The Blind Spot In Rori Raye’s Circular Dating

The Blind Spot In Rori Raye’s Circular DatingIf you saw a woman who was about to drive off a cliff, would you tell her?

You’re standing on the sidewalk. She’s plowing over orange cones and through the yellow police tape towards a towering precipice.

Yeah, you’d try to stop her.

And the faster she accelerates, the more frantic you get, watching her willingly (and confusingly) speed towards the chasm.

I’m even gonna bet that if you were witnessing something so damaging, you might even put yourself in harm’s way to protect the innocent drivers. Maybe you wouldn’t dive in front of the car, but you’d run and wave your hands and scream at the top of your lungs – anything to avert what is sure to be a serious accident.

This is what it felt like to be featured on my friend Rori Raye’s blog last week, in a post entitled “The Circular Dating Argument”.

I went there to save some lives – and took quite a beating for doing so.

First of all, I need to establish that Rori’s a good friend and I have no doubt that all the women who read her are kind people. Over the past few years, Rori’s products have taken off like a rocket, inspiring a legion of passionate followers. Any time I’d like to think that I’m making a big impact on the world over here, I remember that Rori’s mailing list dwarfs mine.

Which is why I’m always flattered when Rori reaches out to tell me she enjoyed one of my newsletters or wants to mention me in a blog post.

And after an interview I did with her last week for her audio series, we engaged in an email dialogue about one of her signature concepts: Circular Dating.

The definition on her site is benign: “Dating several men (at least 3) all at the same time. You accept the date with the man who calls first, and do not shuffle times or even think about manipulating the schedule in order to get dates with the man you like best, or dates to the most fun places. Circular dating is about Free Therapy and practicing Rori Raye Tools. It is not about finding Mr. Right.”

Nothing to argue with here. What Rori calls Circular Dating, I just call “dating”. Be proactive, date lots of people, have fun, don’t get too excited about a promising prospect – we’re all on the same page so far.

Where this concept of Circular Dating breaks down for me, however – the reason I wanted to guest blog on her website – is this idea:

The concept of circular dating (CDing) is ostensibly supposed to last all the way up until you’re married. Meaning: a woman can tell her devoted boyfriend of a year that since she doesn’t yet have a ring, she’s going to see other people.

You hear that sound? It’s a record scratching.

Yes, there’s something highly discordant about this principle, and I haven’t been able to get it out of my head for nearly a week.

Believe me, I understand the emotion behind Circular Dating. All you have to do is read this blog to know that I am intimately familiar with the frustrations and fears of women. And because way too many women have invested way too much time in men who decided that they didn’t want to get married, CDing is, presumably, a way of protecting oneself.

My argument against circular dating has nothing to do with a failure to understand women’s needs, a defense of selfish commitmentphobes, or a personal axe to grind against Rori or her readers. My argument against circular dating centers around only one simple premise: it doesn’t work when you have a good boyfriend.

My argument against circular dating centers around only one simple premise: it doesn’t work when you have a good boyfriend.

If you have a boyfriend who is consistent and kind and also wants to be married one day, and you tell him, in a moment of insecurity, that you can’t stand waiting any longer – “it’s been seven months and we’re not engaged, so I’m going to start seeing other men” – you’re essentially taking a dagger to the heart of your relationship. And if you have a boyfriend who isn’t consistent, isn’t kind, and never wants to be married, there’s no need to “circular date”. Just dump him and find the man who treats you well and ultimately wants a commitment. And yes, it is that simple.

The friction here comes from women who want to KNOW that their investment in a man is going to lead to marriage. The problem is that you CAN’T know. All you can know is whether he’s a man of high character, a man who has spoken of a future, a man whose heart is in the right place. Beyond that, there are no guarantees.

No one wants to feel insecure and off-balance. No one wants to waste time on a dead-end relationship. But just because a man isn’t positive he wants to marry you doesn’t mean you break the bonds of exclusivity. If I’m your boyfriend and you start seeing other men, you are essentially cheating on me, and it doesn’t make me feel better about you, our relationship, or our future together.

That’s pretty much the gist of what I said to Rori’s readers. I used metaphors, anecdotes, capital letters, and wrote the way I normally do on here – blunt, powerful, and very confident that what I wrote has a sound basis in truth.

Not my opinion. Truth. About how men think. Good men. The men you want.

If you start to “circular date” when you have a man who is on the precipice of wanting to spend the rest of his life with you, you might actually be driving him away.

And try though I might, I can’t think of too many confident men who feel that their exclusive girlfriend has a right to date other men after 6 months, 12 months or 18 months, merely because she’s insecure that he might not marry her. She can certainly dump him (which is a good strategy when you’re getting past three years of dating.) But seeing other guys while you’re boyfriend/girlfriend doesn’t sit well with me. I speak for most men and remain firm in this sentiment. (By the way, if there are any guys here who are cool with your girlfriend dating other guys as a way of protecting herself and forcing you to shit or get off the pot, please speak up. I’m open to being wrong here.)

Predictably, then came the blowback.

I won’t go into details but I was told in a number of ways that I was wrong. That I was arrogant. That I don’t understand women. That I was verbally abusive. That my marriage was suspect. That my wife was a doormat. And so on and so forth.

