2. Now, Put Yourself in Your Partner’s Shoes

Now that you’ve taken care of yourself, it’s time to put yourself in the place of your partner and complete the same exercise. Try your very best to exercise the utmost empathy and truly explore your relationship through the eyes of your partner. Look at the past six months and ask yourself, “How have I treated him? What have I done to show him my love and support? How do I imagine he feels when I do this or that?”

Try to be completely and totally honest with yourself and get as real as possible here. No doubt this is difficult, but it's very important in creating healthy partnerships. Your learnings from this exercise will help you immensely when it comes time to have the boundary discussion with your partner.

3. Consider the Setting, Language and Tone

Where and how you have a conversation is just as important as the conversation itself. This is true for every single type of relationship, and couldn’t be truer for romantic relationships. Plan to have your conversation at home in a relaxed, familiar setting where you can both be your authentic, genuine selves and healthily engage in discussion without constraints.

Allow yourself enough time to explain where it is that you are coming from, how you’d like to proceed and then your partner can do the same. Boundary setting, and respecting, is a collaborative effort and requires both of you to give it your all. Putting a level of thoughtfulness into the experience and discussion will really help with both of you feeling heard and self-expressed. At the beginning of the discussion, you can say something like, "both of our goals are to work things out and continue on in our relationship". This can diffuse any resistance.

4. Set the Boundaries

Ready for the hard part? Don’t sweat it, because it really doesn’t need to be that hard. In fact, you may find that you truly enjoy the process of setting boundaries with your partner. This is an excellent chance to really bare your soul, and have your partner bare his, and get to know each other – and each of your needs – on a whole new level.

Perhaps you’re going into this because you feel you don’t spend enough time one-on-one with each other and want to ensure you leave work at the door. Perhaps you feel that you need more alone time, or time with your friends, so that you can truly be your own person and bring a better version of yourself to your relationship. Maybe you’ll learn that your partner has felt that your relationship with your mother or siblings is affecting your relationship at home. Maybe you’ll learn that your partner’s been craving this same conversation but hadn’t known how to start it off without coming across the wrong way.

An example of the language you can use is:

"I know you don't intentionally do (action) to hurt me but when you do it, it makes me feel (feeling). What I would love instead is (action). How does that sound?" 

Whatever the scenario, I assure you that you’ll come away feeling more confident, secure and committed to your relationship.

5. Commit to the Boundaries and Stay Committed

After you and your partner have identified and committed to boundaries, you’ve got to make sure you stick with it. It may take practice and it may take time, but I encourage you to respect the relationship work that you have done and honour your partnership by keeping it going. Your happiness, needs and love life are far too important to take a back seat to life’s many other demands. Make progress your priority and just watch, you’ll see your relationship flourish like you could never have imagined.

To your authenticity,

Love, Christine

Want to Become a Certified Dating Coach and Help Others Find Love?

How Conflict Can Lead to Closeness - When You Do It Right


I’m often asked by clients and friends, “Is it normal to argue in a relationship?” Often times, we hear of these “perfect” couples who “never” fight. I’m here, today, to tell you that every single relationship is different and unique. Arguments, in moderation and when healthily handled, are not only normal but are essential to fostering authenticity, true understanding and effective communication in relationships. Not only is this true for romantic relationships, but also within friendships, families and even the professional world.

Today’s post focuses on how to turn conflict into an opportunity within romantic relationships and partnerships, but you can absolutely take these steps and apply them to other areas of your life. I hope you’ll learn some valuable techniques that will allow you to view conflict in a totally different light and as an effective tool to creating ultimate closeness and collaboration in your relationship - when you do it right, of course.

Ready to learn how to “fight fair” and come out of an argument feeling even more in love? I know, it might be hard to believe, but it’s possible and you’re 100% capable. Keep on reading!

1. Embrace the Conflict and Maintain Intentionality

When you sense an argument beginning, or when you actively within a conflict, allow yourself to consider the moment as an opportunity for personal and partnership growth. Enter into it with the intention of coming away stronger and not coming away as the stronger partner. Conflict should not be about proving that you are a better partner or seeing who can shout the loudest or deliver the most digs. It’s about giving both partners the opportunity to be heard and to speak, no matter what the subject, in order to explore the possibility coming away as a closer and better balanced unit.

2. Be Realistic

I like this step, or technique, because it makes us take a step back and really check ourselves. What are we arguing about? What do we honestly hope to gain? If you’re feeling as though your partner isn’t spending enough time with you or you feel as though you haven’t been connecting, don’t begin an argument about the dirty dishes in the sink and allow it to snowball from there. Be realistic about what’s bothering you, why this conflict exists, and go from there. Also be realistic about your own role and responsibility in the conflict and embrace the reality that your partner may have his or her own points of tension to discuss.

3. Listen, Listen, Listen!

You likely know how awful the feeling of not being heard can be. Expressing yourself and feeling as though your words and feelings are not being recognized or acknowledged can be incredibly hurtful. So, when it comes time to engage in conflict, remember to listen. When you engage in the conversation in the capacity of an active listener, you are more likely to have your partner offer the same respect and opportunity for you, then, to be heard. Listen carefully, acknowledge your partner’s words, and then speak. Don’t interrupt, avoid playing the blame game and respect your partner during conflict the same as you’d respect them at the best of times. After all, the conflict will come to a close and your goal is to come away strengthened.

4. Know Your Words Have Meaning

When speaking, understand that every word has meaning. It can be easy to say things that we truly do not mean in the heat of the moment, and that’s why it’s more important than ever before to choose our words carefully and honestly in conflict. Say how you are truly feeling in simple and clear language. Communicate your issues and your requests in the same way. Try your best to avoid metaphors, hypotheticals and other devices that could be seen as argumentative or even cause confusion. When expressing how something makes you feel, say it just that way! Use “I” statements such as, “When that happens, I feel this way” and avoid generalising statements or accusations.

