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. 81
    SS

    Bridget,
      
    Well, there is some guy out there who will want to marry you, and it won’t take him years to figure it out either!
      
    You’re absolutely right, it shouldn’t be this complicated… but to me, that again means that you are dealing with the wrong guy.
      
    I’ll share a little of my own story (and it probably contradicts what Evan says too). I was dating this guy for six months. He knew I was interested in marrying. He said he was as well. Around Month 6, he suddenly said he didn’t know how he felt about marriage. Now, I wasn’t looking for a proposal in Month 6 and was probably fine with waiting two years for him… but, he said that because he was going to school to switch careers, he couldn’t see himself thinking about marriage for at least three years and at that point, he’d have to see where he stood.
      
    Now I was 31 at the time, but that didn’t sound like a good deal to me. Stick around for three years (assuming we didn’t break up before that) for the possibility that he MIGHT want to start thinking about marriage then? I told the truth and said that I was uncomfortable with that period of time.
      
    He ended up breaking up with me.
      
    Six months later, I met a man who proposed to me one day to the year of our first date, and we married seven months later. This month, we will celebrate the second anniversary of that first date… so, we went from hello to “I do” in 19 months.
      
    I’m not saying that everyone has to follow this timeline or that marriage has to happen that quickly. But you know how you said it shouldn’t be “this complicated?” Well, when I met a man who wanted to marry me, it wasn’t complicated AT ALL. Imagine if I had not stated how I felt to that first guy who was saying he needed about three years before he’d think about marriage… I might have sucked it up and still been dating him and hoping for the best…
    The Year 3 mark with the first guy would have happened this month as well. Ha ha. Instead of feeling confused and frustrated about complications, I’m celebrating five months of marriage to the best man I’ve ever met — one who didn’t want to get married “someday,” but one who wanted to marry ME as soon as he possibly could.

  2. 82
    Diana

    Mercedes #78, very true words … “The second a woman authentically (and I mean authentically…no games, no trying to trap him, no ulterior motives, etc) doesn’t care how much or how little attention she’s getting from her man, the more attention she gets from her man.  
    The second a woman nags about how little attention she’s getting from her man, the less attention she gets from her man.”

    I think this is a difficult place for most women to reach, especially younger women, and to feel comfortable there, and to live authentically. I have noticed this between my former husband and I. I moved on, living and “dating” the world, so to speak; independent; free; continued raising our children completely without him; no longer a slave to the crushing grief he caused nor emotionally dependent, like a fix, on the deep seated commitment and love I once felt for him. I think he finds me more attractive than ever. 🙂

  3. 83
    Mercedes

    Diana:   I have no doubt he finds you more attractive now than ever before.   🙂   And yes…it is a hard place to get to and it is even a hard place to stay in once you find your way there.  

    But for me, fully understanding and applying circular dating (in the deeper sense – I’m not going on dates with other men anymore) is what keeps me there.   It keeps my vibe where it needs to be, it keeps my skin glowing and my eyes sparkling and my man turned on.  

    Okay…there might be other things that contribute as well, but still…it isn’t hurting anything in my life  by being open to the attention of others.   🙂

  4. 84
    Helen

    Putting aside all the vagaries and stigmas of dating, 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.
      
    It really is as simple as being a bit considerate, and thinking not just of what you want, but of what your partner wants, and of what is the right thing to do. In the long run, in every walk of life (not just relationships), acting with integrity always pays off. Always.

  5. 85
    kenley

    In addition to the objections that have been outlined by many posters, my discomfort with CD is that ultimately it encourages women to constantly seek validation of their value as women through men.   Her man doesn’t give her enough attention, then get it from lots of other men.   That approach just seems unhealthy to me.   Am I saying the attention from men isn’t wonderful and flattering and good. Absolutely not.   However, I think the healthiest way to be is to know your value without having to constantly seek external validation from men or women.

