More About Friends With Benefits and Strong Surrender

Oh, wow – my Friends with Benefits post got some strong reactions…let’s go further..

Here’s the original post:

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.

Love, Rori

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103 Comments to “More About Friends With Benefits and Strong Surrender”

  1. 1: DariaNo Gravatar says:

    I love this Rori! This so speaks to me and my situation with “man who’s having a baby.”

    I feel so glad I stepped back – for MYSELF. I used to see him everyday and yes it was “junkie” like. The emotions are so intense even when I saw him last Saturday after months I felt Totally Overwhelmed.

    Definitely needed the space from him to regroup and feel like I don’t have to care for him, worship him, need him.

    I don’t feel he was ever in love with me, though maybe he could have been minus my overfunctioning. I know he LOVES me… doesn’t seem like he’s “in love” though.

    So glad am starting to see life after him.

    Saturday, 18 April 2009 @ 5:19pm

  2. 2: MelissaNo Gravatar says:

    Rori,

    I completely agree with everything you suggested to Regina! Melissa

    Saturday, 18 April 2009 @ 7:29pm

  3. 3: AnnNo Gravatar says:

    Thank you Rori I love reading about Strong Surrender. So Regina’s obsession with her man ends up with her being like a junkie whose dependant on him. But Rori sometimes “junkies” can’t quit cold turkey. If a person doesn’t have a little love for theirself and want to help theirself noone else can help them.

    So I hope Regina is still reading this blog and knows she’ll find support here.

    Daria you are one smart lady. I’ve been a junkie(about a man) myself before so I know this isn’t easy.

    Saturday, 18 April 2009 @ 7:30pm

  4. 4: DorotheaNo Gravatar says:

    I feel like this is a really relevant post for me; thank you, Rori.

    Saturday, 18 April 2009 @ 9:11pm

  5. 5: TracyNo Gravatar says:

    Rori thanks for posting more on Friends with benefit..
    I feel bad for Regina and what she’s going through and i feel that this is a situation that i have put myself through time and time again…It all boils down to having faith in oneself and speaking the truth about the feelings we feel.
    I felt so triggered when i read the post because though it relates to someone else i felt as though Rori was speaking right at me….
    I have never mastered the courage to Say NO…..especially to people close to me…and as a consequence to that i have endured countless uncomfortable situations and the end result is always Hurt and anger and sadness…Rori is right when she says that unless you learn to say no to what you don’t want then you can never say yes to what you really want…
    Well the guy in my life is back,i guess they do always find their way back…..i guess he felt the change in my vibe and he now feels attracted to me once again…
    He even wants to take me on a weekend out for just the two of us…..Problem is still no sign of commitment from his end and though i was really excited about going out with him,i feel that i deserve more than that…i want more than that…..But i didn’t tell him that…i didn’t say no….
    We went out for drinks……….and he brought up the “Us” situation.I leaned back and tried to express my feelings of the whole situation……..not really how about us…but about myself….I only got started with this whole experience and i realized that i was okay expressing my positive feelings but the negative ones i was keeping to myself….i felt that i needed to be more courageous and say the bad feelings as well…….I felt scared though and i guess i do still need to work on my inside and be strong enough to say how i feel especially when i feel bad about something without judging or putting blame on the other person…

    Sunday, 19 April 2009 @ 12:25am

  6. 6: TracyNo Gravatar says:

    So here i am pondering on whether i should go with him and this post comes up and i am like Voila!
    I feel love for this guy,i like spending time with him and i feel connected to him….i feel i want a commitment something serious….i feel that though he’s attracted to me,and maybe he even cares……he is not/cannot commit…He’s comfortable with how things are at the moment and that’s the truth.
    so where does that leave me….
    I feel confused and i feel scared that going on this getaway with stir my emotions and i will loose my balance and it does not feel good to do that….
    i feel that he’s my messenger for me to learn to stand for myself and my happiness…and for me to learn to say NO when something doesn’t feel right….
    I feel happy that at i can finally identify with my feelings though i am still having problems relaying them…i feel hopeful and excited at my progress…
    Anyway back to my guy problem…so i feel the need to express all these when i do see him again…If he does bring i up,i want to be able to say no,express my feelings and let it go…

    Sunday, 19 April 2009 @ 12:36am

  7. 7: DeenaNo Gravatar says:

    Brilliant post Rori!

    I do now get where you are coming from.

    I guess you gotta know when to hold them and know when to fold them.

    Regina’s guy was offering a my way or the highway situation that had no benefit to Regina.

    This post is so timely for my current situation and I finally said NO and He double toothpicks NO to the guy that has been dragging me along for years.

    I had been taking the baby steps. Being a goddess and a rare flower, joining some different social groups and not spending so much time at his place. This weekend and last I didn’t feel like sex with him so I didn’t.

    Then something happened that makes me fear I might have to leave the country(layoffs). I was so upset about it and went over to his place. We were talking about it and I asked him what if I was forced to leave. I guess I was fishing for him to say he would marry me and he didn’t.

    The today it all just fell apart. I WAS speaking my truth! The situation came up again and I said what if I was forced to leave and he said, well you’d just have to leave then. :O

    I was thinking He double toothpicks no. I said you mean to tell me you would just let me go just like that. He said well there isn’t anything I can do. I said well would you marry me if I had to leave? He just got a strange look on his face and then said oh everything will work out fine. He wouldn’t answer me.

    I said, Wow just wow. I said you would just let me leave just like that? I said wow. I thought I meant something to you but I guess I really don’t.

    I told him that I wasn’t going on with things as they are and I was taking a huge step back. He asked me what that meant. I said we are just dating. Casual clothes on dating and I’m keeping my options open.

    I really should have dumped him but I didn’t.

    I am proud of myself for ending this all in his favour arrangement though!

    Sunday, 19 April 2009 @ 2:19am

  8. 8: Linda GNo Gravatar says:

    This post triggers me as well. Finally, last summer I was able to say no the guy I was involved with. I told him I was there but I needed to know, to feel he was with me on continuing the relationship. He responded with silence, then with a , if that’s what you think, go on, go. So I did. That would have been a great saying no to what I didn’t want. But then I panicked and triied to take it back, like, can’t we just see what happens.
    Seems I could say no to him, but not to myself.

    Sunday, 19 April 2009 @ 8:04am

  9. 9: ErikaNo Gravatar says:

    “This is about saying NO.

    Even when you don’t have full information.”

    Wow, that really hit the mark for me, Rori.

    And this is what “no” sounds like for me:

    “I love you very much and I’ll miss you, but I do not want an uncommitted relationship.”

    Sunday, 19 April 2009 @ 8:52am

  10. 10: ErikaNo Gravatar says:

    Rori,

    This may be the most powerful post you’ve ever written. It resonates with me very deeply right now.

    I wrote about it on my blog and shared my own personal experience with this:

    http://awakeningfromthedream.blogspot.com/2009/04/more-for-my-female-readers-why-saying.html

    It’s not about the man, it’s about Regina.

    Love,
    Erika

    Sunday, 19 April 2009 @ 9:47am

  11. 11: MarkNo Gravatar says:

    “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.”

    I think this is the crux of the situation. The impression when I got when I first read it was they were both “junkies” in their own way (nice term btw), him by being emotionally oblivious and unavailable, and her in her own way.

    I understand the point you say about gaining her self esteem back and for such an extreme situation (yes, the phone snooping is pretty creepy), I understand that she needs that. Thank you for clarifying.

    I still empathize with the guy a bit (he sounds like he’s got his own laundry list of issues), it’s just very hard for a guy to not take something like this personally when he feels like he’s done nothing wrong. But I suppose that’s just a break up for you.

    But what about non-junkie situations? I’ve been in “junkie” situations in my past and the cut and run strategy has failed (aka, relapse). As a man, I feel like it’s easier for us to “switch gears” in a relationship, from one mode to another (i.e., full commitment to friend with benefits or just friends or whatever).

    Is there such thing as a “non-junkie” commitment for a woman? Or is it a matter of varying degrees? And in these “non-junkie” situations, are these cut and run strategies still necessary?

    Lots of questions there, you could probably write a whole book on them.

    Thanks for the response,
    Mark

    Sunday, 19 April 2009 @ 10:49am

  12. 12: ErikaNo Gravatar says:

    Smiles.

    While Mark’s comment has a “logical” appeal to it, this is not a logical issue. It’s an emotional one.

    I’ve done a lot of dating, and I have come to the firm conclusion that logic is a highly unreliable guide for a woman when it comes to relationships. Whereas how she feels is an extremely reliable guide.

    What I would guess about Regina (though I’m willing to be wrong) is that she started feeling crappy about this relationship quite a while ago. But because she didn’t have backbone, she let the situation slide, and it grew worse and worse.

    The problem with that is she essentially trained her subconscious mind to stay in situations that are not good for her.

    Whereas when a woman is in touch with her feelings and has backbone, she notices the dip in feeling immediately and says no immediately.

    A woman who is in touch with her feelings and has backbone knows that what’s important is for her to feel good consistently because this attracts more situations that feel good to her. She is training her subconscious mind to accept only good-feeling situations.

    She is willing to let a man go because she loves herself more than she loves him.

    Sunday, 19 April 2009 @ 11:14am

  13. 13: DariaNo Gravatar says:

    Rori your email today is also so clear and inspiring.

    I mean the concept of Thrills and Safety and how they are provided and how we think we should provide them makes so much sense and feels so good to read.

    I feel motivated.

    I want to FEEL like a Siren, and
    I can attract any man – even the one who now
    thinks of me as a “friend” – at WILL

    I’m getting there right Rori? it feels like I am… I feel close to it…

    Sunday, 19 April 2009 @ 11:33am

  14. 14: DariaNo Gravatar says:

    Mark,

    Rori actually usually advocates “Rori Raye’s third way,” where there is no cut and run (because like you said this is difficult and sometimes we can’t/don’t want to do that)

    The third way is to keep dating the man while also dating others. However in Regina’s case it’s important she build her strength First, because she is so attached to this One man.

    Commitment from a woman in a “non-junkie” way would be marriage, or “walking off in the sunset together.”

    Another kind of “mini” – commitment a woman might be ok with would be sexual exclusivity with one man, but still dating others.

    Sunday, 19 April 2009 @ 11:39am

  15. 15: DariaNo Gravatar says:

    I don’t know exactly how to make my life feel Passionately Happy.

    I mean ive definitely made improvements.

    However what makes me really happy is being around other people that I can laugh with. I feel like this is being dependant on others (though I could be wrong).

    I want MORE of this.

    I keep tryna think of things i can do ALONE to make me happy and Im starting to feel like its too much aloness lonely mountain meditating hermit woman.

    I want to kick it with my friends!

