The debate about Circular Dating (a term introduced to us by relationship expert Rori Raye, author of Have the Relationship You Want) rages on in the dating and relationship advice circles. Many women feel this concept is foreign and alien to actually having a relationship, while others embrace it for the freedom they feel when they truly accept the precepts of the term.
Circular Dating is what Rori Raye calls her tool where the woman refuses to commit to any man until she has chosen the ONE that she wants to be with. It is not about sexual promiscuity, in fact, Rori urges her readers to refrain from sexual intimacy while in this phase of dating, so that sexual feelings do not cloud the judgment. But the basic tenet of the method is about accepting dates from anyone you wish you – whether that be a quick coffee date with an attractive man who invites you to sit down at the local Starbucks, lunch with a co-worker or a dinner date with a man you meet online. It’s about FEELING your feelings, opening up in an emotional and vulnerable way and letting your feminine side shine through.
Circular dating is about leaning back and accepting the love and the pursuit of men who find you attractive It is about learning not to “lean forward” and “overdo”. If you are being offered the choices of several men, and open to new, incoming choices as they happen, you as a woman will learn to become the one who accepts attention and accepts pursuit, instead of being the woman that pursues and overdoes, therefore pushing a man away.
The assumed exclusivity of many relationships is what Rori Raye wants her readers to avoid. Rori says, “It used to be, we women assumed exclusivity and seriousness if we slept with a man. And that is not going to work, unless you talk about it beforehand. Many of us women “assume” we’re in an exclusive relationship after any number of dates (sometimes even one) where there was a lot of “connection” and “future talk.” And we’ve discovered that doesn’t work. And another assumption is made by a man who takes you on a date 3 times – or even many dates over 3 or 4 months and automatically “assumes” he’s the only one you’re dating – without talking about it, or asking for your exclusivity.”
Rori Raye further recommends that unless he ASKS you for exclusivity specifically, and you accept this proposal, you circular date. And your expectation of exclusivity might not be the typical boyfriend/girlfriend thing. It could be a marriage proposal, or living together, or whatever other terms feel good to you as a woman.
This is a fabulous way, as well, to compare men and how they communicate with you, make you feel, make you laugh, or show love to you. Circular Dating can open up many doors for you in your emotional maturity and your expectations of a relationship, because you are able to find the best things about the men you are seeing and decide what traits and characteristics you really CAN live with, and what you do not like. It will allow the woman to realize that there are many choices out there.
Think of circular dating like buying a car or a house. You are always advised by friends and family not to buy the first one you look at. Shop around. Test drive, walk through, compare, compare, compare! A car or a house may be a huge financial investment, but is a relationship not one of the most important investments you will ever make in your life as well? Why should you then settle for the first man that falls into your lap? Circular dating in order to eventually have the relationship you want is an excellent tool if done correctly and with an open heart.
In the foundation of any relationship, learning to respect each other and “fight right” is of paramount importance. One thing that Rori Raye points out in her have the Relationship You Want eBook is that many fights are not about the issue at hand – they are about control. Learning to manage your disagreements in a mature and loving fashion will strengthen your relationship exponentially and is one of the best pieces of relationship advice you can heed.
So let’s take a look at the anatomy of a fight. The first kind of fighting is called “right fighting”. This is exactly the opposite of fighting right. In right fighting, one or both of the partners is only concerned with being right, getting his or her way, and controlling the situation. You know you are right-fighting when you are doing any of the following ….
- Planning only what you are going to say next when he is talking
- Trying to force him to agree with you or do what it is you want
- When you care only about being right and getting justice for what you believe to be an injustice
- Denying his feelings as valid
Looking at these things, perhaps both of you are fighting this way, or only one of you, but when fighting is based on controlling the outcome, it’s not ever going to be a productive, positive experience for your relationship.
Rori Raye has a mantra in her Have the Relationship You Want eBook (p 138) that gives a lot of insight to the reader about how to handle MANY situations as a positive, energetic and mature woman. Her mantra goes like this…
I trust my boundaries – I trust myself: I know I will not knowingly toss my pearls before swine, throw myself into the path of destruction, hide from the truth, go along with or tolerate something that is damaging to me. Now I can move to my feelings.
I follow my feelings – I follow my emotions around my body and into my heart because they are my compass in the world. I love my feelings and know that I must go where I am, be where I am, feel what I feel, and go through the feeling if I want to feel better. Now I can speak.
I choose my words – I am committed to clear, direct, feeling based communication. I honor my feelings by expressing them from my heart without trying to influence or attack my man. If I choose, now I can let go of the result.
I allow every moment to be a surprise – I don’t have to know every outcome, I don’t have to manage every situation, I don’t have to make sure everything goes the way I want, and I absolutely don’t have to know what my man is going to say or do next.
Because I know what I will not tolerate, because I can feel what I feel, because I’ve stated clearly what I feel and don’t want, I can let go of control.
