The Blind Spot In Rori Raye’s Circular Dating

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If 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…

It 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. 21
    Maeve

    My first impression after reading Rory’s blog post was that it sounded a lot like dating for folks with a very fearful-avoidant attachment style. I think the mindset leads to the dating style and there’s little anyone can do to argue with it; it would be like arguing with someone’s favourite colour or vacation spot.
      
    So, here’s the thing: I would be completely, utterly terrified if a man wanted to marry me after three months, or even six.
      
    OK, I have been in that situation, and it DID terrify me. Three months! Cripes! At that point you’ve hardly gotten to know each other. A guy who’s certain that he wants to marry you that early has blinders on and is just desperate for a relationship or a commitment. Yeah, you can rush into that thing, and then ten years later rush out of the marriage with all the fun that entails. Really. I WANT the guy who takes his time, because I know he’s sane and when he actually wants to commit, it’s because he wants to commit to me, and not to the idea of being married, or the fantasy about me that he’s built up in his head.
      
    Reminds me of the three little piggies, and the house made of straw vs. the house made of brick. The house made of brick ain’t built in three months.
      
    I love the conversations here. Your readers are all so bright!

  2. 22
    ValleyForgeLady

    I am chuckling to myself…..How does any decent discriminating woman who has a career, friends, perhaps chldren find the time to cruise out there to find two other men to date while she is tryiing to manipulate the love of her life to marry her?   This sounds like some bodice ripping romance novel……not reality.

    It is hard enough to find one guy that hits the mark…let alone three.   Even with on line dating….most people are having a tough time finding one person who is compatible let alone a harem of men to date.

    Men and women today are time and financially challenged.   Who can afford to be really playing the field if you have a decent person in your life that has long term potential?

  3. 23
    Venus

    Sooo how exactly does  TRUST work in this circular dating?   And while  woman is circular dating is it also ok for the guy to circular date?       And with everyone circular dating when do we find time to explore the possibilities of “Us”,   Wow.  

    I am looking for monogamy.   If any guy tells me he wants to circular date  I am    cutting him off!!   “Sure honey go ahead and circular date, just remember to take your stuff when you are leaving,”

    I totally agree with your advice Evan.

  4. 24
    Jane

    I have never posted on here although I have been an avid reader here and on Rori’s blog so I will cautiously attempt an opinion here…
    Circular dating doesn’t mean dating a man per se. Rori claims you do it even when your are married.   I took it to mean that you make yourself the center of your life and all around you (the circle) is your full life.   And you do not give up this life when a man you care about/love comes into the picture.   I took it as a similar thing to the mulligan(?) analogy your wife made awhile ago.   You can “date” your job, your friends, your children, family, hobbies, the man at the store who you just smiled at…it means that your life is full and happy and not focused on ONE man who you make responsible for your happiness in life.   It makes YOU responsible for your happiness.   You are standing in the center of the circle and  YOU are the focus.   Many women meet a man and give up all the other parts of their life and focus on HIM.   That’s what makes them insecure and impatient and, finally, demanding and unreasonable.   By keeping your life full, the focus is off any one man for the responsibility for your happiness.   By keeping your life full of things, you can sincerely give a man that mulligan because whatever he did was not and is not the end of your world.   And by being full of your life and happy, he will be attracted to you if you are the right one for him and it will work out.   And if he is not attracted to you, your life is full of possibilities and happiness and you just keep riding on. She tells you to engage with all men and learn from them and figure out what triggers your bad feelings so you can learn to be authentic with everyone.   She never suggested being intimate with more than one man at a time; she advises against it as far as I can tell.   I think she is about building your self-esteem and being vulnerable and authentic and feminine.   And so I can see where her readers would get defensive and “triggered” because it has been a process for them to get to where they are and it is probably working for them.   So maybe they took it the wrong way from a masculine, direct point of view.   I think you are both great and both saying the same thing.   She is definitely not about cheating or dishonesty or anything like that.   And she does not usually advise “dumping” the guy and never advises hurting anyone. Anyways, as I said before, I think both of you are great!   It’s Christian Carter who is the problem….lol, only kidding!

