Here’s some clarification about how to handle sex when you’re Circular Dating – a jump-off from a letter:
Just wanted to say you are an amazing woman and you given me my power back with the Targeting Mr Right program.
I’m in an exclusive relationship and about to give my man the no-boyfriend speech. I have already met someone and starting the circular dating process.
It feels daunting and I’m scared of the fact that I may lose him completely when he discovers that I want to just date him and not be exclusive with him any more, but I guess he’s not offering me a lifelong commitment which is what I want.
Rori I am a little confused with the sexual exclusivity process on your DVD’s. If I’m sleeping and dating guy A and I now meet guy B who I want to sleep with, do I drop guy A from the rotation, how do I handle the situation with guy A? You said one partner at a time. I’m feeling a little confused with the information, please clarify. Thank you, Shirley”
Here’s my answer:
First – you need to know if you have an actual sexual exclusivity deal with guy A.
If you do, then you know, by sleeping with guy B, you will have to tell Guy A about it before you sleep with HIM again.
That’s the only truthful thing to do.
So…if you’re willing to give guy A up for guy B because guy A will not stand a “multi-amorous” (I just made that up) relationship with you, then you’re fine.
But you have to also be fine with guy B not picking up the ball and running with it.
If you can be a Rock Star, and just date men in the service of healing yourself and learning so much that the most fabulous man will show up for you – then you won’t CARE what happens. You will date, you will take lovers, you will tell the truth, and you will be happy – no matter what any of the men choose to do.
Bottom line, a man who cannot commit to you forever cannot have you all to himself.
And, if you are a woman who can have more than one lover at a time without getting hung up on any part of the connection – then you can do whatever you want!
I certainly would not sleep with Guy B until he meets the qualifications of being around you long enough that you KNOW you feel good around him and that he’s truly interested in forever with you.
And you do not have to tell Guy A a thing (unless you DID have an exclusive relationship and were not truthful with him about dating other men) – until he moves to have sex with you.
Then you have to talk. You let him know that one of your dates has moved into the physical, and you don’t want to hurt him, but that honesty and openness are important to you, and that…again, you don’t want to put pressure on your relationship with him, and so you need to explore all your options until he makes a decision.
This can loosely be called “polyamory.” It simply means, in this context, having meaningful, fully sexual relationships with more than one man, openly. (No lying, so no cheating.)
Sounds pretty “Rock Star” to me.
But what you don’t want to do is get into one-night-stands, and letting your sexuality get spread around to men who are NOT intent on having a “meaningful relationship” with you. Sometimes you’ll make “mistakes” – and that simply means that the outcomes and results don’t feel good to you. And with sex, you have the extra responsibility of safety precautions, which requires a real conversation with a man, and is good practice around Speaking Your Truth all by itself!
And that’s why I say – Start with the idea of one sexual partner at a time. It gives you a chance to discover what’s going on with a man, and how you feel about YOU in his presence. It helps you be more “methodical” with Circular Dating – it’s the one place I want you to use your brain to plan your schedule and keep track of the Tools you’re using and how you’re feeling every step of the way.
It helps you feel like you’re in control, it keeps you from getting carried away by “chemistry” before you’ve found how you FEEL about the quality of the emotional connection between you and a man.
It helps you AVOID drama that will just kick in your resistance to your feelings all over again, and push you further away from yourself.
Sex has a way of intensifying everything…and with Circular Dating we’re not looking for “intensity.” We’re looking for a cool head. We’re looking for moving slowly, taking time for the 6 Good E’s – for experiencing and experimenting, exploring, engaging, expressing, expanding…for feeling your way through in a deeper way than you’ve ever allowed yourself to live before.
Circular Dating and Targeting Mr. Right is about Responding rather than “reacting.” A reaction is most often an old pattern – it’s what you’ve always done before, it’s automatic, it’s not deeply felt. It’s what you do when you’re not in touch with yourself and your real feelings in the moment. It’s what you do as a defense, as a protection.
A Response comes from YOU, from your feelings, from your awareness of what feels good. Responding comes with practice. The more you practice finding and expressing your feelings, the deeper and more satisfying the response. The more you practice, the less tension and the more joy.
So what we’re concerned with here is making the nuts-and-bolts of how you Circular Date and the rules you create for yourself around sex HELP you practice Responding in an ever deeper, happier, more blissful and easy way. And there are many ways to get there.
This is a huge topic, and I’ll be getting more into this. I was pretty wild in one period of my life, and I wouldn’t take that back for anything – so I do know something about juggling men – but I never did it in a way that had more than momentary good-feeling results (and not because sex was involved, but because I did not then value myself wholly and know how to just BE with a man in other ways).
I met a woman awhile back who was newly engaged to one of three men she had been involved with - in meaningful, serious relationships – all at the same time. She’s married to him, now, and they’re extraordinarily well-matched and happy. I’m going to try to corral her for an interview for my Relationship Interview Series – or at least get her story for a post here…
Whether or not you include sex in Circular Dating is something you can experiment with. We’re all different, we’re all in different places. Let me know your stories, what you think, what you feel, your questions about how to go about doing this if you want to try, and how even talking about it triggers you!
And for you coaches and therapists out there…this is a perfect place to let us know your perspective…