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. 151
    Euterpe

    SP asked: (#134)
    “But do I need to be waiting until the guy’s really sure about me before we have sex.”

    Karl: Two of the aforementioned questions are generally answered by having sex. It seems that the majority of men won’t be sure about you until those questions are answered.

    OMG!

  2. 152
    tj

    Dating is a fact-finding mission and sometimes we need to deal with people in the “black and white”, not simply based on our fantasies or expectations. It truly breaks my heart that so many have such hurtful dating experiences, but we have to learn how to separate our emotions from our experiential circumstances, superimposing our needs onto others.

    We may have to think about how much time and effort we put into making large purchases, weighing the pros and cons and apply this strategy to our dating experience. In the evolutionary sense, perhaps it is all about economics to some extent. I am a woman and I want a loving, bonded, intellectually stimulating relationship just like the next person. I’ve recently ended a situation with a man because I felt that he was not treating me in the manner that a man would treat the woman of his dreams. Ultimately, treating me anything less than that does not bode well if a future was to emerge for the two of us. I think that people should present their best selves in the early stages of dating and if they are clearly not doing that, it is an omen of future maltreatment.

    We who seek love need to have expectations for ourselves and expect the same from others. Love yourself first. Enjoy life and open up your heart in all the other ways that count. Perhaps then, real love may enter.

    Circular dating should probably only take place in the initial stages of dating. If a woman finds that a man has qualities that she values and a potential relationship seems worth pursuing, putting circular dating to rest may worth considering.

    Dating is like finding the ideal job, but remain encouraged!

  3. 153
    Marie

    Rori has been misunderstood. It takes a deep conceptual reader to get her. Most people are taking her literal.
    Evan is just talking like a typical man. I think “date” has numerous meanings for everyone, but those who realise “date” to Rori, means socializing, get her point.

  4. 154
    Karl R

    Marie said: (#159)
    “Rori has been misunderstood. It takes a deep conceptual reader to get her. Most people are taking her literal.”

    Rori is an author who writes advice, which most people misunderstand (according to you).

    You don’t see that as a huge flaw in the advice?

    Marie said: (#159)
    “those who realise ‘date’ to Rori, means socializing, get her point.”

    If Rori actually means “socializing” when she uses the word “dating”, then why doesn’t she use the word “socializing” instead … and ensure that everyone understands her correctly.

    By your reasoning, my cousin is good at giving directions. You just have to realize that “left”, to my cousin, means “right”….

  5. 155
    Marie

    Karl (#160)

    “social date”…put two and two together.

    Like I said, there are several words in the english dictionary, which have become and are too wide “umbrella” terms.

    Example. The word “Friend”.
    *We meet someone today we call them “friend” tomorrow.
    *We have someone who’s fun to be around, but not necessarily trusted, yet we still call them friend.
    *We have a very trusted buddy (bro or sis from another mother, we say), we still call that person friend!
    …..meanwhile, the idea “friend” carries with it all the insinuations of what a friend should be…and that’s why alot of people get burned by our so called “friends”, because we don’t have better broken down conceptions or descriptive words to use.

    I have even proposed on my blog, a theory that introduces more terms under friendship to help us define which friend is which. You can read more of that here> http://www.facebook.com/notes/thots-from-my-mind/the-word-called-friendship/476058800918

    However, getting back to my point, the term “Dating” too, has been over generalized.
    Being as, “I’m dating xyz”, could mean > xyz is my boyfriend
    or “xyz and I are dating”, could mean> xyz and I are getting to know each other better and like each other
    or “xyz and I went out on a date”, could mean> we once had dinner/lunch together.
    Even friends (girl n girl, Boy n boy) have dates too!, people have double dates, blind dates etc

    >>This generalization has obviously confused and will confuse people who have different expectancies, ideas and definitions of the word. Perhaps Rori can look into that, But like I said, deep conceptual readers would get her point.

  6. 156
    Karl R

    Marie said: (#161)
    “‘social date’…put two and two together.”
    Quoting Rori: (from one of her blog posts)
    “I ALWAYS advise women to give a good man a chance – even an EXCLUSIVE chance at some time in the ‘dating relationship’ – but, if you’re ready to go, and he isn’t – then CD with actual DATES is the only answer.”

    Marie,
    “actual DATES”…put two and two together.

