Archive for the 'From Lovers To Friends And Back Again' Category

What To Do When an Old Love Calls

questionmarkHere’s a question from Mary, and I don’t know anyone who hasn’t been contacted by an old love who’s now “suddenly free.” It’s hard to know what to do…you want to give it a chance, and yet you want to protect yourself. Mary works through this just brilliantly, and I’ll help, too:

“Rori, Hello. I’ve been reading the blog for a while, and I’d love, love, love! to hear some advice for my particular situation. I can’t figure out how to post the situation other than in the comment box, so please pardon me for a deviation from the topic.

I’m single and my very first love contacted me to say that his wife filed for divorce. He’s out looking at houses, so he can move out, and would love to see me, as he has some business in a city near me. I actually have a business conference booked there during the time he’ll be there (pure coincidence), and at first I told him I’d see him. (He offered dinner.) It didn’t sit well with me, though, because he’s still married and living with his wife. I emailed him and told him that I’d like him to make a decision first – either way! And to take his time. Then I’d love to catch up with him when the crises is over. If he stays with his wife, maybe next time they’re in town, I can show them around. If not, we’ll have that dinner.

This is a guy I have loved since we were kids. We call each other on our birthdays, just to say hi, and we talk for about two or three minutes, always very respectful of our home situations. I know that if he does get divorced, every woman will want him. But I also know that before he marries any of them, he’ll want to see me first. Just to know for sure.

So I feel confidant to wait. And another reason for waiting is that kids always add things up and dates are important to them. If we didn’t see each other until AFTER he moves out, then if it does work out, everyone is happy. That makes sense to me.

But I hesitate about seeing him, and it’s not too late to change my mind, because it’s like I’m supposing that I know his motives. I’m imagining that it would be a date if we had dinner. Maybe he’s not thinking that at all! Maybe he’d just like to see me to say hi, after all these years. Or maybe he just needs support because he’s going through a rough time. So it’s almost embarrassing to say that I’d rather wait, because I’m the one who is interested in him, and that makes it painfully obvious. Almost like telling him too much.

He is going to ask me again. The conference is two weeks away. What do you think of this scenario? I’d really welcome your answer, Rori and feedback from anyone else.”

Here’s my answer:

Mary, I LOVE your speech, your language, your thinking around this.

First off, his WIFE filed for divorce. So, you have no idea if he’s still into her and being dumped, or if he’s unhappy and finally created the divorce.

If you were able to see him as a “friend” – which is possibly all this is…or a “look see” for him now that he’s about to be single – then you’d be fine seeing him…your vibe would be “friend.” But by expressing that there’s more to it for you, and you don’t even wish to START with this “friends” business, but want to consider any meeting with him as a “date” – it’s all clear, on the table, and upfront.

Very, very good for you.

Now – you’re really going to have to go deep inside you and see what feels GOOD for you to do – pass on this, or show up with NO AGENDA other than to track yourself and make sure you feel good throughout the experience.

Here are some possible scenarios:

1. Generally, if you want a man, generally being physically in the same place is the only way to even start a possible connection. So one scenario would be – you see him, and he “gets” you right away (it’s the “dream” scenario) – and you’re on track to Happy Ever After with him.

I’ve actually seen this happen – with a client who met her now husband two weeks after his wife passed away from a long bout with cancer.  He just KNEW she was the one the moment he saw her.

But this man already KNOWS YOU. So there are more possibilities.

You have no way to know how it will go for him, but, because you know him and love him, you have lots of hopes, dreams and mental analysis around this – all of which work against you feeling “free and easy” around it.

2. If you chose NOT to see him, one scenario might be that he just goes on dreaming bigger and bigger about you (isn’t that the way it goes for all of us?) – until he’s ready to actually see and actually experience a woman, rather than be led by his desperation, loneliness, fear, anger or desire to explore his new freedom – and then you are, as you say here, starting from a much better place.

3. If you DO see him now – and after all his “imagining” of you and in his present state (whatever it is) he doesn’t have an instantaneous “you are the one” feeling for you, he’ll still have to go through his process, and you’ll possibly be left feeling weird about it all.

4. If you DO see him now – he could have a great moment where he DOES “get” that “you’re the one” – and then, back to Scenario #1 with Happy Ever After.