  6. 86
    Mercedes

    Helen:   The key is not to be in a serious relationship with a man who isn’t giving you what you want.   This isn’t about hurting men.   It isn’t about cheating.   It is about NOT getting into those situations where anyone hurts.   J hated it that I was dating other men, butI also wasn’t “his girl”…I wasn’t hurting him…there is no reason I should have been exclusive with any man at that time.   He wasn’t “my man” either by the way…he had every right to never ask me out again.   I would have been circular dating but he didn’t have to be anyone I was dating.   He had total control over that.     All he had to do was stop asking me out.   We were not, as I was dating other men, a couple.   Instead of never asking me out again though, he asked me out a LOT more…until my time was literally booked.

    Kenley:   I agree…if this is the only way we are seeing our value then yes…it is a horribly unhealthy way to live.   But if flirting and having fun and enjoying the company of others is ONE way to give us a little bump in the right direction then…healthy or not…it can make a girl smile.  

    If we’re discussing value and how to see value in ourselves, that’s a totally different issue from my perspective.   But if we’re discussing circular dating and some of the benefits and some of the drawbacks, then getting a little ego hit is a benefit.   🙂

  7. 87
    starthrower68

    The part of this concept I get is being happy and fulfilled in your own life.   I keep myself busy enough doing what I enjoy and being with my loved ones, be they friends and family, that I’m fine with or without a guy.   Not in an “I don’t need no stinkin’ man” sort of way, but I have a life.   I can be with someone becaue I choose not because I must.

  8. 88
    Margo

    Michael at #81, a woman has to be a fool to fall for any of the PU tricks. They are  very transparent and juvenile. As posted earlier, I agree with Evan’s stance on CD when you have a committed boyfriend and things are good.  One  thing bothers me about Evan’s position on waiting for a proposal though:  Waiting for 3 years.  

    The more I  think about it, the more I realize I won’t be waiting  for  3 years. That’s too long. I believe Evan stated his friends waiting that long to propose. Honestly, I can’t understand why a man feels he  has to wait that long to propose to the woman he loves.    

  9. 89
    Jadafisk

    “The second a woman authentically (and I mean authentically…no games, no trying to trap him, no ulterior motives, etc) doesn’t care how much or how little attention she’s getting from her man, the more attention she gets from her man”
    I don’t think this is actually true… a lot of these “when you don’t want it/aren’t looking for it” adages, IMO, actually develop because when people are otherwise occupied, the same amount of time seems to pass faster – it’s the quintessential example of a person’s ability to regulate their own reaction despite their inability to regulate the behavior of others. What would’ve been nights filled with ardent pining are nights spent with other people being sought after. So crumbs of attention from the “primary target” are now the satisfying finish of a four course meal. Supplementing a relationship with an inattentive partner with other people may end up prolonging a dead end infatuation past its expiration date. That said, before a commitment, it sounds like regular dating – if a family minded woman isn’t dating several different people casually, she should consider it, due to time constraints. After a commitment, it sounds like breaking up. Also, how *is* a person marrying a woman who CDs up until marriage supposed to know if she’s even capable of committing? Is he allowed to date other people until marriage, too? Also, all of this can get *very* complicated and murky when sex is involved.

  10. 90
    Mercedes

    Jadafisk:   Try it sometime.   Walk next to a person you are feeling close to.   Want them to reach out to you?   Don’t reach out to them.   Want a person to lean toward you?   Lean away from them.   Happens probably 90% of the time.   🙂  

    I think this is an awesome question:

    “Also, how *is* a person marrying a woman who CDs up until marriage supposed to know if she’s even capable of committing? Is he allowed to date other people until marriage, too?”

    She most likely doesn’t date other men up until the marriage.   She stays open, flirts and circular dates herself but isn’t exactly doing the “hey, sorry, can’t work on the wedding plans with you tonight, I’m having dinner with Bob”.   She, when things are moving along with the man she wants to be with, allows him to move their relationship along while still staying open to the world so she doesn’t get so caught up in her dreams of forever with HIM that she ends up putting pressure on him.   The post indicates a woman will date lots of men for long periods of time and up until the wedding date.   That’s not exactly fair to what Rori teaches but might (I have no idea) be how some women do it.   In reality, the woman is keeping her vibe open, having fun, meeting new people (including men) and refusing to let a guy believe he’s got her for the rest of his life no matter what…until he actually asks for that…oh…and sets a date – none of this “will you marry me someday” and then stay  “engaged” for  several years.    Marriage isn’t a reality until the date is set and the flowers are bought…and even then, there’s the backout clause.    LOL  