I tried, in vain, to reiterate my point of view – which is that I’m offering a constructive, not destructive, criticism of circular dating. I don’t stand to gain anything from “being right” in this situation. But if you start to “circular date” when you have a man who is on the precipice of wanting to spend the rest of his life with you, you might actually be driving him away. And that’s dangerous if you believe that this is solid advice that considers how men think. It is not. It doesn’t consider how men think. It’s advice that may make women feel better, but doesn’t do what it’s designed to do. Which is why I felt like the guy standing on the side of the road, waving his arms, determined not to let any women go over the cliff with this well-intentioned, but ultimately misguided, take on how to get a man to commit.

Naturally, I got run over in the process. C’est la vie. At least I tried. But since I still believe my take on the male mindset is equally valuable as any woman’s take on it, I wanted to respond to the main areas in which Rori’s readers falsely dissected and misinterpreted my argument:

He should know if he wants to marry me. No, actually, he should not. That’s why men date. To figure out, over the course of time, if he wants to spend the next 35 years with you. And that’s exactly what you should be doing with him, as well. Nobody told you to invest three years of your life in a man who has stated that he never wants to get married. Definitely not me. But if you have a boyfriend who wants to get married one day, but he’s not sure if it’s to you, your best bet is to give him lots of time to figure it out before proposing. If you’re under 40, we’re talking at least two years. Over 40, at least a year. But trying to make him figure out the answer to something that he couldn’t possibly know is a recipe for a breakup. Men don’t respond well to being told what to do. As Dr. Pat Allen said: “If you tell a man what to do and he listens, he isn’t a man.” I’m not stating whether this is fair or not; I’m merely stating that it’s true.

Some men just know after 3 months, therefore all men should know that fast. Actually, anyone who claims to “just know” that it’s “right” after one week, one month, or three months has a very selective memory. I “just knew” that my girlfriend in 2003 was right for me. She dumped me after 6 months. Same with the one in 2004, who dumped me after 3 months. So much for “just knowing”. Look back at your history. You have a similar story.

The right man knows right away. You might have a strong chemistry and a great feeling about a guy, but lifetime relationships take years to forge, not months. Lots of marriages began with the man knowing right away. And a majority of those marriages ended in divorce. Be careful about rushing into things: you very well could marry the wrong man – where if you dated him for two years, you would have learned more about him and potentially averted a mistake.

A man who is right for you would not risk losing you to another man while he makes up his mind. Au contraire: the right man is a responsible decision-maker. And a responsible decision-maker doesn’t make the decision to marry a woman until he knows her for a really long time and can see how she handles life situations. He may rightfully determine that if his exclusive girlfriend handles her insecurity by insisting that she “circular date”, he could find a healthier relationship without all the drama, fear, and insecurity.

Playing it cool is denying my true feelings. We don’t have to live our lives as mere victims of our feelings. After all, just because you feel something doesn’t necessarily make it true. I had one girlfriend who nearly had a heart attack every time I picked up a Maxim magazine. She may have been entitled to her feelings, but her insecurity that I couldn’t be attracted to her if I was also attracted to a model ended up destroying our relationship. Even her own therapist told her that I was a normal guy and that she should temper her jealous overreactions. So while I’ll never tell you that you’re not entitled to feel what you feel, if what you feel (anxiety, fear, insecurity) becomes your boyfriend’s problem – when he hasn’t done anything wrong – it’s really on you to deal in a healthier fashion.

I don’t want to be the girlfriend, I want to be the wife! You don’t become the wife unless you’re the amazing girlfriend first. If you think that he should marry you because you’ve been together for three months and you love him, then he should have also proposed to about a dozen women he dated for three months before you. Right?

I should be allowed to CD ‘til my wedding day because I don’t want just “a boyfriend”. No one is asserting that you should be content to be merely a girlfriend forever. All I’m saying is that if you’re with a man who believes in marriage, you have to allow him to come to his own conclusions over time. And if you think you’re restricting your options by being faithful, then, by all means, circular date. You’ll just end up losing your boyfriend when you do.

A man who doesn’t marry you is selfish. A man who knowingly strings you along for three years when he has no intention of ever marrying you IS selfish. I’m not talking about that guy. I’m talking about men who do want to get married, but aren’t positive if they want to marry YOU. If I didn’t marry my wife after 16 months of dating, it wouldn’t mean that I knowingly used her for that time. It simply meant that I was trying on the relationship for size to see if it fit for the rest of my life and decided it wasn’t a good fit. MOST relationships break up because either the man or the woman comes to this conclusion. Yet MOST people end up getting married one day. This seems to conclude that most men are marriage minded; they might not necessarily want to marry you, though.

Your way gives men all the power, Evan. By letting men take their time to decide if they want to get married, women are relegated to become the selectee and not the selector. Not remotely true. Who said he has the power? Aren’t you 50% of the relationship? Aren’t you thinking clearly about his flaws and whether you can live with them for the rest of your life? Don’t you have the right to break up with him at any point if you conclude that he’s a good guy, but not your soulmate? Why, yes you can! Which means that BOTH parties are taking an equal risk when committing to each other without a ring – not just you.