So – how do you decide? Analytically, it’s a total toss-up – there’s no way to KNOW what’s “best.”

There IS no best. No right or wrong, no strategy.

The only way you can go here is by following the way you YOU FEEL – and yet, we all know, you will be feeling different things at different times. And you may second guess yourself and change your mind a hundred times – because, again,  there simply IS no right or wrong here.

It’s important, then, for you to know, really KNOW, that whatever you do – it will not be the end of the world or the relationship, and if you can be curious and open, and practicing – you will be fine no matter what your decision.

If you can use the situation to practice your Tools, to satisfy your own curiosity, to experiment, engage and experience – to take a chance, to see how you FEEL when you’re in his presence – you’ll be fine no matter what happens, and your “vibe” will be lovely, and you’ll feel strong and powerful, and you’ll be able to see exactly what’s up with this man instead of “dreaming” about him yourself.

If you decide to see him, and you’re NOT feeling good about it, but you can’t put your finger on it exactly (you can’t tell whether you feel uncomfortable because of his stuff or because of your own stuff),  just don’t let yourself hang with him if you start to feel yourself being “used” in some way as a “stepping stone” for him to get over his wife and get out into the world.

Don’t pretend, don’t be “cool” if you don’t FEEL cool, and don’t make idle conversation or allow it to be superficial.

If you see him, use the experience to practice Feeling Messages, to look for the Message HE’S bringing you, and to feel how it is you feel.

Make the experience real for you, instead of Imaginary.

IF you do whatever you do for THESE reasons – for your own experience and growth and knowledge about yourself and the world (and then get up and call the evening short if it DOESN’T feel like a good experience) – you can’t EVER go wrong.

Let me know what you do, and how it went…and don’t stress too much about your decision. Just work at keeping yourself in the wonderful self-focused place you are in this comment (and “confusion” is a totally okay place to be, even sitting at the table with him…as long as you’re aware of feeling it and are willing to allow your feelings to move and morph and be acknowledged and shared by you…) – no matter what…

Love, Rori

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Don’t Let Go, Don’t Resolve, Forget Closure and Stay On Your Horse

horsewomanHow can you move forward in your life without “letting go” of him?  And still “dump him” and “stop contact”?

This is a jump off of the last post, inspired by the comments. Here are two that sparked me:

Erika said:
“…sometimes if I ignore a guy, I actually end up thinking about him MORE. It feels all unresolved.”

Then JasonSavage said:
“I advocate resolve through actively ignoring him and simple acts of symbolic detachment.”

And Daria, too, talks about really loving having men around her and feeling good about it.

The thing here is this – J, in the letter that started the original post, does NOT feel good with the “ex” who’s contacting her at this moment.  The idea of friendship is NOT clear and easy and about …friends.  It’s all clouded and complex and involves all kinds of triggers.  And this was not a Circular Dating relationship – this was BEFORE J figured out how to Circular Date – this was an exclusive relationship with sex.  And she still feels attached and emotional – as would almost ALL of us.

I often agree with Jason on most of this -  and though it’s a very harsh view coming from me, but you can see from Jason how a man sees ANY response we make to a man — no matter what we say, if we respond, the “friendship” is “on.”

What I’m going to add to this conversation is about what Erika calls “resolve.”  This is the same as what I call “closure” – and you know I don’t believe in closure.

This is the shocking, provoking part of what I say around this kind of thing:

Don’t even TRY to IMAGINE closure.  Forget closure.  Forget resolution.  Forget tying things up in a nice bundle, all knots untied, everything smoothed out.

This is just not part of having a real, PASSIONATE life.

Needing closure is something we women have absolutely been trained for.

We are perfectionist in many ways, managing things – so much of it comes from our genes – the need to cook, watch the fire, listen for the baby, and ward off intruders all at the same time.

This need for closure is, I believe – at the bottom of all our womanly stress.

So, I also say, forget about the whole concept of “letting go.”  It’s just not a viable image.

For me – (and I have a bunch of posts on this…most with horses in the pictures…) the idea is to keep moving down your own road, stick on your path, stay with your horse, keep moving, expanding, breathing, going deeper and deeper into your feelings and your life, becoming more and more passionate about life itself – and just not allowing ANYTHING to distract you.  Not allowing anything to “capture” you and throw you off balance and off course.

