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. 181
    Marie

    #191

    Honestly Evan! I don’t see why it should be called cheating!
    The man should be happy that the lady even gave him months of her life to begin with!

    I think you are too wrapped up with your self righteous perspective of who a “good” man is!

    “””He is a good man, you should give him time, he means no harm…..BLAH BLAH BLAH!!!

    She too is a GOOD woman!!! (for him to make her his gf in the first place) and For him to frustrate her to whatever level she has taken, is his fault!!!

    If he dumps her, WELL, he was an insensitive brat to begin with!!! and I’m even happy for her!, she doesn’t need such a rigid self absorbed person in the first place.

    To hell with what you think a woman should wait for his ring and blah blah, That is NO reason to tie a female to yourself and expect her to keep proving to you beyond her wits that she is a “great” woman( wagging her tail), till at the end she proves she deserves your prize.

    Unfortunately for you, you fail to realize that women are the missing piece in any guys puzzle. Its NOT for a man to be pleased, convinced and begged, but for the man to appreciate, to woo, to please, to adore a woman!!!

    If he had a GREAT lady to begin with, and he was insensitive enough to drive her to the chasms of circular dating or breaking up or whatever……SHAME ON HIM!!!

    You know what??…He might as well break it off (as you say) and do exactly the same thing with another woman! After all, he needs and has all the time…he could go another 3 year round, because he neeeeds to make up his mind….And when that woman cant wait, GUESS WHAT!!!….He can break it off again!!… OOHLAALAAA!! Wonderful!!! Good for him! BRAVO!!!

    Whoever came up with the idea of exclusive dating, must have been a man!…and guess what it SUCKS! Women are becoming too smart for it.
    Of course the rules that come with it, what you term cheating, its all part of the bullsh*t attached!
    Women are sensitive (and most wouldn’t want to do what is considered wrong) and by terming what we call harmless, social dates, as CHEATING, men have toyed with our consciences and kept us in line. To bad we see through it all now.

    My point in fact….. Just because you adamantly call it CHEATING, doesn’t mean it is!!!
    WHO MADE THAT RULE???????? Tell me!!!
    The man too is FREE…….FREE like a bird, to also meet other ladies!!!

    Perhaps when they have both had that time out, they might both come to their senses, and get back together….OR they find what they are looking for in someone else.
    (That may be: the woman finds someone who is ready to give her the commitment she wants, and the man finds someone who is willing to wait three years with him)

    I hope that answers your question.

    1. 181.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      Yes, Marie. It totally answers my question. You’re completely out of touch with reality. A man is a brat for not proposing to every woman he’s in a relationship with. A woman can get married without being a faithful and exclusive girlfriend. We’re all clear.

  2. 182
    Paragon

    Singular investment in a LTR is dependent on confidence in exclusivity, and circular dating principles can only work to undermine that confidence.

    If a woman feels compelled to adopt these principles, either from a mercenary notion of maximizing/insuring
    her prospects, or because of the short-term benefits posed by indulging multiple suitors(betraying a penchant for strategic pluralism – making her a bad bet for any singular male investment), then she will be failing to justify this confidence during the formative stages of a LTR.

    Successful anecdotes will represent the exceptions, not the rule.

  3. 183
    Selena

    @#191

    This is tiresome.
    Breaking exclusivity is dropping a relationship down a level. Does it work for couples other than RR and her husband? I don’t know. It sounds painful to me.

    What it ISN’T is cheating. You can’t cheat on someone you are not exclusive with.

  4. 184
    Helen

    Selena, you’re right. You can’t cheat on someone with whom you’re not exclusive, because if you’re not exclusive with someone, s/he doesn’t “own” you.

    Karl had asked earlier where this way of thinking applies. Even John Gray of Mars & Venus fame espouses it. In one of his books (“Mars and Venus on a Date”), he talks about five stages of relationship, the last being marriage. In the previous four stages, if you’ve moved too far ahead and the other person hasn’t (whether that person is male or female), he recommends to move back a stage or two, even moving back to the stage before exclusivity (the third stage). That does entail saying to the other person (either male or female) that there is still an interest, but they will date others. If communicated openly and without anger or resentment, that will be the catalyst for the other party (male or female) to consider how important the relationship is to him/her, and s/he can make a choice to break off or move deeper in the relationship with the partner.

    This theme crops up again and again. It’s not just Rori Raye’s “circular dating,” although she does put a name on it. Elliot and Gray have both recommended it. And from what we can gather of the comments here, some approve of it, and others don’t. So it has always been.