    I freakin live in a non easily accesible part of town and far away from some of my good friends.

    If I lived smack in the middle of where they lived that would be fun, but I feel worried that would be leaning forward… or not?

    my girl said to me yesterday “way to live out in nowhersville daria”, when i told her its very hard for people to get to me and impossible for those without cars.

    Raurrrrgh

    I feel frustrated

    Also I dont like people coming to my house because I live with my parents and dont feel totally emotionally safe (I feel terrified) having them meet my freinds because I worry they will be judgemental and/or fight with me, be mad at me, kick me out?

    Sunday, 19 April 2009 @ 12:02pm

  16. 16: MarkNo Gravatar says:

    Daria: Thanks for the clarification. I like the “Third Way,” but I agree, it’s easier said than done, for both men and women.

    Sunday, 19 April 2009 @ 12:03pm

  17. 17: LinmayuNo Gravatar says:

    The question of logic vs. emotions in relationships is an interesting one. I feel admiration for Mark’s earnestness and desire to logically wrap his head around the complexities of relationships. There is something very endearing about it.

    And I can’t STAND it when a man tries to be logical with me ABOUT our “relationship.” It feels very cold. My ex became that way when we were breaking up. “We fight, therefore I don’t love you, therefore let’s break up.” And now, recently, I’ve had several guys in a row online start the conversation with twenty questions, job-interview-style, that basically ask whether I meet this man’s criteria for dating.

    Believe me, I totally get that you (men in general) don’t want to waste time, energy, and heart on someone who clearly isn’t going to work for you. I feel the same way. But, this line of questioning feels vulgar to me and I feel turned off. I feel whatever attraction I had to the man go swirling down the toilet. I want to be wooed, not pre-qualified. END RANT.

    Sunday, 19 April 2009 @ 12:23pm

  18. 18: ErikaNo Gravatar says:

    I appreciate that Mark was willing to share his perspective here.

    I’m off to the hills for some mountain biking on this glorious day.

    Here’s wishing Regina a beautiful white horse for riding off into the sunset :-)

    Sunday, 19 April 2009 @ 12:25pm

  19. 19: MarkNo Gravatar says:

    I’m very weary of basing relationship decisions solely on emotion. Emotions fluctuate inconsistently, especially in break up situations.

    How many of us have broken up with somebody and three days later had that feeling like, “Oh shit, what did I just do?” For those of us who have actually acted on that emotion, we know that it leads no where good. There are countless examples like this and I don’t have to go through them because we’ve all lived through them — pure, unbridled emotion often leads to poor decision-making.

    As with any extreme, I think an “emotions only perspective” can lead down some dark paths, just as a “logic only” perspective leads down some very cold and grey paths, as you experienced Linmayu.

    There needs to be a balance: decisions made based on emotions but with the guidance of reason. Men tend to ignore the former in favor of the latter while women often make emotional decisions without consulting their reason as to whether it’s a good idea or not until it’s too late. Regina is a perfect example of this.

    In fact, Rori’s prescription in this very post is a prescription based on reason to act AGAINST Regina’s emotions.

    I personally believe the path to healthy and sustainable relationships, as with most things in life, is finding a balance of these forces and communicating both of them well.

    Sunday, 19 April 2009 @ 1:11pm

  20. 20: GaylaNo Gravatar says:

    Geez! Thank you Rori and Erika for bringing my attention to this one! I can’t tell you how awesome and incredible this post is for me today! I think a white horse is most certainly in order! Liberation is close at hand… and heart for me… thanks to many, many angels looking out for me.

    And writing blogs for me to notice…

    I wasn’t ready for this one months ago but I wish I had been… to go back and forth in trying to support his way of creating space between us was destroying me… Saying NO is simply the only way to be able to see myself clearly again…

    Thank you for clarifying all of the deeper details about what happens in this situation to a woman’s self worth…

    Gayla

    Sunday, 19 April 2009 @ 1:19pm

  21. 21: LinmayuNo Gravatar says:

    You’re right, Mark, reason and emotion must both be used. I’ve drawn my line in the sand on the emotional side of things because I feel that as a woman, I’ve been powerfully indoctrinated to ignore and deny my emotions in order to better be able to fit in a man’s mold. I’ve somehow absorbed, throughout youth and young womanhood, the idea that we women are just weaker, lesser versions of men, rather than being amazing creatures who are worthwhile in our own right BECAUSE of, not in spite of, our emotional nature.

    I’d rather believe that being a woman, and everything that goes along with it, is a strength. This doesn’t mean I’m going to deny my rational mind or try not to use it. I’m actually very logical about relationships, in a way that almost goes without saying. Logic tells me, for example, that a man who requests sex on the first interaction or uses our first phone conversation as an opportunity to rant and rave about what’s wrong with the world probably isn’t the right person to have a relationship with.

    “How many of us have broken up with somebody and three days later had that feeling like, “Oh shit, what did I just do?” For those of us who have actually acted on that emotion, we know that it leads no where good.”

    INDEED; so much truth in that. That road leads to a whole lot of pain and suffering.

    Men and women, at least conscious men and women, probably want a lot of the same things: love, healthy relationships, companionship, commitment, great sex, etc. But we go about the process so differently that the whole world seems to believe that women only want commitment and men only want sex. I believe that heaven lies in finding the common ground that does exist, but both partners have to be capable of finding it, which is much easier said than done.

    Sunday, 19 April 2009 @ 1:44pm

  22. 22: ssgrenNo Gravatar says:

    I am so confused. When will Regina know that the basis for the “what happened” conversation is there?

    I have recently been through a similar situation, with my fiance saying he “needed space” (after 8 years). Things weren’t perfect with a lot of external stresses and irritations, but he ended the relationship in a couple of days: *his* decision, *no* discussion. I am sure I did many things wrong and didn’t spot the warning signs, but I always loved him.

    He only told me “it was too much work”. But aren’t both parties in a relationship supposed to “work” at it constantly? I feel he has just run away, and projected all his unhappiness onto the relationship. How do I get back on my feet again? I can’t cope with the hurt and rejection and abandonment.

    Sunday, 19 April 2009 @ 2:07pm

  23. 23: AnnNo Gravatar says:

    Mark,

    Thank you I LOVE hearing a man’s perspective. I feel you are being a great help to all of us. I hope you keep helping us to understand from a man’s point of veiw.

    Here’s how I interprete what Rori’s tools are for:

    1. To help me learn to focus on myself first, in order to lift my self esteem and recognize what does or doesn’t feel good to me.

    2. To feel my feelings and to speak what I feel in a way a man can hear. For instance I feel as myself and the other ladies are responding to you on this post, you’re recognizing more of what we’re saying. Whether you agree or disagree. However, if anyone was to respond to you by yelling or saying deroggetory(sp) things communication would become tense and maybe even cease. KWIM?

    3. As we learn to feel our feelings, trust our boundaries, speak our feelings in feeling messages we’ll become our best selves and all relationships will improve.

    Btw feeling messages are about what the woman is feeling, not about blaming the man, or wanting him to fix it. It about us being honest in what we feel, in a way the will help a man or whoever we’re talking to understand what we’re saying. It’s then up to the man or whoever we’re talking to, to decide what they want to do.

    I look forward to hearing what you think.

    Sunday, 19 April 2009 @ 2:34pm

  24. 24: Rori RayeNo Gravatar says:

    Oh–I feel so thrilled with these comments – they are absolutely like brilliant with insight and ideas…Daria – yes, you’re getting it, and thank you for explaining the “Third Way” so perfectly.

    Mark – I’m so excited to have you interacting here, it is SO helpful.

    And I know this will be helpful to you, too – men and women work differently in this “reason vs. emotions” thing. And the hormones work differently.

    (Here – I started writing so much I’ll turn it into a new post….) Love, Rori

    Sunday, 19 April 2009 @ 3:20pm

  25. 25: ErikaNo Gravatar says:

    Perhaps I haven’t been clear enough what I mean about making decisions based on feelings.

    I am NOT talking about following feelings that shift and change so that I make a decision and then second-guess myself the next day.

    I’m talking about INTUITION. It’s a feeling-based voice that comes through loud and clear and for me is no longer subject to second-guessing. That doesn’t mean I don’t ever change my mind, but it’s not in that reactive way of ego-based thinking.

    Logic, to me, has no role in relationships. That’s because the truth is no one makes relationship decisions based on logic. Both men and women commit for emotional reasons. Logic, in my experience, has been a way that I or someone else talks me out of feeling what I feel. Which does in fact lead to the boomerang effect of making a decision one day and changing one’s mind the next.

    When I have followed a man’s lead and become super vulnerable with him, maybe had sex with him, based on my understanding (which I thought was shared) that we were building something together,
    - I don’t want to read about his girlfriend on the internet, and
    - I don’t want to be in a situation where I have no clear guidance about where the relationship is going.

    I am not willing to stake my happiness and future on “maybes.” Not now and not ever.

    These things are not something I’m going to change my mind about. And I would not have made the choice to become vulnerable with him in the way I did if that had been my understanding.

    Now, of course I care about him, but I care about myself more. And I’m not willing to have anything to do with the situation as it currently stands.

    That is intuition. That is having standards and boundaries. That is what being a woman is all about, the ability to say no to what doesn’t feel good. To say it, to say it firmly, and to stick by what’s in my heart no matter what.

    Sunday, 19 April 2009 @ 4:52pm

  26. 26: ErikaNo Gravatar says:

    p.s. This isn’t about blaming him. I don’t blame him for wanting to have it both ways. You might even say it’s human nature. But trying to have things both ways will destroy the relationship through unclarity and resentment. And I refuse to participate in that. I’d rather he stay with her.

    Sunday, 19 April 2009 @ 5:22pm

  27. 27: MarkNo Gravatar says:

    Linmayu: We definitely see eye to eye, ESPECIALLY about the “feminine strength.” Intense female emotional whims, while they often drive us men crazy, they are ultimately what draw us to you and bring out the best in us. I’m glad to hear that you’ve worked through this. That’s beautiful… literally! :)

    Ann: Thanks for the summary. That makes sense and fits a lot of the best content on the men’s side of the fence as far as dating advice is concerned: learn to communicate with oneself, and then learn to communicate with others.

    Your last paragraph is where it gets sticky for me. Although I’ve worked on this stuff for years and been in dozens of relationships, the emotional outbursts still catch me off guard now and then. When women express their feelings in that moment it’s just so counter-intuitive to us men to not take it at face value. I have to remind myself that it’s just a moment and that it will pass, and there’s not necessarily any blame being thrown around or that it’s not personal.

    Erika: I have to respectfully disagree with your philosophy on relationships. And that’s fine. You’re right to care about yourself more than him or the relationship.