You can take a memory of a man with you down your road.  You can dream about him when you sleep.  You can take from what you had with him that makes you feel good and helps you understand yourself, that helps you riff and process and expand.

To do this – you DON’T NEED HIM TO BE AROUND IN REAL LIFE.

I’m going to say that again.  Once a man has outlived his usefulness in his concrete, human form – once his presence makes you go backwards and into your head and out of your body and feeling not good about yourself – you don’t want him around.  Period.  You’re done.  He’s history.

But that doesn’t mean he’s left the planet, or left your psyche.

He might still be in your rock band, or in your theater company, or at your yoga class, or sweating next to you at your gym, or sitting next to you at your work.  He might be the father of your children. He might be a superstar you see on billboards and hear about from friends and strangers every day.  He could be your lawyer, or your coach, or your children’s friend’s father.

It doesn’t mean he has nothing to offer you – even if it’s only a reminder of what you DON’T want.

And it doesn’t mean you have to be especially nice to him, or welcoming, or reasonable.

And it doesn’t mean you have to notice him much, or think about him, or wonder about him, or talk about him.

It just means he’s there.  He still lives and breathes.

It’s not about “reality.”  It’s about “energy.”

And this isn’t hocus-pocus or magic, because it’s not about HIS energy – it’s about YOURS.

The simple truth is – if you stop FIGHTING your feelings for him and pull toward him, and thoughts about him – and simply REFOCUS your mind, body and heart around something NEW – something that FEELS GOOD – something that’s MEANINGFUL to you – it will overpower the energy you’re showering on this undeserving man.

So – instead of rituals and symbolic acts to LET GO of him (because then it’s STILL all about HIM…) what we need here is rituals and symbolic acts to hang onto, hold onto, embrace, worship and adore OURSELVES.

The result we’re going for is not to free HIM – but to free US.

Can you imagine what that would look like and feel like?

What would it look like and feel like to feel free as a bird around your thoughts and feelings about a man?  To be able to do what makes you happy even though thoughts of him and about him continue to intrude?

I guarantee you that if you find things to immerse yourself in – things that capture your attention in a wonderful, fulfilling and satisfying way…they will way outshine any man’s old, worn-out pull on you.  Your light will expose the shabbiness of the man, the obsolescence of him.

You’ll start to feel this:  “Done.”

It’s not about “over.”  It’s not about “forgetting.”  It’s not about “Letting Go” so you “don’t” have a mental, physical or emotional experience around him when he isn’t actually there.  It’s about just getting so passionate about yourself and what you love in life that you become bored by him.

Most of the time, a man who is not good for us came into our lives for one reason:  We invited him in as a “do-over.”

It could be a do-over of our childhoods, when the only way we could get love and attention was by working our butts off.

It could be a do-over of a trauma where we felt helpless to take care of ourselves.

It could be a do-over of a mistake that feels desperately like it needs “closure” and “mastery.”

Forget about all that.

Instead – focus on being kind to yourself.  Focus on what you like.  On what makes you feel good.  Do that.  Think that. Take yourself there.

Erika talks a lot about EFT – Emotional Freedom Technique, and I love the technique too – here’s one little piece of it I’m going to apply to this post:

Say to yourself: “Even though I feel attached to this man and drawn to have closure with him, I deeply and profoundly love and accept myself.”

Then get back on your horse and ride – with him or without him, whether he’s hanging onto the saddle, gripping you for dear life, or trying to get you to stop and let him on, or whether you’re holding him with one hand behind you as you ride on.

The important thing is NOT what HE’S doing, or where HE is.

The important thing is that YOU are RIDING ON!!!

Love, Rori

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Don’t Be Friends

This is a jump off from a question from Robin -

“My pattern seems to be getting put in the ‘friends’ category. When I was a teenager, I thought this was the way to go, because I always heard from people that you want to “marry your best friend.” Or that you have a better chance of being with someone if you are their friend first.

Looking back, I can see how I came to this conclusion; my grandparents were best friends, and theirs was the healthiest of relationships I could observe at that time in my life.