  5. 185
    Karl R

    Selena said: (#194)
    “You can’t cheat on someone you are not exclusive with.”
    Helen said: (#195)
    “You can’t cheat on someone with whom you’re not exclusive, because if you’re not exclusive with someone, s/he doesn’t ‘own’ you.”

    Can you show me (in Rori’s work or any of her supporter’s statements) where they indicate that this new “non-exclusivity” (when a woman trying to encourage your “exclusive” boyfriend to propose) applies to the man also?

    Look at what EB (#27) said.
    “It seems like a double standard to me to date other men while he ‘makes up his mind’. Sure, just starting out is OK, but once things progress, how can I expect him to trust me if I am out doing who knows what with other men? And then, to expect him to NOT date others is selfish and unfair!”
    “If after a reasonable amount of time ( this can vary by person) your needs have not been met, then cut him loose – don’t openly cheat and expect that to improve the relationship!”

    She’s reading the same thing into Rori’s ideas, and she’s a fan of Rori’s (and presumably better versed in her work than I am).

    Or SMC: (#117)
    “During that time, I was disturbed that Rori’s blog said that it was okay for me to CD but that he couldn’t. Such a double standard!!”

    Or CD fan GingerSky: (#124)
    men CDing is just a sign he’s not husband material or doesn’t want you…”

    Look at Twilight Princes (#54) or Jadafisk (#92) who also seem to read this inequality into Rori’s explanations of CDing.

    If there is no exclusivity, then I completely agree that there is no cheating. But if both people agreed to mutual exclusivity, and then one person decides that exclusivity only applies to the other person….

    … what term would you use to describe that situation?

    To use a metaphor, this particular aspect of CDing involves:
    1. Changing the rules in the middle of the game.
    2. Only one person agreeing to the rules change.
    3. Different rules for the two players.
    4. Rules which clearly favor one person over the other.

    If you did that in the middle of a sporting match, you’d be accused of cheating.

    Helen said: (#87)
    “can’t we just apply the Golden Rule here?
    Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
    I wouldn’t want my man to be dating others if we were in a serious relationship, so I wouldn’t do the same to him.”

    Have you changed your mind about this?

  6. 186
    Helen

    No, Karl, I haven’t changed my mind about anything. The two people in a relationship need to be on the same page about this. For my husband and me, it happened naturally and we did not need to discuss this. For others, discussions may be necessary.

    John Gray’s advice about moving forward and backward in relationship stages applies to both sexes, not just women. If Rori is being hypocritical and saying only women should do x, y, z, but men are not allowed to, then I would not support it.

  7. 187
    Marie

    While I don’t mean to bash you, Evan…

    You may want to bring me back to reality.

    I’m a Nigerian, and I live in Nigeria. Women here are totally used to the type of dating you are recommending and talk about.

    They are practically raised to worship men, wait on them, the headline of their future goals is to get married.

    The men have caught on!.. They string ladies along for years, some even bear children for them out of wedlock.

    And the men still keep on stringing them on. The women don’t complain, oh no…They’re used to it, expect it sometimes…It is dating afterall..The men are GOOD men…”They” will take care of them eventually.

    Young ladies waste their youthful days pining over ONE bf… WHY?! Alot of the time, the man breaks it off with his “gf” of several years (mind he had been cheating all the while) and marries a woman he met just 3 months ago!

    I’ve come to discover:- A man would only get serious when he WANTS to, never before!

    Any Woman who gets in his path before he is ready, is just that! JUST in his path!

    And when the man eventually decides he is ready, it doesn’t take him time atall…he’s literally scouting through women, looking for whom to call his wife!

    If he is Blessed to find a GREAT lady on time….He is very lucky! and he doesn’t hesitate to put a ring on her finger!

    What Rori Raye and Others who may preach “circular dating” have done…is give women (all over the world) a way of spending their time positioning themselves in a position where they are available when a man who is truly ready, can get to them, and scoop them off…..instead of them (ladies) being blocked off because they are in an (exclusive) relationship.

    While I believe your intentions are good…and I believe you are one of those straightening out dating problems in the world…you might also need to understand where women (all over the world) are coming from and the different perspectives that may be involved.

    Great debate, by the way!

    1. 187.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      I guess we’re gonna agree to disagree, Marie.

      You said, “When the man eventually decides he is ready, it doesn’t take him time at all…he’s literally scouting through women, looking for whom to call his wife!”

      Maybe that’s the way it works in Nigeria. But here in the U.S., people are together for between 2 and 2 1/2 years before getting married, on average. So if you’re losing your cool after 1 year, and you start dating other man, you’re not going to reach the point where he’s comfortable marrying you. You’re working completely on your timeline and giving no respect to his. Foolish men who propose in three months are NOT what you’re looking for. You should want a man who takes his responsibility as a husband very seriously and knows that he’s making a smart, lifetime decision. Those decisions take years to make, not months. And if you start circular dating while he’s still trying to decide, you’re going to push away the best men.

