As lesbians and queer women, most of us had no one to teach us how to date wisely and love well.
So it's not surprising (and not a personal failing) if you...
- Find dating awkward or terrifying, or have no idea how to start.
- Have gotten into relationships that started out amazing, but ended in disconnection, anger and heartbreak.
- Have sometimes questioned whether love is even worth it (and does it always have to be so hard?)
- Feel afraid of spending the rest of your life alone, but also clear that you don't want to settle for a bad relationship.
- Fear that your "picker" may be broken - you always choose the wrong women.
- Worry that your standards are too high, or you're being unrealistic.
- Aren't sure you even know what you most want in a relationship.
- Hope that the right woman for you must be out there somewhere, but have no idea how to find her, or whether you ever will.
- Suspect maybe it's just too late for you - all the good ones are taken, or there's something wrong with you that makes you "just not meant" for happy, healthy love.
If any of this sounds familiar, you're in the right place! These questions, fears and doubts are a sign that you've been traveling the dating & relationship highways without a clear map.
"The Roadmap" is short for the 12-Week Roadmap to Conscious Lesbian Dating & Lasting Love, a comprehensive online course that can help you have the love life you really want. This class, which you can attend from anywhere in the world, is offered just three times a year - and the next round starts on September 14!
Created by the co-founders of Conscious Girlfriend, Dr. Ruth L. Schwartz and Dr. Michelle Murrain, the Roadmap course combines cutting-edge tools from neuroscience, psychology and spirituality to help you learn how to prepare for, find and sustain happy, healthy lesbian love -- not just for the first few weeks or months, but for the rest of your life.
Over 12 weeks, the Roadmap will guide you, step by step. Each week you'll receive audios and written worksheets to help you learn and practice new understandings and skills related to dating, communication, emotional awareness, self-love and healthy relationships. During the course, you'll also receive one hour of one-on-one coaching and 14 hours of live group coaching calls, all of which will help you learn how to:
- Prepare for the kind of relationship you truly desire (which includes healing from past relationships, and also identifying what you want now.)
- Develop and practice the specific emotional and communication skills you need to succeed in the relationship of your dreams.
- Get crystal-clear on your deal-breakers and must-haves, so you'll be able to tell Ms. Right from Ms. Wrong very quickly.
- Understand how chemistry and compatibility really work and what truly matters most for long-term satisfaction.
- Learn how to recognize "red flags" when you're dating, and what to do about them.
- Become more comfortable with the vulnerability of dating, so you can meet new women with curiosity, clarity and confidence.
- Meet women online or offline, with a clear sense of what to do and what not to do on the first date, the second date, and beyond.
- Last but not least, learn what to do when you think you've found her -- how to go about laying a strong foundation for the relationship of your dreams.
Most women have never consciously worked to develop these skills, or to understand what "smart for your heart" dating and healthy relationships really entail. And even if you've done other work around dating and relationships, most likely it was not in a lesbian-specific context.
We hear over and over from women what a huge difference the Roadmap course has made in their lives! This course is the only opportunity we know of that will let you hear from other lesbians and queer women who are on the same journey, dive deep into understanding (and learning to resolve!) the specific challenges that often arise between two women, and gain a powerful set of tools drawn from neuroscience, psychology and spirituality... to get you where you want to go in your love life.
NEWS FLASH: RELATIONSHIPS DON'T HAVE TO BE HARD
Why are (lesbian) relationships so hard?
We get this question all the time.
Actually, relationships between people of any gender(s) are often hard, because as human beings, we're wired to love and need connection - and to freak out when we're afraid the connection may 1) get taken away, or 2) suffocate us.
But lesbian relationships do have some special challenges, because often two women bond more quickly and deeply - and therefore can also hurt each other more - than partnerships between women and men, or men and men.
The sad truth is, most of us never got a chance to learn the essential skills to choose a partner wisely, and co-create a happy, healthy, lasting relationship. You probably didn't learn how from your parents; they may not have known (and even if your parents did have an excellent relationship, that still probably didn't prepare you to create that with another woman...) So you may have been flying blind (and if so, it's not your fault!)
There's no way to learn real dating and relationship skills from mainstream culture, books, movies or music. In fact, our culture tends to focus on the most unsustainable, drama-filled representations of love - the "You are my everything," "I'll die if you leave me" models, which don't work and do cause us a lot of damage.
Many lesbians and queer women are great at falling in love. Perhaps you've had this experience:
You meet a woman and are drawn to her. You're totally connected; she makes you laugh; you feel safe with her and also thrilled by her, and the chemistry is HOT! The two of you connect so deeply and easily, it's hard to believe you'll ever have problems. You dive in deep and fast, just knowing she's the one. It feels amazing...
