Circular Dating After 2 1/2 Years

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Here’s a letter from Laura, who’s got a horrible and lovely problem, all at the same time:

“Dear Rori –

I have the ebook, Reconnect, and am listening to Modern Siren now. I have learned so much from you.

“Here is my situation – I have a wonderful boyfriend, we’ve been together 2-1/2 years. He is very committed to the relationship and loyal but generally does not do what you’d describe as fitting himself into my dream. He says he wants to move the relationship forward but he is uncertain about marriage, which he knows is something I want.

“He has good reasons for this – 1 – he’s still in court with his ex after 4 years and 2 – he is not financially ready for marriage.

“Though we’ve discussed marriage many times (always at his initiating – he’s asked what kind of wedding I want and said he wants to get married) more recently when we were arguing he said he doesn’t know me well enough to get married, he doesn’t know if he will ever want to get married, that he wants to stay together (and I believe this) but that if I don’t agree with his position on marriage I can leave the relationship.

“Just as you predicted as I have followed the siren program and listened to your advice about keeping options open, suddenly a cool new guy fell from the sky. I met him at my own home, he’s a single dad of a friend of my kids. We met for lunch yesterday and we have a dinner date set for a week from now.

“The question is how to navigate the current relationship and be open this new one and perhaps others. I am nowhere near the point of sleeping with the new guy but my current boyfriend and I have agreed to be exclusive.

“I love my boyfriend but I seriously question whether he will ever be ready for marriage. I barely know the new guy but he is totally suited to me, really likes me and a much better candidate.

“What is the best way to handle this? Tell my boyfriend I want to see other people? Break up with him altogether? What is your advice?

“Thank you so much for everything and I hope to hear from you!! Laura”

***Here’s my answer to Laura (I’ll talk directly to her  – and you, too, if you’re in this wonderful and challenging situation):

Basically- you should absolutely NOT be “exclusive” with any man, and especially not with this man you’ve already agreed to exclusivity with.  You have to talk about that and let him know that you will only sleep with him, but that you’ve received invitations for lunch and dinner from other men, and that you don’t want to be lying to him, that honesty and openness are really, really important to you, and so you want to let him know that you will be accepting spending time with other men who ask you or invite you places, until marriage is a reality.

On the other hand, if he feels the need to see other women, you will end the relationship. There’s no need to tell him anything more.

Also, there’s no need to tell him about, or feel guilty about a coffee date with another man, or a lunch date or dinner – as long as you aren’t sleeping with him (which is what most men mean about “exclusivity” anyway)… unless he brings it up.

And you don’t need to break up with him unless you feel so attached to him that you can’t open yourself up to other men and REALLY Circular Date.

I know that sounds shocking. It just doesn’t feel “right.” But this is the truth, this is the way to go, as long as you feel that you are not LYING to him. There is no need to “confess.”

However – telling the truth, really telling the truth – is such a gorgeous thing to do, and it feels so good, that when you feel compelled to talk about this to him – for your own “diva-ness” and sense of power and freedom…write yourself a good speech that simply says you love him, it feels fantastic being with him, and you know he has conflicting feelings about marriage and you don’t want to put pressure on him or the relationship.

That you want to enjoy him and the relationship you have. And so you’ve decided that it would feel better to keep your options open, that you’ve gotten a few invitations to lunch and dinner, that you won’t be having sex with anyone but him, but that in order to keep yourself from feeling needy and weird…you may accept an invitation. What does he think?

And then you’ll have to be willing to let him sulk, and complain, and grumble and be angry….

…But – No man gets to keep you all to himself without marriage, if that’s what you want in your life.

You are to enjoy your life.

If you’re Dating this man – then you’re dating, and it should be fun. When you’re living together and have a future together planned – then the conversation is different and you get to talk about that.

This is a HUGE issue – and a seemingly small thing. When do you give the “No Girlfriend” speech? Let me know how this clarifies things for you, and how it works.  I so wish Laura luck with the new man!

Love, Rori

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  1.  #1Daria on April 24, 2009 at 1:52 pm

    I have this thought that comes up sometimes when I feel down… that I am tired of life and I want to die and maybe start over.

    What is this thought telling me?

    Today I had a horrible traumatic day. I want to die. I am so tired. I have lived all the stuff I wanted to live. IT doesnt seem like its gonna get much better now.

  2.  #2Daria on April 24, 2009 at 3:34 pm

    Actually I feel pretty calm considering how traumatic and then on a separate issue, disappointing this day has been. I have been looking at and contacted an EFT person to help me. Maybe things can get better.

    Am i just feeling numb?

    I feel concerned.

  3.  #3Linmayu on April 24, 2009 at 5:04 pm

    Daria, I can’t even begin to tell you how often I have that thought…

  4.  #4Heather on April 24, 2009 at 5:39 pm

    Daria, Sending light to you… yes, we’ve all felt this way sometimes, but like Rori says, it’s part of the “soup” and I hope you soon find a break from the blues. take care!

  5.  #5Heather on April 24, 2009 at 5:53 pm

    regarding this speech – i’m ready to have it: again!
    i had an accupuncture therapy session today – the lady who treats me is really cool and we laugh SO much, and talk. Well, I felt like I had a breakthrough today as we were discussing yin and yang energy – my diagnosis today was that my insomnia during the past several weeks has been caused by an excess of yin energy in my body; which forces my body to wake up at about 3am… So, we spoke at length about this, apparently MANY of us are like this; we are in good company. She said that biologically as we age, women get more “yang-like” and men get more yin-like. Laughing she said that’s why some reall #***-holes become tolerable and mellow after they hit 50… sigh!

    Right now, I am home alone at my bf’s place tonight — feeling restless, wanting to be out meeting people, feeling in a weird way relieved that he made plans with the guys tonight – maybe it will help his career. He cooked an incredible dinner for me – its just that I don’t enjoy eating alone… and no, marriage is not even yet on the table. It is such a beautiful day and night here in the city – and it’s friday night, time to get out, perhaps even attract some invitations 🙂

  6.  #6Linmayu on April 24, 2009 at 7:15 pm

    I’ve got the vibe!!!!!!

    I figured out exactly what I need to think in order to feel the way I need to feel.

    When I’m with a man, I just need to tell myself over and over, ” loves me. He may not know it yet, but he loves me. If nothing else, he loves me enough to help me stay on my bridge, he loves me enough to help me draw Makani into my life.”

    Oh, duh. This is really just another way of saying, dude’s a Messenger. And here I was thinking I was on to something new. I feel only mildly deflated.

    My plans for tonight involved divorce mediation and a date. I felt disappointed when my date texted me to cancel. I felt panicked when I was walking to the mediator’s office and there was this crazy strong wind blowing my hair all over the place. I felt embarrassed because every other woman on the street had her hair being sexily blown back away from her face, but my hair was being blown directly into my face and sticking to my lipgloss. I felt panicked because I was beginning to feel angry, and didn’t want to arrive at the mediator’s office in a funk. So when I got there I took a few minutes in the bathroom to fix my hair and my mind.

    And then I was like WAIT A MINUTE–and it hit me that I’m SO much prettier than my husband.

    All these years I’d been feeling unworthy because I considered him prettier than me. I discounted myself because I could see his beauty but not my own. Now I can see my own beauty, and I can see his being for what it is–just another human being on this big blue planet.

    Combine that realization with my new mantra and I felt pretty damned good throughout the mediation. My ex and I even walked together to the train station because we were discussing issues of swapping computers, and I swear every Indian guy on the street turned to stare at me. I felt awesome, beautiful, and powerful; it felt great.