5. Keep Moving Forward

When a conflict comes to a close and you both walk away from the argument (ideally, together) you must agree to keep moving forward and to leave the past in the past. When you reach a resolution in a conflict, it’s so incredibly important to not continue to bring up the argument in the future. Comments like, “See? I told you!” or “This is what I mean, you always do this” are examples of communication to try and avoid. Choose something like - observe first, "I am not making your wrong but this is an example of what we spoke about on Saturday. It makes me feel dismissed. But again, I am not mad and you are not wrong, I just want to point out this example." - then make affectionate physical contact in some way. This will allow moments of conflict or tension to transform into opportunities for learning and growth and, ultimately, your relationship to strengthen and flourish.

To your authenticity,

Love, Christine

Want to Become a Certified Dating Coach and Help Others Find Love?

The Sexiest Words a Man Can Say… and Why They are So Powerful


A few weeks back I was driving in my car and listened to the radio hosts as they discussed a survey in which women selected three short words as the sexiest words a man can say. To the surprise of the hosts, and many I’m sure, they weren’t “I love you,” “You are beautiful” or (probably) any of the others that spring to mind off the bat.

The three sexiest words a man can say to his partner were decided, instead, to be “I got this.”

I find this so incredibly interesting for a couple of reasons. The first is that we often talk about how it’s the little things that really make a difference. Think of when your partner simply goes about doing the laundry or unloads the dishwasher without being asked, or when he remembers your favourite coffee and picks it up on the way home from work for you. These “small” things can truly mean a lot – much more, in fact, than singular grand gestures.

Your partner making the decision to take on something such as walking the dog, finding out which airport gate you should be headed to or hailing a taxi shows that he’s confident, capable and in control of the situation. We love this. And, in a world where women balance work, marriage, family and more, it’s so nice to know what you can count on to be taken care of by another.

Secondly, this short but powerful statement reminds us of our primal caveman/cavewoman roots where men were fundamentally the providers and women the caregivers or nurturers. While we’ve undoubtedly come a long way since the days of cavemen, we still have the exact same DNA as our early ancestors and having another 'take care of things' makes us feel good.

The power of "I got this" is the words are a statement of fact and allows for the man to shift into producing mode to deliver on his promise. These words allow the woman to fully let this task go and she genuinely finds it so attractive.

If you’re interested in reading more about the power of “I got this,” I would recommend you read this blog post over on The Good Men Project. It speaks to the effects of the three little words from a male perspective and is an interesting read!

To your authenticity,

Love, Christine

Want to Become a Certified Dating Coach and Help Others Find Love?

What You Can Learn by Traveling With Your Partner


  Summer is finally here and that means vacation days, long weekends and (hopefully) a bit of travel. Whether you’re gearing up for a month-long adventure abroad or are looking ahead to a weekend escape to the cottage, travel can teach you a lot about yourself and your partner. Sometimes it tests you; many times it strengthens your bond and it near always reveals something new about your relationship. Here are some of my top reminders to pack along:

outside comfort zone
outside comfort zone

1. Breaking from routine reveals true personality traits

Alarm clocks, commutes and hectic evenings can steal the spontaneity out of even the most adventurous souls. Breaking from routine and familiar surroundings can reveal true, at-rest personality traits that may otherwise be tucked away during everyday life. You may be reminded of how funny or caring your partner is, or you may remember how messy and disorganized they are. The same can be said for what your partner may re-recognize in you. For better or worse, you’ll get to see each other in a more natural, at rest state than you have in a long time and have the opportunity to learn and grow away from the hustle and bustle.


2. How you travel reflects how you manage compromise

No matter where you go, it’s impossible to do absolutely everything you want to do in the time that you have. What you decide to do, and in what order, shows how you and your partner compromise and reflects the balance in your relationship. Do you put down your foot and insist on seeing your “must visit” attractions? Or, do you make a list of what you both would like to do and see where you can level out? Just as in a healthy relationship, travel requires a certain amount of give and take. You may be surprised at how well you manage compromise, or may realize you have a bit of work to do.


3. Life will throw you curveballs… and you can bet travel will too

Travel has its ups and downs just like life does. Missing a connection, delayed flights, overbooked hotels and misplacing keys or IDs can cause serious stress. Adjusting to different time zones and traveling through the night can also leave you feeling some major exhaustion. Watch to see how your partner, and how you, react to these situations. Try to exercise patience and understanding if and when things go awry. Feeling sluggish? Let your natural optimism shine and remind yourself that you are amazingly lucky to be able to travel with the one you love and that a little bit of jet lag now will be worth packing another day of memories into the trip. You can learn a lot about your partner by how they handle the same situations, too.


4. New cultures and experiences can reveal untapped passions

Experiencing Latin America for the first time may help you realize that your partner loves dancing, or that you have a thirst for experiencing more to life. Walking through art galleries and museums may awaken a passion for painting or photography, possibly a hobby you can share with your partner. As you travel and experience new things together, you’ll see your individual and collective tastes and interests evolve. Seeing new parts of the world and challenging yourself to step outside of your comfort zones keeps you both developing as people as well as a partnership. Do it as often as you can!

friendship core
friendship core

5. At the core of your relationship is a deep friendship

Nothing reminds couples of the fundamental friendship they share more than travel. Whether it’s making silly poses next to the British Guard or throwing back a cold one at a Munich beer hall, you’re there to enjoy each other’s company. And, most often, travel means that you’ll be out and about more than you’ll be at your hotel. So, while surely there will be some time for romance, there’s much more time to explore your intense friendship and just have fun.

To your authenticity,

Love, Christine

Want to Become a Certified Dating Coach and Help Others Find Love?


How to Strike up a Conversation with That Attractive Stranger


  I recently read an article on Mind Body Green that spoke about how there’s something about sitting across from an attractive stranger that makes us lose our minds. The author wrote about how someone can be the most confident, put-together person but as soon as it comes to talking to someone they find attractive they start to stumble over words, blush or just back out of the situation completely.

And, friend, it’s sort of true. I’ve seen it happen time after time and it’s something I regularly speak to my clients about. What is it about saying “hello” to that good looking guy at the coffee shop that’s really so terrifying?

