Here’s the comment from Priscilla:
“I’m a little lost on the strong reaction from Rori. I totally understand the “booty call” thing. But what exactly did the guy do except withdraw and maybe become insensitive to her feelings? It sounds to me like he got scared and gave the typical response most men give when they aren’t ready for a serious relationship. He may be toxic and can’t DO a relationship.
I know none of his reactions were great and I am certainly not defending him! No way! Why couldn’t she just lean back and circular date? Practice the tools. Maybe Regina was Overfunctioning because she didn’t mention her own hobbies and interest. They pretty much did everything together. She also said they each have their own place. She could have went back to her place, stop being so available and set some basic boundaries for herself and him. Does anyone get what I’m saying here? Maybe some pieces are missing for me, too. Priscilla”
And here’s a comment from Mark:
“Male lurker here. Typically agree with Rori and find her advice intriguing, but in this instance, I don’t really get it either. The guy spent every day with her FOR FOUR YEARS. And for now, it appears he’s not seeing anyone else. That doesn’t sound ANYTHING like a “booty call” to me (and trust me, I’ve had many).
Why not ask him why he’s pulling away? Maybe he has a lot of stuff going on in his life. Maybe he’s going through some emotional issues. Or maybe he’s just not happy with the relationship but is too nervous to bring it up (we men tend to bottle up our feelings you know).
If he doesn’t want to be exclusive and Regina’s uncomfortable with that, that’s fine, but at least give him the benefit of the doubt. You’re operating on very limited information here.
I see this “My partner doesn’t give me what I want, so forget ‘em” attitude a lot in men and women, and I don’t really get it. Running away without actually communicating seems very weak and selfish to me. Mark”
Here’s my take, and the reason for the intensity:
This first series of posts is not about making the man wrong, or about moving on, or about anything cool or reasonable or even understanding anything or learning the lesson.
This is about saying NO.
Even when you don’t have full information.
This is not about throwing things away, or belittling someone or yourself, or talking, or communicating, or arguing, or trying to understand, or giving someone the benefit of the doubt, or even getting into your feelings and expressing them.
Those are all well and good – those are crucial, but they cannot happen until you can say NO.
You cannot say yes to ANYTHING until you can say no to something.
Until you can say NO to what you don’t want, you can’t say Yes to what you do want.
In fact, until you can say NO to what you don’t want, you can’t even KNOW what it is you DO want.
And a person who needs to check a phone or a computer is a person who cannot yet say NO.
This is Regina.
Once you’ve passed this point…you’re into “junkie territory.”
Once you’ve passed this point there IS no rhyme or reason – at this point you’re being LED by INTENSITY.
Regina FEELS the intensity.
And I want to meet her where she is.
I don’t want to calm her down, or be reasonable. I want to meet her at that point of desperation that feels like the edge of a knife – where whatever you do sends you off the edge and into free fall.
I want her to know that harnessing that intensity will help her dissolve the intensity – and then we’ll get a meaningful baby-step.
Priscilla, your idea is EXCELLENT – once you have a way to keep moving forward and using Circular Dating – but in my experience, most women, especially after 4 years, feel a hormonal and emotional attachment to a man that makes it so much more difficult – if not impossible – to move forward.
I created an entire program around Circular Dating – Targeting Mr. Right – so I could walk you through and motivate you and support you to use this Powerful Tool. It’s the most challenging Tool to get yourself to do, because it’s also the most powerful – so I want to “prep” Regina and get her into a more powerful-FEELING place right away here.
Once a woman’s behavior goes to checking on a man’s phone, we’re into “junkie time.” that’s when I get tough. That’s when I know communication isn’t happening, self-esteem is practically non-existent – and – that’s when I know for sure who has the POWER in the relationship: HIM.
Number one step is getting at least a glimmer of a sense of your power back. Getting yourself back. Regina outlines herself as a woman who really doesn’t feel any personal power, and has no sense of her value, or even who she is, what she wants. Her whole life revolves around this man.
This is the time for boldness. This is the time for getting the concept into your mind, body, heart and spirit that you are about RESCUING your LIFE. This is the time to climb up on the horse.
Regina’s whole world has collapsed, and all she has to hang onto is whatever this man is offering. If she hangs on, she cannot shift her vibe enough to rescue herself. Her only hope with this man is to rescue herself – and if she even considers the idea of hope with this man, it will diminish her resolve to rescue herself.