... and then it doesn't. Over time, and sometimes very quickly, it turns out you're not so compatible after all. She withdraws, and you feel hurt. Or you feel overwhelmed, and pull back in self-preservation, and she gets clingy.
You criticize each other, fight, process for hours, get hurt, stop having sex -- or all of the above. The misunderstandings and resentments might pile up quickly, or perhaps the process is so slow you don't even realize how far apart you've gotten until it's too late.
On top of all of this, you might be grappling with a homophobic culture -- rejection from her family or yours, fear of coming out, or discrimination. These stresses just make everything harder.
If this heartbreak has ever happened to you, it's understandable that you might be wary of love. You might think there's no one out there for you, or you're just not meant to have a relationship. You might wonder if it's too late for you, "all the good ones are taken," or just feel confused and sad about the whole thing.
We get it. But that's why we want you to know it is possible for you to learn how to date wisely, recognize the right partner -- and also become the right partner. It is possible for you to have happy, healthy love. It just takes learning how.
And that's what the Roadmap Course will help you do.
Throughout this experiential course, you'll learn how to be more compassionate - both toward others, and most especially toward yourself.
You'll learn new communication skills, and new ways of understanding and working with your emotions.
And you'll learn how to look for and recognize a woman who also has these skills, or who is genuinely open to learning them. (No matter how cute or hot or wonderful she is in other ways, if she's not able to communicate clearly and compassionately, and work with her own triggers, the relationship will become a train wreck. Yes, the same goes for you, too.)
It's not rocket science, but it does take work. Yet it's some of the most worthwhile work you will ever do in your life. The rewards are absolutely, totally and completely worth it.
You will become able to feel good about yourself, date with clarity and confidence, and replace hurt and anger with harmony and trust.
And the same skills will also help you in all your non-romantic relationships, too. Our participants report dramatic changes in their relationships with family members, friends, co-workers - and, most importantly, with themselves.
Once you've thoroughly learned and practice the Roadmap skills, relationships don't have to be hard!
Now for the nitty-gritty:
How does the Roadmap course work? And what will it give you?
The Roadmap course takes place over a 12-week period. Each week, you'll get access to that week's audios and written worksheets. We encourage you to set aside 2-3 hours per week to work with them. If you fall behind, that's fine. It's a self-paced class. But it's great to invest this time in your emotional life (as preparation for the time you'll later be investing in a happy, healthy relationship!)
Approximately every two weeks, we also come together for a group coaching call on Zoom, a videoconferencing platform. We vary the day of the week and the time of the call, in order to let more women participate live - but if you can't come live, it's fine, because you'll also get the recording of each coaching call.
Each Roadmapper also receives one hour of one-on-one coaching - a chance to work with me directly on any of your concerns or challenges.
In addition, all Roadmap participants have access to the private Facebook group exclusively for Conscious Girlfriend students and coaching clients. This group has become a warm, supportive community of conscious, growth-oriented lesbians (some still single, others now happily coupled after having taken the Roadmap class!)
How much does the Roadmap cost?
Roadmap tuition is $597. Keep in mind that this covers approximately 24-36 hours of coursework and 14 hours of live group coaching calls - along with one free hour of one-on-one coaching. Most participants have found the course life-changing (and quite a few have found it so valuable that they've taken it more than once.)
But we know $597 is a lot of money, so we offer the opportunity to pay it in 3 installments if you prefer. We also offer a small number of scholarships in each class. If you need a scholarship, please email Ruth@consciousgirlfriend.com and explain your circumstances, and we'll get back in touch! And last but not least (see below), we also offer a money-back guarantee.
What if the Roadmap doesn't work for me?
Here's our no-risk, money-back guarantee to you: we invite you to do all of the Roadmap work for 12 weeks -- which means listening to the audios, filling out the worksheets, attending all of the coaching calls, and making use of your free one hour of personal coaching time, too. If you participate fully and practice what you've learned, but find that your life hasn't changed, just let us know within 90 days, and we'll refund 100% of your tuition.
Why spend $597 to learn how to date and love? Isn't that something people should automatically know how to do?
Think about how it would be if our culture had our many myths about driving as it has about love. Imagine if all your life, no one taught you to drive, but instead told you, "When you find the right car, you'll automatically know what to do." Just imagine how many wrecks we'd all have!
And love and relationships are far more important -- yet unfortunately, the relationship roads are filled with wrecks, as well. Conscious Girlfriend is on a mission to change that for lesbians and queer women.
If you're ready to have a different experience, don't just hope Ms. Right will finally show up. Instead, learn how to find her, how to be her - and how, once you do find her, how to create the strong, solid, loving relationship you've always wanted.