  8. 188
    Karl R

    Marie said: (#200)
    “Alot of the time, the man breaks it off with his ‘gf’ of several years (mind he had been cheating all the while) and marries a woman he met just 3 months ago!”

    Is this an example of a “good” man?

    Regardless, what is the benefit of circular dating this man? I would recommend dumping him (or never dating him in the first place). How is dating this kind of man (plus some other men) preferable to not dating him at all?

  9. 189
    Selena

    @ Karl #197

    I’ve read some of RR’s articles in the past and from what I remember the jist is a man doesn’t need to CD because he is the one who is satisfied with the relationship “as is”. The point of breaking exclusivity is to give him all the time he needs to decide if he wants to claim the woman. He either “steps up” or he doesn’t. Not wanting to date her if she is cd’ing other men would be an example of doesn’t. The choice is his. The woman doesn’t manipulate him at all, her job is stay in the feminine, cd, and let him come to her if he chooses.

    Presumably her programs give much more detail, but you would have to purchase them if you are interested.

    It occurred to me earlier there are other examples of breaking exclusivity that are fairly common: Taking a break from a relationship is one; trial separation is another. In these scenario’s the couple may date others as well as each other. And they don’t consider it cheating.

  10. 190
    Paragon

    @ Marie

    “She too is a GOOD woman!!! (for him to make her his gf in the first place) and For him to frustrate her to whatever level
    she has taken, is his fault!!!

    If he dumps her, WELL, he was an insensitive brat to begin with!!! and I’m even happy for her!, she doesn’t need such a rigid self absorbed person in the first place.

    To hell with what you think a woman should wait for his ring and blah blah, That is NO reason to tie a female to yourself and expect her to keep proving to you beyond her wits that she is a “great” woman( wagging her tail), till at the end she proves she deserves your prize.

    Unfortunately for you, you fail to realize that women are the missing piece in any guys puzzle. Its NOT for a man to be
    pleased, convinced and begged, but for the man to appreciate, to woo, to please, to adore a woman!!!

    If he had a GREAT lady to begin with, and he was insensitive enough to drive her to the chasms of circular dating or breaking up or whatever……SHAME ON HIM!!!”

    You sound frustrated, and are making alot of assumptions here.

    If someone has tacit expectations for a relationship, it is something they should discuss openly with their partner, and then make decisions based on whether they feel these expectations are likely to be met.

    After that, BOTH parties are free to make whatever decision they feel is most agreeable to THEM.

    Again, the *only* strategic advantage for circular dating(compared with ‘breaking-up’), is in maximizing courtship benefits from multiple suitors(it will *not* incentivize a man to commit, even as much as breaking up with him).

    In other words, it is a rationalization for a kind of open relationship that attempts to place the onus on the male party.

    Some men WILL be OK with that, but some won’t.

    It sounds like you are deeply resentful of the fact that SOME men are critical of circular dating principles, and would not
    tolerate a non-exclusive partner.

    But, I suspect that no amount of shaming language is going to convince men to go against their better judgement(I being one of them).

    “The men have caught on!.. They string ladies along for years, some even bear children for them out of wedlock.

    And the men still keep on stringing them on. The women don’t complain, oh no…They’re used to it, expect it sometimes…It is dating afterall..The men are GOOD men…”They” will take care of them eventually.

    Young ladies waste their youthful days pining over ONE bf… WHY?!”

    Because, if Nigeria is like NA, women tend to be disproportionately invested in a very atypical sample of ‘choice’ males.

    The kinds of males who tend to be non-committal, for the wealth of sexual options they enjoy.

    If this is indeed the problem, it bears a simple(if unsympathetic) solution – stop fixating on non-committal males.

    I can only speak for NA, but here, there is NO shortage of males who are low-risk for promiscuity, following from a sparse(occasionally non-existant) relationship history.

    The dilemma is, that these kinds of men tend to be invisible to women, and their low-risk indications perhaps a
    consequence of their low mate value.

  11. 191
    Marie

    Paragon #204

    I am not frustrated, as even though I live in Nigeria, I do not fall under That category of women. I have not encountered such experiences on a personal level BUT I merely speak on their behalf because it is what I see or hear happening all the time.

    It is very interesting to see that Evan’s dating advise caters to only American women, and that he seems very disinterested in widening his perspectives.