    I think your “deep conceptual” reading of Rori’s advice has caused you to miss one of her points. And that’s the point that Evan and I believe is counterproductive.

  7. 157
    Helen

    It’s funny: reading Rori Raye’s advice is like a throwback to the first half of the 20th century. This is exactly what parents advised their daughters and church leaders advised single women: if you are ready to be married and your man isn’t, then by all means, date other men. A conservative evangelical author Elisabeth Elliot was advising this as late as the 1980s.

    I’m not saying that this means that the advice is relevant today. But we might want to refrain from saying X is moral and Y is not. This so-called “circular dating” was, after all, at least at one time considered the morally correct thing to do.

    It’s just interesting from a historical perspective.

  8. 158
    Marie

    Karl #162

    Yes! Rori said;
    Quoting Rori: (from one of her blog posts)
    “I ALWAYS advise women to give a good man a chance – even an EXCLUSIVE chance at some time in the ‘dating relationship’ – but, if you’re ready to go, and he isn’t – then CD with actual DATES is the only answer.”

    But she said THAT about a guy your dating, who’s NOT ready to “go”, while you are! THEN! Yes! you do ACTUAL dates!!!, (and you do them, because you need what the man cannot or is not ready to provide!!! After all, you CAN’T force the man to marry you!!!)

    BUT otherwise that case, and even when married, she says and implies that you do what I have rephrased and coined as “social dating”, where in the case of a married woman, you date yourself or appreciate compliments from guys.

    Stop being such an adamant Man about the matter. Seems to me you fear that women will come to terms with their true worth and independence, and stop settling for less, or getting hung up on some man, when they are truly, really, worth more than the current terms men dish out to them in our present state of the world.

  9. 159
    Marie

    In not so many words………
    Ladies, DON’T play marriage with a man if you are NOT yet actually married to him!!!

  10. 160
    Selena

    @Helen #163

    When I read some of RR’s philosophies my reaction was she wasn’t saying anything particularly *new*. Up until two generations ago, it wasn’t uncommon for women to have one than suitor at a time. Including up until one was serious enough to propose. The marriage minded fellows knocked those who weren’t – as much – out of competition through courtship. Though in those days, waiting to marry until one’s mid-to late 30’s wasn’t what anyone considered optimal and co-habitation without marriage wasn’t considered an alternative “commitment” by most.

    On-line dating seems to have brought dating more than one person a time back into vogue. Women are now doing what their mothers and grandmothers did…evaluating which men are “stepping up” and recognizing those who aren’t. Many men may want to wait to marry until their mid to late 30’s, but this can be anxiety inducing to women who want biological children. I can see how continuing to date until a proposal is offered could very well return as a cultural norm.

  11. 161
    Karl R

    Marie said: (#165)
    “But she said THAT about a guy your dating, who’s NOT ready to ‘go’, while you are! THEN! Yes! you do ACTUAL dates!!!”

    So if the woman’s ready for a deeper commitment, and the man isn’t sure, you (and Rori) advocate openly cheating on him. Do you think that’s acceptable behavior if the situation is reversed (the man is ready to propose, but the woman isn’t sure)?

    If you do this, the man (if he’s like me) realizes that you lack integrity, breaks up with you, and breathes a sigh of relief about having dodged a bullet (by discovering your lack of integrity before proposing).

    Given the same situation, Evan (and I) recommend breaking up with the man … which has the advantage of having integrity.

    Marie said: (#165)
    “Seems to me you fear that women will come to terms with their true worth and independence, and stop settling for less, or getting hung up on some man,”

    I have no fear of a woman doing this to me. If she does, I’m dumping her and finding a woman with integrity.

    That’s because I understand my true worth, and that I don’t have to settle for less than fidelity (physical and emotional).

    Would you settle for a man running around with other women just because you aren’t committing as quickly as he would like? What makes you expect that men are any more tolerant of this behavior?

    If a man tolerates this behavior, it’s because he has no interest in committing. And you’ve just given him implicit permission to start dating other women….

    Evan is married. I’m engaged. The men who have made a commitment are saying that Rori’s strategy is a bad plan.

    Selena said: (#166)
    “this can be anxiety inducing to women who want biological children. I can see how continuing to date until a proposal is offered could very well return as a cultural norm.”

    Think about Evan’s advice on mirroring. If a man continues do date other women, you continue to date other men. If he’s not ready to commit to you, don’t unilaterally commit to him….

