Cindy is my classic client. Seemingly strong, high self-esteem – until something kicks in the “attachment” hormone and downward we go emotionally. I’m going to jump off of her letter to me and see if I can help you if this keeps happening to you:
“Rori, This is all so different… I just got your ebook and started working in it. You are so open and honest and I really relate. I am 55 years old, men are attracted to me and I have no trouble meeting and initially spending time with them. Once it goes into more than casual dating (kisses, calls, regular dates) I seem to change from “easy to be with” Cindy to “I have to keep him and he may see the real me and leave for someone better” Cindy.
I have always tried to be what “he” wants and to make him into what I want. This has not worked and I have been single for over 20 years since my divorce. I recently met a wonderful man and it was going well for 7 weeks. We slept together last Thursday and I then felt insecure and when he told a woman at the marina that I was “not his wife, I was his friend”, I told him I thought we had more than that I wouldn’t have slept with him if i thought we were only friends….. etc. and he has not called me since. I am not calling or texting him even though I really want to.
I believe if he really wants me he will call and work through this. I need to learn new ways to think about the relationship, myself and him. I keep doing the same old things and they don’t work. I had a therapist tell me a few years ago “what you’re doing isn’t working”. He was right, but he really had no new way for me to do it. I really need and want help to change my destructive (self and relationship) patterns.
I go into the relationship thinking it will be the best ever, then it is good for a while, then I get insecure and needy and the man goes away. I want to be married, yet I begin to think it’s impossible for me. What should be my first step? Thank you for the emails and the work you put into this. I am excited about learning a new way to do my life. Cindy”
The simple answer here is around sex.
Don’t have it if you can’t handle it.
Don’t have it until you know EXACTLY where a man stands in the “relationship,” what sex means to him – and HE knows where YOU stand and what sex means to you.
If you’re not absolutely certain you’re both in the same place, you’ve weighed the risks and you’re willing to take those risks and trust yourself to deal with whatever happens in a way that HELPS you, not hurts you…then go for it.
If not – wait. Just keep talking. Talk. And….most important:
Circular Date. Do NOT become exclusive.
I love a strong position about not having sex too early – and just not being interested in it unless it’s part of the marriage deal.
But that’s not for everyone. Wouldn’t be for me, might not for you.
But I sure wouldn’t want to handle sex the way I USED to, either.
I’d like it to be about MY pleasure, and have absolutely nothing to do with what’s going on with him.
And yet – that reduces it all to “sport f*cking” – which is totally no fun at all and never feels good the following week (most of the time not even the following hour).
And yet – sometimes, to go with the flow and allow things to move forward – you’ve gotta take a chance. (Some would say no… but let’s go with a different scenario here…)
How is it (and IS it) possible to have sex and not become attached to a man?
Is it possible, if you like him enough to sleep with him, to not have your hormones and homing instincts kick in?
Because it worked for me with my husband – I have to say “yes.” I couldn’t, in all honesty, say anything else.
It worked for my friend Virginia Feingold Clark, even though it took a few years for her to figure it out and then, once she did, quickly and easily get married to her husband (she’s got a great book coming out about all this soon, I’ll let you know…) – even though it didn’t work for her BEFORE she met her husband.
So – here’s the deal – when you meet the man who wants to marry you – it doesn’t matter what you do around sex.
And when you meet all other men who will never marry you – it doesn’t matter what you do around sex, because that relationship will never work, and so you’re very, very likely to become attached and hormonal and go downhill emotionally.
So – wouldn’t it be nice if we could just identify our future husband – and then we wouldn’t have to worry about it at all? We could do what we like and it would all work out!
And so – here’s the key question: Can we identify our future husband? Can we know if a man intends to marry us? Or are we just always guessing or going on our most often faulty instincts and “intuition”?
Trying to figure it out beforehand is never really possible – though you may feel strongly about what’s going to happen.
What we have to do is trust ourselves that whatever happens we’ll be okay. Not only okay, but happy with the experiences we chose to have and the way we feel about them. Life includes some risk – or our desire for safety will run us until we live in a small little box.
Be prepared to make mistakes (if there even IS such a thing). It’s part of the ride of life…