    Perhaps I should rephrase a bit of my earlier post:
    “Alot of the time, the man breaks it off with his “gf” of several years (mind he **MAY** have been cheating all the while) and marries a woman he met just 3 months ago!”

    Mind I am Not saying all Nigerian males cheat or are promiscuous, oh no! I’m just saying, most women are brought up ALREADY with the sort of dating idea Evan has professed! Its inbred.

    What i’m Illustrating, is that it really DOESN’T always work!

    It is NOT as concrete as Evan makes it out to be…

    Perhaps the same goes for Rori’s concept too!

    HOWEVER, it is for individuals to try/choose whichever works for them. Besides it is quite disapproving for one to openly bash the other (even going as far as writing a whole blog(including the other’s name) and calling wrong, the other’s theory)

    That’s why there is Christianity and there is Islam, and several other religions too…..

    That’s why you go to a store and find many products labelled that they do the same thing!…..You choose what works for you!

  12. 192
    Paragon

    @ Selena

    “@ Karl #197

    I’ve read some of RR’s articles in the past and from what I remember the jist is a man doesn’t need to CD because he is the one who is satisfied with the relationship “as is”. The point of breaking exclusivity is to give him all the time he needs to decide if he wants to claim the woman. He either “steps up” or he doesn’t. Not wanting to date her if she is cd’ing other men would be an example of doesn’t. The choice is his. The woman doesn’t manipulate him at all, her job is stay in the feminine, cd, and let him come to her if he chooses.”

    As I understand it(and please correct me if I am mistaken), circular dating is a policy of non-exclusity(and I am assuming,
    just on the female side?), taken until the point of an accepted engagement(or it is marriage)?

    The problem with this strategy, is that circular dating communicates *less* about wanting commitment
    than about *wanting to date other men* – the two are *not* equivalents.

    Any way you choose to rationalize it, dating other men communicates one thing above all others – a desire to date other men.

    And few men will be foolish enough to commit to a woman who expresses such a desire, regardless of how she attempts to justify it.

    In fact, circular dating all but *ensures* that the only men who will abide such an arrangement, are non-committal men.

    If that *isn’t* irony, then perhaps circular dating is truly about reaping courtship benefits from multiple suitors, under a sympathetic pretext of securing ‘commitment’.

  13. 193
    Selena

    @ #206

    Perhaps those interested in Rori Raye’s ideas should go to the source. She has numerous articles archived on her website and an email address for those who may want further clarification.

  14. 194
    Monique

    Evan, I am a big fan of Rori Raye, and I think the general message of CDing has been misconstrued. It’s not about cheating, or even ultimatums. It’s more about boundaries and not creating complacency in a relationship (especially before the commitment is official). Now this is just my take on it, but I think the concept of CDing is to be honest with the man. If getting married and started a family is important (and to most women it is) then that’s something the man in question should know. Of course I’m NOT saying a woman should continue to actively “date” when she has met a great guy that feels the same way she does about everything important. However, I am saying that it seems to be a fact that if a man becomes complacent then he tends to also become less concerned about moving forward. But here’s the bottom line, if he’s such a great guy and he is on the same page romantically then he’ll be as eager to move forward as the woman, and the topic of CDing won’t even come up. A woman SHOULD always keep her options open until she is someone’s wife…Why not??? Men certainly keep their’s open.

  15. 195
    Paragon

    @ Monique

    “A woman SHOULD always keep her options open until she is someone’s wife…Why not??? Men certainly keep their’s open.”

    Which men?

    Non-committal men?

    There is no shortage of men who are predisposed to monogamy, and commitment(in fact, we should expect that there are MORE such men than women).

    If women are tending to non-committal men, then I submit that there may be a problem with their selection process(circular dating *would* represent just such a problem – see below).

    Any sensible man is going to want to go exclusive for a trial period – circular dating would seem to preclude such a notion.

    Again, the problem with Circular Dating, is that few men are going to want to singularly invest in a woman who’s policy it is to date other men until marriage, because such mercenary opportunism(ie. expressed as a policy to prioritize her ‘options’) is reasonably perceived as a risk-factor for long-term stability(ie. what is
    to say she will *stop* prioritizing her ‘options’ open once she marries?).

    Ironically, the men who will be most amenable to circular dating are *non-committal* men(doh!).

    Which is why circular dating is such an asinine strategy for securing commitment from a man(ie. it is actually *selecting*
    for non-committal men).

  16. 196
    Selena

    @Paragon #209

    Whilst I don’t think keeping one’s options open until receiving a proposal is “asinine”, I do think it may be unrealistic outside of certain cultures in the US at present time.