In my experience, I’ve found that it comes down to two factors. The first is that you care about the outcome – the outcome that you don’t control. Striking up a chat with a gorgeous stranger is different than pitching a great idea to a client or presenting something to your boss. In those situations you sort of know what to expect and have had some time to prepare. In line waiting for your grande Americano is a whole other ball game.

The second is that you have no previous experience with this person to base your conversation off of. Are they single? Do they find youattractive? Are they funny? Easy to talk to? In a hurry? Who knows! It can be intimidating knowing where to start in a new conversation, with a new person, when it’s a total blank slate. BUT, it’s also pretty darn exciting and can potentially lead to an amazing connection. That’s why I’m challenging you to try it for yourself, even just once, so you can see how it could honestly change your dating life forever. Here’s how to do it:

1. Make Eye Contact

Yep, you’ve really just got to use your eyes and look at his for this one to work. Looking down at your phone or trying to check him out without him noticing isn’t going to get you anywhere. And, if I’m being totally honest, it could make you look a little creepy if you’re not especially skilled in covert surveillance. If you’re feeling him and want to chat, make eye contact and let him know!

2. Smile

Just like number one, this tip should be obvious but so often we forget that we have the power to make someone else smile just by doing it ourselves. A smile is warm, inviting and instantly puts the recipient at ease. Flash him a smile and open yourself up for one of you to say "hello". The worse that’ll happen is he says “hello” back and you both go on with your separate days. The best? Well, you could be swapping digits in a matter of moments and be all set up for a Thursday night date.

3. Compliment Him

Have you ever been out to dinner or at the mall when someone complimented something about you? It probably felt pretty good and made you instantly like the person even though you likely didn’t know each other. If you want the chance to speak with someone you’ve been admiring, go ahead and pay him a compliment. Something as simple as, “I really love your glasses. Do you mind me asking where they’re from?” can open the door to a great conversation. Be genuine and authentic in your compliment and deliver it with a smile.

4. Bond Over Something in Common

Again I’ll use the example of a coffee shop, but this tip works just about anywhere. Start a conversation about something you notice you have in common. Same backpack company? Same coffee? Is he holding a book you recently finished or have been dying to read? Talking about something that you have in common takes the pressure off a bit and makes the conversation about something other than him or you. Also, this is a good time to point out that you need to travel with your interests. Get those books out on the coffee table, wear that t-shirt from your favorite band or festival. Invite conversation about shared interests. Want more? Continue onto #5.

5. Try the 'ol, “Have I seen you here before?” Trick

There’s a reason why this pick up line is still one of the most popular today, and that’s because it works. Turn to him and ask, “I think I recognize you, have you been here before, your face is so familiar?” and away you go. Depending on the answer, you’ll have a few different ways to continue the conversation and things should flow naturally from there. At the very least, you will have helped yourself get past the "I don't talk to strangers and keep to myself" vibe. :)

To your authenticity,

Love, Christine

Want to Become a Certified Dating Coach and Help Others Find Love?

Signs of Divorce: How to Spot These 4 Indicators… and How to Overcome Them


John Gottman, author and psychologist, is well known for conducting many studies surrounding the predictability of divorce. After a 15-minute conversation with a couple, followed by questions about satisfaction and relationship behaviours, Gottman and his team discovered they could predict whether or not a marriage would result in divorce with 93% accuracy. 93% accuracy. That’s both impressive and incredibly saddening. The reality, more in this modern day than ever before, is that nearly half of relationships end in a break up, separation or divorce. What I want to share with you, my friend, is how to equip you and your partner to beat the odds and live in a truly satisfying, successful partnership. One of the most powerful ways to do this is to train yourself to identify the three strongest indicators and work to overcome those behaviours.

Ready? Let’s dive in.

1. Criticism

Have you ever found yourself picking up after your partner, only to wind up making a comment to them about so much more than leaving a towel on the floor or a dirty dish on the counter? Criticism without the genuine aim of being constructive and positive will only ever lead to hurt feelings and a moment in time you really can’t undo. Seemingly small things like calling your partner “stupid” or reminding them that you’re the smarter one in the duo can have irreparable effects on your relationship.

When you feel yourself about to criticize your partner (and especially in heated circumstances, as mentioned), take a deep breath and count to ten. The simple “calm down” trick that you likely learned as a child will honestly do wonders even in many adult situations. If you have to, leave the room until you calm down and know you won't say something you regret. Remind yourself that your partnership is more important and more valuable than this one moment, this one dirty dish, and this one unfolded towel. Once you are feeling much more calm, take a moment to think about the positives in your partner, even if you don't want to. When you work to replace your criticism habit with thoughts of praise, even in small bits, you will see the tension between the two of you lessen.

2. Defensiveness

I was reading an article recently and the author mentioned something about how allowing negativity into your mind and heart is like stepping into quicksand. It’s real easy to get sucked down inside of it and really, really hard to get back out. The saying reminded me of a time that a client was telling me about how she had accidentally broken a wine glass and it turned into a full on argument between her and her spouse – about just about everything except the wine glass.

Jumping to defend yourself by saying, “It was an accident!” or “It wasn’t my fault!” implies, before your partner even speaks, that you expect them to attack you. This, in turns, puts the both of you on the defensive and builds a big, fat, metaphorical wall between the two of you.

You have several options for combatting defensiveness, but the most powerful is practicing accountability and recognition. Are you late to your dinner reservation because you lost track of time? Own up to it and avoid turning things around and saying something like, "oh, you're late sometimes too!" Did your partner break a vase while cleaning? Brush it off, they didn't do it on purpose and focus on appreciating you have someone who’s willingly putting in effort to share household duties.

3. Checking Out

There are a couple of terms for this particular behaviour, such as “stonewalling,” but I prefer the term “checking out.” This is what happens when you’re in mid argument with your partner and one – or both – of you whips out your phone and goes dead silent. A partner can also “check out” by simply walking away from a conversation, leaving the space or even leaving the home for a walk or drive. (this is different then briefly leaving the room to calm yourself down before re-entering, as mentioned in the Criticism piece). The problem with this type of behaviour is that it demonstrates you are either not invested in reaching a resolution or healing your relationship, or that what you were arguing about doesn’t mean that much to you in the first place. Both, as you can probably see, are super problematic.

