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The Ottawa Citizen, October 12th 1997




Convention to offer weekend of self-help seminars, social events


By Graham Hughes, The Ottawa Citizen


Singles looking for mates today are confused by the increasingly mixed roles men and women play, says Irene Yarkoni, owner of The Single Option, a social club that promotes large-scale activities for singles.


The women’s liberation movement has given women the power to act in a manner once reserved for men. Similarly, Ms. Yarkoni says, New Age philosophies have made it fashionable for men to be sensitive and express their feelings.


“So,” she asks, “is it any wonder a single man hesitates to approach a woman he likes, or wonders whether he should let her act?” And, Ms Yarkoni continues, “is it any wonder that more and more women do take the initiative without feeling any less feminine, but rather, entrepreneurial?”


The Single Option will stage a two-day singles convention in Ottawa on Friday and Saturday.


Men, today, have become shy, Ms. Yarkoni says, while women are bolder, but “new rules as to what each has to do are not yet established and practiced.” Men who are not shy may turn women off, she says, because they appear aggressive and insensitive, while a woman without initiative may be perceived by a man as having no interest in him.


“The problem lies in deciphering behavioural codes. Do I know what she really means? Does he understand my gestures?” To overcome the uncertainty, Ms. Yarkoni says, men and women “must become more aware of who they are, and feel more secure with their own personalities”.


The seminars will help break the ice, Ms. Yarkoni says, while giving participants some insight, so that when they get together for the wrap-up dinner and dance, they will not be in the shy stage that characterizes firt-time meetings.


Seminar speakers include image consultant Lynne Mackay, who will discuss first impressions and how to improve them through the selection of clothes and colours.

Jack Fault, a True Colours and Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, uses a quick quiz to help participants identify temperament, and then discuss how various temperaments interact and influence mating styles.


Betska K-Burr, an inspirational speaker, trainer, performance coach and author, will help participants learn to use their “inner power” to help them be happier while single. Those ready to meet a partner will learn how to prepare for a long term relationship.


A Saturday-morning stroll in the Gatineau Park is also scheduled so conventioneers can mingle and chat.


Events are individually priced, although all but Saturday’s seminar can be attended for a package price of $60. The seminar is an additional $39.95. For information call 596-6533.


Oh, yes. For those who find Mr. or Ms. Right during the two days, Sunday has been left free.


Convention held at The Chateau Laurier, Ottawa.

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