  7.  #7Daria on April 24, 2009 at 7:29 pm

    Wow Linmayu I feel absolutely THRILLED hearing about how it felt to be stared at on the street. YAy.

    Also thank you Linmayu and Heather for adressing my comment. I feel supported.

  8.  #8Ann on April 24, 2009 at 8:11 pm

    Daria, I’m glad to see you’re feeling better. I was sad to see you feeling so down.

    Rori I have a question I’ve seen you make this comment before but I don’t understand it:

    “On the other hand, if he feels the need to see other women, you will end the relationship. There’s no need to tell him anything more.”

    Why would it be ok for a female to date other man but not ok for the male to date other women?

    And this comment “And then you’ll have to be willing to let him sulk, and complain, and grumble and be angry….”

    reminds me of one of my favorite(so true) sayings: “No man ever died from pouting.”

  9.  #9Jane on April 24, 2009 at 8:14 pm

    Heather — I’ve been waking up at 3 am for about 8 weeks now! How do you fix it?

  10.  #10Heather on April 24, 2009 at 9:44 pm

    Jane, you asked, “How do you fix waking up at 3am?” … my accupuncturist tells me it’s because of a “yin deficiency”. LOL, this is what I’ve been working on with Rori for a couple of years now! Well, Cindy – my fabulous accupuncturist, gave me some tiny magnets and instructed me to put them on my Spleen 6 (3 fingers from inside the ankle bone tip) and Heart 7 (nestled against the tendon on the outside/lateral wrist) points. Yin/Yang – that seems to be what it is all about… Deficiency in yin? LOL, we (women) have to learn to receive more seems to be the message.

    My update for tonight: I left the house about 9:30, went into town walked about and went into a bar in a hotel. At first I sat there alone, reading my book, “the Alchemist” – great book btw. I had 2 “free therapy sessions” – one with the waiter, who said it was a great book and he has read all of Paulo Coehlho’s works. And then with some dude named “Sam”, from New Delhi. We had a pleasant conversation, I learned that he drinks a lot, but holds a pretty decent job as a buyer in some securities firm – and before that, he used to work in the same hotel where I play music. I got to deliver feeling messages about how great the night felt, the weather, the room, the hotel, etc. I received a glass of champagne “on the house” from the bartender, and chatted with Sam for about 30 minutes. Then I paid my bill & left — said farewell (no strings) to Sam. The bartender followed me out because I forgot my credit card, and he was kind enough to hand-deliver it to me. So … despite the fact that I earlier felt abandoned (and strangely relieved) by my boyfriend spending the night out with his buddies… I felt somewhat pursued this night. Thankfully, I didn’t have to go on any online dating services to do this.

    I am back home now, it’s almost1am and my sweetheart is still not home – I feel like lighting a candle and finishing “The Alchemist”. If he’s still not home by then and I’m still awake, then journaling and yoga will probably help. The good part of this is – he will be coming towards me.

  11.  #11Deena on April 24, 2009 at 9:46 pm

    This is exactly how I got my proposal. You win either way. If he walks away, then you know he never intended to marry anyway so it saved you years with someone who was just dragging you along.

    I had been with my fiance well over 4 years and there were no signs of marriage ahead. I would talk and he would say he wasn’t ready yet.

    That is always just an excuse always. I work with about 80% men and they tell me when a man wants to marry someone he will and there will be no excuse.

    I did what Rori suggested and started with baby steps in dating myself and flirting a bit with men here and there. I leaned way way way back. I was overdoing things so much. Don’t feel bad if you are. It is a very common thing to do.

    Then I got ready to put some dating profiles up and I made my speech to him about he can have all the time he needs to decide but I am going to accept dates from others and that we are now just dating.

    I did this on Wednesday. By Monday night I had my proposal. We are getting married in June.

    I guess the the main point I learned is there is no reason to wait and wait and let someone else decide my life. A man either wants to be with me or he doesn’t. If he doesn’t then I am going to find someone who really does. I will never give up my needs and wants to appease a bunch of excuses from someone else so they can have the status quo.

    I understand the point of if the guy starts dating others then you end it. Why? Because he isn’t serious about you.

  12.  #12Ann on April 24, 2009 at 10:09 pm

    Deena you said “I understand the point of if the guy starts dating others then you end it. Why? Because he isn’t serious about you.” Couldn’t the guy say the same thing about the female.

  13.  #13Ann on April 24, 2009 at 10:17 pm

    BTW I’m just being curious and playing devils advocate so to speak with this question.

  14.  #14Jane on April 24, 2009 at 10:33 pm

    Heather – Thank you, I’ll look into that. I just realized that I’ve been leaning forward for about 8 weeks, so it makes sense (leaning forward + too much yin = insomnia).

    Deena – I’m very happy to hear the good news! So glad your ‘girlfriend’ speech worked. I just gave my speech too – only I don’t think he’s coming back. That was 4 days ago. I feel sad, but I’m also more at peace and happier than I’ve been in a long time. It feels good to have boundaries again. I feel lighter. Clearer. Free.

  15.  #15Deena on April 24, 2009 at 11:42 pm

    Ann, the reason you are dating others is because the one you are with isn’t moving things forward. You want to. He doesn’t.

    The girlfriend thing isn’t an end point. Some guys are fine with that being the end point.Some gals are too.

    There isn’t any reason to put all the eggs in one basket when he is content with the girlfriend thing.

    I hope that explained it.

    In my case, I truly wanted to be with him but not as a permanent girlfriend. So my starting to date others and him was just putting everyone on a level playing field. He was still in the mix. He still had every opportunity to seal the deal. Him dating others says he isn’t going to.

  16.  #16Deena on April 24, 2009 at 11:44 pm

    Jane, if he doesn’t come back, then you have your answer. You now have the opportunity to meet someone who is really serious. It doesn’t seem like it because it hurts, but it is a win for you also. You didn’t spend years more on someone who wasn’t serious.

  17.  #17heather on April 25, 2009 at 9:08 am

    Deena, Congratulations on your happy news!!! Like Jane, I have had the girlfriend speech – but it was very painful when I had that speech with my beau. Like you, I want to be with him – and not in the girlfriend/FWB-mode. It has been more than 5 years – which I know is far too long. I believe we cannot be afraid to have this speech, if he truly loves and values us, he will listen and take action as in ‘if it’s meant to be…” LOL. Congrats again!

  18.  #18Linda on April 25, 2009 at 12:17 pm

    The man I have been seeing lately is an interesting breed. All in all a good guy, but is a bit toxic and has baggage.

    It has only been three months but things moved pretty fast. He was warm and forward but keeps retreating. I have written in other posts about him. I met him in my circular dating tour. Anyway… last weekend we talked about his living arangements (they need to change soon). He asked me if I wanted room mate. I said yes if it was him but not on a trial basis. Here is where I gave my not a girlfriend speech I guess. I told him that I have done that once and it led to a conflict within me. And I am not going to do it again… I do not want to adopt a lifestyle that causes me to not feel right with my own convictions and beliefs. He said he understood and knew what I was talking about. Even gave me examples of things he had done and wants to make right in his life.. ( We are both christians)…so, we were on the same page.. he said he felt the next step was for us to introduce ourselves to our respective children. He said that opportunity comes and when we wait sometimes we miss it…. He told me he called his oldest daughter and told her about me….He was acting hubandly on Monday of this week, taking care of things with me on car maintenance issues etc…. wow…

    But… he has distanced himself all week, I heard from him cancelling dinner plans, received a goodnight text and 2 days after that a” sorry ive been quiet text”…. nothing beyond that….I guess we were not on the same page at all. I am sad he is gone but am glad that I did not compromise my believes and the boundries I know need to be there for me to feel right about me. Who knows he may step up and claim me,(he thought I was his woman already) but I have continued to talk to other men and date. (I know he has someone he has been seeing someone but he is trying to hide her)….