This is high stakes. This is a turning point. I’ve seen this many, many times.
Now – about the nuts and bolts of the conversation, the baby-steps…
I read my post over and over, and I couldn’t find anything in the speech I wrote for Regina, or my assessment, that made him “wrong” for wanting what he wants. I’m totally willing to be wrong – but I still like the speech. It says the truth about where Regina is, and sets boundaries without attack, and leaves room for her to express dismay, anger, regret, whatever she feels at that moment.
I think it’s very interesting that some of your wonderful insights and thoughts in both of these comments are sort of “cool” – they talk about what a cool girl would do. They are intellectually correct, if seen from a distance.
But Regina is not a cool girl. She is in a crisis. She’s a woman who went to a man’s home every day for 4 years and waited for him because that’s what he wanted her to do. She’s a woman who checked his phone looking for other women, and then let him get ANGRY and felt fear and guilt about it.
Being reasonable is not a place to start. Considering your best interests is not a possible place to start when you’ve never really considered your best interests.
I’ve felt, through these years I’ve been writing about this – how easy it is to give advice, how easy it is to say things that should be helpful.
And yet, at every moment of my life, I can feel my own resistance to even my OWN best advice, and so I know there’s more to it than just knowing what the “right” or “best’ thing to do is.
There must be some kind of IMMEDIATE, INSTANT PAYOFF for each baby-step in order for you to want to keep doing the Tools and baby-stepping – and so that’s why I have so many different ways of going about things.
For Regina – there’s a treasure trove of what she might consider “ugly” feelings to be discovered: anger, rage, terror, revenge. She’s going to have to get in touch with her anger, and use it to propel herself forward – and every time she sees this man, it’s going to feed her “junkie habit.”
We have to help Regina get a hold of herself so she CAN move forward and stand toe-to-toe with this man in a way that will make HER feel better.
I know we want to understand the man’s side (I agree with you that there’s no need to judge this guy – he’s just doing what feels the best to him) and want to know what happened and if there’s any hope here. And i truly appreciate, Mark, you’re offering us here that side of it – would you please continue – it’s so helpful, and if I’m ever wrong, I so want to hear about it
But, since we don’t identify with him (Mark does, that’s so great and helpful) – it’s much harder to look at why Regina has been here for 4 years, and finds herself in this place right now.
I love being provocative, and I’m always thrilled when I read something that makes my fingers move at double speed across the keyboard.
I was passionately moved, and still am, as you can tell, by Regina’s situation, and I’ve been in her situation, and know so many women who have, and I know that in order to do the “Surrender” part of Strong Surrender – in order to allow yourself to be vulnerable and speak how you feel, you have to have the “Strong” going on at the same time. The baby-steps are for both.
Circular Dating is the Tool that works for everything – as Priscilla said – and though I might normally have given Regina baby steps…I just feel that in her situation, the biggest bang for her buck, the fastest way for Regina to get the “Strong” she needs so that when her man shows up – which he WILL – she can “Surrender” – is to say NO to the deal he’s offering.
He’s not suggesting they “date.” He’s suggesting an “agreement.” An “arrangement.” And there is no room for her to ask him “Why” he wants what he wants. She has to say NO.
In the speech I suggested – there is nothing nasty or angry or in any way making him wrong. She simply says NO to his deal. She doesn’t try to negotiate a different deal.
And if any of you have ever been in this kind of situation after 4 years – you know that stepping back is much easier if you’re not sleeping with a man. So she has to say no to that. Her hormones are much stronger than anything else going on right now…she does not have an option to continue to sleep with this man.
Regina is suffering with a problem you men have also when you’re crazy for a woman, but which is pretty STANDARD for us women – which is to sugar-coat, to see only what we want to see, and to lose ourselves in a man and relationship.
The number one thing Regina has to do, in order to get the love and relationship she wants – and in order to BE ABLE to TALK to this man (which is something you know I’m totally about doing first and foremost) – is to get herself back.
You are seeing this from a man’s general viewpoint – of “it’s all okay.” Men do not generally see the “problems” we women see. You men generally (and argue with me here if you like – though I’m guessing you’re a WAY above averagely sensitive man) think that things in a relationship are fine, when we don’t think they are. You tend not to understand why we’re unhappy, even if we tell you in the ways we’ve been taught to tell you.