    As far as sex, for me, I was always sexually exclusive.   This is what Rori  suggests as well but some women are comfortable with multiple sex partners.    I thought  that was taking it way too far.   In talking with my guy, he did tell me that as much as he hated my dating, had I slept with one of those men, I probably would have never seen him again.   He said  he was mostly angry at himself that he was not doing  what  he needed to  do to keep me from  seeing other men.   He would have been shattered had I slept with someone else.    

    Soooo…guess I wasn’t done with the topic huh?   LOL  

  11. 91
    Venus

    I believe that a woman with a healthy sense of self esteem, self worth and integrity will dump a guy who has persistent doubts about her rather than engage in what appears to be manipulative gameplaying of CD.     Why exactly would you want to be with such a person anyway.   Either of you.   Makes me wonder what happens after the wedding when his doubts of whether he chose “the right one” persists.   Whether there is some underlying resentment on his part for being “played”   into a position that he was uncertain of.   I would dump the guy and start looking for someone who KNOWS how he feels about me without being gamed, pressured or manipulated into taking a position.      

    To be clear, I totally agree that a woman should have a life outside of her significant other.   I just don’t think this should include dating other guys if you are exclusive.  

  12. 92
    Maeve

    @Mercedes:
      

    I don’t know how to explain it except to say we all know that twinge of insecurity when our man pulls away even the slightest bit.   Like he isn’t being as affectionate as he used to be or he’s off on his own train of thought and not listening to us as intently or he’s spending a ton of time playing video games, etc.   Our crazy voices can get us all messed up and wondering “what’s wrong” and “what did I do” and “I must not be good enough” and “is he cheating on me” and “I know I’ve gained weight but…” and “oh God I need to call my sister!!!!”, etc.
    “When those voices pop up, if we are already in the habit of and comfortable with the concept of circular dating, then instead of listening to the negatives or getting anxious over the “what-ifs”, we can instead lose our insecurities by getting out there and flirting, having fun, meeting people, making eye contact and smiling and enjoying a conversation with some random guy and remembering (because of his reaction) that we STILL got it so whatever is going on in the husband’s mind right now, it’s his stuff and not something we need to worry about.   It helps us do what we KNOW we’re supposed to do…and that is give him time to go through his funk and not pressure him to talk about his feelings to us (even though, as women, we REALLY want to talk about his feelings).”
      
    I can honestly say that this has never, ever, ever happened to me.

    If a guy pulls back–be he date, boyfriend or husband–first response: “Huh. He must be distracted by something at work/school/with his family.” If he stays pulled back, I ask him what’s up. If he talks about it, cool. If he doesn’t and it perpetuates, then I start to wonder if we have a trust issue. Regardless, it has lots of time to work itself out, and if it doesn’t work itself out and the behaviour is something I can’t tolerate–not just distance or ‘space’ but meanness or callousness–the relationship is dying, and I end it.

    There’s nothing wrong with distance in a relationship, per se. Everyone needs their own hobbies, time, friends, including video games, so long as they’re doing their share around the house and with the bills, I really don’t care. I can’t imagine being in a relationship with someone and having them withdraw a bit and automatically assuming there’s something wrong with me.

    So from the first, I don’t need to get out there and rid myself of those insecurities. Because they’re not there.

    But more importantly, there must be at least 500 different ways of dealing with insecurities other than papering them over with attention from other men. Be a rock star at work. Write a novel. Run a marathon. Use that time and distance you’ve suddenly got in your relationship to actually accomplish something that doesn’t rest on the validation you receive from other men (I guarantee you, someday you’ll be old enough that it won’t matter, you’ll be invisible to most men).

    Also, this ‘women like to talk about feelings and men don’t’ thing–it’s so tiresome, and such bs. Can’t we just drop it already? In my experience men like to talk about their feelings just as much as women do, if they’re with a woman they can talk to–and I’ve even read studies that show that men in relationships who don’t talk about their feelings aren’t disinterested, they’ve just learned to shut up. I think it does a disservice to men to act as if all men will never have the fluency or facility with feeling that women do.