The next time you go to bring something up with your partner, don’t do it half way. If it truly means enough to you, and has affected you deeply enough, to bring up – then do it right. Ditch all distractions and truly talk it out with the intention of reaching a mutually satisfactory resolution. If your partner asks to speak with you, dedicate your full attention to them. This means that your phone is down, the TV’s off and you’re listening full on.

Friend, if you work to identify these behaviours on an ongoing basis and make conscious, intentional decisions to replace the behaviours with positive ones – you will substantially increase the odds of enjoying a successful partnership.

To your authenticity,

Love, Christine

Want to Become a Certified Dating Coach and Help Others Find Love?

How to Avoid the Texting Trap & Replace Emojis with Offline Experience



You meet someone new, exchange numbers and then the conversation strikes. This happens often – whether you first connect through an online dating site, over social media, through a friend or during a night out on the town. And, dear friend, don’t get me wrong – swapping numbers with someone you feel chemistry with is a great way to get the ball rolling. The problem really happens when that’s as far as things get. This is what a lot of people these days are referring to as the “texting trap.”

The texting trap is when text messages are exchanged, there’s some great conversation, but then things never move to the offline world. Days turn into weeks and weeks (sometimes) even turn into months – all without a real, offline face-to-face. The issue with this is that you begin to feel more and more attached to the person on the other end of the phone, but you really haven’t had any experiences with one another. So, if and when you do eventually meet, it can be difficult or even disappointing.

To help you avoid the texting trap and keep on moving in your quest for true, authentic love, I encourage you to follow this advice:

1. Use Texting for Quick Exchanges, Not Lengthy Conversation

I recently read an article in which it said, “texting is information, not conversation” and I think that point couldn’t be any truer, particularly in this context. Text messaging is a fast and efficient way to exchange information – like the address where you’ll be meeting or to confirm that you’re still on for tonight – but it’s not replacement for phone conversation or in person discussion. This is how I see it play out: either person will send a text with something like "how was your day?". This is a great way to connect if you have already met in person. However, I've seen this question/answer combo go on for weeks as a connection replacement to actually meeting in person. When he texts you asking how your day was, feel free to hit “reply” and offer a bit of info but also reference how it would be nice to meet in person or speak by phone. Continue doing this each time you hear from him/her but if weeks are going by, politely let them know you are glad you met but you'd prefer to meet in person.

2. Text as Your Authentic Self

Something I’ve noticed women doing lately is creating online (or, in this case, on the phone) alter egos. They text differently than they’d talk in real life. They often use different words, act much more playful and avoid expressing their real opinions or wants for fear of not coming across as laid back and fun.  There are two major problems with this practice. The first is that, when you do meet up offline, your authentic personality isn’t going to match up so well to the alternate persona you’ve been using in your text messages. The second is that you’re not showcasing your true, genuine self. So, the guy you’re meeting up with might end up feeling tricked or, worse, you might feel as though you have to continue the charade or even have anxiety about meeting offline because you realize you haven’t been acting yourself. And, my friend, sacrificing who you really are and what you really want is no way to kick off a new relationship.

3. Don’t Make Your Self Too Available

If you grab your phone and reply the moment you see a new text notification pop up on your screen, you’re making yourself very available. The guy on the other end (who you often haven't met in person!) is going to start expecting an immediate response from you every single time which not only sidetracks what your focus is (work, family, driving!) but I often see it lead to a bit of resentment. The problem with coming across as overly available is that the other person may begin to expect constant availability, accommodation and acceptance. You also can get addicted to the adrenaline rush that goes off every time you hear a "ping!" (did I mention this ping you are addicted to is from a guy you've never met? :)) Go ahead and answer straight away if it’s something like confirming your date for tomorrow night but be wary if he is continually trying to engage you in conversation without in-person plans.

4. Have a Deadline and Stick To It

When you meet an interesting new guy online and exchange numbers, give yourself a personal deadline. Ask yourself, “How long am I OK to stick to texting without actually speaking on the phone or setting a date to meet up?” I suggest no longer than a week and I strongly encourage you to stick with it. Avoid making excuses for him, don’t let yourself be OK with him if he should need to routinely cancel or postpone. Respect yourself and your time by holding him accountable. Does he cancel last minute or always need to “check his schedule,” and then you never wind up meeting? If so, it’s time to cut him loose and carry forward. I totally understand that life happens, people's schedules are busy and things come up but unless he is cancelling and then in the next breath suggesting a couple althernate times to meet, then just let him know he can be in touch once he knows his availability and wants to set a time. The person you truly deserve will want to make time to speak by phone and meet in person.

To your authenticity,

Love, Christine

Want to Become a Certified Dating Coach and Help Others Find Love?

Why Being Too Laid Back and Just “Going With the Flow” Can Actually Be a Problem


Lately, I’ve noticed a theme with female clients. Really, it’s a theme that stretches far beyond my own clients and is becoming increasingly prevalent in today’s society. Many women, in and out of relationships, are striving to be seen as that calm, cool, “oh, that’s okay” person in the eyes of their significant other while compromising their true selves. The thing is, there's a danger that comes with being too laid back. Before we venture on further into this topic, I’d like to point out an important distinction that there are lots of people who really are, just naturally, very laid back and are perfectly satisfied with their lives and relationships. In this post, I'm speaking specifically about those who wish to be perceived that way at the cost of their own well-being. It's for the women who aim to be seen as always cool, always laid back and as just going with the flow – even when, inside, they know they’re sacrificing what their heart desires.

When I say I’ve noticed this theme as of late, I should note that I’ve especially noticed it amongst strong, independent women. After a day of killing it in the boardroom or jetting across the country for a speaking gig, they arrive home to their personal lives, leaving their opinion, needs and desires at the door. They want the man they are dating to say to their friends, "I'm dating this woman who is great, she's so laid back about everything" and then hear of how cool his friends think you are for that. I swear it sounds like I am taking this out of a page of the high school chronicles, but it's out there.