    That advice works in both directions.

    I had a woman decide that she wasn’t ready to date exclusively. I resumed dating other women. If a woman is emotionally holding me at arm’s length (for her own protection), I will emotionally hold her at arm’s length also (for my own protection).

  12. 162
    Selena

    Karl, please don’t make this about me, it’s non-applicable on many levels.

    I’m suggesting that if an increasing percentage of men decide to wait until middle age to start a family – and most women who want a family want to start before they are middle aged – we may see a cultural shift. We may see a return not only to dating more than one person at a time, but also putting off exclusivity until the man makes his intentions (of wanting a family) crystal clear.

    Women are becoming more educated in the realities of bearing children over 40. And of the risks of autism related to the age of the parents. Some men may want to delay marriage and child-rearing, but might not that make those who don’t need several years (decades?) more appealing? In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king.

    1. 162.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      @Selena and @Marie - Please reread my long post again.

      Simply put, “You don’t become the wife unless you’re the amazing girlfriend first.”

      If you refuse exclusivity (defined as “you’re my girlfriend, I’m not dating anyone else”) without a proposal, you will never find anyone to propose.

      Men don’t propose to women after one month or three months or six months if they have their heads on straight.

      And if you think that you can go on dates with other guys when he’s your devoted loving boyfriend, you’re going to alienate every man you date. Just like Karl said.

      You simply can’t date another man if I’m your boyfriend. It’s called cheating. And no amount of “deep reading” can justify that action.

      You telling me that you’re dating other guys when I’ve been faithful to you for a year and have yet to decide if I want to marry you will simply convince me that you’re too insecure, emotional and clueless to be my wife.

      Despite how much I like Rori and how much good she’s doing in the world, dating other men when you have a committed boyfriend is a terrible idea, which will backfire with all but the weakest of men. I do wish you luck if you choose to implement this piece of “wisdom”.

  13. 163
    Marie

    Karl #167

    >>How many MEN is a woman supposed to break up with before she gets what she wants???

    >>How many rounds through different men and heartbreaks is she supposed to endure till she finally meets the man of her dreams???

    The woman stays with the MAN, simply because she still likes/loves him, and is giving him time to make up his mind, while she carries on and keeps her life going! (instead of getting depressed or nagging him into the type of commitment she wants).

    A good guy, like you claim to be, should and would sit up and realize that since he loves his babe, he’d rather NOT let her go …rather than becoming a frightful rabbit (excuse my description) and dumping her for some dude who will be just ELATED at having her all to himself!!!! (and mind, maybe even giving her the type of commitment she really wants!)

    After all, so many Great women (that he may actually really like) do NOT exist, and if he has one…..why dump her for another woman whom he may still not want to give the kind of commitment that she will definitely ask for, and the cycle continues!!!

    Evan #169

    I support Exclusivity with a man (I like), who is serious about marriage (or the same type of commitment I desire or have expressed to him) and has made such desires known as well (ie not someone who is vague about his intentions)….

    ….And mind, this “exclusivity” should be granted Months into the relationship, not after a few short weeks of just getting to know each other.

    If the guy is deal breaking later on, I support the woman social dating! That shouldn’t be unacceptable to him, cus his actions aren’t exactly acceptable to me as well.

    1. 163.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      To reiterate, Marie: You support a woman “social dating” while she’s in an exclusive relationship.

      Here on Earth, that’s called CHEATING.

      A man is not “breaking the deal” by not proposing. The deal is that he doesn’t date anyone else. SHE’s breaking the deal when she decides to Circular Date.

      There is no way to logic your way out of this. You can’t start dating if he’s being faithful to you. No more than he can start seeing other women while he’s supposed to be your boyfriend. Any attempt to justify this can only fall flat. Men need time to determine whether we want to spend 40 years with you. If you start “CDing” before we’ve decided, we’re going to let you go, not try in vain to save a relationship with a woman who doesn’t understand how relationships work.

  14. 164
    Selena

    Evan,

    I don’t see this as “going dates with other guys when he’s your devoted loving boyfriend”. I see it as two people who are not on the same page about something important to them. If a woman wants marriage (and presumably children?) and her devoted loving boyfriend is still unsure after a couple years – there is probably a reason WHY he is unsure. I would sincerely hoped they had talked about it before the woman concluded she couldn’t keep waiting for him.

