Are You In An Imaginary Relationship?

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Have you ever focused all your attention on one man, and still felt completely unsure about where things stand?

Even after a year or two?

Where you just don’t feel like he’s committed to you, or that you have a future together, but you talk yourself OUT of that feeling and just keep going on hope?

I used to be the queen of that – I’d hang in with a man – believing that just because I was still THERE, he loved me. Just because I was still THERE, he was “serious” about me.

I was the Queen of the “Imaginary Relationship.”

Here’s a letter from Helen, who’s struggling with the reality of her long relationship with a man she loves…

“Dear Rori, I am seeing this guy and he does not want to commit. We saw each other for 18 months, we separated for about 8 months then got back. We have been back together for about a year now. He lost his wife three years ago to cancer .

“Whenever I ask relationship questions – like ‘I wish you would introduce me to your friends because when I am in front of them I feel uncomfortable because I don’t know if they are into you or not, or who did you go out of town with and who are they to you,’ this is his answer to me…

… ‘We are not in a relationship, when you ask me these questions you make me want to withdraw and what does it matter to you who these people are or if I introduce you to them? I am not anyone’s boyfriend or committed to anyone so don’t ask me relationship questions. When I find someone I will let you know, and you know how these questions aggravate me, and if you want us to get along don’t ask me these type of questions.’

“He also has pictures of different women in the house and he says they are just friends (he’s in the picture with them.) I don’t know how to answer this because I love him so much. We sleep together. I see him at least two to three times a week, I spend the nights at his house and his mother and children know about me. His daughters are practically like my children and I love them too.

“Lately he has been talking to me more – sharing what he’s doing, and I commend him for that and I use a lot of my feelings with him that I learned from your book. I also try to act like I trust him and try not to ask too many questions, but at least once every two or three weeks I ask something and all hell breaks loose and the above answer is what I always get.

“I ask these questions because I get emotional and hurt and afraid he’s taking someone out of town or seeing someone else, and yet I know there’s nothing I can do. He has 3 pictures of himself with three different women and in one of them he is holding the lady like they are in love and I have to see these pictures every time I’m there. And he just says they’re friends but there are no pictures of me.

“He seems to have many women friends. So I wonder how many of us is he sleeping with. I am not dating anyone else or haven’t since my divorce five years ago – he has been the only other man. I spend a lot of time with his kids- we’re like mother and daughters . Please help, yours sincerely, Helen.”

Here’s my answer:

Helen – I’m going to be very tough on you right now, so don’t read further if you don’t want to hear:

You are in an Imaginary Relationship. This means you think you’re in a Real Relationship, even though he said to you, clearly – “We are not in a relationship,” and has pictures of other women everywhere and none of you. You are in complete denial of your situation.

Please do this for me: Wrap your arms around yourself, give yourself a huge hug (I’m hugging you from here…) and then jump up and down to shake the cobwebs out of your head.

Say out loud, as though he’s in front of you: ” Now I hear you. We are just dating. I’m not committed, I should be dating other men. Now I see. I’m free, as are you.”

Then, right now, this minute, go to your closet, pick out some clothes for the week where you change all your colors to pinks and lavenders and baby blues, change everything to soft fabrics that make you feel soft and sexy, then change your hair a bit with some color streaks or a color rinse, and go out and flirt with men.

You cannot bring him close to you by WANTING him more. You can not excite him, attract him, or make him WANT YOU more by pressing him.

Even THINKING about him makes your “vibe” seem needy, clingy and desperate to him. This is simply not attractive to him – and it makes your self-esteem take a nose-dive.

Take your focus OFF of him, and do this:

1. Find something really, really important to you to focus on (work, volunteering, art projects, school…) and focus on it.

2. Schedule time to just hang out with yourself in your own home so you can learn to ENJOY your own company, tolerate your fear and loneliness when you’re with yourself, and raise your self-esteem and your Degree of Difficulty.