    Your PS is important to hear. My best wishes are with you.

    It’s been a pleasure communicating with you ladies in this thread and the one a couple weeks ago. I didn’t know what to expect when I first jumped into the fray, but you all have been very warm, accepting and thoughtful in your responses. Thank you.

    Sunday, 19 April 2009 @ 7:10pm

  28. 28: KikiNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Rory & Friends,

    This article is powerful and quite truthful. When one is addicted to someone, it is crucial that time is taken to nurture oneself without contacting the addictive person.

    My personal issue is this- what does a woman do when she breaks that addiction and the person comes back?? I gave myself a lot of space after a sad break up. The fellow wanted to be friends. At first I said yes(I hadn’t read any of these good articles yet), then I said no, then we had a talk with feeling messages, now we’re back to friends. He tried the friends w/ benefits thing with me recently and I said no. I really love that guy, but I feel like I should circular date to find the RIGHT guy who wants a commitment like I do. Do you have any more suggestions?
    Best to all of you!
    K

    Sunday, 19 April 2009 @ 7:16pm

  29. 29: AnnNo Gravatar says:

    Mark,

    Thank you for responding to us. Also thank you for what you said about my last paragraph being the sticky part.

    Here’s what I said in my above last paragraph:”Btw feeling messages are about what the woman is feeling, not about blaming the man, or wanting him to fix it. It about us being honest in what we feel, in a way the will help a man or whoever we’re talking to understand what we’re saying. It’s then up to the man or whoever we’re talking to, to decide what they want to do.”

    Mark what it sounded like your talking about to me is when a woman has a emotional meltdown in front of a man. Which isn’t limited to but could include yelling, screaming, crying, maybe throwing things etc… This isn’t what I’m talking about.

    Mark let see if I can explain better. I feel like my explaination might of been confusing. I feel as woman we sometimes say things when talking to a man like “I feel so angry at YOU because YOU did this, that or the other.” Or YOU hurt me so bad when YOU did xyz. Or if YOU really loved me you’d do this for me.

    If I was to say that to a man it wouldn’t be me using feeling messages it would be me blaming a man, or trying to control him. A feeling messages is simply about how I feel. It doesn’t have any YOU in it.

    Which doesn’t mean a man isn’t a very important part of the conversation or involved in what’s going on, it means I need to stay with my feelings instead of blame.

    Right now I feel a little unsure. I feel I understand feeling messages even tho I haven’t got them ingrained as first nature. I would feel very grateful for any help explaining ladies.

    Mark I hope to keep this conversation going I’m learning from you also.

    Sunday, 19 April 2009 @ 7:46pm

  30. 30: AnnNo Gravatar says:

    ssgren,

    Hugs sorry I missed your post earlier. I feel what I’m going to say might sound trite but it’s the best thing I know to say. Focus on making YOU happy. Read around this blog, work the tools. Do things that feel good to you. Keep posting and joining in here.

    Sunday, 19 April 2009 @ 7:56pm

  31. 31: DariaNo Gravatar says:

    I Feel angry I feel angry I feel angry. I want something fun to do right now to shift to feeling good and I DONT KNOW WHAT BUT MAYBE WRITING HERE IN CAPS WILL BE WHAT I NEED.

    I FEEL SOOOOOOOOOO MAD
    .. FUCK FUCK FUKKKKKKKKKKKK
    RRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRUUUUUUUUUGH

    I FEEL TURNED UP POUTY DUCK LIPS!!!

    I FEELE ANGER

    I FEEL LIKE PUSHIGN PEOPLE AWAY

    GEAT AWAY FROM MEEEE

    REAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARGYH
    IU FEEEL SO MAD!!!

    That did kinda feel better as I feel like yawnign.

    I feel apprehensive about seeing the person I feel mad at. I feel annoyed about being in the same house with them right nwo. I feel like trapped. I also feel embarassed to go out by myself.

    Fuck that I feel like going out by myself actually now.

    Thanks.

    Byes.

    Sunday, 19 April 2009 @ 7:59pm

  32. 32: AnnNo Gravatar says:

    Ladies and gentlemen,

    We will be in Memphis, Tn tomorrow for my hubby’s dr visit. I don’t know what the dr will say. I feel anxious but been trying to keep my mind occupied. I’ll be reading tomorrow(at least during the day) from my mobile so won’t be able to post much. But look forward to reading about what’s going on with each of you and how you’re working the tools.

    Please send us good vibes and prayers. Thanks.

    Sunday, 19 April 2009 @ 8:00pm

  33. 33: AnnNo Gravatar says:

    Daria, “HUGS” Hope you feel better soon. The caps yelling was neat and authenic WTG.

    Sunday, 19 April 2009 @ 8:02pm

  34. 34: DariaNo Gravatar says:

    OMG I feel so gooooooood!!!!

    I had acupuncture today and was feeling great and energetic and although I felt mad a little after that as earlier post shows I did communicate in feeling messages as I was leaving.

    Then I went and cruised around town by myself and felt GREAT. OMG it felt awesome… I was singing along to the radio and dancing…

    Then at the end of my trip on the way home I was passing by this convertible with 4 cute guys!… sometimes I would be afraid to look at guys that are cute but I actually made I contact and smiled because I was feeling so happy dancing to the radio….

    they pulled up near me and were smiling, I felt a little of my scaryness come back and I felt like the vibe was broken a little, I still feel I did way better than before though!!! YES!!!! I even pretend raced them a little! Then at the end they went a diff way then me and I waved them bye… I dont feel sad that i didnt get to talk to them because it was just super awesome practice

    I always loved driving and I am going to remember to add it to my fun things to do list.

    Also while driving I was pondering and realized that smoking weed really brings out my fears… like the fear of looking people in the eye… or fear of getting robbed… these fears are way amplified so when I’m smoking regularly I feel scared a lot for a long time which doesnt feel good…

    drinking alcohol on the other hand kinda diminishes these fears and I feel so open and social.

    I want to feel open and social as much as my heart desires without alcohol and feel fluid and orgasmic without weed.

    yay !

    Angels can you help me with that?

    Yes they would love to. (they always say that)

    yay thanks!!

    BTW asking angels for help even in my mind like I just did really works. I mean its worked Everytime

    even on being on time to work when it wouldve seemed nearly impossible

    Sunday, 19 April 2009 @ 9:12pm

  35. 35: MonicaNo Gravatar says:

    Hello all, this’ll be my 1st posting. I’ve been married for 22 yrs. End of Jan.’08 due to the industry my husband was in experienced a slow down and cost tremendous trickled down stress. He was a consultant to large companies which meant his head is on the line all the time. He always put in 120% of his effort 24/7 for long hours.

    Early Jan. ’08 he was blamed for something that wasn’t cost by him at all yet because something happened the superior needed to save his own ass had to jeopardize some people, 4 people and my husband was one of them. The stress trickled down to me with bills to pay and money running out I lost it when he announced he’d to take his business overseas, some 12K miles away.

    By May ’08 he started to become distant in his communication by July I suspected extra marital affair but had not proof. My proof came in end of Oct. through Dec. At the same time starting Feb.’08 I experienced heavy bleeding due to fibroid in my uterus which subsequently ended up in me having a TAB (hysterectomy) in Dec.

    My husband refused to discussed about my findings re his paramour. We have 3 children, 19, 17 and 15. My whole world turned upside down, inside out, threshed and through the spin cycle! Tears, insecurity and suicidal thoughts. I was fighting for my life, my faith and what to do. I have to be grateful that due to my cry out to God that I wish to live that He help me walk through the valley of darkness. It wasn’t an easy walk! True to His faithfulness when I was contemplating suicide one morning He put a voice in a dear friend of mine to call me when she was on her way to work. When the phone rang I’d no intention to answer the phone but some nagging voice said to go pick up the phone. That broke my suicidal thought from progressing; I believe saved my life.

    I slowly opened up my troubled life to a small handful of closed friends and family in Jan. ’09. Due to their relentless support and prayers I slowly grew stronger. I gained ground from under my feet reading the bible, counseling, reading blogs and material on surviving marital affair and troubled relationships. I found out that I have to let go and let God. Take care of myself, forgive those that hurt me in the past. Learn to receive the Holy Spirit and trust it to guide me in the ways that’s pleasing to God. Help me to have compassion for all those who’d hurt me and ask God to help me see how He would see them. Pray for them and for them to open their hearts to receive the Holy Spirit. Believe God has a plan and He is God of all possibilities; He is the creator of the universe. -His love for me is unconditional
    -He loves me and will never forsaken me
    -I have strength according to His riches and glory
    -I’ll have all the needs I’ll ever need
    -My trust for Him will never be taken away from me
    -I have hope in eternal salvation

    Before my hope and faith in God, I focused on earthy and materialistic gains. I lived in constant fear and doubts that created a downward spiral in my mental instabilities and my physical health also plummeted. I became suspicious and distrusting. I became an ugly person with full of hatred. My undesirable personality threats emerged and sucked the life out of me. Life is about choices. In the bible it said when you’re hurt don’t sin. I also refused to lower my standard by rushing out to have another relationships because I want to keep my integrity. I want to work on my own personal issues; when I’m a stronger person the choices I make will be a more stable choice.

    Sunday, 19 April 2009 @ 11:50pm

  36. 36: MonicaNo Gravatar says:

    oops, I meant personality traits

    Monday, 20 April 2009 @ 12:26am

  37. 37: LisalisaNo Gravatar says:

    That is the conversation I am still too emotional to have with my ex.

    I am still not at that calm, confident point yet.

    Monday, 20 April 2009 @ 3:05am

  38. 38: MercedesNo Gravatar says:

    Rori: I was triggered by your original post on this as well, but it wasn’t about your advice to her. You are so right…she is a junkie…I’ve been there and NOTHING good comes of following a man and checking his phone, etc. It’s the picture of low self-esteem and I hope to never, never, ever, ever get to that place again.

    My trigger came from telling her he “could be frequenting prostitutes for all you know” when the man himself was the one who asked to be sexually exclusive (to me…even though I do NOT think she should be sexually exclusive with this man…not at all…that means he’s telling her he isn’t having sex with anyone else either). It’s one thing if for some reason you think he’s going to cheat on her while she is exclusive…but nothing in the letter you posted gave me any reason to think that part was a lie. Maybe we missed part of the background on this???