    This isn’t about “cheating”, it’s rather breaking up, but leaving the door open. I don’t doubt many people wouldn’t accept the person they loved dating others, but one thing such a scenario is good for is to get the person who’s reluctant to marry to take a good, hard look at why they feel that way instead of stringing their “loving, devoted girlfriend” along for years.

    Again, this is NON-APPLICABLE TO ME. I am not in this particular demographic. I just see it as a possible consequence of men putting off starting a family until middle age – the men who don’t need years, or decades “to decide” will be the ones who win the fertile ladies hand.

    1. 164.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      Correction, Selena: Breaking up is breaking up. Dating someone else when you have a boyfriend is cheating.

      And no one said that the man is not on the same page about marriage and children. He WANTS marriage and children. He isn’t sure if he wants it with YOU. And the earlier you pressure him with ultimatums like this, the more likely he is to bail.

      Rori disciples seem to have little respect for HIS timeline (which, for men in their 30s, is usually 2-3 years), and expect him to KNOW he’s going to marry her within 8-12 months.

      Sorry. That’s not how it works.

      Oh, and I’m not sure we got an answer to Karl’s query: “What if a man knew he wanted to marry his girlfriend of six months, but she was unsure about whether she wanted to commit to him for the rest of his life? Should he be allowed to start dating other women while they’re in an exclusive relationship?”

  15. 165
    Selena

    Nope. Telling your boyfriend you are breaking exclusivity means he’s no longer your boyfriend. Therefore it’s not cheating. Up to him whether he wants to go back to dating you along with others or not. Can’t blame if he doesn’t, but the choice is his.

    I’m not a Rori disciple. I do think some men think of marriage within the year time frame. Personally? I think it’s unwise to marry someone you’ve known less than a year. Thinking about it, and acting on it are two different things.

    A man wants marriage and children, but not sure if he wants it with YOU. After only 6 mos? Perfectly reasonable. After a year, one would think he would be a little more sure, if not quite ready to propose. Certainly after a year, the couple should be able to talk about it. After 2 years? Something is likely amiss in the relationship. Is the person who doesn’t want to marry discussing what is? If not, why not?

    To answer Karl’s query:“What if a man knew he wanted to marry his girlfriend of six months, but she was unsure about whether she wanted to commit to him for the rest of his life? Should he be allowed to start dating other women while they’re in an exclusive relationship?

    It would be the same deal. If he chooses to date other women because she won’t marry him, THEY ARE NOT IN AN EXCLUSIVE RELATIONSHIP. That’s what dating other people means. Up to her if she wants to keep dating him along with others. Can’t blame her if she doesn’t, but the choice is hers.

    For the record, I believe when people are willing to let go of the person they love because they wouldn’t marry on their timeline (EITHER timeline), they likely didn’t love each other enough to BE married anyway. This, more than anything else is what breaking exclusivity makes clear. People who want to stay together, do so. Those who don’t, weren’t meant to.

    1. 165.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      @Maria “The point is to TRY not to get into exclusivity in the 1st place”.

      Ladies and gentlemen, the logic of Circular Dating.

      @Selena – When I pointed out that dating others when you have a boyfriend is called cheating, you said it’s not, because it means that they’re not in an exclusive relationship anymore. That’s some interesting parsing. Because I would think that in order to start dating others, you would have to BREAK UP first. If you don’t break up first and then start dating others, it’s known as cheating. At least that’s what women call it when men start seeing other women within the bounds of an exclusive relationship.

      Either way, once you start dating others without his consent, the reaction is going to be a negative one. If you have integrity and you don’t like where the relationship is headed, you’ll break up with him, not start openly cheating on him. That is what I advise: leave if you’re not happy.

  16. 166
    susan

    to answer Karls question – allowed…interesting term. the question is probably moot becuase if the guy knows he wants to marry his girlfriend he probably isn’t going to WANT to date others.
    The circular dating idea – in fact even the DATING idea is relatively new in my part of the world. It doesn’t sit so well with most women here, and men aren’t quite sure what to do with it either. generally the feeling is ”one at a time”. I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or not, but i find it hard to beleive it is possible to give the right attention and energy to more than one person at a time. I tried it, it was a disaster for me.