    Since some men and women are more goal oriented towards marriage than others, I wonder if placing more emphasis on what the “boyfriend/girlfriend” stage means may be more effective. That is, one only agrees to being at that stage when they feel confident both are on the same path. If people feel they are on the same path, perhaps there would be less dissonance when it comes to a timeline.
    If they are on the same path, wouldn’t they be more likely to be on the same page after a year together?

    Thoughts?

    1. 196.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      @Selena – The only people who seem to have trouble understanding what boyfriend/girlfriend mean are the Rori folks. It means that they’re dating exclusively and are not looking to date anyone else. As to whether this relationship becomes permanent, that is dependent on four things:

      1) Whether she ever wants to get married.
      2) Whether he ever wants to get married.
      3) Whether she’s decided that he’s the man she wants to marry.
      4) Whether he’s decided that she’s the man she wants to marry.

      You should very well know whether you’re both marriage oriented within the first few months of dating. The next two to three years of dating are for both of you to decide whether you want to marry each other. And this victim’s mentality, as if it’s entirely up to men to decide if you get married, is completely disempowering. You should think long and hard about whether you can build a life with a man over 40 years – if he is kind, consistent and has character – how you spend money, deal with disagreements, get along with family, etc. This is not always stuff you learn in year 1.

      Put another way, both parties may want to ultimately be married, but they should not know if it’s to each other for a pretty long time. How many couples date for one year or two years before breaking up? LOTS of them. That’s not because men lack integrity. That’s because PEOPLE gather more information over time, or decide that love isn’t enough, or because they stop accepting problems in their relationship, or because something new is revealed, or because they decide they’re not ready, or because they stop being afraid of being alone, or because they don’t let inertia carry them to the altar or because they decide that freedom to find the right person is greater than the sunk costs of a dissatisfying relationship…

      It takes two to tango. Both marriage-oriented parties have every right at any time to decide not to proceed. And if either party decides, that’s the RIGHT decision – the responsible decision, because it’s the HARD decision.

  17. 197
    Selena

    Evan,
    I very much agree with what you wrote in #211.

    However, I think there are marriage-as-goal people, and go-with-the-flow people. Go-with-the-flow people may go to the bf/gf stage in 1-3 mos. with the understanding the r’ship could, possibly result in marriage, but without the expectation that it will.

    Marriage-as-goal folks may enter the bf/gf stage with the expectation that it will lead to marriage. And if they agree to it without making the other person aware of that expectation…they may find themselves disappointed to find their bf/gf isn’t on the same track after x amount of months. And it isn’t because the man, or woman lacks integrity.

    There seems to be no agreement as to the definition of exclusivity. For some it merely means dating one person at a time. For others it implies a level of commitment – for some people a serious commitment. Which is why I think marriage-as-goal people are better off getting their cards on the table early in the getting to know each other stage, and not moving to the bf/gf stage until they know the other person is similarly goal oriented.

    As Ruby and Helen have pointed out, the concepts being associated with RR aren’t original to her. They are based on traditional courtship patterns in other cultures and eras, and the ideas of other, earlier writers. I’ve read some of RR’s work, I’m interested in the original ideas, not her ‘spin’ on them.

    1. 197.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      I disagree, Selena. I’ve given you the definition of exclusivity – dating one person at a time. Whether two people are meant to last a lifetime is the whole purpose for dating. I completely agree – and have already stated – that you should know if a man would like to be married eventually. He will usually reveal that in the first few months.

      But this has nothing to do with the original post, where a devoted boyfriend of 18 months can suddenly discover that his exclusive girlfriend is dating other men because he hasn’t proposed yet.

      Just because a guy wants to get married doesn’t mean he wants to marry YOU. That’s his right. Just as it’s YOUR right to dismiss a man after 18 months because you’re not getting YOUR needs met.

      But if you dismiss a man because your timetable is considerably faster than his, you’re going to have a lot of trouble when reality hits. Most men wait 2 years to propose. You’re better off playing it cool to get that ring than “circular dating” if you want to be married. That’s all this post was ever about.

  18. 198
    Paragon

    The issue of conflicting timetables is a valid concern, but circular dating isn’t the answer.

    Again, as soon as she resolves to ‘nudge’ things along with circular dating, she is planting a seed of doubt as to her true intentions, and her fidelity as a long term partner.

    Hence the guys who are most tolerant of these kinds of doubts, will be those who have no intention of a long term investment(ie. non-committal men).

