The last thing in the world I want any woman to do is to WAIT for a man.
Putting your life – and I mean your LOVE LIFE, too – on “hold” while he’s “finding himself,” or “discovering things,” or “taking space to figure things out,” or “deciding if he’s really ready for a serious relationship,” even if he’s separated from you against his own desires for a work or family reason – if you are not married to him – is NOT a good thing.
So – what do you do while he’s doing his thing? Without being “disloyal,” or “unfaithful,” or “not a good woman,” or putting all your eggs in his one basket and waiting around for him to make up his mind?
Here’s a letter from Gina, who’s stuck in this frustrating and upsetting situation (Gina refers to a comment from Nancy – I searched for it, but couldn’t find it…so we’ll have to imagine it):
“Hi Rori! I am writing to ask you a question about my situation, which is similar to that of another writer, Nancy, who posted a question that appeared on your blog in August. My situation has a couple of differences, the key one being the timeframe difference, and I’m wondering if you can help me address them.
I’m 41, divorced, with a four-year-old daughter. Just like Nancy, I am in a wonderful relationship with a man whom I adore and who treats me royally–thoughtful, giving, initiating, in pursuit, kind–to both me and my child. We have been dating for four and a half months, and we speak of the future regularly. He has already purchased airline tickets to go back east to visit my family with me next July, has taken me on a romantic trip already, and mentions things such as hoping we are still together giggling and holding hands in a show 20 years from now, etc.
Also like Nancy, I would be thrilled beyond words to marry this man… although I know that it is premature to think of this four months into a relationship. My boyfriend, J, similar to Nancy’s man, informed me on date #2 that he will never even mention “the M word” until he has been with someone for a minimum of two years. He has repeated this sentiment a couple of times since.
I feel extremely uncomfortable with the idea of giving up two years or more while a man gets to take his time figuring out what to do with me. It bothered me the very first time he said it, and it doesn’t make me feel any better now. I don’t feel it’s fair that he gets to decide on the timeline for the relationship.
Since then we have had two conversations in which he brought up the issue by joking, making remarks to the effect that we could date for nine years and I would view that as perfectly normal (<–this following my sharing a story about my friend who foolishly waited for a man for nine years when everyone else [correctly] knew he would not commit to her.) During these conversations, I did think to say a few things I had read in your blog, such as, “I’m not sure why you think you could have me all to yourself for nine years.”
I made such remarks in a playful manner, and the discussions were light. However, he did ask once how long I would be willing to wait, and I sort of chickened out–didn’t have a firm response. The discussion really went no further than the fact that I considered four or five years to be ridiculous. He is talking about buying a house next summer, which would be just before the one-year-mark in our relationship. So clearly he has every intention of sticking to his “two-year minimum” plan.
I feel very torn and anxious at this point. On one hand, I want to give him the time he needs to heal from previous hurts (excuses, like you pointed out–and certainly not MY fault). I know I cannot, nor do I have any desire to, convince someone to want to put a marriage date on the table within the next year or less. I certainly do not want to lose this man, as I care deeply for him and know he does for me. Like Nancy, I am in what is by far the best relationship I’ve ever had. I know it’s early, but there are many signs already that never existed in previous ones that point to a positive future together. I am truly not interested in dating anyone else, and I enjoy the understanding of exclusivity we have.
On the other hand, I feel very anxious thinking about waiting and waiting… especially since my spiritual convictions are such that I wish to wait for marriage to sleep with him. (I have not been consistent in sexual self-control with him, having slept with him periodically, but he shares my belief system, and we try our best…) I want to have my own needs and dreams fulfilled and have been very good about “leaning back,” using feeling messages with him, and allowing him to take the lead to plan and do things that make me happy.
I am re-reading Nancy’s power speech and trying to write one of my own, but I feel it’s premature to give it at this point–do you??? But how can I avoid becoming like Nancy, finding myself writing to you a year from now when it could feel somewhat desperate to have to give him that speech? Right now my anxiety is only moderate… but ever-present. The idea of circular dating again right now freaks me out a bit and is unappealing…
I so greatly appreciate your thoughts on this. Thank you for all of your ideas and help! Your fan, Gina”
Here’s my answer:
Gina – the answer is – you don’t wait!!! You are sexually exclusive with this man (if you want to be – I make no judgments here about that, just want you to be physically safe and take care of yourself emotionally 100%), and you Circular Date.
Now – Circular Dating doesn’t have to mean you actually DATE someone else.
But the very fact that YOU consider that you are FREE until you are engaged will make you feel like you’re not waiting.
You can flirt, you can talk with other men, you can practice ALL my Tools with other men, Feeling Messages – ALL of it. You can go to classes and lectures and talk with men, you can basically feel free…
You will absolutely be blown away by how much this shifts your vibe so you feel independent and NOT stuck.
If, as you go along, you feel the need to actually go to coffee or for a walk with another man, you’ll make sure that your man understands what you’re doing…
I know it’s hard to imagine this working for you – most of us have been trained to be “true-blue” to a man, even when it’s not in our best interests, even when it’s completely not RIGHT – when the whole situation does NOT truly call for “true-blue-ness” – and even to things like simply making eye contact with and smiling at another man.
So to find out how this will work for you – you need to try it!
This is all about staying on your Bridge to Your Happy Ever After (in Commitment Blueprint program) and learning and practicing the nuts-and-bolts of Circular Dating (in Targeting Mr. Right).
You must absolutely stick with the “No Girlfriend” speech…so that he knows you do not consider yourself exclusively tied to him, but that you’ll let him know if you plan to actually date anyone else…and that you look forward to a glorious time with him discovering each other!
In other words – you’re all about having a good time – not about getting to the finish line…