  13. 93
    Pokadots

    What I have a problem with in the Rori way of CDing…and I could be inaccurate but I don’t believe I am as I have come across this on her blog, is that CDing should be like a full time job. The process goes where if we decide to CD then that is first priority, we accept every date and even if we have a program to go out with a friend or girlfriend that should be cancelled in order to accept the date.  Yet you hear many other coaches like Mirabelle Summers, Amy Waterman, Christian Carter and so and so forth telling you not to do that. That  if you have previous  engagements with friends you do not cancel them to go out on a date as that is actually acting out of integrity, and that dating should not be like a job but an opportunity to practice (Rori says this too) to connect with another person beyond a friend level. Yet at the same time Rori also says (and she’s not unique in this as many other coaches say similar things, so this is not a complaint) not to drop everything to pick up his call, don’t call him first and don’t change your plans…so  I always got very confused in terms of her concept  of CDing.  In fact, many of RR’s concepts feel very confusing to me, to be quite frank.

  14. 94
    Karl R

    Mercedes said: (#93)
    “She most likely doesn’t date other men up until the marriage. She stays open, flirts and circular dates herself”

    Are you okay with your boyfriend flirting with other women?

    In previous threads, a significant portion of the women on this blog believe that it’s inappropriate for a boyfriend/husband to flirt with someone other than his girlfriend/wife. Other women expect their boyfriend/husband to flirt with other women, because they flirt with other men. My fiancée and I fit into the second category, and neither of us is bothered by it. Flirting with others isn’t a problem, as long as the woman is comfortable with her boyfriend doing the exact same thing.

    But I can’t see a relationship succeeding if it’s only acceptable for one partner to flirt with others (regardless of which partner is flirting).

    Mercedes said: (#83)
    “When I met a new guy, I told him how I felt about being exclusive. […] I would say I’m not looking for an exclusive relationship right and that I’m dating lots of men and that someday I hoped to find The One”

    I realize that J gave you “total commitment,” but I’m not sure what you mean by that. Did he tell you that he wished to date exclusively? Or did you keep dating until he did something more than that?

    When I told a woman that I was interested in dating exclusively, and she declined (in order to continue dating others), then I had already gotten my answer to whether she was a potential long-term partner. I sometimes continued to date her non-exclusively, but I was looking elsewhere for an exclusive relationship.

    For most people, dating exclusively is one of the steps towards getting married. Personally, I wouldn’t consider a greater commitment until a woman was willing to date exclusively.

    Mercedes said: (#83)
    “he would fill up my evenings and weekends so that there wasn’t time to be with others.”

    Given my work schedule and other commitments, I can’t fill up someone’s time to that degree. I live with my fiancée, and she could find time for a few dates per week without me ever noticing.

    Mercedes said: (#93)
    “refusing to let a guy believe he’s got her for the rest of his life no matter what…until he actually asks for that…oh…and sets a date”

    Again, I’m a bit unclear as to what you mean by this.

    By the time my fiancée and I had dated six months, we felt it reasonbly likely that we’d end up getting married. At that point (and even now) it would be possible for me to lose her, but only if I acted in an unacceptable manner … and similarly, she could lose me if she acted in that manner.

    Both of us were upfront with where we stood, and I don’t see how either of us would have benefitted by trying to cultivate uncertainty within the other person.

    Mercedes said: (#93)
    “Want them to reach out to you? Don’t reach out to them. Want a person to lean toward you? Lean away from them. Happens probably 90% of the time.”

    Really? I must be in the other 10%. And I’m not sure how you connect with another person if you can’t move towards each other simultaneously.

    Why would a guy allow himself to become emotionally invested if the woman is giving signals that she’s keeping him away?

    Early in our relationship, my fiancée openly demonstrated that she was keeping some distance. There’s only one reason I didn’t move on during those months … the sex was good, and I was enjoying our fling.