3. Schedule time to get out, go places, do things on your own or with friends that are really INTERESTING – things you enjoy, that you can learn from, and that are FUN for you – AND where there are men.

Smile at these other men. Practice my Rori Raye Dance Position in their presence. Make eye contact and keep it for 5 seconds (it feels much longer than it sounds).

Let them come up to you and start conversations. Let them ask for your phone number. Give it to them. Go to coffee with them. Go to lunch with them. Go walking in a park with them.

Learn to do feeling messages and feel comfortable in your own skin around men – men you find attractive and men you don’t find attractive. Just get out there and practice and learn.

This is your best bet in 2 ways:

1. It’s your best bet to get this man you love re-attracted to you, and to compel him to want to commit to you…

2. It’s your best bet to meet a man who might be even better than this man, love you more than he does, and want to claim you quickly.

Try this, please. The way you’re approaching this is damaging to you, and will not help you get the man you want.

Let me know here how this works for you…Love, Rori

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  1.  #1Daria on September 28, 2008 at 9:27 am

    Helen, I empathize with you. I have been in a similar situation, where the guy I was “with” told me we’re not in a relationship, although we were sleeping together and seeing each other daily. He had pictures in his house of other women, not me. Worse, he actually dated other women right in front of me. I know he slept with them as well. He got away with this because we were also “friends,” and because it felt so good to be around him.

    Rori, in your newsletter today, you clarified Overfunctioning and asked us to write down and track the things we do and think about a man, notice and write how much time we spend, as well as what results and feelings we get when we initiate and what results we get when we do not.

    You explained that a man in love is one of the only people who actually want to work hard to impress us.
    Could you please clarify what you meant here:

    “And if he’s jammed at work or with
    responsibilities to his children, and he can’t do
    all the work – then he wants to DELEGATE the job
    to you.
    That means he wants to DIRECT you in how to get
    the job done.
    This way, he STAYS in charge, which is how he
    likes it.
    And if he doesn’t feel that way – there’s
    something wrong.

    This explains men who aren’t “generous” – which
    is one of the most icky habits a man can have.”

    When you say there’s something wrong if he doesn’t, do you mean that it is ok to allow a man to delegate these tasks to us because he is truly occupied with these important things and that is a time when we can help? OR do you mean instead that this man is too busy to seriously date us and we should refuse to accept the delegated task? What implications would this have in a relationship that’s already serious, like a marriage?

    Also, when you say that this explains men who are not generous, I feel confused. I do not see how this explains it. Are you saying that they are too busy or focused on their work/children?

    I guess my question is that is it ok for a man to delegate certain tasks to us, or is this exactly what we should keep away from?

  2.  #2Kim on November 20, 2009 at 10:40 pm

    A few months ago I was ready to do myself in. Major problems with my son, my boyfriend and I split up, I was out of control.
    I had been going to a psychologist for the past 5years after my husband died. I was looking for anything that might help.
    I bought a few of the Christin Carter CD’s when I heard you talk on one of them. I was compelled to buy Sirens and it has really turned my life around. I went from scared, angry, resentiful, to playful, happy and sexy with your help. My man and I are not back together yet but I’m working it. Or should I say, looking forward to it. I love how you’ve done the short story/advice like this one.

    I’m a Rori believer!

    Thanks again, Kim

    I love how you’

  3.  #3Rori Raye on November 23, 2009 at 4:47 pm

    Oh, Kim – I’m so happy for you, and thank you so much for letting me know! Keep doing what you’re doing! Love, Rori

  4.  #4Elle on April 20, 2010 at 11:16 pm

    i would like to subcribe.

  5.  #5nyasha on February 2, 2012 at 10:25 am

    i have a friend who seems nowdays being more then what we used to be,he is already in relation with a girl and despite of that he shows a lot of affection towards me,i have been heartbroken recently so i also need some support.Both of us feel attracted for each other besides of knowing that he already has a girlfriend.Please help.what to do in this situation