    1. 24.1
      Liz

      @ Jane.   Bravo and well put!   

    2. 24.2
      Irene

      I am Rori Raye’s reader. Pretty much have been summed up in Jane’s comment. But I would like to appreciate Evan for shining light on Rori’s point of view. He is right. They both are and it’s just that they have different ways of explaining the details concerning dating. Evan is tough and rori is soft and emotional…maybe it’s because they are of different gender 😊. I love them both.

    3. 24.3
      JK

      Jane, you articulated RR’s concepts PERFECTLY!! I think Evan (although his insights are wonderful) misunderstood the concept and then took it in another direction. haha hence all this uproar! You really hit the target! Thank you so much for your wisdom.

    4. 24.4
      Echoes

      This is what I suspected…from the bit I have read, she seems quite esoteric  and her terminology should not be taken literally. Circular dating doesn’t mean creating a circle of men around you, it just means that when you are dating someone (even exclusively), he should NOT become the center of your life. YOU are the center (or for some of us, perhaps our God), and you have many things surrounding you (ie a full life beyond your romanctic relationship).

      If you find yourself stressing after 7 months of dating that you are not yet engaged, then it is a sign that you have made the man the center of your life and your life is lacking in other areas. The idea is NOT to start dating other men if you are in an exclusive relationship (that you want to give more time), but to shift focus off of the man  and  build up the areas of your life that you have likely neglected. The panic comes from putting too much expectation on the relationship to fulfill you. The problem is not how long it takes men to make up their minds about getting married, but how much significance you have been giving it in your life.

      But if you focus more on other areas of life, then if it does not work out, it was  not such wasted time and is not such a devastating blow. He was only ONE  aspect of your life during  that time, not the center. In short, maintain yourself as the center, and you will keep things like “engagement” in perspective.

  5. 25
    Gina

    Wow! This really hit home for me. I felt that my ex – whom I had been dating for a little over a year – had been stringing me along. Therefore, in my next relationship, I was going to protect myself by dating other men until I had a ring on my finger. After reading Evan’s advice, I will no longer consider this as an option if the relationship becomes exclusive. Rather, I will wait and see how things progress. If after a reasonable amount of time, the guy appears to be stringing me along and can’t make up his mind, I’ll do like I did before and walk away.

    Once again, thanks for spelling this out in detail Evan. So sorry for the flack that you received for telling it like it is.

  6. 26
    Aanmfmay

    Evan, kindly, after all I’ve been thru.. never mind.. I couldn’t handle a man who’d give up on me in a ‘moment of insecurity’.. no matter what I did or said (within reason here, no abuse!) I’m looking for unconditional! Get me! Love me the way I need to be loved stuff! If that means sticking around helping me heal some past trauma well then I’ll stick around to help you heal from yours too! It’s not personal and yet it all is! very much so.. Would you have let your now wife go if she had had a ‘moment of insecurity’?

    1. 26.1
      Words have meaning

      You keep using that word “moment”. I do not think it means what you think it means.

      Moment:

      1 a :   a minute portion or point of time :   instant
      b :   a comparatively brief period of time

      If you think that dating other men is something that takes place in a moment then you are very much mistaken.

  7. 27
    EB

    Thank you Evan! I appreciate what you are trying to say here, and I agree, Although I AM A fan of Rori’s, the idea behind CD’ing seems wrong if you are in a good relationship. 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!
    I agree that sticking with one man if he is GOOD is the best choice. 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!
      

  8. 28
    kenley

    ValleyForgeLady,

    I completely agree with you.   I do find dating just one guy exhausting considering all the other things I have going on in my life.   I can’t imagine adding two more to the list.

  9. 29
    starthrower68

    I think once you are in an actual exclusive relationship, at least a year is not unreasonable.   I think two is quite reasonable.   I was engaged to my ex husband for 2 years; we dated for 4 before that.   We still ended up divorcing because we were a couple of stupid kids who didn’t know anything and didn’t grow up until it was too late.   To be honest, if I find a good decent man who I know is not stringing me along, I see no reason to rush.   My biological clock isn’t ticking, as I’ve had my kids.   Like him, I want to be sure before I remarry.   You have to go through the seasons of life together.   And at this point, I’d like to just be in a relationship with a good and decent man for a while.   It’s going to take some time for me to be ready to think about marriage again.