    Because of that, she ended up falling in love before I did. Since she was outwardly maintaining some distance, I maintained some emotional separation. On the other hand, I wasn’t being outwardly distant, so it felt safe for her to emotionally connect.

    During the first couple months, I considered dating another woman (since my fiancée didn’t appear to be in it for the long haul). I primarily held back because I didn’t want to sabotage my chances with the other woman. I didn’t think the other woman would be too understanding if I started a romance with her while having regular sex with someone else.

    And if you avoid reaching out in order to get a man to reach out to you, how is he supposed to see a difference between you and the women who are truly disinterested in him?

  15. 95
    Mercedes

    I think I misspoke because I’m not sure how I managed to communicate “closed off” instead of “leaned back” with an open and accepting vibe.   Really sorry for the difficulty in finding the right words here.

    I’m very, very happy for those of you who have it all together.   Very, very VERY happy for the ones in love and secure (because I  know how awesome it feels)  and sending AWESOME vibes out to those of you who are waiting for love to come your way.

    Wishing you all the very BEST of everything…no matter how dating looks or feels for you.   We’ll all approach it differently and most likely, we’ll all have love in our arms.   That alone makes me smile.   🙂

    M

  16. 96
    Mercedes

    One last thing though…circular dating and leaning back yet staying open  aren’t games and  aren’t tricking or manipulating.   Honesty about where you stand and why are KEYS to making to work.   So is, not cheating, but instead, not being exclusive (except sexually) with men who aren’t ready to move forward.   Once they’re ready, if you’re in love,  I say go for it!

    With passion!   🙂

  17. 97
    helene

    If a woman falls in love with a man, she completely loses interest in all other men at that point. That’s what happens to a woman when she falls in love.It is unimaginable to me to date more than one man beyond the extremely early stages of dating (ie. the first few weeks.) If I don’t fall for the guy, sure, I might be interested in dating others…. but that would be a sign to me to stop dating the first guy! If I am seriously interested in a guy, how can I possibly DATE other men? What do I have to offer them? What possible interest can I display in them or their plans for us? What genuine connection can I offer guys 2 and 3 when guy 1 has my heart??!

    The second point relates to sex – what is this weird american notion of “dating” without sex? That’s not dating, thats being friends. A date is a sexual encounter, at some level or another. In the early stages there may not be full sex but there will be glances, touches and flirting.. then kissing… All dating relationships are essentially sexual or they are not dating as such, they are “male friends I go to the movies with.”

  18. 98
    Karl R

    helene asked: (#100)
    “what is this weird american notion of ‘dating’ without sex?”

    I don’t consider glances, flirting, touching, kissing or even heavy petting to be sex. If none of those were present, I wouldn’t consider it to be a date either. I would say that I went to ____ with a friend.

    I think you’re using a much broader definition of “sex” than us.

  19. 99
    sassysophia

    Hi everyone –   I receive Rori’s newsletter but do not know much about Marc – sorry Marc.   The way I understood Rori’s circular dating made perfect sense to me.   This is how I took her to mean it though – .

    So say I decided to start dating again.   I would from the very beginning, date no less than three men at a time to: keep options open, to find out who is long haul material, and not place myself in a vulnerable position of getting attached to Mr. Emotionally Unvailable and his useless friends.   All fine with me so far.   

    Now if I end up really liking one man why should I stop dating the other two? Or not adding different two or three men.   Let’s say guy 1 says, “Will you be my girlfriend?”   I think Rori would advise that I say, “I’m not looking to be some one’s girlfriend.   I’m looking to get married.” And then I keep dating him and the others wth his knowledge of course. And he is free to do the same BUT NO SEX OR SLEEP OVERS OR SHACKING UP with any of them. It is really a smart strategy as you get to know each other and really see if you are compatible without the woman being placed in an insecure position of giving up her body, time, love, energy, to a man who is not offering her a REAL future or marriage.

    I understand in our modern era that seems wrong.   A woman is supposed to want to be a girlfriend as there is an assumption it leads to commitment and wife,  HUGE ASSUMPTION that ends up putting the woman at risk.   