Did you notice that Regina always goes to HIS place? What would YOU think about a woman who stuck with you for 4 years, without talk of marriage, and always came to your place?
Surely this man can see the distress Regina is in – and yet – and this is KEY – what he wants from Regina – what he STATED he wants – is to be “friends” with her – and YET – sew her up into a sexually exclusive deal.
Now – you tell me – is this something a man who cares about a woman, after 4 years – says? No. this is all about HIM.
He has basically had a great home life with Regina for 4 years, and now wants that home life to continue, but with less contact and less commitment.
Yes – he is withdrawing. And YES, the only way Regina can bring him close again is by NOT DOING what she’s been doing for 4 years. She needs to reverse this completely. If she’s been driving him away by giving and pursuing, then she needs to stop that. If he’s having personal difficulties, but doesn’t feel comfortable talking about it with Regina – her asking him isn’t going to help.
The ONLY thing that will jolt him into even a WILLINGNESS to have a “conversation” with Regina is if her VIBE is different. If after 4 years they do not have the communication for him to do anything but withdraw – Regina needs a new way of communicating.
Strong Surrender requires holding onto your inner strength so you don’t go chasing a man to fulfill you.
In my experience – the only way to begin a conversation a man does not want to have is to feel that you can walk away at any time – and to be able to say – I am FEARLESS about having this conversation, because if we can’t talk to each other, then I’m gone.
And for Regina – that is very, very difficult. Can you see from her letter that she has basically done everything “he wanted”? That he says what he wants and she does it?
This is a psychological issue for Regina, and it’s a case of getting your “diva” on so that you CAN ask him what’s going on, and use my Modern Siren Tools to turn things around.
A man who goes out and gets drunk instead of talking, and a woman who “goes along” are not good candidates for the “heart to heart” conversation that needs to happen here. Heart-to-heart talking is a skill, and you need backbone in order to do it.
Regina needs to tend to her backbone before she can talk – otherwise it will come out the way it always has. He needs to be shaken up with – “I have needs that don’t fit in with your description of the relationship you say you want with me – which is ‘friends with benefits’ – and I don’t exactly know how to talk to you about it. It would feel great to talk about how this happened and how you’re feeling, and when you want to do that, I’d love to talk with you about it, but until then, I don’t feel comfortable with the arrangement you’re suggesting.”
The prevailing wisdom in the “get him back” community of experts is that – if a man does or says something about needing “space’ – the first thing you do is AGREE WITH HIM. “Oh – I’m so glad you said that, you’re right, it’s the right thing to do, this isn’t working the way it should, you’re so right, and I’ll be fine.” And then you smile, and go out and date every man or woman who shows up in your life.
And yes – this works great. Only – it’s a lie.
No one feels that way when someone you love withdraws and goes away. No one.
Yes – it pulls them back. Yes, it works for a minute. Yes, it even makes them jealous. Sometimes.
But then, you have to keep it up. You have to always stay at arms distance. You can never stop lying.
And I am completely opposed to this.
The whole core of my work is about telling the truth – and the truth is that Regina is heartbroken, mystified, thrown for a loop, totally confused, and has deeper feelings that are hard to even connect with – rage and terror. How can things be brilliant for 4 years and then suddenly dissolve?
Mark – you know the answer to this.
Something happened. Regina’s man was going along, content, and something happened. Something shook him up, and he no longer felt “content.” He no longer felt “in love” – if indeed he ever did – and suddenly, contentment wasn’t enough.
Well – there’s a big, big difference between “contentment” and what you need to commit to a woman forever.
He is trying to EXTEND his “contentment” at Regina’s expense.
REGINA HAS TO ASK HIM WHAT HAPPENED. YES. But the basis for that conversation is not there. and the reason it’s not there is because Regina is still at his “beck and call” – emotionally.
This is not “cutting bait.” A man is not a fish. Fish do not yearn to jump in the boat and be eaten.
But a man yearns to throw himself into the heart of a woman who can appreciate and love him – and above all – love HERSELF.
This is the step I want to help Regina recover – her love for herself. In that process, her man may rekindle his feelings for her – if, as I said before – they were ever more than “friends with benefits” – and I doubt that they were.
There’s so much here – let’s keep the discussion going. I don’t have to be right. REALLY. Actually there IS no right. I try to see what’s really there, to the best of my ability, without rose-colored glasses – and to suggest you take the STRONGEST steps that will get you where you want to go the FASTEST.