CDing gives me my power back over a hot-and-cold man. Maybe it does. But I have a slightly different take on this. A) Don’t date other men. Dump him. Walk away with your head held high and say, “I really care about you, but I’m not getting my needs met here. This is too inconsistent for me and I need to feel safe. Good luck.” And don’t look back. THAT’s how you handle the hot and cold guy. If he comes running back, you may have a boyfriend. If he lets you go, he’s not the guy for you. B) Do you really WANT a guy who is so hot and cold, who leaves you walking on eggshells? Do you really want to be in that relationship for 35 years, where he’s so selfish or such a poor communicator that you never know where you stand? If so, then do everything in your power to get him back – including CDing. But the smart money – given that people rarely change – is on dumping him.

Why should one man monopolize my time? I want to explore all my options. I’m still having trouble fathoming this: the woman ostensibly wants a husband but doesn’t want a boyfriend because she should be out playing the field. Um, I hate to tell you, but the only guy who’s ever going to propose to you is the guy who has been your exclusive boyfriend for a year-plus. And if you refuse to stop exploring your options, no guy worth his salt is gonna stick around. This is the epitome of false female empowerment. You’re not keeping your options open if you’re dating other guys outside of your boyfriend: you’re cheating.

Why should I spend 5-10 years with a man without a ring? Beats the hell out of me. Everything I’ve ever written tells you to leave a guy who a) never wants to get married or b) doesn’t propose to you in a reasonable amount of time.

Which is a great opportunity for me to distinguish between a man’s reasonable amount of time and a woman’s reasonable amount of time…

Waiting investing and being vulnerable is the best way to find loveIt terrifies me to potentially spend 2 years with a man without a ring. How am I supposed to know which is which? I can completely empathize with your fear. Millions of relationships have endured for far too long, even though they were dead ends. Especially when they’re dead ends. Once you’ve sunk enough time into anything, it’s hard to walk away, even if the relationship isn’t right. So my contention isn’t that it’s easy to be in a relationship when there’s no guarantee of a happy ending. It’s difficult and scary and insecure and all those other feelings you associate with being in limbo. My contention is simply that waiting, investing, and being vulnerable is the BEST way to find love. At the very least, it’s far superior to being fearful and insecure, to the point that you break up with a marriage-oriented man after four months because he can’t guarantee you a ring.

Once again, I’m not basing this on my personal feelings about this. I’m basing this on common principles of human behavior: the way things ARE instead of how we WANT them to be.

My contention is simply that waiting, investing, and being vulnerable is the BEST way to find love.

Sure, it’s scary to be with a guy for 24 months and not have a ring. But the only way you GET the ring is by investing 24 months and being the kind of woman that he can’t imagine living without. If you start to make waves about how nervous you are after three months, six months, one year, etc… you’re putting a lot of pressure on the man before HE’S ready to make his decision.

And that’s the one thing that the Rori followers almost universally did NOT seem to get – that 50% of the relationship is about what HE wants. I know Rori’s message is about female empowerment, having confidence, etc. But if you’re tone deaf to your partner’s needs, you’re going to find yourself without a partner.

Same as the guy who tries too hard to get laid on the first date.

Same as the guy who thinks it’s fair that you pick up the check because you wrote to him online and make more money.

Same as the guy who never wants to hear about your day and only wants to talk about his…

This may or may not be a bad guy – but his refusal to understand your needs means that he will probably alienate you and lose the prospect of dating you.

And just because YOU want him to know that he wants to marry you within eight months doesn’t mean that HE’s going to know.

Case in point: I have five close friends who have gotten married in the past three years.

We are all college educated, literate, six-figure earners. We are readers, we are sports fans, and we dream of having families. We’re very comfortable around women, yet none of us would be termed an “alpha male”. We’re nice Jewish boys.

Every single one of these men – all GREAT catches – waited 3 years before proposing. Three of them even have older wives – 40, 41 years old – just like I do.

Why did it take so long?

Because they take marriage very seriously.

Because they didn’t want to make a huge mistake.

Because they really wanted to be POSITIVE before buying a diamond ring.

And if dating for two years, moving in together, and proposing when they felt it was right meant that the men felt confident going into their marriage, it seems to me that all five women who did it “my way” by playing it cool ended up WINNING.

They got married. They got the guys they wanted.

By playing it cool, not getting consumed by insecurity, and trusting that the man that you love does NOT want to hurt you, you allow him to choose you on his timetable, instead of putting pressure on him to choose before he’s ready.

However, the ONLY way that all of us got married was because our girlfriends DIDN’T start dating other men when we were together.

If they DID start dating other men when we were together, the relationships would have been undermined – and, likely, destroyed. CDing wouldn’t make me feel closer to my wife. It wouldn’t make me feel like like I was losing my soulmate. It would make me feel like I’m losing someone who has no respect for my timetable, and is making a threat that is completely tone-deaf to my needs.

By playing it cool, not getting consumed by insecurity, and trusting that the man that you love does NOT want to hurt you, you allow him to choose you on his timetable, instead of putting pressure on him to choose before he’s ready.

So even though the idea behind Rori’s Circular Dating is to establish self-love and healthy boundaries, dating other men when you have a good, marriage-oriented boyfriend is simply NOT EFFECTIVE. And if you don’t have a good, marriage-oriented boyfriend, I submit that you should break up with him. Who knows? Maybe that’s the only difference between Rori and me.

Taken to its extreme – which is what I’m talking about here – Circular Dating is a fear-based mechanism to protect women from commitmentphobes – yet it will alienate any man who is rightfully wants to take his time to figure out if he wants to spend the rest of his life with you.