    The other thing was that when you told her to cut all contact, you also said “call the police if you feel you need protection.”. I agree with the statement itself…certainly, if she needs protection she should call the police. What I didn’t see was anything in her letter that indicated there was a problem with that. In ANY situation if a woman is in fear she should call the police but I’ve read many, many letters from women writing to you and this one (although just as sad and horrible of a situation) didn’t seem any more violent than most of the others…and some of them (and some of the posts here) will at times make me want to scream “GET OUT and CALL THE POLICE!!”. This one didn’t seem dangerous in a physical sense (psychological….YES…that’s been done to her and she’s got a lot of work ahead)

    So for me…it’s not your overall advice that seemed so strong. She DOES need to get out and stop the contact, build herself up, say no, gain some self-esteem, circular date and learn to love herself and SET BOUNDARIES. It was simply the reaction of how this man is so horrible she should be in fear of catching some horrible disease and needing to call the police…when…according to the letter, he’s a man who wants out unless she’s willing to be a doormat…in which case he’s willing to be an ass who’ll use her and take advantage of it. But…I see no indication that this man who’s willing to be an ass is also a dangerous ass.

    Much Love,
    Mercedes

    Monday, 20 April 2009 @ 7:34am

  39. 39: ErikaNo Gravatar says:

    Rori,

    You made another interesting point in your article:

    “if she even considers the idea of hope with this man, it will diminish her resolve to rescue herself.”

    Something I’ve noticed about myself as I’ve evolved the past few years is that there is no longer any room for “hope” in my dating life. A relationship is either here now, or I’m not interested. This has been a big shift for me, because it pretty much eliminates that “junkie” pattern you are talking about.

    In the past, I might stay stuck on a guy for a while due to “hope.” Nowadays, if the guy doesn’t step up, I simply move on. It feels much better, emotionally much cleaner. “Hope” sounds like a positive word, but it’s really not when it comes to one-itis.

    - Erika

    Monday, 20 April 2009 @ 8:08am

  40. 40: LinmayuNo Gravatar says:

    Indeed, Erika. Every time I allow myself to have hope to turn things around with my ex, I spiral downwards. There’s nothing good about that kind of hope. I guess I’m a junkie too–and therefore I can see why it’s so important to quit that guy cold turkey.

    I think that’s also why Rori decided to go all out and scare that poor girl with thoughts of violence and dread diseases. She needs to be shaken out of her cage, whatever that takes.

    Monday, 20 April 2009 @ 8:54am

  41. 41: GaylaNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Rori! I wrote a blog about why a friends with benefits relationship wouldn’t be the best choice for me… It has been really helpful to have your voice speaking directly to my situation at this time… I’m wondering if I could email you directly about a project I think you would love to know about, possibly be involved in and that would benefit your community and your work… my email is here on the blog… if you can’t see it, comment on my blog and I’ll get back in touch so we can communicate off blog.

    Thank you so much for the incredible work you are doing!
    ~Gayla

    Monday, 20 April 2009 @ 9:09am

  42. 42: GaylaNo Gravatar says:

    Oh… here’s the post…

    Creating Separation, Presence, Unity
    (what’s really involved in a friends with benefits offer?)

    http://enlightenedrelationship.blogspot.com/2009/04/creating-separation-presence-unity.html

    Monday, 20 April 2009 @ 9:11am

  43. 43: ErikaNo Gravatar says:

    people ridicule my celibacy stance, but every time I have premarital sex I regret it. The truth is, when I look deep in my heart, I don’t want to have sex with a man unless he is committed to me forever. I will follow my own guidance on this one and never do it again. I suspect that deep in their hearts many women feel the same way I do, and that Tom McKnight is closer to the truth on this one than anyone has been willing to acknowledge.

    Monday, 20 April 2009 @ 9:55am

  44. 44: LinmayuNo Gravatar says:

    I meant to say earlier, I feel pleased about Tracy’s courage and progress with the tools, and I feel that when she’s with the guy, she’ll have some kind of a breakthrough.

    I feel inspired by Deena’s HELL NO and Daria’s cruising around town by herself and flirting with 4 hot guys in a convertible.

    And I feel highly amused because of something I did involving my ex. Right now I have the computer I had when we were living together, and I don’t want it anymore because it reminds me too much of him, plus he built it so if something went wrong with it I’d have to contact him. Turns out that he got a Dell from work and is amenable to making a trade. Well, I don’t know if everyone does this, but in the process of setting up computers, he always gives them a name (I think it’s so they can be on a network). He named it meyna. I felt angry that he’d named the computer without consulting me, and told him I didn’t want it anymore unless he changed its name to makani. He totally did–he has no idea why I’d requested that name–and now I feel so very, very amused.

    Also, I don’t want to say too much out of respect for the man in question, but things are beginning to turn wonderful with someone in my rotation. I saw him two nights ago and at one point, I had a memory of my ex and just started freaking out inside. I started to feel like I was settling for someone who was just not right because he didn’t automatically “get” me the way my ex had. Well, he knew something was up and asked what was wrong and I expressed it very cleanly and simply using feeling messages, and we had an amazing evening together, and I feel very attracted to and turned on by him now. And of course now I feel scared that because I really like him I’ll lose my sexy vibe and he’ll lose interest, but we’ll see what happens.

    Monday, 20 April 2009 @ 10:05am

  45. 45: RobinNo Gravatar says:

    Mark,

    Thank you for being here, You are helping us through the process, and we are learning a great deal from you.

    I wanted to comment on the logic v. emotion discussion. Something that’s really the BASIS for relationships and is critical for channeling feelings is the concept of BOUNDARIES. This is where a balance really begins to develop.

    I have to agree with Erika. You love yourself first. This is just so very, very important. You develop your boundaries. When you have solid boundaries, your intuition really starts to flourish, and you find yourself willing to listen to your intuition. This also makes seeing red flags way easier.

    A close mentor of mine recently told me that you know you’ve made the right decision when your heart and mind are in agreement. Well, to me, personal boundaries and really tapping into your intuition does just that; it aligns your heart and mind…

    Taking care of and loving yourself FIRST, and having boundaries just makes sense logically, because it is no one else’s responsibility but your own. You can only control what you do and you are ultimately responsible for your own happiness.

    And at the same time, taking care of yourself protects your heart, by raising and preserving your self esteem, it reinforces those positive boundaries, and you are suddenly tapped into your intuition, in your body and NOT in your brain, trying to analyze, but instead really feeling what your body is telling you; then you are really in your feminine power. Rori teaches about the essence of our feminine power, and the strong part of the “Strong Surrender”, which is all about positive, healthy personal boundaries and following our feelings; they really are such a wonderful, precious gift we have that is part of what makes our femininity so powerful.

    Ann, I am totally with you, that The feeling messages are meant to express your feelings w/o attacking or blaming a man, so that you are “Respecting the Masculine”, and doing the ‘surrender’ part of Strong Surrender, which Rori explains as speaking from your feelings and allowing yourself to be vulnerable in a man’s presence

    Rori explains that this respect of the masculine, while standing up for yourself and sticking with your feelings and really loving them is what makes a man feel safe. You can’t control other people, so trying just makes me tense, and I find that by respecting the masculine, by not trying to control him, blame or attack, or get him to do something, and by surrendering my urge to control a man ( part of “Strong Surrender”, maybe ?), I feel more relaxed in my body, because I’m not trying to control something I really have no control over…

    The emotional outbursts that men refer to regarding women, makes me think of the “soup” of emotions that Rori talks about. Where your emotions are like a soup, you can’t get to one emotion, and close off another…they are all together, and you have to be able to touch all of them.

    To me, a woman exploding or throwing things, or being ‘dramatic’ is like the soup lid popping off, almost as if so many emotions have been stuffed down and ignored that the pressure builds and builds, and then they come flying out all at once. This in and of itself attests to how powerful our emotions are, and why its SO important to follow our feelings and express them with feeling messages, w/o attacking, as they come up. Then you are not only loving yourself and your feelings, but you are respecting the masculine.

    Monday, 20 April 2009 @ 11:09am

  46. 46: TracyNo Gravatar says:

    Linmayu,
    Thank you so much for the encouragement.I feel inspired to keep on working on myself…
    wow….there is so much to read i have nothing to say…keep posting ladies this is very interesting!

    Monday, 20 April 2009 @ 12:10pm

  47. 47: ErikaNo Gravatar says:

    I feel deeply sad

    Monday, 20 April 2009 @ 12:13pm

  48. 48: jean valgentNo Gravatar says:

    well, when should a guy tell a girl something along the lines of ” I want you to be exclusive with me and not date other men” ?

    providedthat he is/becomes exclusive with her.

    after how many dates? after having sex?

    thanks

    Monday, 20 April 2009 @ 2:32pm

  49. 49: MargaretNo Gravatar says:

    Hey loved the post didn’t really understand this part
    “I want her to know that harnessing that intensity will help her dissolve the intensity – and then we’ll get a meaningful baby-step.” Any insights?

    Monday, 20 April 2009 @ 3:09pm

  50. 50: RobinNo Gravatar says:

    My interpretation was that when your are at that point of desperation, where you are being led by fear ( e.g. just holding onto a man for dear life) you feel like you are spinning out of control, if you ‘harness’ the intensity, of your fear and emotions, and can actually take a step back and tolerate the feeling of fear, it dissolves somewhat.

    I thought it basically meant sinking into, embracing and loving the not-so-fun feelings, so that they are not as intense. I have experienced a negative feeling dissolve after sinking into it. Its like its not so bad after just letting it be there.

    That’s what I thought it meant, maybe just a shot in the dark, but… :)

    Monday, 20 April 2009 @ 3:33pm

  51. 51: ErikaNo Gravatar says:

    I’m enjoying the comments on this thread.

    To tell you the truth, though, I am lividly angry right now.

    I’m angry that we live in a society that permits men to meet their sexual needs at the expense of women’s relationship needs.

    Forgive me in advance Rori, but I’m pretty pissed that even female dating coaches condone premarital sex, when from what I can see on this board and other sites, it results mainly in misery for women.

    I feel angry about all the commenters on my blog who have been so dismissive about abstinence and celibacy and try to use “logic” to talk me out of what I know to be true in my heart.

    And I’m angry that a man can treat a woman’s vulnerability like a plaything and not understand the emotional impact that sex has on a woman. Not understand that of course she will want a real relationship and all that goes with it. It feels like he can’t even SEE her.

    Never again.

    Monday, 20 April 2009 @ 6:12pm

  52. 52: ErikaNo Gravatar says:

    If anyone can answer this question, I’ll be thrilled:

    Why should any woman be sexually vulnerable with an uncommitted man?

    Emotionally vulnerable, sure, the way you’d be open with friends or even strangers in a bar. But sexually vulnerable … I don’t see one good reason.

    Monday, 20 April 2009 @ 6:37pm

  53. 53: DariaNo Gravatar says:

    Erika my answer would be:

    Because She wants to.

    Monday, 20 April 2009 @ 6:51pm

  54. 54: ErikaNo Gravatar says:

    Well, that’s fine as long as she feels good about it later. But honestly I don’t see any benefit to her. And overwhelmingly in seeing dating sites and talking to friends, from what I can tell, women don’t feel good about it later.