  19. 199
    Selena

    @#214

    If you read RR’s work (apparently you have not) the point of circular dating after having been in an exclusive relationship is not to ‘nudge’ things along. Men do what they want to do. If he still isn’t sure he wants to marry after having been exclusive for x period of time that’s his right. A woman wants a man who wants to marry her, not one who doesn’t. It’s her right not to stay exclusive with one who doesn’t. If she wishes, she can leave the door open for him should he decide to walk through at a future date.

    He knows her intentions, it’s his which are in doubt.

  20. 200
    Clare

    I realise I am very late to this discussion, and I only have a superficial knowledge of Rori Raye’s approach, but for my part, I would think that *closeness* is what facilitates marriage.

    When I am close enough to someone that I would want to get married to them, the idea of them disinvesting in me to date others, or to make themselves the centre of their universe, would utterly destroy me, and the idea of disinvesting in them so that I could date others would make me feel physically ill.

    If I am so close to someone that I can imagine him as my husband, there is no way on this earth that I could see other people.

    It seems to me that this is a way to avoid getting hurt, to disinvest and pretend he doesn’t mean all that much to you, so that you can kid yourself into thinking you have “all the power”. The way I see it, you can’t have the one without the other, the deep love without the risk of getting hurt.

    As much as my heart goes out to those women who have invested time and again in a man, only to be disappointed when he doesn’t commit, as much as it can make you feel dangerously insecure to think that you are “the more loving one”, openness and vulnerability are what people respond to.

    For my part, even though I am a marriage-orientated woman, I can’t understand the wisdom of rushing to the altar. Getting there should be an organic process, in which trust and selflessness play a major part. I cannot see how that is served by hardening yourself and essentially “testing” your relationship by pursuing other people. If you test something enough times, it will break.

  21. 201
    Helen

    Sometimes, how men think/speak and how they act are two very different things.

    Without knowing it was “circular dating” over 15 years ago, I did break exclusivity with the man I was seeing then. No attempt to play games; just a genuine uncertainty about how the relationship was going. He redoubled his efforts to win me back, and not because he was non-committal or a loser. Come to think of it, this has happened more than once, and certainly not just to me.

    Men are motivated by competition. They can say, “If that happened to me, I’d break things off because I deserve better.” But when the actual scenario presents itself? – Most men compete. I’m not saying that this is a good thing. I’m saying that this is what happens.

    1. 201.1
      Emily

      yes.. it’s true. Men SAY they don’t like game playing, the Rules, playing hard to get, or when women make them compete for their attention with other men… how they act is a different story- quite the contrary! (in my experience as well…)

  22. 202
    Selena

    Re: #217
    I think when someone isn’t ready to move a relationship forward there is a reason beyond “I’m not ready”. There is a because at the end of that sentence. “I’m not ready because…”. I can see how if a man, deep down, knows he doesn’t want to be with that woman – forever – he wouldn’t be willing to compete for her. Why should he?

    I can see breaking exclusivity as a way of weeding out non-committal men who may be unwilling to admit they are non-committal.

  23. 203
    Karl R

    Helen said: (#217)
    “Men are motivated by competition. They can say, ‘If that happened to me, I’d break things off because I deserve better.’ But when the actual scenario presents itself? – Most men compete.”

    When one long-term girlfriend broke exclusivity, I began dating other women. When another woman started playing hard-to-get (pre-exclusivity), I decided to cut her loose in favor of women who didn’t play games.

    My fiancée fell in love with me about a month before I fell in love with her … because she initially told me that she wasn’t interested in exclusivity (with me), and I wasn’t about to get emotionally entangled with a woman who was interested in pursuing someone else. Spending five nights per week at her house … no problem. Getting entangled with someone who wasn’t prepared to reciprocate … not going to happen.

    This topic reminds me of a Jeff Foxworthy quote:
    “Guys, if a woman says to you ‘I think we should start seeing other people,’ trust me, she has already cut a pony from the herd, and if she ain’t ridin’ him yet, she has pulled the saddle out of the barn.”

    Why do we laugh? Because it’s generally true.

    Helen,
    If your husband/fiancé/boyfriend implied that he wanted to sleep with other women, would you feel motivated to compete for him?

    Selena said: (#218)
    “I can see breaking exclusivity as a way of weeding out non-committal men who may be unwilling to admit they are non-committal.”

    I’d say that breaking up is a better way. Let the man know that you’re breaking up because he seems unwilling/unable to move forward and commit. If he doesn’t want to lose you, he’ll step up. If he doesn’t want to commit, you’re not still in a relationship with him.