    I am dissapointed about this but in that is victory too. I sent a text today seeing if he wanted to each lunch with me but have gotten no response. After a week of strained communication and a non response and seeing someone else.. he is shopping around. His talking to me was just talk. Actions speak louder than words always.

    I guess the girlfriend speech always works whether you get what is before you or not. It is a win win because if a man wont claim you he doesnt deserve you.


  19.  #19Erika on April 25, 2009 at 2:56 pm

    hey Rori,

    Here’s another post explaining why I love your “No Girlfriend” rule:

    I’m also trying to figure out how to put a link to your audio and video products on my blog.

    After the past few weeks, especially, I am on a mission to spread the word and empower more women in their relationships 🙂


  20.  #20Daria on April 25, 2009 at 4:14 pm

    Im feeling calm. I’ve left my parents house and am going to probably be staying at friends’ houses. I have a car. I have a suitcase of clothes and bath stuff I need.

    I feel a little scared and sad and tired and it feels a little ‘wrong.’ Surprisingly I also feel calm and relaxed. Part of me is feeling worried and thinking up ways in which to lower my self esteem and create not good feeling future scenarios. Another part seems impressed if not awed by me.

    I feel disappointed and scared that the company I applied to did not accept me for the job. I will try and write them back and insist although I feel embarassed angry and scared. I was very well qualified for this job (an instructor job). Part of me says I’m not so good at teaching as I think I am… my confidence is suffering and I feel worried that will hurt me. I feel like it will be impossible for me to create a feel good business for myself now ‘because im not really good at teaching and no clients would want me.’ I feel concerned that in teaching confidence is very important. It’s almost like a feeling/focusing Art.

    I slept in my car for a short nap and realize that my car feels a little cramped for long sleeping. I like to stretch out my legs. I am going to probably sleep at my Godsister’s house, and I feel annoyed that the tv’s are on there and that sleeping on the couch doesn’t feel super good either. I just realized I can lay a blanket down on the floor which would feel better.

    Last night I slept at a guy friend’s house and I felt great catching up with him. He is a good man and he is one of the ones who loves me. He wanted me to marry him before and I didnt feel attracted to him. I was not able to receive his attention because I was chasing men then. He told me about how he had to accept that the girl he loved (me) did not like him back that way – and finally was able to meet another girl he thinks is a good person and loves (although they’ve had their share of issues), and he doesn’t think it’s very easy to find women like this. Now he loves this other girl and that is ok by me.

    I feel frustrated and angry that that company did not accept me. Should I write them… uh I feel so grossed out by it. I don’t like feeling rejected. I feel annoyed. If they had accepted me I could have been ok now to find a place to rent… and they haven’t. I am hoping and choosing to believe that it is because something better is for me. Perhaps I am supposed to fully pursue my own company ? which was something i wanted?

    I feel bad that I feel so scared and have these thoughts that it will not work out for me with my company. I want to accept myself with these thoughts. Wow that feels brightening.

    I feel so angry at wat went on and led to me leaving the house. I pray that this too will work out in a feel good way. I feel oddly betrayed and abandoned and powerless. I feel gross and melancholy, and also kinda good about the ‘deep’ feelings I am having.

    I want to say bullshit and just feel good.

  21.  #21Daria on April 25, 2009 at 4:17 pm

    I don’t know if I really even want my own company in the form I initially thought up. I DO want to feel successful. I DO want to feel financially self sufficient and easy.

    I want to feel leasure and do artsy stuff. I want to teach people things THEY want to learn from me in a feel good organic ‘schedule-less’ way. I want to HEAL people.

    I haven’t went into developing the healing part of me because I figured taht was next after the successful company part.

  22.  #22cookie on April 25, 2009 at 8:30 pm

    Hi ladies,

    This post really shook me because i have been feeling this way for a while now. I have been with my LI for now going on 8 years, I post about him almost all the time I post. A ring was in the picture before a few years ago but it’s not right now and I’m feeling like I should be circular dating and meeting new guys. I’m feeling really disappointed with our sex life, too; it seems like no matter what it’s just not satisfying to me. I mean I’m not looking for the big Orgasm every time we sleep together but at least some sustained amount of pleasure most of the time would be nice.

    I’m afraid that if i do the whole “not a girlfriend speech” i couldn’t honestly say that I would promise him exclusivity in the sex department. The part of me that wants to leave him or at least date other people is that I want to experience toe tingling sex again. I want to feel excited again. I want be touched and made love to. I want a guy that finds me and my body sexy and wants to pleasure me constantly. I know that if i sleep with another man and am honest about it it will kill whatever we have in this relationship. I really love this dude but I feel like I’m missing the romance that I need to feel good in my relationship. I know that he is not happy with my body right now but honestly i don’t want to feel bad about me being not the same size i used to be. I don’t want to care about it because he cares about it. Do I need to lose weight? Yes, of course, I should be exercising and eating right. But it makes me angry that is a requirement to really receive love from another person. He says that when I’m smaller I’m happier which maybe true or least has been true in the past.

    But honestly, when I’m walking down the street, I don’t want to feel bad about me right now. I still feel pretty damn hot and knowing that he’s not as attracted or disappointed in me makes me angry and unhappy, especially when the sex and affection in suffering because of it. I almost want him to move on sometimes so that I can go on and not feel guilty about living my life the way I want. I know that sounds ridiculous but its very annoying and sometimes I feel like he’s miserable and he’s blaming me for his misery. I feel sometimes that he wants me to just go away so he doesn’t feel bad about leaving me. Saying that doesn’t feel like a very modern siren thing to feel. Because honestly I’m an amazing woman and I’m a prize.

    Men are attracted to me but they don’t see me and I don’t understand what my vibes are saying but I don’t want that kind of energy around me. Which is another reason why I’m afraid of circular dating because I don’t want to confront the sex thing. I want a man to want me, not just my body.

    So what do i do? I want a family of my own. I’m getting ready by making over my financial life and I want the whole package, man. Damn, wtf, I want to be a success story in my own life and for the people who look to me for advice and leadership. Help me ease my mind, somebody. Please.

  23.  #23Dede on April 25, 2009 at 8:51 pm

    A woman should feel desired and loved! Lots of men don’t get it and that is why most women cheat! If you aren’t getting it from him because he is not attracted to you, whether in your own mind or his, then you should perhaps take a break! Feeling rejected by someone you love is horrible!! Best of luck to you!

  24.  #24Ann on April 25, 2009 at 8:53 pm

    Daria, I feel concerned about you. I hope you are ok.

    Cookie, may I asked have you tried to tell him how you feel? Including how you feel about your sex life? Are you dating yourself and flirting with other men also?

    Sorry about all the questions.

    Cyber hugs ladies

  25.  #25Flipper on April 26, 2009 at 1:41 am

    I certainly know about this wanting the guy to make the move (away) to make it easier for me. But I feel that’d be a cop-out for me and would Not get my vibe in the right place. Sympathy from others perhaps, a ‘good conscience’, but not the energy and feelings I need to get My Life really going.