Why is this happening and what sort of effects can it have on a woman and her relationship?

This “laid back” and “go with the flow” type of attitude is near constantly encouraged in mainstream movies, television and literature. Think of the last time you watched a romantic comedy. It is generally the aloof, detached woman who captures his interest. Talk about mixed messages!! No wonder it's confusing.

Now, I’m not saying that women have decided to base how they behave in relationships off of romantic comedies, but I am trying to show you just one example of how this type of thinking has become so incredibly mainstream. Media has focused on the extremes.

The problem with trying not to ask for “too much,” and thereby not asking for what she truly needs or wants, is that dissatisfaction is sure to continue to build on the inside. If she rarely voices her needs or desires on the outside, there’s nowhere else for them to go. Naturally, this can lead to extreme resentment of her partner – even though her partner may have no idea she’s feeling this way. It’s a slippery slope and, while initially she may be trying to maintain a calm collective for the benefit of her partner, it can wind up hurting him and the relationship. I've actually seen this as a major cause of some break ups.

Another problem with this kind of behaviour is that it often goes hand-in-hand with completely ignoring major warning signs or big issues like money problems, infidelity, addiction, manipulation and the like. If a woman feels or believes that she’ll be better received, liked or appreciated by letting things go time and time again, bigger and bigger relationship issues can sneak through the cracks without the attention they need and deserve.

So, how does a woman in this situation find her way out of it?

Rebalancing in a new relationship may be easier, as you may have just recently met and there's room for you to shift a bit and shed old habits. In a long-term relationship or marriage, on the other hand, you may find it a bit more difficult expressing yourself and voicing your needs and desires. However, chances are you have history, rapport and trust that will help you and your partner navigate through you shedding your “too laid back” skin. Just be careful to avoid waking up one day and suddenly announcing you are not okay with all the things he thought were just fine. Approach the topic with the desire to build a stronger understanding.

Before doing anything, I encourage you to take a half hour to yourself and truly evaluate your current circumstances, decision making process and the way you interact with the opposite sex. Maybe he’s your new boyfriend, a guy you’ve gone on a couple of dates with or your long-term partner. Whatever your individual case may be, really think on it and allow yourself to recognize how and when you just say “OK” when you’re actually feeling something entirely different on the inside. Starting there will allow you to more clearly recognize the behaviour you wish to change and will help you find examples to share. Then, it’s up to you to step outside of the laid back comfort zone and express yourself. Start with really small things to build your confidence in becoming "laid back AND having your needs met/opinions heard". For example, if the fact you would really rather stay in with him this Friday night rather than go out, just say it or if you'd rather he didn't always reach for his phone during a romantic walk together, then express it. Come to think of it, if you haven't already, visit my homepage and download my Inspire Authentic Communication worksheet and audio. I assure you that your relationship, partner and self will be thankful you did.

To your authenticity,

Love, Christine

Want to Become a Certified Dating Coach and Help Others Find Love?

5 New Year's Resolution Ideas for Married Couples


The New Year is here and so are 365 more days and chances to live a happier, more fulfilling and more authentic life. For married couples, this sort of happiness often feels as though it depends on more than a single partner – it’s a joint effort to actively take steps towards improvement and happiness. In this post I’m sharing five New Year’s resolution ideas for married couples, so that you might be inspired to work together towards achieving something beautiful in 2015.

Couples Resolution 1: Do More Small Nice Things, Not Just on Special Days

This particular resolution is a highly effective one if you both vow to put in the work. You know how great you feel when you come home to the laundry put away or dinner ready on the table? Those small everyday acts of kindness have a much larger impact on your happiness and the health of your relationship.

This year, resolve to do more small nice things for one another – not just on birthdays, anniversaries or holidays! Putting away the dishes, doing the laundry, making the bed, cooking a meal or even pouring a glass of wine and putting on a movie are all small acts that will make you both feel more loved and happier.

Couples Resolution 2: Make More Physical Contact

Human touch is a transformative act, and I’m not just talking about sex. Holding your partner’s hand, giving them a neck massage after a long day at work, stroking their hair or even sitting with your hand on their leg are all physical acts of touch that aren’t necessarily sexual. Resolving to make more physical contact in 2015 will allow you to feel closer, communicate more regularly and feel a greater connection between the two of you. And yes, it will probably wind up encouraging you to spend more time in the bedroom…that brings us to the next resolution for couples!

Couples Resolution 3: Make Intimacy a Priority

A lack of physical intimacy in a romantic relationship can be incredibly harmful. Sex is a key component of a healthy adult marriage, and yet it often takes the back burner to a number of other things. This year, resolve to stop allowing long hours, fatigue or simply feeling “blah” to kibosh any possibility of physical intimacy. Many couples mind it helpful to schedule date nights and plan ahead, so don’t hesitate to do the same if busy schedules are often a problem.

Spending more time in the bedroom with your partner can lead to a stronger bond, increased individual confidence, heightened communication and a long-lasting bond between the two of you. Allowing yourself to sit on the couch and feel stressed after a long day at work offers none of the above benefits!

Couples Resolution 4: Argue More Effectively

Let’s be honest, all couples have arguments from time to time. It’s a natural part of partnership and can actually lead to a stronger relationship. However, how you argue makes all the difference and doing it the wrong way can have serious negative impacts on both you and your partner. This year, make arguing more effectively a priority – or communicating more effectively overall – and watch your relationship blossom.

When communicating, avoid playing the blame game. Use terms like, “I feel” and “When you X, I feel Y” instead of accusatory language – something I wrote about recently and encourage you to read more on. Practicing active listening and nipping problems in the bud instead of allowing them to fester will have you remembering 2015 as a very good year.

To your authenticity,

Love, Christine

Want to Become a Certified Dating Coach and Help Others Find Love?