How does the Rori Raye Mantra help a woman know HOW to fight? It helps us to direct our feelings into the proper energy – in other words, expressing your FEELINGS, your WANTS and NEEDS as positive and appropriate words, and not as demands or aggressive instructions. It helps you to let go of the need to control the outcome and step into the need to direct your own feelings into expression, where your man can come to a deeper understanding and appreciation of you because you have SHARED yourself with him. Its relationship help at its best.
Doing this can be a little scary, especially the “letting go of the control” part. But think of this as not letting go of yourself or relinquishing anything, instead, think of it as Rori Raye says, like opening yourself and giving yourself to the relationship, to love, to the man you want to be with.
Rori writes, “Taking the leap to speaking about our feelings when we’ve spent our whole lives working very hard to do just the opposite – whether we’re afraid of what someone will think or do, or whether we simply want to be more highly conscious people and have more refined emotions – takes courage and commitment to the process.” (Have the Relationship You Want, p 145).
What do you do, then, if you are doing all this RIGHT, and yet your partner is still “right fighting”? Be consistent. Use your “I feel” words. Express what YOU feel and ask him what he feels in the heat of the moment. Try using Rori Raye’s expressions like “ I don’t want to go there, listen to this, be there, be here, stand here, tolerate this, have this, worry about this, think about this, take charge of this, plan this –what do you think? “ – using the “what do you think?” at the end of your expression lets him know that you are showing your feelings and also concerned about his and that you value his opinion.
It’s not often that I get a question on male insecurity, but I received an excellent question from a reader who was brave enough to pose the thought – are MEN at times insecure as well as women? As we all know, Rori Raye talks often and at length about female insecurity, and how that insecurity can damage your relationship as well as other aspects of your life. Let’s forget our own insecurities for a moment, and delve into the subject of men.
My reader asked me…
I have a question for you here it is I am in a relationship with my boyfriend for about 2 1/2 years now and I am living with him. We are both in our 40s. Often he ask me after we make love if I am satisfied & if his penis is big enough, and also often he asks me if I am happy being with him. Is it normal for a man to ask that question often on how he is performing in bed and if I am happy to be with him? I told him yes I am happy if I wasn’t I wouldn’t be with him.
I am questioning myself if I am giving off negative vibes or is he insecure with himself? I don’t mind that he ask once in a wild but he’s been asking often?
I am confused? I don’t know what to think?
Excellent, excellent question! Insecurity, of course, is not limited to women. Men can be very insecure as well. Let’s think about this for a minute. For women, according to Rori Raye, attraction is based in feeling and basically, in the brain. I have heard it said that the brain is the largest sex organ for a woman. But men, on the other hand, are visual creatures. Much of their attraction is based on visual stimulus, and on the response they receive from women about their own actions, confidence, stamina, etc. So, as man who may have his confidence based in these things, its not hard to understand that if they feel they are lacking in size in that area, that they think YOU think that as well.
I have learned a lot recently about sex by reading Alex Allman’s Revolutionary Sex. It’s a fascinating read. And according to Alex, the average male organ size is 5-6 inches give or take a little bit. Now, that is NOT what you see in the erotic movies by any means. (Of course, the women, as well, are not the average size 16 female either!). In addition, many men “present” in different ways, they are either a shower or a grower (love those terms). This means that men, when they are limp, will either be nearly as long when they are aroused, OR, they will be substantially SMALLER when flaccid and their organ will grow quite a bit when they are aroused. Now – most men don’t know this. So, perhaps your man is a “grower”, and does not show his true size when in the locker room with other men, or what have you, and maybe he sees quite a few “showers” in there, that look substantially larger than he is, giving him a false sense of inadequacy.
Rori Raye does not address sexual intimacy specifically in her book, but we can glean a lot of information from there about things that may help our man to feel more positive about himself – not only in the bedroom, but in life as well. One of these things is allowing yourself to fully understand your reactions to him. Perhaps you are not “vocal” in the intimate moments, or perhaps you may have trouble reaching orgasm. Many of us do – believe me. Maybe HE feels that if he has to work harder to bring you fulfillment that it is because of the size of his…tool. J So perhaps you should take a look at your interactions and actions with him in the bedroom. Are you expressing, DURING the act, how he makes you feel? Are you tense, nervous, or feeling pressure to come to orgasm in order to please him? Or perhaps he is a “minute man” and feels that he does not bring you pleasure because the time is too short. There are many factors that could be at work here.
So my advice to you is this – do as Rori Raye suggests in her Have the Relationship You Want eBook, and sit back and take a look at how you respond to him in different situations. This does not, by any means, mean that you are to BLAME for his lack of confidence. But if you are able to adjust your responses to him in a manner that will allow him to begin to understand how happy he makes you, then perhaps this will ease his mind and heighten his own self-confidence.
Recently, one of my readers wrote in to me, seeking relationship advice for her situation, where her significant other is being unfaithful by putting himself up on a dating site while they were, in what was assumed to be, an exclusive relationship. While this reader may herself be surviving infidelity, it is obvious that her relationship will not.