    Cookie, what about baby steps? No sense dealing with being in the sack with someone else if we haven’t even started sitting next to them in the coffee shop yet! It’s receiving those smaller attentions and feeling those good feelings from them that will give us enough Desire for what we need, the inspiration to work out the details to get it, and the courage to say the words we need to say to whoever we have to say them to, be that the current (future ex?) guy or the new ones showing up. First the circular dating, and THEN asking myself ‘shall I sleep with this one’ and/or the talk to LI about getting with my program (or seeing me take care of it without him).

    Daria, good luck practicing receiving help from your friends right now and concentrating on getting your situation worked out. Don’t let those nasty voices sidetrack you with too much concern for others – you can really only help them once you’ve taken care of yourself.

    Love to all, <3

  26.  #26Heather on April 26, 2009 at 5:27 am

    cookie, thanks very much for your post, you are in good company… i hear what you are saying, actually it seems like we are in a similar situation (long-term relationship that once had more passion, and talk of commitment/marriage. And now it all needs a jump-start, recharge…

    And now, talking about loving & accepting your self (and body) no matter what (the guy does). And … even tho getting in great physical shape seems like a win-win, you don’t want that to be a requirement for him to find you desirable, and to shower you with love, affection & great sex.

  27.  #27Linda on April 26, 2009 at 7:54 am

    Dede Very good point and well taken. It does feel awful to be rejected by someone you care about. Been there done that… Trying to figure out why it is happening and adjusting things can be even worse on yourself. Do make changes that need to happen but taking a break is a good idea and will help you see what is askew and how to make some adjustments for another try or not.

    Ladies….I see myself in so many bits an pieces of these stories. Things I used to struggle with so much and they would completely paralize me. I would be stuck and wallow most times…One by one I have tackled issues and attidutes and am on the way to new things. I dont want stuff I can do anything about to hinder me in my quest to find a love that is healthy and full in my life. What it takes first is me to be full and healthy .!!!

    I went through a 29 year passionless marriage and then a devistating break up with the only man I ever truly loved right after. I felt like a whipped good for nothing abused dog who was underfed, chained to a tree in the rain with no shelter! wow ugly picture…. so many of my own attitudes and actions served to keep me like that too. Yet I am here today a new improved version of the true me. Thanks to this blog and other reading…my approach is so different and my self image is one that feels strong, confident, soft, sexy and I like me . That ihad to be my first step. If you are in a relationship now and you have lost touch with your vibe and who you are… step back and get re centered. It will help you to be true in the midst of whatever you are experiencing.

    Do I have the relationship I want yet nope. Do I know how to get it…much better than I did and I say yes I have a clue now. If you are not getting what you want, even if you love someone….Circular date! Use the tools! EVERY man does have a message for you even the frogs. Listen for it. Practice makes perfect. I seem to get a similar review from most so that gives me a good bead on my “vibe”. What a gift they give and dont even know it. If we are not getting what we want in life or a relationship then check your thought life too. Is is negtive or positive? Mine was negtative and needed to be adjusted.

    On my circular dating rounds I met someone I like alot and I even feel love for him . Here is the kicker it is just not flowing. In the past I would have beat myself up about it trying to figure out what I need to change, but this time is different. I have figured out by process the bottom line isHE is just not EMOTIONALLY AVAILABLE. It has nothing to do with me at all! Stepping back from it too has allowed me to see that he really did not actually give me anything I really need. He only offered it…. I always felt like he was about to give it to me but I was left waiting. AND it kinda kept me on a hook with him. He even eluded to it being my fault several times that things would not work out between us… but I they were all smoke screens were just to cover up his unwillingness to be fully available to me. He is focused on himself, kinda like a narsasitic romeo. He knows how to start something, woo you but cant deliver in a commited relationship because it is all about him. and he lacks the skills…so he holds you in a place where he is comfortable and in control disreguarding your needs and feeling totally…. Duhhh, it took me 2 months to figure it out. Can he change? absolutely! Will he? who knows…Would I like him to YES… but time will tell. Until then put him on the back of my horse and ride on.

    In this post… it is like that … if a guy is only offering but not actually giving it.. be honest and admit it to yourself. Pull back, reevaluate..are you lost in the mix… Remain open for him to step up but and claim you. until he does get your head and energy off him and back onto yourself.

    I read this a long time ago and it is true. This is how trappers catch some breeds of monkies in the wild. The trappers set an item of food in a cage that the monkey can get his hand into and grab the bait..thing is holding the food they cant get it through the bars into their mouths. They become so fixed on the food dangling before them and trying to get to eat that they wont let go of it. Their focus holds them there even when danger approaches… The trapper just simply grabs them and puts them into captivity. Silly monkies… why would they not let go when they first could not get the food out of the cage and into their mouths and even further why would they not let go when danger (a trapper) came close? We can say stupid monkey, just let go and be free……. but……are we like the monkey?

    What is it we hold on to that dangles in front of us that we cant quite make ours or possess and wont let go of?
    It can be a be the promise of relationship, or a hinted at but yet un spoken marriage proposal, a undealt with hurtful thing that happened to us and causes us to limp through life……unforgiveness toward others or self…. whatever applies.!!!

    Be your best friend, keep yourself safe, dont give others power to control you even if it is not intentional. Be aware of how you feel and set goals and boundries. Even if you are in a long relationship and he says he loves you…if he is not putting words to action is that what you want.? LET GO of the bait… re-evaluate make adjustments.. stay warm open, confident and see what happens. I cant wait to discover what is just ahead for me… I feel excited to find out. It could be the guy I like now stepping up (and I would like that but I am not focused on it being him)…it could be someone else entirely.. how cool is that!


  28.  #28Flipper on April 26, 2009 at 3:46 pm

    Beautiful, Linda – yay, how cool is that !!!!??

  29.  #29Cameron Sharpe on April 27, 2009 at 12:01 am

    Sometimes it is unfortunate that why people we want to love, choose not to love us back. I strongly believe that we all have a match in this world but need to wait until we can get a serious relationship with us and will last. When one attempt to a relationship fails, it simply meant to be. If you are affected with the pain because of the relationship, always remember you can recover it. This could be easily dealt with if only our emotions are not evolved when we start to feel strongly for someone but more often than not ,the heart rules strongly over our head.

  30.  #30DocK on April 27, 2009 at 6:47 am

    I’m never quite sure where to post something when it relates more to a Rori email topic but here goes…

    In terms of the “what attracts a man to you physically” I think it was so interesting to see that in my inbox yesterday because it seems like lessons sometimes come in bunches regarding the same issue.

    Guy A stopped by yesterday, unexpectedly (he ALWAYS calls?!?). Now, I realize that is a whole issue in itself but the thing I wanted to discuss for now is that I was really freaked out that I had on NO make-up. Even though one of my affirmations is ‘I am beautiful with or without make-up (seriously it is)’ – well, guess I got the opportunity to see what I really believed.

    I know we are supposed to be confident Sirens but I felt I had to reveal my true feelings that I was a little bit flustered at him seeing me this way. He just said, “so what? You’re beautiful” and talked about how I had no idea how sexy it was to see me in the gym and my strength and all that (so thanks, ladies, he DID like it -you’re right).

    Later, I went to take a Zumba class. This is SO high impact and I finished class sweating like a maniac. I live across the street from the gym and so I just walk home to take my shower. On the way, I see this guy leaving the complex in his car and we just smiled at each other. He turned back around to introduce himself and so on but made the comment, “you’re really pretty.” My hair was up in back and the rest of it was plastered to my head and, once again, most make-up had melted off.