To sum up, you should date around all you want until you have a boyfriend.
But once you have a boyfriend, the ONLY way to make it a healthy relationship is to TRUST. Your fears about wasting time only indicate that you believe that he is not a good enough man to want what is best for both of you.

You know the only guy among my friends who got engaged before 3 years? Me.

Of course, that’s because I’m a sensitive guy who spends every waking second listening to women’s needs and the last thing I wanted to do was waste my wife’s biological clock on my inner turmoil. After proposing to her in 16 months (half the time of my friends’ courtships, twice as long as most Rori fans seem to think it should take), I still wasn’t “positive”. But since I’d dated hundreds of women, and coached thousands more, I figured I was making a highly informed decision about my future. It turned out to be the right one and we’re the happiest couple we know.

Yet if a man had a marriage go bust, has been burned by relationships before, or has very little experience with women, so that he doesn’t really know WHAT he’s looking for, it will take him a LONG TIME to figure out if he wants to marry you.

I implore you, from the bottom of my heart, to allot him that time.

He’s a good man. He doesn’t want to hurt you. He just wants to be sure.

Playing it cool certainly doesn’t guarantee marriage, but it DOES maximize your chance of marriage.

And, as a dating coach for women, that’s really what I’m here for – to help you make good, informed decisions that will be effective in landing the man of your dreams.

Whether you’ve been reading me for a long time, or if you’re a Rori fan who just came over here for the first time today, I hope that my intentions are clear:

I’m YOUR advocate. I speak on YOUR behalf, not on behalf of men.

But just like a man can’t have a successful relationship if he’s ignoring your needs, you can’t have a successful relationship and ignore what your man is thinking.

I hope you’ll highly consider this respectful rebuttal from an informed male perspective and we can all go back to finding love once again.

Warmest wishes,

Evan

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Comments:

  1. 331
    Cora N.

    I watched one of Rori’s videos and the question was posed (in a seminar by one of the attendees), something like “the guy I am dating is stellar…I have no want to date others, he has been nothing but wonderful” and Rori’s answer was not to circular date, she said to date yourself. She said to not stop doing what you love to do that doesn’t include him. Don’t drop your dance class, your girls night out etc.  …and I agree.

    Courtship and marriage is very different. I am a women and dating is wonderful, being engaged is the bomb, being married to the right man wonderful in a very different way, but also difficult to do well, takes work. Why rush that? Enjoy.

    I think love yourself, it makes it easier to love and be loved.

    If you are dating and he is not stellar? What I say is…NEXT!

     

     

  2. 332
    Eva

    OMG, Thank you for your honest and open perspective. Feels Ike I can breathe now. Circular dating and “Man Whispering” forgets that each guy is unique.

  3. 333
    Lucy

    I nearly always break it off if the man isn’t stepping up especially if we are physical in any way. The last man I was dating continued to call and pester me;  I guess just to keep me on a string. It’s conceivable we could have been “friends.”  But do you want to be friends with someone who doesn’t see you as a life partner, even though you saw them in that light?

    It’s not easy to break away. Mother Nature’s little trick is the oxytocin that keeps us bonded to our sexual partners. If you consider that a woman’s body actually sticks little bits of cells together to make another human being (this is how I explain a woman’s relationship abilities to my daughters!), you can understand how sticky/clingy we women can be (a good and beautiful thing, actually, so don’t flame me for my word choice). It’s part of our biology.

    But the whole thing about circular dating is moot to me; I agree more with Evan’s ideas. I don’t like the “bad vibes” of being with a man who won’t step up. It does not feel good (now you can tell I also study Rori Raye, and I love her work BTW). My ex-partner wants to be “friends,” and I can’t do that because in my mind, we were good friends and also lovers.

     

     

  4. 334
    Lucy

    One of the things I’ve realized as I’ve grown older is that a lot of people don’t know how to commit to life itself. You know, they don’t know how to set goals, how to be actively moving towards them, and how to deal with negative emotions that inevitably arises while pursuing difficult goals.

    As I shepherd my daughters through teenager-hood, I see them make mature and not-so-mature decisions. The foolish ones have to do with short-term goals of escaping and evading responsibility, and wanting to be treated as if they are small children who are still completely dependent on me. The smart ones have to do with being excited about the fact that they are becoming young women and taking charge of creating their lives with all the great opportunities that await them.

     

     

  5. 335
    KGholly

     

    Oh Evan!!  You are so right. And these women are going to find themselves in scary bad marriages by trying to rush the commitment. These women cannot possibly know what the issues are and who they are marrying by demanding a ring just months after meeting!!  

     

    Time is crucial . There is no substitute. Time is the only way to test the relationship and your partners temprament over a sustained period and in a variety of circumstances.

     

    There is good reason why con artists force the intimacy during the infatuation phase!!!  People feeling infatuated do not make good decisions. They may as well be signing lifetime contract while high on meth :p  A con artist will rush the relationship before their veneer wears thin…before your infatuation begins to wane…. And their mark begins to wise up. Things that don’t add up start to nag at the mark, the con artists severe deficits begin to show up and pop thru more often. Con artists need to rush the time table bc they know they can’t keep up their front long term. 

     

    Roris advice is priming women for con artists. Seriously devastating experiences!! Bc they are being set up to think KNOWING you were “meant to be” and committing to marriage inside of 6months is normal. It’s not. Unless you date a con artist. 