  10. 30
    Shouraku

    Dating more then one man is not necessary for me to be happy with my life and get my emotional needs met.

    Dating more then one man is not necessary for me to keep my life “full”.
      
    Dating more then one man is not necessary to stop me from making one man responsible for my happiness in life.
      
    If you have a problem with fulfillment in your life, or you make your own personal happiness the responsibility of someone else, then you have problems that need to be solved within yourself. Not by dating piles of men. Dating many men will not stop one from walking all over you, YOU will.
      
    It seems to me that all the issues that circular dating proposes to solve could also be done by being honest and realistic with yourself. By setting boundaries and sticking to them, and accepting when a person is not compatible with you instead of attempting to change/force them.
      
    Whenever I am presented with dating advice, I always try to stop and consider how executing the advice would affect my partner and how I would feel if I were in their shoes. Frankly, If someone told me that they were planing to date around (even with no sex involved) until I proposed, then I would feel pressured and unwilling to give my full attention to someone who saw me as an option instead of a priority.

    1. 30.1
      Awesome Comment

      I love this comment. It contains a lot of common sense. I couldn’t more agree with every sentence you’ve written.

  11. 31
    Sarahrahrah!

    @ Gem – #4

    I couldn’t have said it better myself!

    Evan, you are right on again!   it wasn’t discussed in your article, but another consideration for CD is the STD factor.   It’s just not safe.   Women shouldn’t put up with that kind of behavior and neither should men.

  12. 32
    Evan Marc Katz

    @ Aanmfmay: “Would you have let your now wife go if she had had a ‘moment of insecurity’?”

    If my girlfriend of 16 months confessed to me that she was nervous about my not being sure that I’d marry her, I’d listen and validate her concern, and ask her to trust that I’m going to do the right thing.

    If she kept carrying on about this insecurity, it would suck the life out of our relationship, which would suddenly become a weight instead of a positive, buoyant force, and I’d wonder if my whole life would be spent trying to give my girlfriend reassurance due to her own insecurities. It might not break us up, but it would certainly slow down my desire to put a ring on her finger. Happy confident people respond better to happy confident people and have little time for drama. Sorry, but it’s true.

    Finally, if my girlfriend’s insecurity led her to circular date – to make herself happy and minimize her emotional investment in me – I’d be out the door. Not because I don’t love her. But because that’s not how you deal with insecurity – she can’t reasonably expect loyalty from me if she thinks the answer is to date other men.

    If you believe that the “right” guy is there to heal your past trauma, I would suggest that you try healing your trauma before entering the relationship. Most men don’t respond well to the pressure of trying to make you whole. It’s not their job; it’s yours, and Rori would be the first to acknowledge it.

    She and I simply disagree about the ramifications of this CDing process. If you read this blog and the comments closely, you can get a good sense of what the healthiest men would think about CDing.

      

  13. 33
    Lucy

    Evan, unfortunately this article reveals an inaccurate understanding of Rori’s CD concept, which is admittedly complex and nuanced. Stripping it down to a straw man argument doesn’t help anyone, and only serves to create conflict where there need be none. The reason women resisted your gallant efforts at preventing their car wrecks was bc they rightly knew that they were not in danger. Perhaps we see the wings that you do not. As I have said before, I believe you and Rori are actually in agreement.

  14. 34
    Lucy

    Trying to explain and apply CDing to your readers questions will give them a very inaccurate perception of how it actually works. It’s like you taking a beginners ballet class and then trying to use what you learned to teach seasoned dancers The Nutcracker. I would feel good about you putting more advanced study into the art before attempting to explain it to others, especially in a way that criticizes what is not understood. With respect and hope for greater understanding. Lucy

  15. 35
    morgan

    NN @ 14

    Thank-you for saying exactly what I was thinking after reading Evan’s post.   What is the obsession with marriage as the ultimate goal of a relationship?