    Monday, 20 April 2009 @ 6:58pm

  55. 55: ErikaNo Gravatar says:

    What I see instead is women saying, oh I had sex with this guy and now I’m addicted to him, now I’m not getting what I want in the relationship, and yet I keep going back.

    That’s what I see. Overwhelmingly. And I challenge anyone here to point me to the site where women are having a different experience.

    And yes I am strong enough to cut it off, but that’s what it requires: cutting it off.

    Why would I want that when I so enjoy having men in my life?

    Monday, 20 April 2009 @ 7:05pm

  56. 56: DariaNo Gravatar says:

    Definitely is a person by person, situation by situation thing.

    I feel your trigger, and I felt triggered answering above too.

    All women are different. Some women don’t want a committed relationship or marriage. I do.

    2 weeks ago I wanted to have sex after 9 months of abstinence and I did. And I felt good. I still feel good about it. At the time I didn’t want to have sex with a particular person. I had a few in mind that I had had sex with before that I would’ve been ok with. I physically felt very desiring of sex. I decided to experiment with having sex to see how I would feel emotionally.

    The benefit was that I felt good physically and felt like I satisfied my body’s desire. Another benefit was that I felt proud of myself for experimenting.

    Monday, 20 April 2009 @ 7:10pm

  57. 57: ErikaNo Gravatar says:

    Well, I’m glad to hear that, Daria. That makes me smile. And I’ll be curious to hear how it feels in a few weeks.

    My experience is that it feels good short-term and then feels crappy. I’m open to the possibility that could change but so far I don’t see women in uncommitted situations feeling good about it. Really I don’t.

    And yes I am triggered. Very triggered.

    Monday, 20 April 2009 @ 7:14pm

  58. 58: DariaNo Gravatar says:

    Uhoh… freakazoids Erika now I feel worried.

    I really do think (and feel confident about) that I did this for ME unlike other times when I did it because I liked the man.

    I Don’t feel compelled to do it again with him (as now I feel I want More (more foreplay, maybe more emotional closeness) than what I did at the time – which was just sex).

    I dont’ feel like I like him more (maybe less!) and haven’t talked to him very much since except once when he asked me to hang out with some friends and I was busy.

    It did clear to me some things I WANT and that I don’t feel am receiving from him.

    9 months ago I had had sex with another man that I felt very attached to and yes I did regret that because I felt so hung up on him.

    This feels different. One of the main differences is I am not thinking (oh I have to be with him now, this means something) and creating an imaginary relationship. This was about Me experimenting with my sexuality. I feel open to feeling EVERYTHING I feel about this good or bad, so that I can learn about myself. Yay I feel glad to realize this.

    Monday, 20 April 2009 @ 7:39pm

  59. 59: ErikaNo Gravatar says:

    “This was about Me experimenting with my sexuality. I feel open to feeling EVERYTHING I feel about this good or bad, so that I can learn about myself. Yay I feel glad to realize this.”

    I like the sound of that :-) Especially the part about your willingness to feel good or bad and have it be your experience.

    Monday, 20 April 2009 @ 7:44pm

  60. 60: ErikaNo Gravatar says:

    Anyway, I intend to save my sexual vulnerability for the guy who commits to me beforehand. That way I can really relax into the experience and enjoy it, knowing that our intentions about it are aligned.

    Until then, I’m content to enjoy the non-intercourse intimacy that I have with men. It feels good, it’s a great way to explore the emotional connection, and I never regret it.

    Monday, 20 April 2009 @ 8:01pm

  61. 61: jean valgentNo Gravatar says:

    “And I’m angry that a man can treat a woman’s vulnerability like a plaything and not understand the emotional impact that sex has on a woman. Not understand that of course she will want a real relationship and all that goes with it. It feels like he can’t even SEE her.”

    I beg to differ, I have had sex with several women who did not want a relationship at all EVEN when I wanted that.

    also women are quick to get attached but even quicker when it comes to being detached from a man (i.e. when the love is gone, he is worse in her eyes than a stranger on the streets).

    because many women have been taught at a young age only to sleep with a man if they are in love with him, whenever they sleep with one, some women rationalize that they must have feelings for him…worst yet, when a women feels attracted to another man, she thinks that if what she is feeling is true then her BF/husband is not the “one”.

    you HAVE to read michelle langley’s books Women’s Infidelities and other books related to female infidelities such as the one with Shapiro and others (I ll forward them to you if you leave me your email) they will give you a whole new perspective.

    best.

    Monday, 20 April 2009 @ 9:33pm

  62. 62: Rori RayeNo Gravatar says:

    Wow. So much here. Yes – I was being deliberately shocking and provocative and painting a darker picture for effect for Regina. And – none of that dark picture is, unfortunately, uncommon.

    About the sex. I have the ability to look back, now, and part of my years of desperation and approval seeking and need to be touched – no matter what – was having sex a lot with a lot of men. It was, like most women, my way of attempting to GET commitment and feeling from a man.

    And yet, several of my stories, my affairs with men who did not last – I wouldn’t want to part with. I’m a writer by trade and temperament. An actress, a psychologist, a spiritual adviser, a teacher, an artist, an artist of my life, a liver of my life. And so, rather than looking back and bashing myself over the head or bringing up suffering – I remember that, for me – and this is not to say for everyone – sex was a great teacher. It was a great learning experience. For me, sex WAS a part of finding God and finding myself. I remember Grand Passion as its own reward. I remember moments that I remember, and, like the movie “The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind,” where they had a technology for erasing your memories of a sad love affair, and it actually felt much sadder to erase them than to remember them – I don’t want my memories erased. It’s just my life.

    I was very, very fortunate that disease was not a rampant then, and that I came through that period of time unscathed physically. Also, because sex was involved in a violent crime and then a seduction and betrayal for me – I instinctively wanted to reverse that in the only way I knew how at the time – experience. The way I healed myself was to do what Daria is talking about – experiencing her way through it.

    When you learn the lesson, then you can move on.

    So – I don’t want to be about setting down rules. Even if it’s painful, you may want to learn the painful lesson. Perhaps a man who means you no good can actually give you something. Perhaps a man who is ill-equipped to love still has a powerful message.

    I believe that sex has much to offer as a teacher. the problem happens when we aren’t about learning that lesson, but are instead focused on USING sex to get to the man.

    So, yes, our oxytocin gets activated. Yes, we make ourselves vulnerable in lots of ways, especially health-wise. But, above all – I want you to know how STRONG you all are!

    I want you to know that the time-honored experience of “taking a lover” – can feel good, bad or neutral. It depends on who you are, where you are, who the man is, how old you are, what stage of life you’re in, what he has to offer besides commitment, what you need to learn, what you’re willing to feel.

    The point is to separate out what sex has to offer from any result.

    I do not recommend sex if you are marriage-minded – except with a man you don’t want to marry. Your ability to know which-is-which is part of your journey if this is the way you want to go.

    If you see yourself as Madonna, who wouldn’t blink to take a young lover and then dump him when she meets another…then your viewpoint is quite different than Jennifer Aniston’s, who seems to have a “relationship” with her lovers that cause her pain and waste precious time.

    And, if what you want is marriage – you wouldn’t go the Madonna route, and you wouldn’t go the Jennifer Aniston route. Not because of the possible pain, but because it’s not EFFICIENT. If you try these, you have to be brilliant at handling your feelings and knowing what it is you’re doing. And hardly any of us are, and who would want to work so hard to be that way for such short term stuff? It’s way simpler to pick a plan and stick with it. What feels good to YOU.

    Erika feels good with her plan. Daria is still into experimenting. What do YOU resonate with?

    Love, Rori

    Monday, 20 April 2009 @ 10:09pm

  63. 63: Rori RayeNo Gravatar says:

    Jean, Welcome – and a man can say anything he likes. The only time to be exclusive, in any way but sexually, is when marriage is on the table. Love, Rori

    Monday, 20 April 2009 @ 10:12pm

  64. 64: LinmayuNo Gravatar says:

    Erika, I am with you; I don’t see a single reason to be sexually vulnerable with an uncommitted man. Non-intercourse fulfills my desire for intimacy and touch. Random flirting fulfills my desire to be considered beautiful.

    I love sex. And sex within marriage feels amazing. And sex with someone I merely *hope* will want to be married to me feels good while it’s going on, and horrible afterwards.

    Jean, I have a male friend who reports much the same experience as you have. All I can do is to scratch my head and wonder where the hell you guys are finding these women, because I don’t know any like that!

    And it’s true. I think perhaps when men fall out of love, it turns to indifference or perhaps even friendship–but when I fall out of love, I want to fucking stab the guy to death with a rusty spoon. He’s definitely worse than a stranger in my eyes. A stranger hasn’t broken my heart into tiny little pieces yet.

    Monday, 20 April 2009 @ 10:15pm

  65. 65: Rori RayeNo Gravatar says:

    Welcome, Monica, and I’m so happy you’ve found strength and a belief that is carrying you through and keeping you in a good place. Love, Rori

    Monday, 20 April 2009 @ 10:16pm

  66. 66: Rori RayeNo Gravatar says:

    Kiki, Welcome, and thank you for your comment – and my advice is always to be “friendly” – but not to be “friends.” In other words, if you see him, if he calls, you are warm as you are to all people, but stepping away from him, and NOT making any kinds of plans to be with him as friends. Love, Rori

    Monday, 20 April 2009 @ 10:20pm

  67. 67: Rori RayeNo Gravatar says:

    Jean – oh, thank you so much for your comments. This is true. Many, many women enjoy men for sex the way we hate that men enjoy women. We call it “using” – and yet, often it’s simply enjoying. And yes, we believe we need to be in love after having sex, when we aren’t anything of the sort.

    Some women have a very physical nature and see sex as primarily physical. And some of us have a more emotional relationship with sex. Jean is talking about more physically oriented women. You and I, here, are mostly emotional – because we’re the ones that get all hung up on a man after sex! Discover who YOU are. Rori

    Monday, 20 April 2009 @ 10:24pm

  68. 68: ErikaNo Gravatar says:

    Lol :-)

    I love that Rori posted several times in a row, now I don’t feel so silly for doing it. It was a dark provocative post, and unfortunately like Rori says it’s not uncommon.

    I just did a healing session for a friend — Emotional Freedom Technique — and we cleared a lot of dark childhood memories for her, and I feel a lot lighter. I love teaching EFT because I see the light of hope in someone’s eyes, the discovery that something they have struggled with for years and years suddenly has been lifted off them … and they realize that happiness is within reach after all.

    xoxo,
    Erika

    Monday, 20 April 2009 @ 11:09pm

  69. 69: ErikaNo Gravatar says:

    Linmayu,

    Thank you for your comments yesterday and today. They really touched me. I like how you described the difference between the feeling of uncommitted and committed sex.