  24. 204
    Rochelle

    The parts of CD-ing that make me uneasy are the ones being debated here– going on actual dates with other guys all the way up to a proposal and dating while in a relationship with a guy who isn’t “ready” after a decent amount of time. Sounds like it would make more sense to leave, then date other men..and if he wants to find his way back he will and the girl would have all the power to decide. And in most cases, neither the man or woman knows for sure they’re getting married iwthin only 6 months of dating… It happens but it’s not the norm. I think while in an exclusive relationship that you agreed to, there’s no harm in dating yourself, and “flirting with the world” because it’s not good to just be focused on your man. But going on actual dates doesn’t sound good to me… Even if no sex is involved and just some other level of physical intimacy. As for dating more than one man while not in an exclusive relationship, I discovered it really helps me not focus on any one man and investing in a relationship that doesn’t exist yet, and help me keep my heart open. I don’t have to tell him I’m dating other guys and he might be dating other women, so no need to shut down my options.

    And going with the whole girlfriend/boyfriend way becoming exclusive, I think it’s best to do after a few months rather than a few weeks to 2 months (which I see other girls my age doing with men who ask them in a shorter amount of time, only to realize it’s going nowhere), and talk about the fact you want marriage for yourself (not necessarily with him) to reduce the risk of being exclusive with a guy who has no intention to marry or really see if wants to. Men do want to hear not just assume what we want and if we wait to mention marriage after becoming exclusive, he might be like “hmm I wasn’t really thinking about marriage when I asked her to be my gf, this is probably going to be temporary”… I think when a man asks me to be exclusive, this will be my plan. I feel like there’s a lot to learn from both Rori and Evan’s advice even though they don’t see everything the same way.

  25. 205
    Helen

    Karl R: I wouldn’t know, because it’s a hypothetical. I can theorize about how I’d respond, but when it comes down to it, the way people think they’ll respond and the way they actually respond are very different. Daniel Gilbert has researched this as well. I was discussing actual happenstances, not hypotheticals.

    In truth, I don’t think you and Selena (and I) are talking too far apart. What you may call breaking up, she may call breaking exclusivity. We can summarize it by saying, “taking a step backwards in the relationship.” That’s how John Gray put it. No need to get too hung up in the terminology. In real life, stages of any relationship (not just romantic) are not so black and white, anyway.

  26. 206
    Selena

    @ 219 Karl R.
    I’d say that breaking up is a better way. Let the man know that you’re breaking up because he seems unwilling/unable to move forward and commit. If he doesn’t want to lose you, he’ll step up. If he doesn’t want to commit, you’re not still in a relationship with him.

    Breaking up is an option. Breaking exclusivity and being willing to still date each other is another option. It’s his option. If he doesn’t want it, or take it…isn’t the result the same?

    I would think there would be some soul searching, and in- depth discussion before a couple would get to the point of considering breaking up, or breaking exclusivity, don’t you? Do you really believe there aren’t people who would be willing to take a step back, rather than let go right then and there completely?

    Do trial separations, taking a break from a relationship always result in the end of a relationship? Same deal.

    1. 206.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      Wrote this on Rori’s blog yesterday. Conversation has been light but respectful.

      For what it’s worth, EMK (now speaking in the third person) thinks you should be exclusive with a guy after no longer than a couple of months. He has all the evidence he needs at that time to forgo other women. I wouldn’t sleep with him until he was your boyfriend either. If, after a few months, he’s not stepping up, dump him. Move on.

      This is where it gets interesting.

      Because if you do have a boyfriend (meaning: he’s sleeping with you exclusively, calling you every night, leaving his weekends open for you, talking about a future, integrating you with his friends/family, calls you his girlfriend), it will now take, realistically, about two years for him to figure out if he wants to marry you. This is not only very realistic but very wise. Because the longer you wait to get married, the less likely you are to make a colossal mistake. Chemistry usually wears off between 18 months and 3 years, which is another reason to delay proposal. That’s when the smoke clears and you realize what it will be like to be with a flawed man for the rest of your life.

      And while I appreciate your concern, especially if you’re in your late 30′s, early 40′s, two things are particularly ineffective in making a man feel like he wants to marry you:

      1) Pressuring him before he’s rightfully ready.

      2) Dating other men.

      If he’s a good, relationship oriented man who wants to be married, but hasn’t figured out if he wants to marry you, your best bet is to give him time. If you start pressuring him or actually dating other people because you don’t have your answer, I respectfully submit that this will backfire on you.

      I know there are many women – especially Rori – who disagree with my assertion. That’s your prerogative. My job is to explain what men think. What you do with that information is up to you. But the only reason that I ever write about this stuff is that I feel particularly strongly that this one particular aspect of CDing will not have its intended effect. In fact, it will have the opposite effect – it will make a man who was highly considering proposing to you second-guess your entire relationship.