    Women have been lied to to give up sex, her time, her heart,   cause some guy says he loves her.   Women how many out there have believed a guy when he says he loves you, wants to get married, he thinks you”wonderful” with big cow eyes and puppy dog tail?   Any hands …thousands! Are you married? No to him? No.

    And they, including myself, are still single! I have also found a guy saying he loves means nothing anymore.   He has to say he’s “in love with you.”   Telling the woman I love you is to convince her give sex and there is a possibility of something more concrete, later, at some distant time, when he thinks he might be ready, even if it’s really ten years away, and looks nothing like the woman he’s with, and dogs can vote.

    In the old days a woman dated others right up until she was engaged. I watched a BBC movie last night where a woman was proposed to by three men she had been courting (no sex)
    I don’t believe in modern love: shacking up, playing house, sex before engagement with a ring, a date, and invites being written.   Most men, I feel take advantage of free sex.   Men don’t value women who will shack up with them…take a poll.   Scientific research says living together no more brings you to marriage than just dating. And MARC I understand is talking about “the good guy”   Well who is that good guy or good guys? He doesn’t come with a label.   How many times has a guy pretended to be a good guy to get his way, string some one along, etc etc. Most women don’t have broke hearts from bad guys but men who pretended to be good guys but were really bad.  

    The good guy doesn’t expect to shack up.   The good guy I think wants his woman to be his woman and marry her (if that is what you both have said you want)   A good guy doesn’t have children with you and NOT marry you (Matthew McConnehey you have a call at the front desk)   types. The only way a woman will truly know is if he gives her a ring and makes it legitimate!   And I think that is Rori’s point.   

    Say I was with a man who won’t commit, I haven’t been twiddling my thumb waiting for him. And why should I? He is also free to be dating.
    And if I made the mistake of living with him I would say: “Hey Bob, you’re a good guy, I’ve enjoyed our time together and I’m ready to get married.   I understand you may not be and it’s your choice which I will respect.   However I need to know (ea. woman will feel diff.) in one week, one month, where you stand on this.”   Don’t listen to his sorry exuses.   It is a yes or no answer.    Please marry me or I’m sorry you’re not the one.   And each person gets to go on and find who is better for them AND SHE’S NOT SITTING AROUND and WAITING. I think she should get back out dating. It gives the man too much power and it’s very hurtful to the woman’s esteem all the while he totally benefits from her sex, love, nuturing for FREE.

    That is what all this is about WOMEN CAN’T NOR SHOULD WAIT AROUND for men to decide if they feel like getting married when they’ve been getting, love, comfort, sex, laundry done (if she doesn’t know any better) the pretense of a   couple.   Ladies if we all agreed to this that a man can’t have sex, we aren’t exclusive, or we don’t stop dating others until there is a ring, wedding date, and invites sent out, you can BET MEN WOULD STEP IN LINE!
    And if he chooses some one else, you aren’t bonded sexually, you haven’t built your life around him, or as emotionally at risk, and still own yourself and self – respect and not waiting for this fantasy relationship to turn into something real.  

    Now that would be sexual/relationship revolution.  

    I think modern love is very destructive to the female psyche!

    1. 99.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      @SassySophia

      a) I won’t even bother to rebut anything you said. Your post speaks for itself.

      b) My name is Evan. Says it at the top of the page.

  20. 100
    EE

    There are two understandings of CD in this thread.   One is about “dating the world” which means having a full life whether you are in a relationship or not.   That could include dating more than one man but does not have to.     Different levels of intimacy with multiple dating partners might work for some, but depends on the people involved. For me more than casual dating maybe with some kissing, would not work.   Intense intimacy has a way of clouding other judgement and pre-occupying the mind.

    The challenge of moving from dating the world into an LTR between two emotionally healthy adults is recovering from the early headrush that causes you to neglect parts of your life for a while, while remaining close.  This is about being a whole person with or without a partner and makes complete sense.   

    The other understanding of CD in this thread is whether to use jealousy and insecurity as tools to manipulate the responses of dating partners. This is about getting someone to make a commitment based on fear and dependency on   “needing” another person.   That is uncertain and shaky ground on which to build a strong LTR.  

    Keep clear which kind of CD each post is talking about and this thread is easier to understand.

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