    And LOL your stabbing with a spoon. Actually, I don’t feel that. It’s more bittersweet, and frustration that when things became tense, and especially with the trying to have things both ways, it felt to me like he went into his disconnected logical mind … when what had been so beautiful about our relationship all along was the emotional connection.

    But what do I know?

    love,
    Erika

    Monday, 20 April 2009 @ 11:20pm

  70. 70: LinmayuNo Gravatar says:

    Hehe Erika, I think I felt that bittersweetness and frustration too–especially frustration that the emotional connection wasn’t there and that he was using his logical mind to completely disconnect himself from me.

    And THEN after feeling that, I wanted to kill the bastard. There’s an overwhelming feeling of rage that takes me over when I realize I’ve given some part of myself to someone who would only stomp on it. This has been true in friendships and jobs as well as romantic relationships; any time I give too much–even if I was trying to be selfless and expect nothing in return, when I actually GET nothing in return, not even a feeling of accomplishment or of having helped someone, I feel furiously angry.

    Tuesday, 21 April 2009 @ 12:01am

  71. 71: heartbeatNo Gravatar says:

    I feel so much passion for these last few posts. As I was reading Erika’s comment on celibacy I could feel my energy building – admiration for her decision, but also excitement for how my life has played out not being celibate.

    Rori’s comment (put so passionately on her memories of uncommitted sex) spoke directly to me. I even felt a little envious reading it as it is so close to my own experience. Darn she’s pipped me to the post, I thought – what am I going to write now?!

    I was single for many years and I had men as ‘friends with benefits’ i.e. lovers. I went with how I felt, I learned what felt good and who felt good and who didn’t. Not because they weren’t good men but because I was either becoming emotionally attached or I’d agreed to please him more than me. I have fond memories of particular men I could turn to in a crisis, or spend a weekend with, or enjoy their company on the spur of the moment. Great conversations, honesty, being myself and learning

    It’s been possible for me to love a man for who he is, including sex, without wanting to spend the rest of my life with him.

    But if the man I’m in an exclusive relationship with now suggested just being friends wb I’d say NO. I’d walk away. And I’d remember that I’m still in occasional contact with some of those friends from before, so that’s where I’d be heading if I needed that close companionship on a casual basis, and whether it would include sex or not I can’t say.

    Every woman is different, every day, every situation – I agree with Daria – and I’ve led an unconventional life, have an artistic, Celtic temperament, and have lived that life full of joys and sorrows, full to the brim. I would have it no other way.

    Love to you all xxxxxxxxxxxx

    Tuesday, 21 April 2009 @ 12:44am

  72. 72: Linda GNo Gravatar says:

    I am beginning to feel very uncomfortable with this blog stream. It seems to be getting competitive with people telling each other what to do, what the right and wrong way is to feel or behave, judging each others actions or lives. The safe haven quality is being diminished for me.

    Tuesday, 21 April 2009 @ 5:09am

  73. 73: MercedesNo Gravatar says:

    Rori: I understand the tough love approach when someone needs to get out of a toxic relationship. I use it too. I don’t agree with planting the seed that a man is violent and dangerous when there is no indication that’s the case…it feels too much like accusing him of crimes he didn’t commit and that triggers me. But…as the regulars here know, you and I don’t always agree yet have an amazing ability to listen to each other and move forward…I love that about the comments on your blog.
    ;-)

    As far as sexuality. I KNOW from my own experience, I absolutely CANNOT have sex with a man just to simply have sex (anymore…I used to). I LOVE sex…really love it a lot and miss it when it’s not a part of my life, but my heart gets WAY too involved for any experimenting. I respect those who can experiment and hope they are being safe (with their bodies and their hearts) but personally, for me, I have to know the man is committed to me (not that it’s always been this way…men have broken my heart when honestly, they did nothing to indicate I should even be giving them my heart – and I was angry with THEM for it…WOW!).

    Personally, I can’t make love to a man without giving him my heart. If I don’t see him as long term potential, all I can think is “ewww…I don’t want to be naked with you and you do not deserve to see me naked anyway” and if I DO see him as long term potential…well…I make love…I fall in love.

    Just as a lot of advice isn’t for everyone, advice about sex…well…I think it simply has to be a decision we make individually.

    As I said…I’ve made my share of mistakes (man…have I EVER!) and yes, those broken hearts taught me lessons. I’m not the same as Rori in the sense that I WOULD take some (most) of those experiences back. I’ve slept with men who I regret sleeping with. I’d trade the lesson to have my dignity back. I don’t dwell on it and look back and beat myself up over it…but…when I really think about it…yes…I wish I had remained true to myself more often before I actually met myself. I met myself about 3 years ago. I like me. I wish I had given me a chance to get to know that before I did my experimenting with my body and my heart.

    I can’t go back but would if I could. Now…I will enjoy moving forward with the love of my life…and hopefully…with a lot fewer mistakes because I am passionately in love.

    Much Love,
    Mercedes

    Tuesday, 21 April 2009 @ 6:35am

  74. 74: TracyNo Gravatar says:

    wow….
    Thanks ladies for your input…it feels great to read such diverse points of view….
    Rori is right….what is really important is to discover what feels good for me.I realize that i really don’t know what i really want…I Learnt what was okay with society,what was okay from a religious point of view..i feel that i need to integrate it with what feels good for me..i need to discover that….
    Heartbeat,
    Thanks for you input on your past experience….i feel glad that you have evolved and learnt a lot from it…i feel that i am still stuck on what feels good for me and how to go ahead and experience and explore myself…its really easy to follow what other people tell you to do or what they think is right for you…..but i realize that what really matters is to focus on how you feel it impacts on your life and your personal experience…it has to feel right…and discovering feelings is a learning experience and i feel glad i am learning so much…
    Thanks everyone…

    Tuesday, 21 April 2009 @ 7:03am

  75. 75: ErikaNo Gravatar says:

    Here’s another part of this article that I love, Rori. You said:

    “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.”

    This points for me to a whole other facet of this dynamic. How is it that a man can think it’s great to have “friends with benefits” and so forth and not be aware of the woman’s perspective? Well, most of the dating literature basically says that even if a woman is upset, she shouldn’t say anything.

    So what happens? A woman is in a FWB situation, she’s really not happy about it deep down, but instead of communicating with the man, she shares all her hurt on dating forums or with her friends. And he is allowed to continue on obliviously meeting his sexual needs at her expense. Which, of course, at the end of the day, will end up being lose/lose. Because there’s no such thing as win/lose.

    That’s part of why I love your blog, Rori, because of the focus on true authenticity for authenticity’s sake. A few years ago, I could never have expressed all the things I’m expressing here — the rage and the indignation and the bittersweetness. I wouldn’t have even been in touch with those feelings.

    Men need to know how it really feels as a woman. They don’t need the sugar-coated version that gives them tacit permission to continue acting in ways that are not constructive. And the only way we can tell them the truth is to be unattached to the outcome. I could never have expressed what I’ve expressed here if I were needing a particular outcome with a particular man.

    Anyway, Mercedes, I was touched by the vulnerability of your comment. It resonates very deeply with me. Thank you for that. :-)

    Tuesday, 21 April 2009 @ 7:10am

  76. 76: LinmayuNo Gravatar says:

    Linda G, I feel sorry if I’ve contributed to your not feeling safe. It’s not my intention to judge anyone’s life choices. For myself, I can’t imagine any good reason to have sex without commitment…but my opinion’s a really unpopular one out there in the world. The vast majority of people feel otherwise. I love seeing the other side of the coin as Rori and Daria and Heartbeat have laid it out, as many people I know are living it. And sometimes I wish I could live on that side because I’d probably be open to a lot more fun, a lot more experiences, and a lot more men.

    However, I know what feels right for me and I love that Erika and Mercedes are resonating with me on this; it makes me feel not so alone, and it makes me feel like I’m not wrong or selfish for setting my standards so high.

    Tuesday, 21 April 2009 @ 7:43am

  77. 77: ErikaNo Gravatar says:

    Linda G,

    I also do not intend to preach to anyone else what they should do. At the same time, I feel that my minority view has not been fully heard in the world, so I speak it with some passion.

    Like Rori, I find that being provocative sometimes can be very helpful to myself and others.

    Linmayu, you said: “The vast majority of people feel otherwise.”

    I’m not sure I agree with that. I would say that “The vast majority of people *think* otherwise.” As in “think” with their logical minds.

    At the level of FEELING, it is my sincere belief that most people deep in their hearts do not FEEL in alignment with our society’s current sexual mores.

    And yes I realize that many will disagree with me, and that’s fine.

    Tuesday, 21 April 2009 @ 7:54am

  78. 78: MercedesNo Gravatar says:

    Linda G: I hope you can come to feel safe here again…I hate to think anyone is judging anyone else. This is certainly a touchy subject and touches almost every woman in one way or another.

    Linmayu: You put it so eloquently. I too have high standards. Not when it comes to circular dating. Before my man committed to me…I did it and enjoyed it (as much as possible…I really wanted my man back) – even when the men were not at all my type. But…when it comes to men who deserves to be intimate with my body, my mind, my heart and my soul…well…it now takes a very, very special man and if I’m ever in a situation again where I have to date again and go on search for my soul mate…he’s going to have to work really, really hard. I’m not waiting for marriage like Erika but that’s because marriage (in the official definition) isn’t something I want for myself. But…the forever committed part…that’s necessary for me. Again, probably because I know my heart will get involved. If I could keep my heart out of it, maybe I would feel differently…but…I can’t and as Heartbeat says: I wouldn’t have it any other way.

    Much Love,
    Mercedes

    Tuesday, 21 April 2009 @ 7:59am

  79. 79: Linda GNo Gravatar says:

    Linmayu, I completely agree with what you have spoken as your truth on this matter.
    Affirming each other is a good thing, so no, you have not offended me, never could. I am not about that, nor are you.
    I am not taking offense, nor judging what anybody says, feels or chooses to live their life or relationships. I guess what I am feeling is some of the entries have a judgemental quality to them, afterall, we are about not making a man wrong, so we should also not take the position of making each other wrong, either.
    Perhaps, the tone of a few entries has been too domineering for me. I completely agree with Rori’s advice, and feel everyone’s choice is personal and valid for them.
    Maybe, I just feel uncomfortable with the discussion becoming so male, as if we are answering to these guys, trying to justify ourselves, our choices, our identity as feeling beings. How can. why should we explain this?

    Tuesday, 21 April 2009 @ 8:04am

  80. 80: Linda GNo Gravatar says:

    It is not the subject matter, but the tone I am uncomfortable with.