     

    These women who follow her advice will end up on rotating short term bad marriages while pushing away every smart serious guy bc the woman is making irrational demands of him. No smart guy who is serious about marriage will act reckless about marriage. He will see this behavior for what it is: an enormous red flag. 

     

    No man is making smart decisions if he’s thinking with the little head (infatuation phase) …. Men who have grown up to be men learn to not rush decisions about things that are most important in life. What muffin to have in the morning? No biggie! Snap decision. What woman to marry??  A grown man will spend the time it takes to make certain he’s making a wise decision. 

     

    What she’s advocating is to pick the irrational guys, who don’t evaluate the weight of this decision, guys who don’t know that more is needed than animal attraction to make a long term marriage work, who act on impulses never considering the consequences, and who does not possibly know her well enough to be certain they can weather the storms and stressors common in life,…. let alone to have had the time to build the trust to open up and be vulnerable to create the intimacy needed to determine if this is a good fit for marriage. 

     

    I was doing what she calls Circular dating since after my first big heartbreak at 14yo. Over focusing on one person is unhealthy. And treating dating like a social event and life building experience keeps us better balanced as we figure out who we are! And what we need in a partner. 

     

    That’s the baseline. 

     

    Exclusivity is next. Then within the framework of exclusivity and shared experiences over time…we enter a relationship. With more time, Trust builds… Walls come down…. We allow ourselves to be vulnerable…. And in that vulnerability we risk rejection…. Or we build real intimacy. 

     

    CD is for dating, learning, and developing. CD is not for healthy relationships.  And it is not the step that is immediately prior to a wedding date. Unless you like marrying a con artist or impatient impulse driven immature guy who thinks with his little head. Your choice!! I will pass. 

     

    Just like someone who works an entry level or support staff office job for $30-50K annually can typically find a new job with only about 6mons downtime …. But Someone who’s at an executive level or C level in a corporation making well into the 6 figures can plan on spending 6 month for every $50-100K of their annual salary…. So when someone making $500K annually is looking for a new employment opportunity 2-3yrs is standard for finding the right fit. 

     

    I am an executive level spouse. I deserve to wait longer for the right fit rather than taking the first 1-3 job offers that come along. Plenty of guys were beating down my door and wanting marriage. None were worth my time. I waited. The impulsive boys became back ground noise and over time, men of higher caliber began to appear.  I am worth the Wait. 

     

    And someone needs to explain to Rori that in spite of her good intentions, she is teaching women to become victims of con artists bc they will say and do everything she advocates these women to look for and they will do it all in an accelerated time frame. This is an extremely dangerous protocol to adopt!!

     

  6. 336
    LinzyB

    Dear Even,

    What I got from circular dating on Rori Rayes site, you participated in circular dating until you agreed to be in a committed relationship. Thats why you CD then you stop, and are exclusive.  And you only see that person when becoming a couple. I agree with you a hundred percent, the person you  are in a relationship with deserves to know you are only with them. Especially when you are in a committed relationship.

    Circular Dating to me happens before you are exclusive. Also encourages when you are CDing not to give anyone your heart until your exclusive. To many  women think that they are going to be exclusive after only the first date. They fall in love with the idea of him. Also it’s about communication and knowing the person you are dating is on the same page with you.

    No emotionally healthy woman would ever want to loose an opportunity to be with an emotionally healthy man, thats what we want  and are working for. To be in that committed healthy relationship. Some don’t realize it takes time to get to that point. I will most more latter hope this helps.

    Sincerely LinzyB

    1. 336.1
      Christine

      Well, what you’re saying here sounds reasonable and I’d be all on board with “circular dating” if that’s what it really means.  However, my impression was that she advocates circular dating until you get a marriage proposal, which I think goes too far.

      So basically, you never end up as the girlfriend and jump from “dating” to “wife”.  I’m not sure how wise that is, though.  How do you know whether you should marry a guy, without being his exclusive girlfriend first?

       

      1. 336.1.1
        LinzyB

        Dear Christine,

        I agree with you; if that is the impression you received about circular dating. Yes that is going to far.  That is why I only circular dated until I was in a committed relationship. I don’t remember her saying until your engaged to be married that you should still date other people. Just until your in a committed relationship. At least that was my feeling anyway.

        Before exclusivity he is just as free to date other people, as you are. Then once as a couple. You’re verbally agreeing together, that you are not going to be dating other people. It puts you and him on the same page with one another. And it is an important step to moving closer to becoming married, if that is your wish.

        I have observed and experienced when couples are not on the same page together or on different levels of the relationship. It can cause all kinds of problems for there relationship. That is why healthy communication is so important in a relationship.

        When I was single, circular dating helped me to realize; that the first part of dating anyone was just getting to know them first. As well as getting past the first date. Also to know what your boundaries are, never compromise your values or what you believe in. Then you will learn whats important to you. And also whats important to him. Actions speak louder then words. Most guys I know are more that way.

        I have learned also, not to plan Life completely around them. It easier said then done, especially when your excited to finally be with someone. It very easy to give your heart away when your so wrapped up in those new emotions. Many couple forget to take time to get to know one another they skip important steps in the relationship process. They can pay for it later.

        That is a later step once you are more exclusive with one another.