4 Ways to Communicate Better in Your Relationship


Communication is the key to any healthy relationship, whether it is romantic or otherwise. The most powerful and successful Directors and Managers are those with solid communicative abilities. So, it makes a lot of sense that if strong communication can keep a Fortune 500 company running smoothly it should certainly be able to keep two people in a relationship running smoothly. Yet, it’s not always so easy. In today’s post, I want to share four ways to communicate better in your relationship that will help you get your point across without causing an argument, listen to what your partner is really trying to tell you and build a stronger relationship than ever before. I hope that as you read through these points you find ways that you might be able to work them into your own relationship and everyday life.

1. Know That Timing is Everything

When it comes to discussing anything, you need to know that timing is everything. Whether the conversation you’re hoping to have is good or bad, the right time and setting is paramount to the conversation’s success.

For example, if you want to tell your partner about how you don’t feel that you’re getting as much attention lately, you should both be at home with full bellies and should have the right amount of time set aside to discuss. Bringing up a subject that has the potential to leave one partner feeling hurt isn’t a good idea before dinner when you’ve both just gotten home from work and are probably hungry and more prone to irritability.

2. Try to Listen More Than You Speak

This one’s not always so easy to employ because, chances are, one of you is the more communicative one in the relationship and the other is more of the listener. But, taking the time to actively listen to your partner (even when you’re not having a serious discussion) will tell you so much about how they are thinking and feeling.

Truly listening and hearing your partner when they speak will help you give them what they need and, in turn, will result in them being more willing and able to give you what you need. Listening can be difficult, especially when you feel as though your opinion is the right opinion or that your partner is in the wrong, but it’s a method worth practicing.

3. Communicate the Good Stuff More Than the Bad Stuff

Do you remember the last time you had a discussion longer than five minute about something good? Or, do you only remember the last long discussion you had because it was about something that was bothering you or your partner and the talk rolled on and on? It’s important to take time to communicate the good things in your everyday life.

For example, thank your partner for making the bed or unloading the dishwasher. Take five or ten minutes to tell them how you really appreciate them and ask about what they’ve been working towards accomplishing at work. Allowing your relationship to have room for positive exchange is a healthy relationship necessity.

4. Never Go to Bed Angry

This is a piece of advice shared by nearly everyone’s grandparents at some point in life. But, it’s one of the truest pieces of advice around. It’s unhealthy to allow yourself to stew in anger, frustration and upset. Plus, going to bed angry can result in bad dreams and un-restful sleep, both of which only set you up to feel even crummier in the morning.

Try your best to work things out before hitting the hay. Use language like, “I feel” instead of “You are” or “You act”. If you’re both committed to overcoming the obstacle and communicating your way back to your healthy, happy selves then you’ll be able to achieve just that.

To your authenticity,

Love, Christine

Want to Become a Certified Dating Coach and Help Others Find Love?

We all have fears, both men and women...


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This past weekend I attended a workshop that was all about helping men understand women and women understand themselves. As you can imagine, it was a fascinating weekend! There were several moments over the two days that a point of revelation occurred in the room where at the exact same time, the men experienced a “Really?? That is what it’s like to be a woman?!” and the women felt “wow, it’s not just me, I finally feel understood” One of these moments was when we were discussing the topic of Physical safety. We started with the men talking about a time in their life where they felt physically at risk. Some of their examples went back 10 or 20 years such as:

“I was riding my motorbike along the highway in a snowstorm and a big semi-truck passed me, blowing so much snow I couldn’t see a thing”

“I was camping alone deep in the woods and got lost in an area that is well known for bears”

“I was skydiving with my son for the first time and freaked right out!”

The women all listened and could understand these fears. When it was time for the women to share, it was a completely different story. I won’t share all the details for they are intimately related to the whole experience of the weekend but what I can say is that the men were completely stunned and had their view of women totally altered.

These are some of the beautiful things that can happen in an open, safe environment where men and women are there to learn more about each other, as opposed to sounding off with one another in a He Said/She Said battle like many other events. To think that some men took planes and stayed in hotels, all in an effort to understand the women in their life better, whether it be in their relationships, their daughters or co-workers was really touching.

We moved the conversation into other areas of safety, not just physical and how so much of it is tied back to our caveman/cavewomen days. We can’t forget that those burly, grunting men and women are all locked in our current DNA!

This question was raised by a man:

“Why is it that when my wife asks me to go to the grocery store to pick something up, she gets so specific with details? Does she think I’m stupid? It makes me feel that way.”

The workshop leader gave a fascinating response by going back to our cavewoman days and how we are acting on instinct in those situations. You see, if the cavewoman went out into the meadow and picked the orange berries that were close to the ground as opposed to the orangey-red berries that were close to the top of the bush, the entire tribe would parish! This is serious stuff and why women feel the need to provide an overabundance of detail in many situations.

Interesting, heh?!

To your authenticity,

Love, Christine

Want to Become a Certified Dating Coach and Help Others Find Love?

Why Men Crave Appreciation and How to Honour That


Last week I shared with you how criticism is experienced differently for the masculine and feminine. In much the same way, appreciation has a very different impact on the masculine than it does on the feminine.

It’s not to say that women don’t enjoy receiving appreciation, it’s just that the impact it has on men is HUGE and it’s sometimes overlooked or forgotten.

For the feminine, appreciation makes a woman feel safe to be herself.

Women will generally spend time with people that value and appreciate who they are in order to affirm their sense of worth.

For the masculine, appreciation is fuel.

As women, we think that we have unlimited energy, so we don’t pay any attention to where or how that energy is spent.

But men are obsessed with how their energy is spent!

A man will actually do the math in his head about where and how he’s going to divide his energy.

Appreciation is the fuel that energizes a man. Opportunities that yield appreciation are where he will head first.

The more often a man receives appreciation, the more energy he has to spend.

Ask a man what makes him feel appreciated and see what he says.

You’ll notice that a man will use the words support and appreciation interchangeably because to them it’s the same quality in a woman.

When a woman expresses her appreciation for the man in her life she is literally giving him power – the power to be more of what she wants and ultimately a man that feels better about himself. Win-Win

Some women think that if they withhold appreciation from a man that he will work harder for it. This couldn’t be further from the truth and has the opposite than desired effect.

Appreciation puts fuel in a man’s tank so if you want the men in your life to have more energy for their relationship with you, try giving them a little more appreciation and see what happens!