    Tuesday, 21 April 2009 @ 8:05am

  81. 81: TracyNo Gravatar says:

    Linda G

    I feel sad that you feel uncomfortable……This post and the subsequent comments have really triggered me but in a positive way…..
    I am feeling unsure about where i stand…for myself that is…i only started recognizing my feelings and being authentic about me and how i feel and i guess hence my confusion…
    Mercedes,
    I love the confidence you have and the clarity of your feelings and what you really want.I feel that if i can i need to work on my feelings and learn to be myself and be open and authentic to those around me then maybe i can be able to decide what i really want….
    I do want a committed relationship but with the right frame of mind and i do want it because it feels good to be in this relationship and because it resonates with me.
    Today i realized that i have been looking out for men to make me happy to feel my empty space to fulfill me…its no wonder that i have been so miserable and sad…
    I felt the sadness and the emptiness and i felt that i need to feel the space with things that feel good for me…instead of waiting for the world to fulfill me.
    It feels great to discover myself bits by bits both sexually and emotionally..

    Tuesday, 21 April 2009 @ 9:33am

  82. 82: LinmayuNo Gravatar says:

    Erika, thanks for revising my statement. The majority of people seem to THINK (and talk, and act) otherwise. And I have no idea what anyone else feels, unless they are brave enough to say what they feel. I love that Linda is able to articulate feeling uncomfortable with the tone of some posts here, rather than running away or calling anyone out; that’s the Rori Raye Third Way in action. I feel inspired.

    And I agree, there is absolutely no need to answer to or justify ourselves to anyone, male or female–and I’ve often felt in dating situations like I’ve been expected to answer to or justify myself to a man. That feels like a dolphin jumping through hoops in the hopes of getting some tasty fish. Not going to do it.

    Justifying feels like saying something that I don’t really feel true, in a way to make someone else believe that it is true, so that I can then prove to myself that it’s true. And yes, that feels gross to me as well.

    What I want to do is speak what I feel is true, and the hell with whether anyone will believe me–and I’ve felt wonderfully blessed to find understanding as well as challenge here. Often when I speak my truth to men on dating sites, they disappear very quickly. When I’ve been asked 20 questions and then tried to justify myself with the answers (oh, I’m sooo unworthy of dating handsome men, please make me feel worthy…blargh), I’ve found that the man will stick around and beat me up for a bit, with my implicit permission, before I stop giving him energy and he disappears.

    Whereas I go and post on Erika’s blog and just stick to the unvarnished truth of who I am, and random men out of nowhere flirt with me.

    THAT is how I want it to feel. Effortless on my part, because he’s already done the job of *knowing* that he wants to get to know me a little better. If that isn’t there, I don’t feel interested, I’ll respond for practice’s sake but that’s it.

    Tuesday, 21 April 2009 @ 9:53am

  83. 83: Rori RayeNo Gravatar says:

    Linmayu, – I sort of got a bit of a thrill when I read about your rage. It actually feels kind of…gorgeous. The trick is to feel it, let it morph, speak it, and USE its energy to forward other parts of your life. I believe the power of these feelings propel successful people into magnificent lives – because they know how to harness the energy, and let it work inside them and…well…I guess I should write about this…create “alchemy.”

    What we’re saying is that along with the “old” stuff that comes up, there’s new stuff you’ve just found…and then that creates you as an entirely new person from the inside out. Pretty, isn’t it? Love, Rori

    Tuesday, 21 April 2009 @ 10:45am

  84. 84: Rori RayeNo Gravatar says:

    Beautifully said, Heartbeat. Rori

    Tuesday, 21 April 2009 @ 10:47am

  85. 85: Rori RayeNo Gravatar says:

    Linda, tell me more…I hear many points of view – but I feel an intense level of safety here, too.

    I completely dismantle personally all judgment – so if you hear yourself talking about what anyone else should do – turn it into a feeling message (it’s all practice) and come from your OWN experience.

    We are all amazingly different, with different histories. The old phrase “don’t knock it til you’ve tried it” actually works here. NONE of us have ever tried someone else’s experience – it’s just not POSSIBLE – so if we all see things from our own unique, memorable, amazing experience, and then also in the scheme of the bigger picture of EVERYONE’S experience – we’ll all get further along. This is a TAPESTRY – we are all about EMBRACE here, and Linda, thank you for speaking up. Love, Rori

    Tuesday, 21 April 2009 @ 10:55am

  86. 86: DariaNo Gravatar says:

    Hi…Linda G I too feel triggered by the posts here. I’m not sure if I would have realized this as much without your comment about the tone of the discussion. I feel a little ( A LOT) defensive and I feel maybe marginalized or talked over.

    I feel angry when I read that someone can’t imagine how any woman would feel comfortable doing x, when I just wrote that I did x and am a woman.

    I feel angry reading stuff that sounds to me like, well people Think they feel this way. I want to be the one who gets to say what I feel. And when I say what I feel I feel bad reading what sounds to me like “oh you don’t feel that, you Think you feel that” I feel shaky and angry.
    Even though I realize the comments are not directed specifically towards me.

    I also am feeling triggered reading about other people’s High Standards as in, yes Daria and others can do this, but I have HIGH STANDARDS. I feel like the implication is that Daria then doesn’t have high standards and I feel VERY PIST. My standards are HIGH. They are HIGH for me.

    I feel triggered though. Fortunately because of this blog I don’t feel this trigger toward the posters but only towards the pieces of triggering post for me.

    I feel confident that no one is particularly trying to attack me.

    Tuesday, 21 April 2009 @ 11:24am

  87. 87: ErikaNo Gravatar says:

    Daria, this might be my favoritest post on the whole thread. It feels like I can really FEEL you. It feels authentic and gritty and real so that even the anger feels beautiful. Thank you :)

    Tuesday, 21 April 2009 @ 11:41am

  88. 88: Linda GNo Gravatar says:

    Daria; Thank you for articulating exactly what I was trying to say.
    You have amazingly high standards, are a true Diva nd seem to know yourself better than many other women I know.
    In other words, all standards are personal, all paths are valid, the one who wins is not the one who does the right thing according to the projection of others, but the one who does the right thing for themselves, their own happiness.

    Tuesday, 21 April 2009 @ 11:45am

  89. 89: DariaNo Gravatar says:

    Yay thank you you guys! I came back to teh blog feeling scared and guilty for my post… I was even considering apologizing and saying thta it really wasn’t that big a deal.

    And in true feeling message style … the result is actually awesome! the messages i Read are positive!

    Now I read your posts and I feel so happy and giggly i feel like rubbing my arms and feeling happy like a baby…

    hehe…

    oh i feel a liitle bit of concern still… I DO NOT want to hurt anyone’s feelings… and that feels like furrowed brow feeling…

    and now I feel happy again…

    I’m starting to feel embarassed of my happiness… I judge it as childlike, childish… oh it feels nice though…

    Tuesday, 21 April 2009 @ 12:03pm

  90. 90: Linda GNo Gravatar says:

    And here is what I am passionate about:
    I am passionate about finding my own path in life, without the shoulds of others imposed on me
    I am passionate about advocating for my own needs and those of my children
    I am passionate about being true to my feelings and not giving up to a man to keep him happy,as I have in the past, there by denegrating my sense of self worth
    I am passionate about the choice to experiment in life, to view it as an adventure
    I am passionate about the infinite quest of self realization and discovery
    I am passionate about accepting the choices others have made without judging
    I don’t want to give my heart away to a man, my life to a job, my home to a family, I want to include my man, my job, my family in my life, my home
    I listen to Rori’s programs, not because she tells me what to do, and how to do it, which she does not,but because she has instilled in me a sense of what it takes to truly become the divine being we all have inside of us

    PS if I could separate myself, enlighten myself enough to truly let go of the guilt inbedded in me for wanting sex or other physical pleasures like money, food, clothes, status, I would free myself to truly enjoy life

    Tuesday, 21 April 2009 @ 12:07pm

  91. 91: heartbeatNo Gravatar says:

    Linda G I love your Passion List – it feels deep and spiritual and expansive, or rather I feel that way reading it.

    This thread feels like a thrilling journey. I feel relieved.

    I’ve been reflecting on my own journey and how I’ve arrived where I am. I felt indignant at the phrase ‘high standards’ and it took me WAY back to my teens – a peculiar time of sexual freedom mixed with emotional insecurity. I remember feeling joyous at the prospect of a new, adventurous world. I felt like a freedom fighter. Then, as far as sex went, I remember things that were said to me by other girls and how foolish and angry I felt. They claimed they were righteous – I felt sad religion could separate friends. I felt oppressed – and depressed. My home life and living in a war-torn country had strained my inner confidence.

    So I moved to another country and had a mix of adventure and rock-bottom emotional mess – and I clearly remember THAT’S HOW I WANTED IT. I felt a need to discover my ‘edges’, my shape, fuck up totally so I could begin again. In the new place, no-one judged me, not that I’m aware of. I was pretty feisty anyway (in recent years I’ve begun to honour my ‘quiet self’, as I used to be pre-teen…. by the way I am nearly 50, just to put things in context).

    And I elected to be celibate for a period of time – two years, I think – I felt a space inside in relation to men, I wanted to learn to be friends, which was really about me wanting to BE MYSELF with men, and know they didn’t just want me for sex, or vice versa!

    I also had a period of time with only women, which included sex and a love relationship with a woman who is still a treasured friend. I learned so much from this experience about The Feminine – it was a very spiritual, sensual time. Emotionally, I woke up to all my feelings about my Feminine – stuff from very early years, attitudes from that era, my mother’s feelings, my father’s attitudes – oh so much!

    I feel very reflective and open. At this moment I feel all that I am – the small of me and the big of me. This feels wonderful – I feel released from the grip of my tightness where I’m still healing in my emotions with men, I feel compassion for the pain I still experience and my flawed self.

    Tuesday, 21 April 2009 @ 4:27pm

  92. 92: LinmayuNo Gravatar says:

    Perhaps instead of “high standards” a better term would be “MY standards.” Because there really isn’t a hierarchy. You couldn’t put your standards and my standards and every individual woman’s standards on a pole and see whose are the highest. But each of us stands in her own circle of power like a star in the sky, saying, “This is my truth. This is what I stand for. This is what I want.” And the men of the world can look up at the stars, decide which one of us they want to pursue, and do it wholeheartedly–and only the right men will come to each of us. This is what I see right now from my lonely seat on the train. This is the world I want to step into, leaving my old world behind.

    Tuesday, 21 April 2009 @ 9:03pm

  93. 93: MercedesNo Gravatar says:

    Maybe I too should explain where I was coming from when I agreed with Linmayu and used the term “high standards”. For me, “high standards” is the phrase that describes how I am and what I want…but I certainly didn’t mean to imply anyone else doesn’t have them.