    Point is, I think Rori is so right. I know I get so caught up in meeting a guy and thinking about how my hair, make-up or outfit could be better but they don’t seem to care. I am super healthy and I know that I am proud of that and I guess that is what comes across more. : )

  31.  #31DocK on April 27, 2009 at 7:13 am

    Also, Linda, what a wonderful, insightful, posting – amazing – so full of wisdom. Thank you.

  32.  #32cookie on April 27, 2009 at 7:42 am

    Thank you ladies for responding so quickly to my post. Yeah, I have tried to speak with him about the struggles we’re are having in the sex department. Pre-Rori, I would act all frustrated and silent and just shut down and go dead or start being really upset. Post-Rori, I use feeling messages and try to say the things that feel good to me when he touches me in the right way. He responds well to that mostly. But if I say that I don’t like that or give more instructions like “slower or longer”, he gets really insecure and then doesn’t want to continue having sex. That makes me angry because it feels to me like it’s all his way or no way and that’s not right. I feel like I have to be delicate with him around these issues because he’s really insecure about his performance, and before when I used to bring it up, he said that it feels like too much pressure on him. I have been only sleeping with him for the past 7 and change years. I actually enjoy being with him and before him, I felt like sex was something you did in exchange for attention from men. I actually experienced mind body heart connected sex with him for the first time in all my years of having relationships with men. I am afraid of being with other men. I have had an affair with another man one of the down moments of our relationship and it was like back to the old thing with him. I always want love from these guys and it seems like they only want sex from me. It really hurts my feelings but in the same breath, I don’t want to spend my life wanting more in that department. But then again, every time I do have sex with men, it’s the same thing and I don’t learn anything from them so then I feel like with my guy it’s the best. I guess I just miss the passion we used to have, that’s all I want. Circular dating would probably help get that but I can’t help say that I’m afraid to try it again.

  33.  #33Lisalisa on April 28, 2009 at 10:36 pm

    My ex wants to talk about what we’ve both been going through, 6 months out of our 10 year relationship.

    I have a big long email ready and most of it’s contents are about the things I am recognizing in myself and improving.

    Do I send it or let it go?

  34.  #34Linmayu on April 28, 2009 at 11:36 pm

    Well, you asked, so here’s my 2 cents: don’t send it! Revise it until its contents are all about how you feel in the moment, then send it.

  35.  #35lisalisa on April 28, 2009 at 11:55 pm

    How I feel right now is that I love him and miss him and want to try again. I feel excitement when I think of that possibility, and sadness when I realise I am the only one wanting that. I don’t know what he wants.

    Right now, I am torn between moving on and hoping there is a chance for us.

  36.  #36Linmayu on April 29, 2009 at 12:13 am

    Tell him exactly that, and see what happens. [/meddle]

  37.  #37Linmayu on April 29, 2009 at 12:17 am

    I’m finding it so easy to give advice all of a sudden. I’ve been bumped up to boss mode at work so I give orders all day long, and it always feels weird and awkward–but right now, tonight, it’s feeling very natural for me to be telling people what to do. I don’t want to overstep any boundaries on this blog so please feel free to keep me in check if I start posting too much in boss mode.

    I’ve always worn my girl hat at this job, but now I have to wear the boy hat there. It feels interesting and challenging to have to switch. I just now realized that was what was going on.

  38.  #38Lisalisa on April 29, 2009 at 1:49 am

    Doesn’t that sound like begging? Telling him I love him? Isn’t it desperate?

  39.  #39Flipper on April 29, 2009 at 6:20 am

    Telling what You FEEL is NOT Desperate – it’s honesty and showing how brave you are to be willing to appear to him at your most vulnerable. If this were me, I’d know that it was brave and not desperate if I were willing to accept whatever the response is – including disappointment, rejection, waffling, cluelessness, more of the same-old, or just ‘getting’ to listen to his side of things and nothing more. If he reacted with any negative things which made me feel bad, confused, hopeless, ‘sinking’, speechless (at first) I would feel strong and satisfied with myself if I could tell him clearly that I don’t want any of that. I wouldn’t feel needy because I would not accept those crumbs in the hope they were the first steps in reconnecting. I’d feel it wasn’t begging if I am not asking him to do anything or for any particular outcome.

    On the practical side, remember to use ‘don’t wants’ preferably to ‘wants’, keep the ‘you’s to an absolute minimum, keep it short.

    Perhaps these, from my own attempts to find the words should the opportunity arise, would help:

    I still feel love for you as before. And I don’t want to feel my love is not sparking a greater love that’s coming back to me, to be shared. I don’t want to feel frustrated and insecure at my love going out and not finding a home in a mutually supportive and passionate relationship. I feel lonely with my love not connecting with someone. I feel awkward and exposed, I feel a lump in my throat trying to share these feelings. I feel uneasy, as I really don’t know why you’re contacting me now. I feel wary but curious about that. What do you think?

    Something to mine, refine or jump off from. Everyone, feel free to tweak or post your own words for your own situations. <3

  40.  #40Lisalisa on April 29, 2009 at 6:23 am

    I feel upset because I just don’t know how to talk like that. I don’t understand how to talk confidently about my feelings. That doesn’t sound like anything I would say. But what you write is how I feel.

  41.  #41Flipper on April 29, 2009 at 6:32 am

    Linmayu, if you can keep your girl’s form to your bossing, everyone will be happier all around, including all the bottom-line people. Those are the qualities that only a goddess can bring to balance all the boys’ stuff going on (including your own) and make the whole the most efficient, rewarding possible. I’ve seen all kinds of studies on employee satisfaction, motivation and results that prove it. Make way for the Beauty of a Boss !

  42.  #42Lisalisa on April 29, 2009 at 6:47 am

    I don’t know how to express my feelings like that!

  43.  #43Lisalisa on April 29, 2009 at 6:55 am

    I also feel like he left, so he needs to be the one to reach out.

  44.  #44cookie on April 29, 2009 at 8:45 am

    I agree with Lisalisa I don’t really know how to communicate my truest feelings like that either. I met a guy on the train the other day. He told that I was really pretty. I said thank you. He asked if he could have my number. I giggled because he was with his daughter and I felt a little awkward. He then said well I will give you my number, so i took it. I don’t know why because I really don’t call men at all, but I didn’t know what else to do. He then asked if i had a man, I said that I am seeing someone and have been for a while. But that I am not married. He said that usually when someone is in a relationship that is the point eventually. I said I disagree that it is not always like that. I wanted to use feeling messages but I didn’t really know how and I didn’t come natural. He said well if we ever break up then give him a call, then he got of the train.

    I felt really bummed out about that exchange because he was actually attractive and most of the guys that have been showing me attention lately are guys that I’m not attracted to. I felt really immature not knowing what to say and I felt I sounded like a little girl that didn’t know she wants or a cheater. Afterwards, I sucked it up as part of my experimentation process and I felt better about. But I would like advice on how to be honest about my current situation in a way that draws men in and doesn’t make me sound like a sneaky person. Please advice.

  45.  #45Linmayu on April 29, 2009 at 8:58 am

    No doubt, feeling messages are really freakin hard, especially when I first started. It’s becoming a lot more natural now, but a lot more courage is required to communicate authentic feelings than to communicate intellectual thoughts.

    One thing I’ve used when I felt love for someone but didn’t want to sound desperate (or dishonest!) by saying “I love you” to him is “I feel love,” as Flipper has said. What I said was something along the lines of “I feel love, and in this situation, I don’t want to feel love, so I feel a lot of anger. Dying in a fire would feel more comfortable.”