      The thing to do when you have realistically had enough (which is closer to 2-3 years), is to simply break up with him. You’ll have a lot more leverage at that point, since he will have considerable sunk costs and have a hard time picturing life without you. Either he’ll step up at that point, or he’ll step out. But at least you will have respected his reasonable time table instead of pushing him way before he’s ready. The reason that we date you – the reason that we call you our girlfriends – is in order to figure out if we want to spend 40 years with you. It’s quite reasonable for him to take that responsibility seriously and not buy a $10K ring and risk half of his assets until he’s really, really sure.

      And as anyone who’s been in a 2+ year relationship knows, things do change from 6 months to 3 years. You should be constantly evaluating whether HE’s a good husband material for a few years before you’re ready to say yes as well.

      Look before you leap, Sirens. And respect the fact that if he’s a good man who wants a family, he’s really trying to do the right thing.

      Oh, and for the one reader who mentioned me and my wife. I proposed to her in 16 months because she was 39 and I wanted kids. It was very risky and I wasn’t sure I did the right thing. All of my other friends who married 40 year old women waited 2-3 years before proposing. Those women are now happily married because they waited instead of CDing.

      Good night and much love.

      Respectfully,

      Evan

  27. 207
    Erika

    @223 EMK: Makes perfect sense to me, I don’t know how anyone could make a logical argument against any of it.

  28. 208
    Karl R

    Selena said: (#222)
    “I would think there would be some soul searching, and in- depth discussion before a couple would get to the point of considering breaking up, or breaking exclusivity, don’t you?”

    Really?

    I’ve had three serious relationships end in breakups. In each case, one person did the soul-searching, made a decision, and announced that decision to the other person. The “discussion” was a few sentences long.

    Have your breakups been that different than mine?

    Selena asked: (#222)
    “Breaking up is an option. Breaking exclusivity and being willing to still date each other is another option. It’s his option. If he doesn’t want it, or take it…isn’t the result the same?”

    Let me illustrate the difference. Let’s assume your long-term, live-in boyfriend hasn’t proposed, and you’re trying to motivate him.

    Scenario 1: You tell him that you’re breaking up unless he decides that he wants to marry you.
    Scenario 2: You tell him that you’re breaking exclusivity unless he decides that he wants to marry you

    In either case, it’s his option. In both scenarios, he says he understands. He needs some time to think about it, but he’ll give you an answer in two weeks.

    Scenario 1: Your boyfriend moves out of your apartment temporarily and stays with a relative.

    Scenario 2: Both of you are still staying together in your apartment. On the third evening, your boyfriend stays out late on a date. Two nights later, he doesn’t get home until morning. He has three more dates (one of them overnight) before the two-week deadline.

    After two weeks, he announces that he wants to marry you. Do you believe that your desire to go forward and marry him would be identical in those two scenarios? Is the result the same?

    In Scenario 1, he didn’t spend his evenings/nights with you, but he didn’t spend them with other women either. In Scenario 2, he spent some of his evenings with you, and some with other women. That’s the difference between the two scenarios.

    In both cases, you “took a step back” for two weeks, and he decided to marry you. Do you feel differently about Scenario 1 and Scenario 2? If so, can you explain to me why you feel differently?

  29. 209
    Paragon

    @ Selena

    “If you read RR’s work (apparently you have not) the point of circular dating after having been in an exclusive relationship
    is not to ‘nudge’ things along.”

    Then why do so many women in this very thread *disagree*(or are we reading different threads)?

    “Men do what they want to do. If he still isn’t sure he wants to marry after having been exclusive for x period of time
    that’s his right. A woman wants a man who wants to marry her, not one who doesn’t. It’s her right not to stay exclusive with one who doesn’t. If she wishes, she can leave the door open for him should he decide to walk through at a future date.”

    What possible reason could she have for *not* breaking up with him, unless she *still* wants him in the picture(which is what circular dating *implies*)?

    I am just pointing out(with justifications), why this is not a sound strategy forf cajoling committment(and yes, I was making that assumption).

    @ Helen

    “Men are motivated by competition. They can say, “If that happened to me, I’d break things off because I deserve better.” But when the actual scenario presents itself? – Most men compete.”

    Yes they do, but most *marriage-minded* men are not so reckless as to compete for a woman with a demonstrated penchant to break exclusivity(I have already provided my justifications as to why we should expect this).

  30. 210
    Selena

    @Karl

    If I were to break exclusivity with someone I would not continue co-habitating with them. There would be no Scenario 2.

    @Paragon

    She’s giving him the choice to be in the picture.

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