    I’m wondering if it’s an American thing.   I’m from Australia and have many friends who haven’t bothered getting married but whose relationships are marked by natural steps in commitment – exclusivity, cohabitation, investing in property, having children.  

  16. 36
    Dave

    Evan, I am a very healthy man and my work is with singles and couples. Rori’s principles, including CDing, are fantastic tools when correctly understood and applied. They are some of the best tools for specific relationship issues that I have ever seen. With all due respect, you seem to for the most part misunderstand how to use them. With my clients they are working wonders – saving and creating healthy relationships right and left. I hope you explore Rori’s ideas more thoroughly. Respectfully, Dave

  17. 37
    Lucy

    Jane 24. I agree with you – Evan and Rori are saying the same thing.

  18. 38
    Grace

    Evan, thanks for attempting to set things straight in your friend’s blog. Pity your concept was not well undertood and appreciated and you had to take such unpleasant blows.
    The thing I like about your blog is the male point of view. Whether I like it or not, whether I accept it or not – you give us the male point of view. It may surprize me to know that this is how men think, but I believe that that is the value of your blog for me, a woman. If CD-ing is not well precieved by men  (relationship oriented men, to be precise) then no amount of self esteem or self assurance, or whatever else that may come from it and make the woman feel better would be effective in achieving the end goal of getting the guy to commit. Because as you say- it would drive the man away. Thanks for reminding us that men need time, sometimes more that we think.

  19. 39
    Diana

    To Jane #24, I think you described Rori’s intent perfectly. I have been reading Evan’s and Rori’s blogs, etc. for a few years, and my interpretation of Rori is the same as yours. I am not a user of her tools or a poster on her blog, but I don’t think of circular dating as dating at ALL in the traditional sense. While I have learned from Evan’s blog more about how men think, I have also found value in Rori’s blog for how a woman can thrive and love in a confident, attracting and attractive way without being a slave to her feelings, especially when it comes to men or a particular man. I have noticed that a lot of the writers to both Rori and Evan display similar traits and habits in their dating relationships: insecurities and staying with the wrong man are the biggest.
      
    I don’t find a lot of what Evan has posted here in Rori’s work. I didn’t read the blasting from last week. Maybe some of her ardent readers, of which there are many, misunderstood a man’s take and interpretation about Rori and her approach. Or maybe I’m clueless and/or I’m only taking away from each of their wise words and experiences what feels right to me and fits well into my life. Rori did make me more aware of those things in life that trigger ALL of my emotions and how better to handle them which will naturally flow into better relationships down the road.
      
    I think both the direct writing style and man’s view that Evan shares, and really getting in touch with and understanding your feelings and femininity that Rori shares have a valuable place in the world of dating experts. 🙂 Along with Christian 😉 and The Tao of Dating.
      

  20. 40
    SS

    I read a book by another author who recommended a similar idea. At the time I was dating a great guy and it just didn’t feel right to accept dates from others when this great guy was going out of his way to show me how much he was interested in something serious with me.
      
    I’m glad I followed my gut and did not engage in circular dating, as this great guy ended up proposing.
      
    So I agree with you on that Evan.
      
    The only area where I take issue is the idea of waiting for 2-3 years past age 30 for a proposal. It’s fine if someone wants to do that, but two was my limit, and even that was pushing it for me. In my head, my boyfriend had about a year and a half to propose and even he agreed that if we both knew what we wanted, there was no reason to continue the dating process instead of working to build a life together.
      
    I was not going to be moving in with him either unless it was a few months before the wedding (personal choice), so perhaps that sped up the process of engagement as well.
      
    Neither one of us had been married, nor do we have kids, so we didn’t have to overcome any fears from past marriages/long-term relationships.
      
    While less than a year might seem to be a little fast, I don’t think that it’s too much for a woman past 30 (and especially 40) to seek a proposal within the general vicinity of a year. While I certainly was not going to dump my boyfriend if he hadn’t produced a ring on Day 366 of our relationship, I also wasn’t going to coast along in the beginning of Year 2 without having an idea of where this relationship was going and if he was seeing marriage in the very near future.
      
    Luckily, I didn’t have to worry about that.

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