  17. 167
    Marie

    Evan #171

    You say “A man is not “breaking the deal” by not proposing.”
    Oh yes, He IS!!! (because, like any other deal breaking act, there first has to be a deal. For some it might be cheating, for some it might be a legal commitment “marriage”, for some it might even be “social dating”)

    My point however, is that its a deal breaker because he knew his woman’s’ desires and time line before hand, and expressed he was on the same page. His later on shunning of her desires, to me, is deal breaking, for that scenario.

    Going back to Rori, now, she said when her husband(then live-in boyfriend) did just that….she moved out for a while.
    Even though she didn’t state if they officially broke up or not. It’s during this stage that she suggests “dating”, while giving the guy time to re-evaluate and make up his mind.

    However, that is for a serious relationship that has involved exclusivity at some point.

    Finally, I’d say, everyone has their own point of view to different matters. I appreciate both dating experts (Evan and Rori, respectfully) and I believe their philosophies are providing guidelines (not exactly hard and fast rules) to dating, for ladies all over the world.

    I’ve often said, children should be taught guidelines to dating and how to relate to the opposite sex, in high school. Why should they get good grades in maths, english & physics, when most will still grow up to fail poorly in such a basic and primitive act now called dating, because they are left to learn by trial, error and heartbreak.

  18. 168
    Marie

    Might I rephrase: Why should they get good grades in maths, english & physics, when most will still grow up to fail poorly in such a basic, primitive and ESSENTIAL, IMPORTANT act now called Dating, because they are (in modern times, at least), left to learn by trial, error and heartbreak.
    This topic of Dating is even more important that any other subject taught in school, because we all go to school ultimately to get a job(s). We want jobs above all reasons, to sustain a family (our children)……YET, we are not taught how to Date!!! #sad#

  19. 169
    Marie

    In answer to Karl’s query: Yes! Men do it all the time anyway, and most times, they get away with it.
    All a guy needs to do is start flirting or giving less attention.

    However, the point is to TRY not to get into exclusivity in the 1st place, and not play “owner” when you do not or until you actually “own”. And this goes for both women/ladies/girls, and men/guys/boys.

    Out of all the numerous dates and courtship, a woman and man may actually gravitate to themselves and get very close (this is how was done) eventually the guy(or guys) may propose to her, and she may accept from whichever she really wants or likes.

    Though, like i said, everyone has a right to their perception or their own point of view.

  20. 170
    Selena

    Correction, Evan: Dating someone else when you have broken exclusivity means that person is no longer your bf/gf. And therefore not cheating. You can leave the door open to them to date you knowing you are dating others. Can’t blame them if they don’t want to do that, but the choice is still theirs.

    Same answer to Karl’s query: If a man tells his girlfriend he is going to start dating other women because she won’t marry him THEY ARE NO LONGER IN AN EXCLUSIVE RELATIONSHIP. She could continue to date him – can’t blame her if she doesn’t want to, but the choice is still hers.

    The thing about ultimatums: you are not only giving one to the other person, you are giving the same to yourself. With the described scenario, the man or woman willing to break exclusivity can’t count on the other wanting to continue seeing them under those parameters, they are prepared to let them go.

    I believe if you can’t understand each others “timeline” there is something amiss within the relationship. Perhaps you aren’t such a good fit. Or one of you does not really see the two of you together for a lifetime, but can’t (or won’t) communicate that.

    I think 6 mos. is too early to have a timeline. Two years isn’t.

    In any event, people who are willing to let someone they love leave their life may not love the person enough to actually BE married to them. True of both parties.

  21. 171
    Helen

    I am wondering if, in our debate about Rori Raye’s advice, we could leave out judgmental terms like “cheating” or “integrity.” Can’t we simply acknowledge that in different cultures even within the same country and different times, people view(ed) dating and marriage so differently that they are guided by different notions of appropriate behavior?

    Consider what Elisabeth Elliot has to say about this topic, which is remarkably similar to what Rori Raye says, although their backgrounds could not be more different:

    “Unless a man is prepared to ask a woman to be his wife, what right has he to claim her exclusive attention? Unless she has been asked to marry him, why would a sensible woman promise any man her exclusive attention? If, when the time has come for a commitment, he is not man enough to ask her to marry him, she should give him no reason to presume that she belongs to him.”

    While I may not agree with her stance, nor her religion, I would judge her from the whole of her life to be a woman of integrity; certainly not a “cheater” in any sense of the word. I accept that many people around me do think as she does about dating and marriage, even if I don’t, and that doesn’t make them cheaters or lacking in integrity.