And even that was not all that healthy and not completely what I want for my own life…

I really value a friendship element in a long-term relationship, and can see from others in my life that this is important for marriage, BUT…

I’m missing something if I keep getting put in that category. And I can’t quite figure out how to undo this pattern, because I formed this pattern, thinking it was a good thing to go to one extreme of the spectrum.

Is there a specific way to break this pattern all at once, or is this something for baby steps??

Here’s my answer:

The truth is – we KNOW a friend from a lover.  Hanging out with a male “friend” can be fantastic.  My men friends saved my emotional life countless times, and those memories are some of my best.

Unless a man is gay, however (which is why gay men are often the best friends) – you can TELL if he’s hanging out with you because of genuine friendship or if he’s “interested” in you in more romantic ways.

And it feels GREAT if a man is “interested” in you and wants to be around you – especially if he’s romantically interested in you, because that adds another dimension that makes you feel attractive and sexy in his presence – not just like a “pal” – and if what you pick up from him is that he’s not romantically interested – as long as YOU don’t have those kinds of feelings for him – it doesn’t MATTER!  You can enjoy being with him no matter WHAT his level of interest, as long as it feels like fun – and as long as you don’t CARE.

The reverse is completely NOT GOOD for you – where you are hanging out with a man who has expressed “friendship” in words, deeds, and energy – and YOU feel MORE.

Just don’t do that.  Don’t hang out with men friends when you wish there were more.  Just don’t do it.

Now – here’s a wrinkle.  We’re friends with people because we feel attracted to them. This includes the “geeky” guy we know who’s funny and makes us laugh.  This includes our girlfriends.  Anyone we feel good around, anyone we want to talk to, be with, stand near – we feel attracted to.  And I don’t just mean “platonically.”

I know this is hard to embrace.  But the truth is – there is an erotic component to this attraction.  The next time you find yourself talking with someone you couldn’t IMAGINE feeling erotically attracted to – a homeless person, a person you might label as “ugly” – or the wrong gender – if you can embrace the truth that you are erotically attracted to that person as well as attracted on intellectual and emotional levels – you will get this so much faster.

In other words – if you like being around a person – there is a part of you that feels erotically attracted to them. It doesn’t mean you find this person appropriate for a relationship, and it doesn’t mean you feel romantically attracted to them.  It just means you feel sexually, erotically attracted.

And what happens with most of us?  When we’re faced with an erotic attraction to someone “inappropriate” – we shut down.

And I don’t want you to do that.

I want you to stay open to ALWAYS feeling erotically attracted to YOURSELF – and so you will ALWAYS be radiating a sexual, sensual, erotic vibe. We’re all afraid of what will happen if we open ourselves up like that – and I want you to embrace that fear and open up anyway.

So – what you may feel from a man who says he wants “friendship” is that EROTIC component he also feels.  You may just hook it up to your OWN feelings for him, because these energies bounce off of each other, or you may mistake that erotic energy for ROMANTIC feelings.

This is how it gets so confusing with a man who says “friends” but feels like more than that to you.  This is why a man can sleep with you and still consider you just a “friend.”

It’s not cruelty.  He’s not trying to hurt you.  It’s just simpler for him than it is for you.

So don’t go there.  Just say NO to “just friends.”

Circular Date.  Do the Whole Targeting Mr. Right “Diva” stuff – and it will get clear to you…Love, Rori

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If He Wants To Be Friends – Get Your Energy Out Of There

Have you ever pretended to the man who just turned you from a lover to a friend that you’re OKAY with that?

Here’s a comment from Mariah (here’s the whole comment->) – (I’m working with it here because I think it’s a universal situation that will help you, too):

“Rori, I wrote to you while back about a relationship I was in with a man that told me he just wanted to be friends after all. You told me to get my energy out of there and I did, we still talk sometimes and just few days ago he told me he had come to a conclusion that he wanted to invest in a relationship and he wants to have a family (even though he already has children). He also told me that he would be ok with a woman that already has children if all the right elements were there. I did not what to say, because I was not sure why he shared that with me….

I was speechless and told him that I hoped he would find what he is looking for. – that is my problem…. I keep lying, pretending, making it look it does not bother me and that I truly hope he finds happiness.