        Rori Rayne taught me to invest in myself first. How can you be in a healthy relationship if you can’t even take care of yourself. To often times as women in relationship we give everything, then we are disappointed when are needs are not being met.

        She explained about the male and female energy in relationship. How at time, we as women take on the male energy in relationship when in reality we want to be the female energy. It confusing to both party’s. She explained male energy as givers and female energy as receivers. She explains more about it in her book.

        I know this is a long post, didn’t mean to be long winded or inconvenience you. I just feel I have a lot to share. Most of all; You must choose what is right for you. And make your own choices to go forward. I recommend you read all kinds of advice from several life coaches and relationship experts, and make your own judgement about going forward with life and relationships.

        To be honest with you I have not been on her site for quite a while. My life has taken a turn for the better. I am happily relationship married to my best friend and husband. Yes I wish that same happiness and success for others.

        One of the reasons, I got on this particular site.  I wanted to see what other people, and experts thought of her and her site.  And how they felt about her advice, which programs helped them. Before I made any recommendations to other. Dealing with many of these issues. I didn’t want them to be disappointed with the advice I am giving them. If the advice didn’t work for them. Come back to me with any questions.

        Its good to know how others feel about her work.

        Sincerely LinzyB

  7. 337
    Samantha

    Evan, what a great article written without denigrating Rory’s viewpoint. It seems you endorse the following steps:  1. date/circular date until 2. boyfriend/girlfriend exclusivity then 3. loyalty while deciding marriage then 4. Engagement and finally 5. Marriage. This seems reasonable for a person. Regardless if a man or woman. In

    1. 337.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      That’s about right. Not too radical or controversial. Issue is that some Rori disciples just want to skip from 1 to 4. 🙂

  8. 338
    Circular Dating Advice Is So Wrong

    I circular dated for 2 years with 2 people, neither one who wanted to commit because they knew that I was circular dating.

    It’s a TERRIBLE feeling when I woke up one day to say, “What the HECK was I thinking?”

    I wish I had never found Rori Rae and made the life decision to juggle 2+ men emotionally for more than 6 weeks. Pick one relationship, be in it for 3-6 months, find out what your partnership is capable of, and then break up. Being emotionally involved with 2 or more people until you get a ring really gets confusing and it’s not a win for anyone.

    1. 338.1
      Sparkling Emerald

      I am sorry that in your search for love, you received some very bad advice, and paid the price for following it.  I have read her advice and newsletters, anything I wouldn’t have to pay for and found 90% of her advice to be HORRIBLE.  Sometimes I think her advice is to keep people perpetually single and perpetually paying for more bad advice.

  9. 339
    Ssssh_Dont_Ask

    Oh I love this concept of circular dating, but never heard of the ridiculous idea of dating “until you get a ring”! Who does that?!

    I had heard of Rori’s stuff but never read her, it just seemed intuitive to me that dating is a numbers game.  I approached dating as a serious venture – finding a life mate should be! – and used online dating to make sure I was dating 3-5 men at any given time,  with at least 5-10 “in the hopper”.

    I was in this to find the right man, and treated it as a part time job (4 hours a day on Tinder and Plenty of Fish).

    If I met someone I really liked, I KEPT DATING so as to avoid getting too attached. Until you see how things play out, and determine if he is a good match, why limit yourself? The tendency of most women when they find a man they really like, is to drop all others, usually a bit too soon; I call this “drowning”. If you don’t want to drown, keep your life jackets about you! (Life jackets being plenty of other men.)

    Women are the gate keepers of sex, but men are the gate keepers of commitment. Until he asks to be your exclusive boyfriend, you *need* a life jacket! Or 2 or 3.

    I am not saying to have sex with 3-5 men at a time, mind you – but keep dating! You don’t know what any particular man is going to do, and the best way I know to keep from being crushed if things don’t work out, is if I have several other options. (I also found this to be a protective measure, in that I was less likely to overlook red flags.)

    This worked for me. I have a wonderful boyfriend now who has become my best friend. He pursued me, planned dates ahead, and asked me to be exclusive after just a couple months – he was the natural, obvious choice, so it was easy to let the other guys go. We’ve been together 9 months and going strong. He just stepped into my life gracefully, showed me he was the one, and it was all so easy… I knew he was exactly what, and who, I had been looking for.

    Comparison shopping makes things so much better, trust me! 🙂

  10. 340
    nancy

    Hi – I haven’t purchased Rori’s things.. but I believe circular dating has to do with “loving yourself”.. & less with dating. For instance.. I think the concept of “circular dating” applies.. even after the person is married. As in “dating yourself”- Taking yourself out to a spa. Just basically taking care of yourself first.. and not focusing & putting so much pressure on the fella. So.. it’s not always so “literal”- Thanks

    1. 340.1
      Jackie

      You don’t need to circular date men to be able to love yourself.  It all comes from within us, accepting ourselves wholeheartedly and not from outside sources including men.

  11. 341
    Jennifer

    I completely agree with you Evan.  I use to subscribe to Rori and I personally disagree with her about how to handle a boyfriend.  Some of her tactics are useful while dating but not when you are in a committed relationship.  I truly believe in putting myself in the guy’s shoes and if he were to CD while we were exclusive I would be heart broken and you are exactly right it would ruin the relationship.  I want to thank you for putting this out there.  Many women believe that you have to rush…trust me, as a divorcee who was in a miserable marriage for 13 years…that’s wasting time…I wish I hadn’t rushed into a marriage and I wish I knew what I know now…but then if I didn’t go through it I wouldn’t be the woman I am today.  Great advice and I truly enjoy your blog!