    And what is this but advice for circular dating, though it was written 30 years ago by an evangelical Christian?

    So let’s try not to be too judgmental toward Rori and her adherents. This notion is not new, and some people who follow it genuinely believe they are acting in good faith. I think this is one more of those things that two people need to discuss when they first start a relationship.

  22. 172
    Selena

    @#181

    Exclusivity: Agreeing you both won’t date other people.

    Breaking Exclusivity: Openly telling your lover you are going to date other people. And why.

    Cheating: Dating other people on the sly when you’ve agreed not to with your lover. Dishonest.

    Very clear. Non-debatable. Hyperbole doesn’t change it.

    I’m interested in how the popularity of online dating may be changing the culture of dating. In the forums I read, dating multiple people at a time is becoming more the norm opposed to the “one at a time” approach popular with later born baby boomers and Gen X.

    There also seems to be variation when it comes to the word, “Exclusive”.

    Some believe it means simply dating one person at a time. Nothing more.

    For others it means the two of you are a couple. Boyfriend and girlfriend.

    And there are those who consider it a ‘sacrifice’. It means giving up one’s options to meet and possibly have sexual access to others one might meet.

    And for some it is apparently a commitment they will make only if they feel an engagement of marriage will follow.

    I wonder if the novels produced by Gen Y, might end up reflecting similar values to the novels of Jane Austen.

    Since no one else is interested in discussing these social and potential social changes – I bow out.

  23. 173
    Kathleen

    I agree with Evan Leave if you’re not happy.

    With my boyfriend, we commuted 2 hours for a year Then I moved in with him for a year After I moved in all talk of marriage evaporated At 2 years of being with him I let him know I was preparing to leave He thought about it and we got married soon after ( and for the next 20 years) If I had started dating other guys while I was still with him he would have ended it right then.

  24. 174
    Helen

    Selena 182: I’m certainly interested, but this may not be the right venue for it, since people come to the discussion with their particular sets of values, and it can be difficult to try to get others to understand anyone else’s differing values.

    I did not think Marie 178 was being illogical when she suggested avoiding exclusivity. In certain Christian circles, and in certain cultures worldwide where matchmaking is common, the notion of exclusive dating is very strange. Either a couple is close friends without “sexual benefits” before becoming engaged, or they are matchmade and may not even know each other that well before getting married.

    However, the predominant culture in America is one of a certain set of rules when dating. Okay, if that’s what people agree to abide by, that’s fine. But it is worth acknowledging that not everyone around the world (or even everyone around them in their community) follows these same rules. So writing someone off as “cheating” or lacking integrity for not following the same dating “norms” seems a bit myopic.

  25. 175
    Karl R

    Selena said: (#182)
    Exclusivity: Agreeing you both won’t date other people.
    Note: this requires both people to agree.

    Breaking Exclusivity: Openly telling your lover you are going to date other people. And why.
    Note: you’re saying that it’s okay for one person to decide to change the agreement without the other person agreeing to the change.

    Cheating: Dating other people on the sly when you’ve agreed not to with your lover. Dishonest.
    Note: I made a distinction about “openly cheating.”

    Selena,
    Here’s a hypothetical situation:
    Tonight I go home and tell my fiancée that I’m going to start having sex with one of the women in my dance class. I’m not breaking the engagement. I’m not asking her permission. I don’t expect her to agree to it. I’m just informing her in advance.

    Do you believe my fiancée would describe my behavior (sleeping with the other woman) as “cheating”?

    If I follow through on what I just said, it’s still unethical. I would expect my fiancée to dump me. I would expect to get branded as a “cheater” in our social circle.

    And I don’t think the semantics (which you’re engaging in) are going to change the perception of our community as a whole.

    Feel free to test my hypothetical situation in real life. Let me know if the semantics make a difference.

    Selena said: (#174)
    “Telling your boyfriend you are breaking exclusivity means he’s no longer your boyfriend.”

    That’s called breaking up. Which is exactly what Evan and I recommend (as the ethical alternative to circular dating).

    But I would rephrase that: “Telling your boyfriend that he is no longer your boyfriend means you are breaking exclusivity.”

    There’s less room for confusion.

    Helen asked: (#180)
    “Can’t we simply acknowledge that in different cultures even within the same country and different times, people view(ed) dating and marriage so differently that they are guided by different notions of appropriate behavior?”