Remember, each Roadmap is limited to 25 women, and they usually sell out, so don't wait too long to sign up! Next class starts September 14, 2018 (scroll down to see the full schedule of live group coaching calls.)
NOW, ABOUT THE RELATIONSHIP OF YOUR DREAMS...
Do you want someone with whom you can share the small daily moments - a good cup of tea, a garden, a movie, snuggling on the couch?
Or someone with whom you can climb mountains, surf waves, travel the world, and continue to challenge yourself on all levels?
Or do you want both... or something else?
Some women we work with want a traditional relationship: living together, sleeping in the same bed every night, socializing together.
Others want more autonomy: perhaps living separately, maintaining separate lives, but coming together in ways that work for both of them. Some women are even happy in long-distance relationships.
Maybe you're committed to monogamy - or maybe you prefer polyamory. Maybe you're more into snuggling than sex - or maybe having lots of great sex is high on your priority list.
Whatever your vision is, there's someone out there for you.
But it's so important to know what you want!
Most of us long for a relationship that is nurturing, trusting and accepting. How would it be to have a partner who really listens, who's "got your back," who celebrates your successes, supports you through the tough times, and even makes you laugh?
Sounds great, right? But how do you get there? Is it really possible?
Many Roadmappers start the course feeling frustrated, discouraged or scared. Many feel they just don't know how to meet women.
Others meet plenty of women, but not the right women. Some say, "I'm never attracted to anyone who's good for me."
Some of our participants have recently been through painful breakups. Many aren't sure they're ready for another relationship yet - or aren't sure they ever want one again.
Other women just believe there's "no one out there for them," or are afraid there's something about them that makes them unlovable or unworthy.
If you've got concerns like these, you're in the right place.
The Roadmap will teach you how to heal, what to look for, and what to do.
HOW THE ROADMAP CAN HELP YOU
Imagine trying to take a long road trip without a navigation system. You'd take a lot of wrong turns!
That's exactly what has happened for most of us in our love lives. We simply didn't have the tools to get us where we wanted to go.
That's why the Roadmap Course gives you:
- A clear, proven, step-by-step process to help you navigate the dating process with clarity and confidence, find a compatible partner, and then lay a strong foundation for lasting love.
- Powerful tools and processes based on cutting-edge neuroscience - learn to change your brain!
- A supportive online community of lesbians and queer women from all over the world, who want a conscious relationship as much as you do and are also committed to learning how to find and create that kind of love.
- A foundation of self-love and self-compassion which you can build on every day, and which will transform all of your relationships, including the one you have 24/7 with yourself.
Here's What Some Past Participants Say:
Suzanne FalterRoadmap Coaching, 2014
Thanks to your help, I found an amazing relationship. The most remarkable thing about it is that there is no drama, just a truly profound love... I honestly don't think I could have gotten to this level of honesty and intimacy without your help. So please know what a difference you've made over here!
Nella M. Roadmap Class, 2015
I'm seeing changes in my life already. Healthier women are showing up -- and for the first time in my life I'm learning to really ask for what I want and need. I can already see what a huge difference this will make, not just to my love life, but to all my relationships.
Nan and I are going strong, over a year into our Conscious Girlfriend relationship now! I love the work you do. I feel like our relationship is the proof that it works."
Jane D.Roadmap Class, 2015
I've been meaning to write you for awhile to let you know I've been dating an amazing woman. Working with you helped me know I mattered enough to look for what I really wanted, rather than just settling.
Hear from other Roadmap participants in their own voices here!
We offer the Roadmap Course just three times a year, with start dates in January, May and September. Each class is limited to 25 women, and they sell out - so, don't wait too long to sign up!
Next class starts September 14, 2018.
How do you define "lesbian" and "queer women"? Who can participate in this course?
Conscious Girlfriend courses are open to all self-defined women who love other women, or want to. That means we actively welcome women who are just coming out, along with women who've been out of the closet for decades; women who identify as bisexual, as well as lesbian; women who are poly, as well as monogamous; women who are transgender, as well as cisgender.
What are the coaching call dates and times for the Fall Roadmap?
Here's the schedule. Times listed are Pacific Standard Time. Remember, most participants have time conflicts with some of the calls (and some never attend live at all). So, although we encourage you to attend as many calls as you can, it's okay if you've got schedule conflicts.