    Take care,

    Jen

  12. 342
    Jackie

    This is brilliant! Circular dating is a person’s choice. It’s just not for me because I am totally on the same page as your thinking. The concept doesn’t feel right to me because I believe in being 100% present. And would rather take the risk on a man who feels right to invest in vs diversifying.

  13. 343
    FG

    While CD may sound wonderful to what likely amounts to narcissist, navel-gazing women, I would venture that is the gal is still multitracking after Date#3, move on! Next!

    Simple principle: the values and methods displayed by such a woman are not worth my time. A man should NOT emotionally invest an iota of himself into such a system.

    Elsewhere on the blog, one European man described American-style dating as criminal (or some such), and this would be a case in point.

  14. 344
    CF

    how does one multi-date until marriage???

    Until exclusivity, by all means. But, how can you get to really know someone well enough to know if you want to marry them if you are doing this circular dating thing?

    smh

  15. 345
    rosemary

    Thanks so much for this article. I’ve created a lot of confusion and a lot of “friends” by wanting to keep my options open. Now I need Help:

    Rori talks a lot about the phenomenon of a guy being interested when you’re not, then things flip and you’re interested and he dips out. That has never happened to me, that has never been my story, but I remember her mentioning it in her news letters, A LOT. Well now it has happened to me!

    Does anyone remember which series of hers goes into this? Or does anyone out there have any advice. I really hate this feeling and I blame Rori for letting me know this is out there lol.

  16. 346
    Marlene

    Hello, Evan, l just read your thoughts  on circular dating and as a young 57 yr. Old woman l completely agree with your assesment.  I have read Rori’s advice on that topic and although shechas alot of good advice, l do believe that one is flawed and potentialy destructive. You are bang on!

    God bless!

    Marlene

  17. 347
    Katy

    This is dead on. The thing that baffles me about her point of view on this is the same thing that baffles me about the concept of shows like “The Bachelor.” While they are purely for entertainment, the driving idea is that women are competing for a man to marry. As with this idea of CD- what about wondering if YOU even want to marry HIM? After a few months, why are you trying to “win” a marriage? If he needs time to be sure, of course so should she! Neither one should be trying to force that conclusion. How does she know he’s “the one” so quickly? It’s always about, “if he loves you- he will want to propose.” Well that’s great but why do you want your boyfriend of 6 months to run down the aisle with you? I just don’t get it. It’s the opposite of empowerment, imho.

  18. 348
    Luka

    In the history of bad dating advice, ‘circular dating’ has to win first, second, and third prize.

    Lots of dating advice (er, bad dating advice) sort of makes sense for one sex, but completely ignores/fails to comprehend the feelings of the other.

    Women, there is not a man on the planet earth with any self-respect who is ok with his girlfriend dating other men.*

     

    *the exceptions being:

    A complete and utter sociopath who doesn’t care about you at all.

    A man who’s view of himself is so low that he see’s any female company as a blessing. He hates himself and will take anything.

     

    I don’t know much about this idea’s author, but I would be extremely sceptical of anything she has to say concerning men. To misunderstand the opposite sex at this level really questions her authority to be advising anyone on relationships tbh. I almost thought it was a joke when I first read this. Is it April?

  19. 349
    Jan

    I love Rori Raye, I really do, and most of her content is spot-on. But this “circular dating” thing really misses the mark. This might be a great tool to use if you are in your 20s or early 30s, in college, focused primarily on your career, and not sleeping with any of the men you are “dating”, AND if none….and I mean NONE…of the men you are dating are the least bit insecure, broken, or dealing with trust issues resulting from a past girlfriend cheating on them. Once you introduce sex into the equation, even if you are only sleeping with one man, continuing to date other men at the same time …..it doesn’t matter how far Women’s Lib has taken us…in the eyes of society’s rules, you are still (yes, even today) seen as “slutty”. If you are sleeping with one man and he knows that you are still dating others, there is ZERO chance that he is going to believe you when you tell him that you are exclusive with him sexually. And God forbid if that one man should be the least bit insecure, or have ever has his heart broken by a past girlfriend’s cheating, or have abandonment issues; he will be unable to trust you fully if he knows that you are actively dating other men! It won’t make him commit…it will make him run the opposite direction and reinforce his belief that all women will hurt him! So let’s say you choose to avoid sleeping with any of the men you are dating until you get the commitment from one man: If you are “dating around”, then this gives the men you are dating unspoken permission to date around also…and you as the woman have to be OK with that…..at 50 years of age, I am NOT ok with that…I dealt with that in my 20s and 30s and do not wish to go backwards! At this age, why would I want the stress of imagining the man I like dating younger, prettier, tighter, firmer, less wrinkled, less saggy, more athletic, furtile women!? Yuck!! I don’t need that kind of stress! Furthermore, most women (I said most, not all) my age have neither the energy nor the inclination to have a whirlwind of men circling around like vultures on a carcass….while this may initially be exciting and good for our egos, it quickly gets to be too much to manage and much to stressful. Add in this mix, if you live in a small town like I do where everyone knows everyone and everyone’s business, its a recipe for disaster! The bottom line ladies is this: If he won’t commit, you have really only 2 optimal choices: 1. Accept and enjoy it as it is, or 2. Walk away and move on. I don’t believe for a minute that “circular dating” is an optimal choice.