Rori, I can’t do this anymore, I feel bursting inside with the desire to tell him exactly how I feel and why in a very mature way. I feel to tell him that cuddling on the couch while watching TV makes me feel bonded to him, I feel to tell him that when he text messages me and end with ” I love you long time,” I feel to be with him. I feel to tell him the truth about how I feel, what I want and share all my emotions that I have been suppressing just to play it cool. Please tell me, what should I do here….. I need to start this new year in a different note and right now I feel to come out clean about all this with him.

Waiting anxiously for your tips on this one… thank you in advance!! Mariah”

Okay.  This has happened to me so many times in my life (long ago, yes, but I remember them still, and when I remember them I flare up for a moment with remembered anger, humiliation and despair – and yes, I use all my Tools to USE those moments to make what’s going on in my marriage right now, for real, more powerfully wonderful – instead of letting those memories take hold of me and carry me further away from my man).

Something happens to us when a man we love drifts away and then says that he considers us a “friend.” A good, great, wonderful, friend.  We are so wounded in that moment that we BELIEVE it’s OKAY.

We BELIEVE that either he’s not really saying what he’s saying, or that he’ll change his mind because he’s just scared of intimacy, or that WE’LL get over him fast and that we’ll WANT him in our life as a “friend.”

We focus all our energy on NOT LOSING HIM.  Even though he’s now only a “friend.”

We feel a sense of loss so powerfully, that we put on our brakes and refuse to lose any more.

And this just wrecks us.

It’s us not willing to “give up.”  And most often – “Giving Up” is the absolutely best thing we can do.

The best thing for ourselves – our self-esteem, self-respect, confidence and power; and the best thing for the potential of the relationship.  If the relationship ever CAN return to the romance it once was – it’s Giving Up that gives you your best chance.

So when a man comes up with the “friends” line – however he says it – GET OUT OF THERE!

I mean this LITERALLY. Don’t smile, don’t say how you “love him as a person” and “of course you want him in your life,” don’t say you “need to think about it,” don’t share your pain with him….because – he is NO LONGER YOUR FRIEND.

Yes, this is pretty radical.  Say “Oh. Well, you’re right, of course. Goodbye, then,” turn around and get yourself to your home, to your girlfriend’s home, to a dance class, the gym, the coffee house – just get out of there.

And yes – he will call you.  He’ll try to “make nice.”  He’ll try to do what he needs to do to feel better himself, and he’ll try to do what he needs to do to KEEP YOU in his LIFE.

Do not pick up the phone, do not return calls, do not return emails. Nothing.  If you see him at work, smile and walk past.

If he should manage to get you on the phone, say “This doesn’t feel good, I ust don’t have the time for a man friend right now, I have to go…” and hang up the phone.

And do all this WITHOUT ANGER.  Think about it.  He’s done nothing wrong.  He’s done nothing bad.  He hasn’t (unless he’s a sociopath, and we’ll talk about that later) intentionally tried to hurt you.  It just didn’t work out for him.  He’s trying to “let you down easy,” and he really likes you as a person and as a woman and so he’s trying to keep you in his life.

If he hadn’t HAD to – because the relationship had come to the point where he had to – he would have tried his best to NOT say anything to you.  He would have “strung you along” for as long as he could. And not because he’s “bad” and “awful” – but because he LIKES you – appreciates how you add to his life, and doesn’t want to LET YOU GO.

IF – and I say this very carefully – IF he’s going for friendship now because he simply can’t conceive of anything deeper right now with ANY WOMAN – and you feel totally tempted to wait him out, until he grows up – you are doing yourself a deep disservice.

The absolute BEST thing you can do for yourself is to take him at his word. Friends it is.  Wave Goodbye to him and get yourself back on the market Circular Dating, and work through your distress with my Power & Self Esteem Tools until you realize what a huge favor he’s done you by telling you anything remotely truthful when it was important to you.

When you walk away, and get happy elsewhere – that’s when (IF it’s even possible for him to change his mind and all of a sudden feel romantic about a relationship with you) – he comes back.