I’d love to hear what happens when you try this so be sure to share your experience with me in the comments below.

To your authenticity,

Love, Christine

New Relationship Advice You Won’t Want To Skip


Are you longing to be in a committed long-term relationship, but never seem to be able to get past the 3-month mark with any man? Do you look at couple’s that have been married for years and wonder how they managed to keep their relationship together for so long?

Have you ever noticed that when you’re in a new relationship, everything is exciting and fresh, and you get butterflies in your stomach just thinking about seeing your new sweetheart?

But then something happens and things begin to shift. Over time you start to notice that instead of feeling giddy and excited about seeing your new love, you’re energy and attention slowly becomes focused on how to get more love

You know what I’m talking about. It starts with you wondering where this new relationship is going. You start thinking over and over in your mind how you want things to progress. Before you know it, you’re spending all your time thinking about your ‘possible’ future with this person, and you’re no longer enjoying the present moments that you actually have with them.

My advice to anyone in a new relationship is to enjoy the present moment, because all relationships are made up of moments Moments of laughter and joy, and moments of intimacy and connection are what build our relationships. Over time these moments, when strung together, form the foundation of a deep and lasting love.

So often we’re in such a hurry to get to where we think we want to be in our new relationship, that we lose sight of the pleasure and possibilities that are present in the moment we are in right now. How your relationship appears right now, might not be what you envision the relationship you desire to look like, but trying to get to some imaginary destination of what you think your relationship should be can snuff out the tiniest bit of potential in even the best of relationships.

So what can we do?

When looking to cultivate a new relationship into a committed partnership, it’s always wise to focus first on improving yourself, then on improving the relationship If you’re not happy with yourself, with your life, as it is, with or without a partner, then every new relationship regardless of it’s potential will be imbued with the dissatisfaction that you’re feeling with yourself and your own life.

Often we misinterpret discontent in our lives as stemming from our needs not being met in our relationships, when in fact, nothing could be further from truth. More often than not, we enter into our relationships with the expectation that the other person will provide us with everything that we are unable or unwilling to provide for ourselves. And that’s both a heavy and very unrealistic expectation to place on anyone.

In any relationship there will always be a balancing act of both people seeking to have their needs met. In most new relationships, one person is often ready to move forward before the other and this becomes of tipping point for how well you will fair as a couple. If you can navigate the apparent obstacle of both people progressing at varying speeds toward a common goal then the relationship is likely to continue.

My advice for any relationship, not just a new relationship, is to always make the needs of the relationship itself a priority over either person’s individual needs. When I am working with couples, this is where we often begin and discover that the actual relationship is starving! So we can ask ourselves, what does the relationship need in this moment in order to survive this apparent impasse? How can we work together to strengthen the foundation of our relationship? And ultimately, am I willing to place the needs of the relationship over my own personal desires in this moment, in order to keep moving forward with this person in my life?

I’d love to hear your thoughts so be sure to leave a comment below.

To your authenticity,

Love, Christine

How Small Comments Can Have Big Impact


One thing that women are really good at doing is changing, and in large part, our motivation to change comes from perceived criticism by those around us. Have you ever been told by a boyfriend that he didn’t like your absolute favorite shirt?

As much as you may have loved that shirt, most women would at least stop wearing it around him.

Why? Because for a woman our instinct is to adapt, and we view criticism as the invitation to do so…even if we reluctantly change, we often still change.

The masculine responds differently though.

Try to recall the last time that you criticized a man. Did he change his behavior right away? Likely not, and herein lies another difference between men and women.

As a woman, because we react to criticism in one way, we think that when we criticize a man he’ll react in the same way, by changing.

But guess what? He doesn’t.

He doesn’t change his behavior because he evaluates information in a totally different way than you do.

In the past, a woman’s very survival depended on her ability to adapt to constantly changing circumstances, so naturally we’ve become quite good at this.

A man will take your criticism and then evaluate whether or not there is any truth to it before ever acting on it.

And honestly, he may never act on it, because he may not see the effort required to change as worth the pay off.

But don’t worry, not all hope is lost!

What a man truly does respond to is your ability to appreciate him for who he is. We’ll learn more about how that is woven in and out of criticism.

In next weeks blog I’ll show you how you can give your man the appreciation he really wants and why your appreciation has the power to transform the way you relate to one another.

To your authenticity,

Love, Christine

It Feels Like My Feelings Are Not Being Respected


Have you ever asked a man how he felt about something only to have him respond with the words, ‘I don’t know enough to have an opinion’? To a woman this sort of response is crazy making because we just don’t understand how a man could not know how he feels about something.

As women, we’re guided by feeling; we’re motivated to action by feeling.

Overwhelmingly though, men do not trust feelings as something to act on.

In fact, men do not always trust people who act based solely on feelings.

For many men, ‘having a grip’ on their feelings is a hallmark of their character.

A man screens information and evaluates it before he moves forward.

A woman only needs to be in touch with her feelings to form an opinion.

A woman’s opinions can change as often as her feelings, but for a man, his opinions are very much a part of his sense of self.

And make no mistake; a man will defend his opinions to the death!

Can you recall a time when you found yourself attracted to a man and were listening intently to every word he said?

Part of that listening was you trying to determine whether or not you agreed with his opinions.

Think about it, when you agree with a man’s opinions you feel closer to him. When you disagree though, there is a feeling of distance that is created between you.

And women hate feeling distance because it makes us feel alienated. We want to feel close and cozy.

On a very basic level, a man’s relationship to communication is that of a warrior. And how does a warrior communicate? He conceals information, because he needs to be able to rely on the element of surprise.

The good news is, any time a man speaks his opinion, he’s actually unknowingly revealing himself to you.

In that willingness to just listen I think you’ll find that he just processes and shares information differently.

To your authenticity,

Love, Christine

Oh I Don’t Care, Wherever You Like Is Fine


As a woman, you no longer need to rely on a man to go out and hunt for your food or to protect you from wooly mammoths, but did you know that a man’s instinct is still to protect you and to provide for you in whatever way he can? While our roles in society now are much more fluid than they were in tribal society, both men and women have instinctual urges that can be seen in the way that we relate to one another

Historically, a women’s survival depended largely on her relationship to a man, and more specifically, her ability to please him.