  20. 350
    Renee

    Ok, here’s the deal. A woman can date one man exclusively if she wishes. BUT, and this is a big but, to protect herself, no sex. Period. Then she is not being used, they are getting to know each other on a mental and emotional level, no risk of preg, and her emotions won’t b clouded by sex and hormones and chemicals. This is how they did it in the old days. It still works . Weeds out the bad men. This truly works. Women, don’t give the man sex when he has not even committed his life to you! If he then breaks up with you your self worth will b crushed. Don’t do that to yourself. Keep your dignity and self worth by NOT giving him your body till the honey moon. Because he hasn’t truly earned it till then. Make him worthy of you. He needs to earn you. Men value very little things they do not work very hard for. Don’t be easy. Know your value and worth and give it away to no one. THAT is how you protect yourself. Your heart and soul. It will give you the best foundation possible. True compatibility will b found out, if it’s there or not. Good luck everyone!!

  21. 351
    Persephone

    I clicked the link to go to Rory’s blog, and I scrolled down and started reading a post by a man. I didn’t notice who the post was written by, but it made a lot of sense. It was by Evan!

    I used to roll my eyes at dating coaches. Until I found Evan’s blog. Evan, you have really transformed my life. I promise, Everyone, Evan has not paid me to write this post.

    I really truly am not a catty type woman, but Rori needs a makeover. I know you don’t need to be beautiful to give dating advice, but if you’re going to be putting yourself in the public, at least put your best foot forward. I’m in a profession where I’m required to work with the public, and I don’t like wearing makeup, but I do so that I can look more professional. I’d rather just put on a pair of cowboy boots and braid my hair, but I can’t do that if I’m going to be presentable to the public. I’m sorry, Rori I don’t want to hurt your feelings if you’re reading this. But in the least take off those glasses for the video.

    Oops, we’re supposed to be talking about content. The content of Evan’s Blog has made me come back over and over again.

    Most of the other dating coaches seem like they’re trying to teach a woman how to trick a man. I want a smart man that sees through that kind of BS.

  22. 352
    Tali

    So why if he’s not your boyfriend after 4 months should you dump him? Curious to know why you choose that time limit and what it means -is he’s not that into you if he doesn’t ask to be exclusive after 4 months?

    (I dated a guy for 4 months and then got frustrated and asked “where it was going as I am dating other guys” – and that definitely backfired aswell as he was shocked I was dating other guys in that pre exclusivity stage.

    1. 352.1
      Tali

      And Thankyou really interesting article! I’ve been circular dating for three years and it’s really not working for me.

    2. 352.2
      Selena

      @ Tali:

      (I dated a guy for 4 months and then got frustrated and asked “where it was going as I am dating other guys” – and that definitely backfired aswell as he was shocked I was dating other guys in that pre exclusivity stage.”

      The idea behind dating more than one guy at a time is that the one(s) who are really interested will “step up”. They will want to see you often, take up your time, tell you how THEY feel. They do this because they want you and want to knock out any other male competition.

      You dated a guy for 4 months who didn’t know (was shocked!?) that you were seeing other guys ? How could he be shocked unless he was only seeing you casually himself?

      My take: you wanted this particular dude over the others and pushed the exclusivity question after 4 mos.  He was never going to do it, because HE DIDN’T FEEL IT .  Putting blame on you gave him an out.   Pffft.

      1. 352.2.1
        fromkin

        You dated a guy for 4 months who didn’t know (was shocked!?) that you were seeing other guys ? How could he be shocked unless he was only seeing you casually himself?

        Or … he didn’t have telepathy, took her seriously enough to not be pursuing multiple options simultaneously, and did not realize he was quite that expendable to her.  When he found out he ran as quickly as possible from this flake who was sleeping with multiple guys.

  23. 353
    Jackie

    Great thing that somebody wrote this. I anti Rori Raye’s Circular Dating. I used to read Rori’s articles & ignore the ones where it leads into buying her tools but lately I see something that says Circular Dating, “don’t just date one man” or “I don’t want a boyfriend, I want a husband”, I start to ignore her newsletters because I don’t respect people who are too shallow & flaky and I cringe at anything superficial.  I’m fiercely loyal to my loved ones including my boyfriend & I find her Circular Dating tactic very immature & stupid move which actually ignores our natural femininity of nurturing.

    The best way to handle relationships is to be true to yourself. Love yourself, flaws & all. Know yourself including your innermost feelings & what are the qualities in a man that you are looking for (realistic qualities only please).  Then whenever you meet a guy, get to know him first as a friend (not FWB) if this guy is capable of meeting your needs, but more importantly is know what you really feel about him & whether you can see yourself spending the rest of your life with this man or not. Learn to step back, ignore the idealistic romance & observe how he acts in real life situations. If he meets your needs, you can see a bright future with him & he asked you to be his girlfriend then congratulations you have found a right man & you can now start your life together as a couple.  If its not then you have the power to dump him. See we women can still be empowered without acting like a jerk. No need to Circular Date.  Whether you date 1 or 30 men, but if you haven’t done your inner work then soon you will be back to square one. Your confidence & self-love comes from within & not from other people (which is what Circular Dating says).

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