And Mariah – he’s coming back now – but still only as a “friend” – and you are still unwilling to walk away.  I totally identify with you, I know we all do…and here’s what you do:

1.  Write a speech.  It will say the truth.  You don’t want to be his friend. Period. You’re not sure why he’s telling you about his love life, and you still care deeply for him and do not want to be his friend.

2.  When he calls next, deliver your speech simply, so that you can experience yourself as telling the truth and feeling powerful because telling the truth is ALWAYS powerful.

3.  Say Goodbye and hang up.  Do not get into chatting, do not listen to him, do not ask questions, do not talk about your relationship, do not ACT like his friend.  Do not revisit the breakup.  Do not listen to his “feelings.”  Say Goodbye and hang up.

4.  Go do something very, very nice for yourself.  Something from your Channeling List.

5.  Get out there and DATE – work for YOURSELF, not to get HIM.  As you do this – tell the truth and shift the focus – you’ll see – things will get better.

Love, Rori

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If He’s Gone From Friend To Lover And Now He’s Confused

Here’s a letter from Sheri – and as I read it I nearly jumped out of my chair in recognition of how I’ve done in my own life exactly what Sheri’s doing, and then started pounding the keyboard with frustration – for her, for me in the past, and for any of you who are stuck like Sheri – looking at your situation in this narrow, self-defeating way:

“Dear Rori, My situation is one I am sure you are familiar hearing of…I met a man who was a friend of mine at first, for a short period…we then led into something romantic…over the last 2 and a half months, I’ve felt excited, loved, cared for and have fallen in love with someone who makes me smile.

Yet, on his end, it’s been a constant back and forth battle. He cares for me and loves being with me but, one minute wants to continue trying and the next decides he “just can’t do it.” Through his back and forth-ness, I’ve been supportive and patient.

I’ve insisted on just taking things day by day, naturally, to see where they would lead on their own…yet, even through that, we start getting close again and he finds some way to ensure it stops there.

He’s stated he’s not ready for something serious. I’m frustrated because I’ve been patient and have never said “I want a commitment now!” but I know he knows I care and have kept an open mind. He and I would talk 4 times a day, get together once/twice a week and over the weekends, and have had heart to hearts about where he stands on more than one occasion he has initiated – I’ve never pushed and yet, here I am feeling hurt and disappointed because he shows every sign of wanting to make this work but then focuses on cutting it off when we start getting close.

When we are together the connection is obvious – we can talk about anything and truly enjoy each other. His comments have included everything from “I never expected to feel this way for someone” to “I love being with you” to “This is all scary to me” …I know he fears commitment…I just can’t determine if I should cut him off completely, something I’ve felt might be the best thing to do.

Can you help? It’s hard for me because I love him….

Thanks in advance, Sheri

Okay, here’s my answer, and I’ll bet you already know what it is:

First – my question – Why are you “exclusive” with this man?

And then I’ll answer my own question, because there IS no answer you could possibly give that will work for you except for this one – “Whoops – Rori, thanks for reminding me – I’ll go fix that right now…” And then go out and get your dance card filled up so you have dates and more dates starting tomorrow.

You CANNOT take things “day by day” (which is the ONLY way to take ANY relationship until the ring is on your finger and the top of the wedding cake in your co-owned freezer), and still be EXCLUSIVE with a man.

It won’t work.  You’ll get crazy, just like Sheri is right here.

It is absolutely criminal for any man who “doesn’t want anything serious” to somehow have a “hold” on you – where you feel you have to either tough it out – for years and years, even, as so many of us do – or dump him and move on.

You don’t have to make that choice.  Not after only 2 months.

If he’s fun to date, then date him.  If he’s fun to sleep with, then sleep with him.  But keep some of your time and energy for the Toms, Dicks and Harrys of this world who want to spend time with you, give you affection, attention and all kinds of fun things – including, perhaps, the Happy Ever After you clearly, truly want.

If you’re EVER starting to fear that you’re “wasting your time” with a man – that’s your clue that you’re making a mistake by shutting down your options.  That’s your clue to get out there and talk to, sit down with, go out with and practice BEING with lots and lots of NEW men – and KEEP HIM in your “rotation” along for the ride!.

So, Sheri, I wish you luck – and hope you try this and let me know what happens.

Love, Rori

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