Kickoff call: Friday, September 14, 5:30-7:30 p.m. PST
Coaching Call #1 - Sunday, September 23 1:00-3:00 p.m. PST
Coaching Call #2 - Wednesday, October 3, 5:30-7:30 p.m. PST
Coaching Call #3 - Sunday, October 21, 1:00-3:00 p.m. PST
Coaching Call #4 - Monday, November 5, 5:30-7:30 p.m. PST
Coaching Call #5 - Sunday, November 18, 1:00-3:00 p.m. PST
Coaching Call #6 - Tuesday, November 27, 5:30-7:30 p.m. PST
You may attend from anywhere in the world via computer, tablet, cell phone or even regular old landline -- and remember, it's okay if you can't attend the live classes, since you'll always have access to the recordings (and you can also send in your questions ahead of time.)
A personal message from Roadmap co-founder Ruth L. Schwartz, Ph.D.:
I'm thrilled to make the Roadmap course available to the lesbian and queer womens' community -- mostly because I've seen it help so many women!
I've seen women finally understand what went wrong in their past relationships, take responsibility for their own part, ad heal their hearts.
I've seen women gain the confidence to start dating, and learn how to navigate the dating process in a way that actually feels good.
I've seen women learn how to listen to themselves, befriend their emotions, increase their self-compassion, and yes, even begin to love themselves.
And yes, I've seen women form wonderful relationships, partnerships and marriages which are still going strong many years later.
All of this is incredibly rewarding! But to be perfectly honest, there's also another reason why I'm so passionate about teaching the Roadmap. It's because I've also been through the pain and confusion of trying to date and love without these tools.
I came out in 1982 at age 20, and have lived my whole adult life in the lesbian/queer community. Back in the early 2000s, after having had two solid long-term relationships, I got my heart broken three times in three years. Each time, I had thought my new partner was "the one," and each time, the relationship crashed and burned.
In 2003, after a great deal of pain, I realized that I was the common denominator, and resolved to learn whatever it was that I needed to learn in order to create a different outcome in my love life.
I learned mystical healing techniques, including shamanism and hypnotherapy. I worked with healers and therapists to unravel my own deep emotional patterns. I also began work on a Ph.D. in Transpersonal Psychology. And I stayed out of relationships for several years, while I learned and grew.
Then, in 2006, I met a wonderful woman named Michelle Murrain, and we committed ourselves to co-creating a relationship more healthy and conscious than either of us had ever had before.
Michelle's background included a Ph.D. in Neuroscience and 25+ years of Buddhist practice. Separately and then together, we had each traveled long, winding paths to conscious love - and we each wanted to help our community learn the tools we had so painstakingly gathered. Together, we founded Conscious Girlfriend in 2013, wrote our book Conscious Lesbian Dating & Love, co-created the Roadmap course, and developed many other conscious dating and relationship resources.
Michelle and I did indeed create a deep, conscious love and partnership. Then, in 2017, she made a momentous decision. After a lifetime of gender dysphoria (feeling deeply disconnected from her own body), she decided to transition her gender so she could live as a man. The woman formerly known as Michelle Murrain now continues his journey as a man named Maxwell Pearl.
Max and I still love each other deeply and remain very close, though during the course of his transition, we also realized that our time as partners needed to draw to an end.
Because we founded Conscious Girlfriend as a lesbian couple, we know it's been hard for some women to watch us change the form of our relationship, and to watch Michelle become Max. We understand that. It was a challenging process for us, too! Yet our deep commitment to love and growth led us through it, and we followed Conscious Girlfriend principles all the way.
Although it was very hard at times, Michelle/Max and I did make our way through the fires of triggers, grief, loss, anger and confusion together, and emerged on the other side. We are now close friends and soul kin to one another, and speak frankly with each other about the joys and challenges we encounter with our current sweethearts.
In fact, I believe my most important qualification for leading Conscious Girlfriend is the fact that I do "walk my talk" 24/7. I'm continually learning, and highly transparent. I talk openly about my triggers and mistakes, and also share all the skills I use in order to make my own intimate relationship healthier and more joyful every day.
(Over the years, I have continued to study, teach and learn. I've been on faculty at eight colleges and universities, and have published nine books. I studied relationship coaching from renowned experts Gay and Katie Hendricks, authors of Conscious Loving. I've also completed the Somatica training program in somatic sex and relationship coaching.)
In short, learning and practicing the work of conscious love is a huge part of my life's mission -- and I very much look forward to supporting you on your own path to happy, healthy relationships!
Have more questions about the Roadmap? Just email me at Ruth@Consciousgirlfriend.com
Lots of love to you,
P.S. If you're ready for the Roadmap, don't wait too long to sign up! Each class is limited to 25 women, and they usually sell out. Remember, we guarantee this course: if you do all the work, attend all the classes, get coached, and still don't feel the shift you're looking for, we'll refund your tuition. This means you've got nothing to lose, and a world of happy, healthy love to gain. Class starts September 14.