    If my ex were contacting me wanting to talk about what we’re both going through, I’d f’n rejoice because I’d have a chance to say exactly how I feel and then see what happens. The goal is not to “get him back” by my words, the goal is to express the truth. I’ve found that the truth can either be magnetically attractive to a man, or shove him out the window; and a man who can’t handle the truth is a man I don’t want.

  46.  #46Linmayu on April 29, 2009 at 9:00 am

    The first couple times I used feeling messages with men I cared about, it felt like it would have been more comfortable to throw myself off a cliff.

  47.  #47DocK on April 29, 2009 at 9:39 am

    Cookie – I felt that I didn’t respond “correctly” in a similar situation – got mad at myself but then remembered “Rori says I can’t beat myself up” and so I am glad you aren’t doing that yourself either but chalking it up to “oops” and OK, how do I do this.

    Thinking about it for myself next time maybe, ‘I feel happy to meet you. No, I’m not married. I am dating but not exclusive with anyone so I feel comfortable with getting to know you. What do you think?’

    I don’t know, I have to confess that what I feel myself in this momemnt is kind of dumb about all of this rather than confident. : (

  48.  #48Lisalisa on April 29, 2009 at 2:54 pm

    That sounds fine!

  49.  #49Lisalisa on April 29, 2009 at 2:55 pm

    How do I tell this man that I still love him and value him greatly, but I just can’t ‘be friends’ yet? I need time to process the end of our relationship, as it was his choice to end it. How do I do that without playing the victim. I know I am responsible for it ending too. It wasn’t my intention, but it happened.

  50.  #50Lisalisa on April 29, 2009 at 3:11 pm

    I also wonder if not being able to talk like this for so long is a big part of why we couldn’t communicate properly. I want another chance for us.

  51.  #51Lisalisa on April 29, 2009 at 4:44 pm

    Do you think it’s weird to feel more love for someone, even 6 months after the break up? Is that all in my head?

  52.  #52Lisalisa on April 29, 2009 at 5:11 pm

    How do I know it is not in my head? I’m idealistic – and I let things slide in our relationship because of fear he would not stay, and 10 years later, he left. I now see the reality of how the relationship was and my part in it, but at the time, I saw there were issues but I felt paralysed, that I could not find a solution, and we drifted apart. I need to make sure what I am feeling now is not the same as then. That it’s not something in my head, a fantasy. Do you understand what I mean?

    This is what I feel I can say to him: I feel love for you. As I learn to love and become responsible for myself and my happiness, that feeling of love does not go away and I feel confused as to why. I feel awkward in telling you this, as I have found it difficult in the past to recognize my true feelings, and communicating them to you now leaves me feeling a little exposed.

  53.  #53Daria on April 29, 2009 at 5:26 pm

    Dear Lisa Lisa – I really like your feeling messages. Especially the feeling exposed part. I love that word it feels honest.

    The only part that feels weird to me is the second sentence… about the feeling of love does not go away. It feels like there is something More under this… it feels needy to me, like this is not the real authentic detached truth. I get the feeling you are feeling desperate (which is totally normal and ok, yet that is not what you are saying).

    I really really love the last sentence though… I want to practice it for myself:

    I feel awkward telling you this, I have found it difficutl in the past to recognize my true feelings, and communicating them now to you leaves me feeling a little exposed.

    Whew… that feels so true and real I feel shivery.

  54.  #54Lisalisa on April 29, 2009 at 5:27 pm

    And now I don’t think I want to say that. I feel foolish and immature.

    How do I explain to my ex that I feel love for him. I agreed with him that I didn’t want our relationship the way it was. Am I a fool for thinking it could be different?
    Am I a fool for wanting to start over with this man? Am I just romanticizing our relationship? How do I say I wonder if we could work through the issues we had, like commitment and communication?

    My real concerns are: can we both see the relationship for what it was and do we both want to explore reconciliation.

    How do I put myself out there. Am I a fool?

  55.  #55Lisalisa on April 29, 2009 at 5:33 pm

    Hi Daria,

    Yes, I want to make sure I want to be with this man, not need to be with him. We both see that we need to change things about ourselves. That is good. But does that mean we should be together? What I would require of us both is a commitment to communication, something we are both not great at.

    I wonder if being together is the best thing. I think I want to be with him, how do I know it’s want and not need?

  56.  #56Lisalisa on April 29, 2009 at 5:34 pm

    Do I say that to him? That I am unsure if it is want or need?

  57.  #57Lisalisa on April 29, 2009 at 5:57 pm

    I realise in our relationship I was needy. Now I feel more of a want. I realise I don’t need to be with him, but I want to be. I had so many expectations previously. I just want to enjoy each day with him. I don’t know how to do that as friends, when I want more. Does that mean I need more and am not willing to accept just friendship? Because of my needs?

    So if I want him to be in a relationship with me, what if he doesn’t? How can I just accept being friends. Should I accept it? Just because we aren’t together, doesn’t mean I should exclude him from my life, does it?

    If he can’t give me what I want, how do I handle that?

  58.  #58Lisalisa on April 29, 2009 at 6:40 pm

    I wonder if this is more accurate.

    I feel love for you. I realise I was quite needy during our relationship, and in the detachment process afterwards. I do want to be in a relationship with you, but no, not the way it was. I want to enjoy every moment with you and want to work out any issues. I feel awkward in telling you this, as I have found it difficult in the past to recognize my true feelings, and communicating them to you now leaves me feeling a little exposed.

  59.  #59Lisalisa on April 29, 2009 at 7:01 pm

    One of our issues was that he isn’t sure if he wants children. He wants to want them, but doesn’t desire them. I understand that. I don’t want them right away. Maybe I should say that I feel love, and want to be in a loving relationship.

    I’d like the chance for us to start again, to take things slow…is that rediculous after 6 months out of a long term relationship?

    He’s sorry for hurting me. Maybe he knows we will never be together again. Maybe 6 months is too soon.

  60.  #60Lisalisa on April 29, 2009 at 7:08 pm

    But in reality, he did leave. Although he misses me a lot sometimes and said he isn’t very happy. He wanted me to know that.

    Should I say I need to work out if my reasons for wanting to be with you are out of want or need? Should I be that honest?

  61.  #61Lisalisa on April 29, 2009 at 7:38 pm

    It’s obvious that I want to say the right thing, but I also want it to be honest and what I really feel. I wanted him to come to me because I didn’t want to stupidly put it out there that I want to be with him, and have him feel the complete opposite – so do I just wait?

    I also don’t know how to get him to open up completely. Will what I say scare him off? How do I make it non-threatening, non-needy, and non-pushing? I really have no control over the situation – perhaps I should just let it go. What is the point of telling someone I feel love for them, when that is not what they want?

    “I feel love and that makes me feel happy and confused at the same time. Happy that I feel this way, but confused because I want to give and receive love, and want that with you. I feel awkward telling you this, as I have found it difficult in the past to recognize my true feelings, and communicating them to you now leaves me feeling a little exposed.

    I want to make sure these feelings are because of a desire and want to be with you and not a need.

    Things slipped a long way between us and if you want to talk about that, I would like that too. I see how things slipped due to need, rather than want and desire.

    What are your thoughts [his name]?”

  62.  #62Lisalisa on April 29, 2009 at 7:56 pm

    maybe he is sure of his reasons for leaving now and never wants another chance. that makes me feel terrible, something bad washes over me. to me, that comes from need still. that is why i fear saying too much. i am afraid his wanting to talk comes from him knowing it’s completely over (although he said that he’s not completely over it), not wanting to be together again and just wanting to make sure I’m ok and resume a friendship.

    Oohhhh it’s so hard to know what to do!