    This is dating advice, not a theoretical discourse on cultural values. If you know of a (current) culture where the men would find this acceptable, tell us which one it is. I’ll try to remember to point it out as an exception.

    In mainstream American culture, men propose to their exclusive girlfriends. If the girlfriend decides to break exclusivity in order to apply pressure, most men will dump her. (Definitely exceptions for men with little/no self-esteem.)

    Marie said: (#176)
    “My point however, is that its a deal breaker because he knew his woman’s’ desires and time line before hand, and expressed he was on the same page.”

    I have gone through the “exclusivity talk” numerous times. I have never been told the woman’s time line. I’ve never been asked to agree to her time line. Some women have expressed a desire to get married (in principle), but none have stated an expectation that they would be marrying me. None have stated that they expected me to eventually propose.

    In your last serious relationship, did you tell your boyfriend (before agreeing to exclusivity) about your desire to be married and discuss your time line in explicit detail? Did you get him to explicitly agree to propose to you according to your time line?

    If that was actually the case, you had a different deal than most women.

    Marie asked: (#170)
    “How many MEN is a woman supposed to break up with before she gets what she wants??? How many rounds through different men and heartbreaks is she supposed to endure till she finally meets the man of her dreams???”

    Dating is hard for everybody (women and men). It’s painful for everybody. And if anybody tries to use that to excuse unethical behavior (like openly cheating inside of an exclusive relationship), I will recommend that their partner dump them.

    Marie said: (#170)
    “A good guy, like you claim to be, should and would sit up and realize that since he loves his babe, he’d rather NOT let her go …”

    If I love a woman, but I’m uncertain whether she’s the right one, and she breaks up with me, then I might decide that I’d rather move forward (despite uncertainty) instead of losing her.

    If the woman begins dating other men, I will realize that my uncertainty was justified. I may love her, but I’d rather go through the heartbreak now, instead of facing years of a lousy marriage with a woman who lacks integrity.

    If you break up with a good man, he might fight to keep you. If you begin dating other men, you demonstrate that you’re not a good girlfriend, and he realizes there’s nothing worth fighting for.

    Marie said: (#170)
    “rather than becoming a frightful rabbit (excuse my description) and dumping her for some dude who will be just ELATED at having her all to himself!!!!”

    Have you ever dated a divorcee?

    And by “divorcee”, I don’t mean a man who is actually divorced. I mean a man who is separated.

    And by “separated”, I don’t mean a man who has actually gotten a separation and moved out. I mean a man who has informed his wife that he wanted a separation.

    I bet you were just ELATED at the thought of having him all to yourself!!!!

    Being the second boyfriend is terrific if I just want a fling. I get some of the fun and none of the responsibility. And that’s exactly the relationship your second boyfriend wants.

    Marie said: (#170)
    “After all, so many Great women (that he may actually really like) do NOT exist, and if he has one…”

    If your boyfriend begins openly cheating on you, do you continue believing that he’s a great boyfriend? Or do you realize that he was lousy boyfriend all along?

    I’ve broken up with some amazing women because they made lousy girlfriends. They didn’t even cheat on me (which may explain why we’re still friends). It’s the same advice Evan gives women: If the great man you’re dating is a lousy boyfriend, then you need to get rid of that lousy boyfriend.

    Selena said: (#168)
    “We may see a return not only to dating more than one person at a time, but also putting off exclusivity until the man makes his intentions (of wanting a family) crystal clear.”

    I must be a trendsetter.

    Twenty years ago I was not interested in getting married. I was not interested in starting a family.

    I was in explicitly in non-exclusive, non-monogamous relationships with a series of women. The men who don’t want to get married are completely on board with this plan.

    susan said: (#175)
    “i find it hard to beleive it is possible to give the right attention and energy to more than one person at a time. I tried it, it was a disaster for me.”

    I can give enough time and attention to a couple women … but only if we’re keeping it casual. I can’t develop a serious relationship under those conditions.

    That’s why men propose to their exclusive girlfriends.

    Kathleen’s example (#183) is exactly what Evan and I would recommend. My sister did the exact same thing to her boyfriend (and even moved out). They’ve been married over 25 years.

    Kathleen didn’t date anyone else. My sister didn’t date anyone else. Breaking up works. Dating other men (without breaking up) is counterproductive.


  26. 176
    Selena

    Thank you Helen for your reply #184. Agree, this thread is obviously not the venue to discuss cultural differences and values.