And while that may no longer be the case, a woman’s instinct is a strong driving factor behind how she behaves in her romantic relationships.

In much the same way, a man instinctively wants to provide for and protect the women he loves. He may not go out on the hunt for, but he certainly does want to take care of you.

Here’s an example.

When a man is walking down the street with a woman that he feels compelled to protect, he will often walk on whichever side of her is closest to the street.

It’s a small thing, and one that most women would not likely notice, but for a man this is an instinctive act of protection.

This is his way of keeping you safe and out of harm’s way.

For a woman, her instinct may arise when she is asked by a man where she’d like to go out for dinner.

How often have you been asked this question and then promptly answered, ‘Oh, I don’t care. Whatever you’d like is fine.’

This is a classic example of how we, as women, operate from our instinctive supporter/adapter mode of being.

But guess what? He’s asking you what you want because HE wants to provide for you.

He wants to make you HAPPY.

So while you’re busy trying to please him, he’s busy trying to figure out how to give you what you want – but you won’t tell him![

So ]2the next time a man asks you where you’d like to go for dinner, watch how quick you are to respond and see if you can pause and just take a breath.

Then instead of saying it doesn’t matter, trust that he’s asking you because he really does want to know what would make you happy, and then tell him where you’d like to go.

To your authenticity,

Love, Christine

The worst question to ask


Awhile back I read a very interesting blog post that was built around the worst thing you can ask a woman you are dating or in a long term relationship with:

How was your day?

I started to think about this even before I continued reading the post, and you know what, I thought – “that’s kinda true”. When you are asked this particular question, you often don’t even know where to begin. As women, we store every detail of every occurrence in our brain somewhere so we could start anywhere! I’m sure you’ve noticed, sometimes the next thing after this question is asked is a big sigh and something along the lines of “gosh, where to I start?!”.

You see, at the end of a day, when a woman is asked “How was your day?”, she makes a choice in that moment to either divulge every detail of the highs and lows, wins and losses or scratch all of that and just say “fine, how was yours?” This may seem polite but if left at that for weeks or months, it can cause a woman to build up resentment against the question. Once a couple discovers this question is not getting the results they want, there are many ways it can be approached. One of the things you can do is have the man start to ask different questions. Warning: it’s going to feel super, super weird in the beginning but you will get hooked on the depth of the answers over awhile.

Here are some examples:

When did you feel loved today? When did you feel lonely? What did I do today that made you feel appreciated? What did I say that made you feel unnoticed? What can I do to help you right now?

Re-read my warning above because I know these might be awkward to ask at first. And no, you don’t need to ask all of these questions at once (gosh, that would be communication overload) ☺ You both need to be committed to wanting to break through that uncomfortable feeling that arises around the “How was your day?” question and realistically, you may even continue to ask that question here and there. However, you will also have the other more specific questions to balance out your communication. Some days you might even prefer a super light conversation at the end of the day and that’s what it’s there for.


If you are in a relationship, try these questions out. You may want to preface the first time with sharing a statement like, “I was thinking it would be fun and interesting to ask each other a variety of different questions when we see each other at the end of the day….” Try them out one at a time and see which one leads to the most varied answers and then keep going. If you are single, try this out on friends. You could actually use it as a bit of an experiment – you could ask “How was your day?” to one friend and one of the above questions to another friend and see what types of answers you get. It will be very interesting to see the variety in responses. Plus, this will give you practice for when you do find your lucky significant other!

I’d love to hear your thoughts so be sure to leave a comment below.

To your authenticity,

Love, Christine

Couple’s Therapy at a Music Festival. Huh?


Did I ever think that I'd be asked to offer couple's therapy at a music festival? Probably not, but that doesn't mean I don't love the idea! One of my favorite things to do in life is listen to live music outdoors. There is something about the combination of being able to look up at the sky, breathe in the fresh air and enjoy the sounds that is so appealing. I first started attending music festivals back in the Lollapalooza days and was immediately hooked (remember when those festivals first started?! It was such a big deal.) We used to throw a bunch of stuff in a car, hope that we remembered key things like tents and set off on an adventure. It was always a good time from beginning to end.

About 6 months ago, I received an email from a Festival organizer in Portugal asking if I would be open to being a couple’s therapist at their upcoming outdoor Festival. A million things raced through my head:


No, I’m not ready.

Yes, how fun!

No, there’s no way I should do this.

Yes, how could I turn this down?!

No, there’s no way I can guide couples at a festival in Portugal?!

I eventually had a call with the organizer and told her that I was very flattered she sought me out and I needed her to walk me through what the festival was all about and what was expected of me. She dove right in and it felt like she had designed the festival just for me (and 30,000 other people!) because it’s theme is about the feminine, truth, growth, expansion and clarity. It’s a mixture of workshops, music, dancing, swimming and all the best things that festivals have to offer.

I sat on the opportunity for a few more days and eventually went back to my initial gut reaction:


Now as I prepare for my trip, I’m thinking a lot about what I am going to teach and the guidance I am going to offer the couples looking to take their relationship to the next level.

One distinction I will be sharing is around listening, and how despite our best intentions, we often hear our partner but we don’t ‘listen’ to our partner.When you ‘hear’ someone, you are looking to agree or disagree with what they are saying. This is the typical way we listen to most people throughout our day and it’s not because we don’t care, it’s just the way we are wired. When you take time to listen, it means you are focusing far less on whether you agree or disagree and much more on what the person is saying, how they are saying it and what silent context does or doesn’t exist. This takes practice, time and focus. Luckily, the festival organizers are providing me with a pseudo-office under a tree with a couch and everything. This will be a focused area where couples can listen, not hear.

The Festival is in August so I will definitely be sharing more on this adventure mixing my passions of music festivals and helping build connection, so stay tuned!

I’d love to hear your thoughts so be sure to leave a comment below. :)

To your authenticity,

Love, Christine