    Do I tell him how I really feel and risk being rejected again or made to feel like a fool. Perhaps that is the only way for me to move forward.

  63.  #63Daria on April 29, 2009 at 10:02 pm

    Lisa Lisa you are thinking too much.

    As far as being “that” honest. You want to be as authentic and honest as possible.

    There is no reason to be friends with him when you want more. That is a boundary. You don’t feel like his friend and you would miss him and you don’t want friends… you want a relationship.

    In this case I would want to figure out for myself what kind of relationship I want (marriage) and what that would feel like and spend some time with that.

    There is no “right thing” to say. There is only the option of expressing yourself and your feelings authentically…
    IF he initiates contact.

  64.  #64Linmayu on April 29, 2009 at 10:03 pm

    Oh, I just want to hug Lisalisa right now, and tell her that she will be OK, she will be loved, and she will be on her bridge to Happily Ever After no matter what this particular man says or does. I wanted to say “shmo” or “motherfucker” in place of “man” but I’m trying something new, a worldview that loves and respects men rather than considering them bad or wrong or inferior.

    Deep down inside, do you REALLY want to be with him? I’ve asked myself that question about my ex and I still don’t have an answer. I mean if he came back to me and offered marriage and everlasting love…would I say yes or no? in my heart of hearts I don’t know. If anyone else I’m seeing offered me that…I don’t know.

    Do you REALLY want to be with him, or does he just feel like your only option?

    I feel bothered because I feel majorly triggered by a lot of your posts and the trigger is pushing me into judging mode. And I want to say, no, that won’t work, do it THIS way, but no. Because what the hell do I know? I am not you, and I see everything through Linmayu-colored glasses, and what I suggest might be wrong for another. And I feel sad because I’ve not succeeded with this myself, and here I am wanting to tell someone else what to do.

    Is it normal to feel more love for someone after being out for 6 months? Well, I’ve been out for just over 6 months. And I feel way, way, way more love than I did when we first broke up. So much of the non-love has faded, the rage and grief and betrayal have moved on. Yet this is a different kind of love. It’s a love that asks nothing but to be honored. It comes from deep, deep within me. It energizes me from the core outward and makes me stronger. And it has very little to do with HIM. It’s the memory of him that I love. A picture of his face from 8 years ago is the trigger. The memory of how it felt to be so completely loved and cherished and cared for–that is what remains. It needs nothing. It asks nothing. It is there no matter what happens to me, no matter what I do.

  65.  #65Lisalisa on April 30, 2009 at 12:22 am

    Linmayu, you talking about the memory brought me to tears. Because I have a picture of us in my head, from way back when, when I could see only joy in both our eyes. Why do I still believe we can have that? We can, if we both want it.

    He did initiate contact. He didn’t want me to go on thinking he was perfectly fine with everything and had moved on completely and was very happy?

    Deep down I still feel I do. Perhaps it is just sentimentality from the good days, or missing a connection with him.

    We’ve both struggled to not contact each other. He said he was advised not to. I can only assume that is because who ever advised him knows he only wants to be friends.

    Maybe it is all too hard to start over with this man.

    You might not be me, but any advice is very much appreciated.

  66.  #66DocK on April 30, 2009 at 6:02 am

    Hi Beautiful Women

    I have been trying to catch up and read all of the posts here (don’t always have computer access to follow along slowly).

    I feel like crying, I feel helpless because I have no wisdom to offer and when I feel the suffering of such beautiful, loving women, I want to help and I can feel that we all wish we could just wave some magic wand and take the hurt away from each other.

    I feel so moved and touched to be able to share in the exchange of everyone helping each other. You are so amazing, all of you.

    What I can share is my experience of healing. I have an ex-BF that keeps showing up. I have mentioned him before and how he and I worked together and how he was just so angry and emotionally abusive (he even tried to get me fired just because he was in a bad mood).

    At the end of our “friendship” I was not physically involved with him but felt stuck with him because I didn’t know anyone and was so horribly lonely. I beat up on myself – literally remember at one time hitting myself in the head and sobbing – because I was so angry with ME not even him at accepting such behavior. I too felt like, ‘This is ALL I can attract? What is WRONG with me?’

    As we finally parted company and I let go of him, I felt so FREE. My life changed so much for the better that I felt like that old albatross was off of my neck. I even felt guilty talking with my family at times because they would be complaining about this or that frustration of life and I would just be sitting there still grinning like an idiot thinking, ‘I am SO f-ing happy.’ I felt light and happy.

    One of the guys I am seeing now even calls me “sunshine” which I think is almost hysterical considering how miserable I had been. That anyone could possibly think that is an appropriate nickname for me-such a gift to me!

    some of that initial giddiness and joy has dissipated – but not much. I am SO happy to not have him in my life.

    While I was out with “handsome” (the guy that calls me sunshine) having lunch in the park – my phone rang. I didn’t recognize the number and didn’t answer – later listened to my message and it was my ex BF STILL trying to get me to talk to him.

    There was no “ping” in my heart – no “what if” only the realization that I had no desire to ever have him back – no matter what he wanted or how much he claimed to be different. I was free of him and I always will be.

    I hope, wish, dream and pray for that same “could care less” experience for all of you for those exes. There is so much better out here and you all deserve the best that life has to offer to you. YOU DESERVE THE BEST!

  67.  #67Lisalisa on April 30, 2009 at 6:49 am

    I think it might be best if I don’t tell him how I feel. Wait for him to come to me again and if I can be calm, and present, in the moment, try and speak the truth and in the meantime, keep trying to understand my feelings.

  68.  #68Flipper on April 30, 2009 at 8:16 am

    LisaLisa – I hear so much judgment of yourself, and that triggers me because I feel so bad about still judging myself negatively. You ARE NOT a fool, ridiculous, too idealistic or any of those things with a pejorative twist. We all feel foolish etc now and then, but those are not the authentic feelings that define us – they’re disguised judgments and fears tricked out to not feel so scary (i.e. ‘afraid He won’t come back’ rather than ‘I feel afraid I’ll always be alone’). And the real feelings underneath express our NEEDS – that’s not a dirty word. Recognizing our needs is NOT being needy. Needs define and lead to wants – if we didn’t need to eat we wouldn’t want to bother. Needing to have all the answers Before you dare actually talk intimately together feels ‘needy’.

    All those wonderings about the future or the past (why he….): he does NOT already know the answer. Please don’t apologize to him for Anything, or bring up Any self-criticisms, ‘mistakes” – I feel that would sow doubts he wouldn’t know how to handle. He has initiated, seems to be asking himself the same questions, and somehow senses that he needs you to find out the answers. And yes, You have the answers, but they are all about NOW – not your pasts, and not any specifics about the future. The answers are all about how YOU FEEL NOW and what you WANT/NEED in your life In General to make you feel happy and secure (NOT what only he could ‘give’ you, do, etc). It feels scary as hell to talk on that level, even with practice, so don’t beat your self up that you don’t know how. I hear a lot of Nasty Voices that want to make you believe that your uncomfortableness is a sign not to do it. It’s a sign that it’s new, unusual and frightening, but it is the only way to go. Those NV’s should be heard out and then set aside – they are trying the help you but their advice is worn out, doesn’t work and comes from a place of feeling powerless.

    It sounds like you’re feeling overwhelmed with an impossibly huge agenda, based on ‘what ifs’ and ‘what does he?’. Remember ‘baby steps’ – I liked your first version the best: it felt simple, heartfelt, direct – no apologies, no making him wrong, no ‘recommendations’ about what he, you or the relationship should DO. Later tries seemed more directive, explanatory, ‘fishing’ for a particular outcome.