    It is apparently the thread to continue beating your own dead horse, oops! I mean drum. @Karl #185

  27. 177
    Marie

    Exactly my point Karl!; Now you are getting through to my point of view!

    YES!! A so called “Great” boyfriend, who isn’t cheating, but making his girlfriend miserable by waiting, is in actual and real fact a Lousy one! Everyone, take off the rose colored glasses!!!

    While remaining non-exclusive is great, Ive stated before;

    ” I support Exclusivity with a man (I like), who is serious about marriage (or the same type of commitment I desire or have expressed to him) and has made such desires known as well (ie not someone who is vague about his intentions)….

    ….And mind, this “exclusivity” should be granted Months into the relationship, not after a few short weeks of just getting to know each other.”

    Perhaps the bit I may add now is that I should probably break it off with him if he seems to be stringing me on. Yes! ill take that one….

    BUT, ultimately, No one on earth has a right to own/retain/book down another human being according to their terms…(especially when the both of them have not made a mutual legal/spiritual agreement to belong to each other (a.k.a) marriage) and expect that the unhappy person should stay, because he/she is a self-titled “good” bf/gf.

  28. 178
    Ruby

    I am not advocating or condoning anything one way or another, but here’s how i see circular dating working. A woman has been dating a man for a while, say a couple of years. They’ve been in an exclusive relationship, but lately, things have not been progressing much. They don’t want to break up, but the man is not willing to move forward. The woman has two choices: she can end the relationship, and see if the boyfriend steps up to the plate, or she can PULL BACK, see the boyfriend less frequently, and spend more time with friends, on her own, or even on dates (which as I see as “friendly” dating). She is not necessarily having sex with anyone else, but of course, while doing this, she MIGHT meet someone who is more committed to her needs. The theory is that the man will feel threatened that the woman is drifting away, and this may inspire him to make more of a commitment. Of course, it may not work any more than breaking up would work, but it’s another strategy. Notice that I am not advocating this, but simply noting how the concept might work.

    There are stages to dating. Initially, you might be dating someone casually, along with others. Then you might move to dating one person, but with no specified commitment, and then to being “boyfriend and girlfriend” in a relationship with implied potential for a serious commitment. From there, you might move to living together, and so on. As i see it, “circular dating” takes a relationship that is not moving forward back to a more casual level of dating, rather than completely ending it.

    1. 178.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      That’s exactly it, Ruby.

      And if my serious girlfriend goes “casual” because I haven’t proposed, then I’m more likely to break up with her than commit to her.

      Which is why it may sound good in theory, but in practice, it falls apart.

      I will not feel closer to a girlfriend who tells me she’s dating. I will feel more distant. As would you if your boyfriend started seeing other women.

      I don’t know how much clearer this could be.

  29. 179
    Ruby

    EMK #189

    “I will not feel closer to a girlfriend who tells me she’s dating. I will feel more distant. ”

    I don’t think you’d feel closer to a woman who broke up with you. I haven’t gone back to re-read this entire thread to see if this has actually worked for anyone, though (besides Rori Raye, that is), but I don’t assume that it absolutely would not work, as you do. In fact, I first saw this strategy advocated in an article I read about commitment back in the early 90’s, so it’s really not that novel.

    1. 179.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      It’s not a matter of whether it’s novel or whether it made sense in the 40s when men married women after three months so they could get laid.

      It’s about whether this is an effective strategy. I feel quite strongly that it is NOT – that dating another man to get your boyfriend to propose to you is completely backward and antithetical to the principles of healthy relationships. Anyone who favors “Circular Dating” want to weigh in on how you’d feel if your boyfriend started dating other women because you weren’t positive you wanted to marry him? I can’t see any way of this HELPING a relationship.

      You think it’s been too long and you should have a ring? Break up with him. It’s stronger. It sends a message. It has teeth. It means you are really leaving him because you’re not satisfied. He can try to win you over, but you’ve already exited the building.

      Dating someone else is passive-aggressive bullshit which doesn’t account for the fact that you are openly CHEATING on your man. And we tend to frown upon that, as you might imagine.

  30. 180
    Kathleen

    Ruby Read my example ….

    If you leave a guy who knows you love him he will feel the loss and wonder if he’s made a huge mistake..
    If you date other guys when he has been good to you and loyal he feels betrayed and with that comes anger

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