Dear Sarah -
How do I break up with a guy that I have been dating for 4 months? [I want to break up with him because] he lies to me; he is on a dating site and even put a picture that I took of him and put it on the site. I have a gut feeling that he is out with someone new right now. So what do I do?
My response to Anne –
First of all, Anne, please let me express my sorrow and give you a virtual hug. surviving infidelity is hard, no matter how young your relationship may be. From your email, I cannot tell whether the affair you are relating is anemotional affair or a physical affair, but in reality, it does not matter other than the fact that if it was a physical affair he had and you were intimate with him, you will want to visit your doctor and get yourself checked out to make sure you are healthy.
It is obvious that the affair your boyfriend has had has devastated your relationship, and if you have decided to leave him, then go for it. I suggest that you do it very simply, without drama or incident. You need to tell him in a calm, cool manner that you see that he is not upholding his end of your relationship requirements, and that due to that fact, you can no longer trust him, and therefore your relationship is over. To add a bit of “friendly finality” to that, I would simply shake his hand, tell him you will see him around, and walk away. Do not demand explanations, justice or apologies because if you are moving on without him, you do not need those things from him as a strong and independent woman.
As you move into upcoming relationships, though, please do not expect this behavior from all men. The actions of one do not necessarily define the actions of all! I would, though, recommend a slightly different strategy for you, though, especially as a woman who is surviving infidelity.
Rori Raye suggests in her eBook, Have The Relationship You Want (as well as in all of her programs) that women avoid the “exclusivity trap” and date as many men as possible, until she finds a man who is ready to make THE commitment to her. Rori Raye suggests this for several reasons (and I will try to keep them brief!)…
• Attraction – refusing to commit to a man and dating other men keeps the attraction alive and cooking. DO NOT BE INTIMATE with them until you have the commitment you want, but until YOU HAVE that commitment, do not quit dating other men.
• Diversity – in order to get what YOU want, you need to shop around. You don’t walk into a store and pick out the first shirt off the rack, throw it on the cashier’s table and check out. You try it on. You try on several – and then you make a decision. How much more so should you shop around for a commitment that is supposed to last the rest of your life?
• Value – You are a hot commodity. In order for value to be perceived with most things, scarcity has to be implied. If he is going to really value you, he HAS to understand that he is lucky to have the time with you that he does, and that when and if you choose to give him all your time, you are bestowing a gift upon him that he better cherish.
So please, Anne, know that you will come out stronger for surviving infidelity, whether this was an emotional affair or a physical affair. Take Rori Raye’s advice and shop around before you decide to buy next time, and have a healthier, happier relationship for it. Remember to educate yourself about other relationship mistakes by visiting theRori Raye section of my blog.
I am so sorry that you are going through this pain – but this is SO common in budding relationships, according to Rori Raye. First he comes on strong, gets you attracted to him and gets your heart in his hand … then he pulls away and leaves YOU wondering what the heck happened.
Well, first of all, when he was the one pursuing you, you were doing what Rori Raye calls “leaning back” – you were making him take the steps toward you and to pursue you, which men LIKE to do.
In addition, it seems to me that he has been TELLING you that he does not want an exclusive relationship – he is moving, he has been hurt before, etc. YOU have also been hurt, and just maybe, you were starting to feel safe with him because you knew deep inside that he did not want a serious relationship, therefore he could not be a serious threat to your heart. But what happens it, you start to feel safe for him, and when you do, you allow yourself to fall in love with him.
So now what?
Well, in order to actually HAVE the relationship you want, you have to know what is out there. You must start dating other people. Your relationship with this man is undefined, he is moving away, he is becoming distant and he is on other dating sites. Why would you consider this relationship to be exclusive? It’s not. TAKE that opportunity to date other people.
By dating other people, you will expand your interests, the selection of men available to you, AND you will show THIS man that you are a hot commodity, and if he WANTS to be exclusive with you, he needs to EARN IT.
Then – there’s the talking and listening part. When a man says he’s not sure he’s “into you,” or “not feeling it for you,” RUN. Saying he loves you but isn’t ready yet for a serious relationship is WAY different than saying he’s “not sure of his feelings.” If he says he’s “not sure of his feelings”, that would be the cue to get out of there.
But - you don’t have to leave him completely – you can still DATE him. He may actually be feeling confused. But your sticking around while he figures it out will do you nothing but harm.
So – if this man felt safe by telling you that he was moving, he was not interested in a real relationship, etc, he felt safe when he felt that he had to really pursue you to get your interest. But then, when he HAD it, it freaked him out and he distanced himself.
So you need to get yourself out there and date other people. Show this guy that you are in demand, that you are not going to sit there and pine away for him and then maybe that will give him the impetus to understand his feelings and take action on them one way or another. Learn more in Rori Raye’s eBook Have the Relationship You Want.