    My standards are high as compared to where they used to be. Back before I knew who I was and what I wanted out of a relationship, my standards were much lower than what they are now. My “high standards” are a direct result of mistakes made and lessons learned and they have absolutely NO reflection on anyone else or anything else. They are part of my boundaries. MINE. The ones I set for myself and refuse to compromise on. If a man doesn’t fit in with those boundaries, he’s not good enough for me and I will not sleep with him. And…those boundaries have set that bar (or those standards) very high.

    Comparing my standards with anyone else’s and saying “my standards are higher than your standards” is like saying “my man is better than your man”. That’s not what I’m about. My standards are high for me. My man is right for me. There’s no comparing of myself to others here…it’s a matter of what lines I’ve drawn in order to be true to myself.

    Hope that helps you see where I’m coming from on this.

    Much Love,
    Mercedes

    Wednesday, 22 April 2009 @ 6:26am

  94. 94: DocKNo Gravatar says:

    Hello Everyone

    Feel excited reading this back and forth opinions, ideas, questions, feelings…

    When I was young, I did what I wanted to do sexually. I am more sexually exclusive now – this is not because I now feel my behavior of the past was wrong – I was just enjoying my youth, sexuality, and experimenting.

    What I did understand is that in our culture – a woman gets labeled for honoring and enjoying her sexuality in the way that a man is permitted to do (without labels). Therefore, I did practice discretion. At the time of my sexual exploration, I remember a close friend saying, “you do everything I do and more, but I’m the slut and everyone still talks about you like you are little miss goodie 2 shoes.” She was not discreet in her sexual adventures and it seemed like the men that I was with didn’t talk about what we did – they sort of protected me that way – not sure why.

    I don’t regret my past behavior of enjoying my sexual freedom – I learned a lot about myself sexually and emotionally. I do think each woman is entitled to figure it out for herself. Women and men are very different and not all men are OK with casual sex and they need an emotional connection and not all women are NOT OK with casual sex and immediately want marriage on the table.

    The most important thing is that no person, male or female should EVER feel pushed to do something s/he does or doesn’t want to do. I know of men that had their fathers actually try to take them to prostitutes when they were young to have their first sexual encounter and the guys wanted nothing to do with it but then their sexual preference was questioned. This is wrong. My own father had given us a book on sex (positions and all) – I guess this was his way of having a “sex talk.” My brothers wouldn’t look at it – I did. I was just more curious than they were.

    I’m still curious and enjoy buying books about both sex and romance to enjoy myself to the fullest. Reason why I also love Rori and all of you so much – I also want my playful, sexy, passionate relationship to be HEALTHY emotionally. that is when I know the dream relationship can become my reality. Still learning : )

    Wednesday, 22 April 2009 @ 7:01am

  95. 95: RobinNo Gravatar says:

    Rori, Thank you for this wonderful advice- I love what have to say!

    I would love some input on this…
    The guy I work with ( we are both paid church musicians) that I was involved with, he wants to be just friends…
    ( all of this happened a year ago, I was in involved with him for a little over a year, he started dating a new girl about 9 months ago…)

    Well, I haven’t been there for a ‘friendship.’ I’m trying to get this thing down, where I work with him professionally when I used to be involved with him.
    He’s dating now, he wants to be friends
    and she wants to be my friend, too, and I’m like NOO.

    I don’t want to have him as a casual friend. And I don’t want to hang out with them together, because it feels bad and sometimes I get the feeling that he’s trying to compare us side-by-side, and I REFUSE to compete with another woman.

    SO…I’ve been walking away if I see her coming…and I’ve been turning down offers from him to do things together, because I don’t want to be his casual friend.

    We work in an off-limits area of the church, in which only musicians are allowed. Its just the two of us for our particular services, though, so we are alone. But this past week, the girl he’s dating i came upstairs to sit with him, and at first I really didn’t feel anything negative, I didn’t feel angry because I haven’t been putting any effort out…but then at Sign of Peace they exchanged a kiss, and then I felt a little uncomfortable, like a 3rd wheel…

    Before the kiss, as tension really started to mount, I said I feel a little weird, and I think he said “yeah, me too.” After the kiss, I said ” I feel really uncomfortable. This feels bad, I don’t feel comfortable.” He then asked why, immediately understood why, and kinda rolled his eyes.

    So how can I walk away now? If she’s upstairs with us, Its not like I can walk away, because I’m working, and more than that I’m fulfilling my calling and my ministry, so I don’t want to stop…

    I feel like I did everything I could at church; I spoke how I was feeling when I felt uncomfortable. I didn’t get dramatic, I didn’t attack him or blame him, but I did let him know that I was feeling weird…

    I don’t know whose decision it was for her to sit upstairs, but I don’t want to be there with them together and I don’t want to be there ’side-by-side’ with her; I don’t want him to have the opportunity to even think of comparing us while we are in the same room, because it makes me feel like I’m vying for his attention and I don’t feel like competing….

    But now I can’t just walk away….

    What do you think? Am I overreacting? Should I not care if he compares us? Or if she’s up there with us?

    I would love to hear some insight. I can feel myself tensing up over what to do if it happens again, but I guess I won’t know til I see how I feel in that moment…

    Friday, 24 April 2009 @ 12:45pm

  96. 96: Rori RayeNo Gravatar says:

    Robin – This is the “rock star” thing I talk about a lot. I was an actress and singer. And I spent a LOT of time in very close-knit theater companies, in a TV show cast, in a traveling band – and a lot goes on there. You fall in love, you date, things end, and then the fellow dates the woman who ends up playing your sister in the next play, or who plays tamborine next to you on the same mic.

    It’s not easy. The biggest celebrities around go through this constantly. There are, to me, only 2 ways out of this:

    1. DATE!! and get a new boyfriend you really like who can hang out with you so you don’t care…

    This is the fastest, easiest way.

    2. Quit this gig and get another. I know this sounds harsh – leaving your job because of an uncomfortable love situation – but think about it and consider it here.

    What if this is a message? What if he’s “kicking you out of the nest”? What if there’s a much BETTER gig, with a much BIGGER church just around the corner?

    If you can at least consider these 2 options, instead of trying to find a way to live with this…you will feel better.

    You can always ask him not to let her be backstage with you, that it still feels bad and it throws you off balance. I can’t imagine that he could say no to that – but you’ll feel weird about it anyway – and it’s not the best option.

    Love, Rori

    Friday, 24 April 2009 @ 1:33pm

  97. 97: RobinNo Gravatar says:

    Rori, Thank you!

    Yea, it really seems like a difficult situation.

    I’ve gotten so good at walking away when things feel bad, and now that I can’t do that, I’m having to look at what else I can do while being authentic! (this is great, because I can use it to grow!)

    Yes, I am dating- Its hard though, b/c I am still attracting low quality men, I’ve been examining this and practicing with them when they show up, but definitely no one I would want to see consistently.

    I guess if I can get to a place where I truly don’t care, even if I don’t have sombody there with me, it wouldn’t matter what was going on, but I just don’t want to be violating my boundaries, going along with something that’s gonna damage me, but I guess if I truly don’t feel bad about it, its not damaging me…

    I did look at switching gigs, nothing has surfaced yet…

    I got the feeling that he thought I was being childish when I told him I felt uncomfortable, like he thoguht I was gonna ask/tell him to do something about it. And yes, it does feel sorta weird. I actually feel guilt about it too.

    I don’t want to ask him to do anything about it, but if I feel weird, I want to express that, if the feeling is too intense and I feel myself unable to find a better feeling…

    I feel so confused right now…

    Friday, 24 April 2009 @ 2:55pm

  98. 98: ErikaNo Gravatar says:

    btw, I also thought about what you guys said about talking through this, etc. whether in fact I did just “cut and run.” when I look back though, before breaking things off, I had been expressing my distressed feelings about the openendedness of the situation and other issues for weeks, but nothing changed. to trust a relationship, I need to know that the guy is going to work with me to find solutions that feel good to both of us. I need to know that fulfilling my dreams is equally important to me as fulfilling his own.

    Tuesday, 28 April 2009 @ 6:47am

  99. 99: ErikaNo Gravatar says:

    I meant to say that “fulfilling my dreams is equally important to HIM as fulfilling his own.” The idea being that we both help each other fulfill each other’s life purpose.

    Tuesday, 28 April 2009 @ 6:49am

  100. 100: JennyNo Gravatar says:

    My husband and I have been separated for over two years, and he filed for divorce 4 months ago. He is saying he doesn’t want to get divorced, but is tired of “failing to fix things.” He had an affair several years ago and says he has been trying his very best to “fix it” but at the same time is unwilling/unable to do very specific things I have asked him to regarding openness and transparency. Anyway, I feel we have been “Friends with Benefits” since we separated, (although the past year the sex has been more and more infrequent) and if we weren’t married I would certainly be willing to try what Rori suggests. However, we have a daughter together, and we both do still want to have a life together – same house, happy marriage, etc. I have tried numerous things from the “Reconnect your Relationship” series, and they have helped. But I’m wondering how to use the “Friends with Benefits” tactics when I’m married to the guy.

    Wednesday, 2 June 2010 @ 8:25am

  101. 101: Rori RayeNo Gravatar says:

    Jenny – Welcome, and you’re not going to like this. Please ask yourself – is this the example of “love” I want my daughter to have? What I would see from this, if I were her, is that it’s okay for a woman to be utterly loyal and committed and not fulfilled or happy or in a romantic love situation, and yet still have sex with a man who does not LIVE with her or want to be married to her for 2 years, just because she was once married to him – and because of ME. Friends with Benefits is not good for anyone – why would you accept it for YOU? Please get out and start Circular Dating – and I mean ACTUALLY DATING!!! Get Targeting Mr. Right and follow the procedures so you don’t burn out. Flirt everywhere you are and practice telling men the truth. Stop sleeping with your ex. You are focusing so hard on this man – you’re just pushing him away. If he is “failing” then you are making him “wrong.” You can’t practice shifting this stuff just on him – you need to get it into your system with EVERYONE! I know I can help you…I have seen things turn around amazingly – but you have to completely switch tracks…Love, Rori

    Wednesday, 2 June 2010 @ 11:54am

  102. 102: JennyNo Gravatar says:

    I think about the example I am setting for my daughter all the time. . . I do need to work on “receiving love” because there is such a wall around my heart from all the anger and disappointment that I won’t let him in, even when he tries. There is hardness all around – there’s nothing warm and soft in me for him although I do love him and dream of us having the happy, love-filled life I always thought we would. . .

    Thursday, 3 June 2010 @ 10:19am

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