    If you feel like talking as he suggests, let him know with something like ‘yes, I feel like talking about us’ – what do you think? and see what he proposes. I personally would want a face to face encounter and not want to have the actual discussion by email or text (been there, done that – sure-fire non winner, as many others on here have also found) so that would be a boundary for me – no baring my soul and declaring my love electronically. When we saw each other, I would want to limit myself to only a few of the deepest, most basic feeling messages such as you wrote (that I’d practiced beforehand), feeding them to him one at a time and allowing him the time to absorb and react after each one, and myself to really listen to what he says.

    I feel this would start to get me the answers I need about whether a real relationship with this person is possible.

  69.  #69Linmayu on April 30, 2009 at 1:16 pm

    I don’t have the “could care less” feeling for my ex, and don’t want it. It feels cold and inauthentic to me. Though I did feel a huge weight lifted off me when we parted ways. HUGE. Like, now I can actually be myself.

    I feel like I can be myself now, no matter WHO I am with.

    And I feel deeply and completely loved–and I feel a tiny bit of fear that this love will not last and will not come to fruition in physical form. Yet right now in this moment I feel a tall man embracing me, I feel him wanting me, I feel his energy coming toward me. I do not want to say who he is; he is beyond definition, beyond names. I feel his presence constantly with me. This is someone new, who has come into being only within the past few days. I feel him growing stronger, growing more alive, every moment.

    And I still feel the fear, fear that I’m doing something wrong and God will punish me just like the last time I dared pull a man out of the ether to love. Old fear. I love the fear, the fear is beautiful. Without fear, there is no courage, no excitement, no victory.

    I’ve been bouncing up and down like this constantly over the past couple days.

  70.  #70Lisalisa on April 30, 2009 at 1:39 pm

    I do just want to be myself, but a better version, a version who is calm and strong and knows what’s in her heart. We must already be different since the split. At first I was desperate and needy. I didn’t know how to detach from the only man I’ve shared a life and a home with aside from my family.

  71.  #71Lisalisa on April 30, 2009 at 2:53 pm

    I don’t know if I should contact him or wait for him to contact me again.

  72.  #72Lisalisa on April 30, 2009 at 4:21 pm

    Or maybe:

    “I do want you to know that I see my part in this, and am taking a good look at myself. If you want to talk about this, I am open to talking, and to listening. Things slipped a long way between us and if you want to talk about that, I would like that too. I see how things slipped due to need, rather than want and desire.

    I can see changes in myself, but it is a slow process. I feel love again for myself and for others and that makes me feel happy and confused at the same time. Happy that I feel this way, but also confused. I’m confused because I feel I want a relationship with you, but not the way it was, and because we are both discovering what we want in life, it could never be that way. I feel cautious because I do not know what your thoughts are on this. I feel excited that a relationship with you could be all we want and more, but scared that you do not want that with me. I feel awkward telling you this, as I have found it difficult in the past to recognize my true feelings, and communicating them to you now leaves me feeling a little exposed and set up for rejection, yet I want to tell you this.

    I wanted to make sure these feelings are because of a desire and want to be with you and not a need.

    What are your thoughts [his name]?”

  73.  #73Lisalisa on April 30, 2009 at 4:48 pm

    Or, “rather than feeling that attached need for you and your love, I feel more love for you and I feel confused”.

  74.  #74Lisalisa on April 30, 2009 at 4:53 pm

    But I still get a lump in my throat and my heart thuds when I see a photo of him and the girl he’s dating. What does that mean?

  75.  #75Lisalisa on April 30, 2009 at 5:16 pm

    Do I tell him that? That is honest. Perhaps that is about wanting what I cannot have?

  76.  #76Daria on April 30, 2009 at 6:39 pm

    Dear Lisa… I feel concerned. I feel like you are putting so much effort in, which feels kinda like leaning forward.

    I would write my thoughts about the situation and turn them into feeling messages, so that I could feel clear… for ME (without considering HIM and what to say to HIM).

    Have you read the “How Feeling Messages Work” post from awhile back? It’s important that he initiates contact, and also that we give this power speech line by line, with pauses, asking him what he thinks…

    The power speech is about expressing our feelings. Clearly. It should feel good and clear to you when you read it to yourself (and probably scary imagining saying it to him).

    I wish Rori would chime in here… I feel triggered.

  77.  #77Lisalisa on April 30, 2009 at 7:49 pm

    I think one of the things I fail to remember is that I never seem happy with what I write to him. I write it, send it and then wonder if it was the right thing to do. So feel back at square one.

  78.  #78Flipper on May 1, 2009 at 2:33 am

    So if that is making you feel bad, maybe Writing to Him is not the way to go?

    Rather than explaining what was wrong with your relationship before or how you want it to be in future, what if you tried to turn it around into “don’t wants” about the aspects you will no longer tolerate? Don’t wants are about boundaries, what you will not accept. But they do not tell anyone what to do. They are much easier to hear because they are about you, but they don’t put pressure on the other.

    Of course, we Want what We Want. That’s legitimate and it’s essential to know what that is and be clear about it. At the same time, we do not feel good and don’t want to ASK for it.

  79.  #79DocK on May 1, 2009 at 6:06 am

    Beautiful Linmayu – I feel happy you have a different feeling for your ex than I do for mine. In my case, this man was emotionally abusive in a way that was almost violent – and I don’t really know how to explain what that means – it is what I experienced from him. ‘I could care less’ for me means that although I do not wish him harm or bad things to happen tohim – it means that I do not want him in my life and I am not triggered by thoughts of him with someone else.

    What I do feel in relation to him – is some amount of fear and I do not want to feel that and really, really want him to just go away and leave me alone.

    He has continued to try to contact me since he moved away even though I told him that I would not be with him again.

    Some time ago he sent an email saying “I need your help” that he was trying to move back to our area (from west coast to east coast). I told him that I was seeing someone and he would just have to get someone else to help him – and I wished him well, with sincerity.

    He has not stopped trying to contact me and even showed up at my office one day uninvited. The people here know that he and I worked together but not that we ever had an intimate relationship so I had to just play along like it was a visit from a former co-worker/friend.

    More attempts at contact have come since then including the day I was in my park with my favorite guy. I ignored it. Now, last night he sent me this text message…

    “Hi, I hope u r well and that u r happy. I will b back in NYC in Jul but I wont be contacting u anymore since I’ve found a nice 30 year old model to spend time with. I tried 2 talk 2 u and c u but u have refused. I wish u the best in your life and career.”

    So, perhaps you can see where I am coming from. One, even though I told him that I AM seeing someone – he didn’t stop trying to see me, have lunch with me, talk to me, etc. Second, I don’t believe what he is saying about the model (but again, I “could care less” in the sense that I feel no jealousy if it is true) since, if true, then why did he continue to contact me and why is he moving back here in July? Why doesn’t he move her here with him?

    I have ignored his message but I am afraid. I had a dream more than a year ago that I saw him in the city and he had a gun and threatened to kill me. While I don’t believe this is a prophetic dream or anything, it demonstrates the fear I feel in relation to him.

    I am hoping that he thinks he has put me in my place with his announcement of his model GF and will now leave me alone to stew in my misery and cry over what a great guy I have lost – let him think that if it will get him to leave me alone. I am just worried that this isn’t the last of him – he is truly a toxic man, not just clueless, and I think borderline sociopath.

  80.  #80Lisalisa on May 1, 2009 at 7:02 am

    Out having dinner with a friend tonight and of all the streets to walk down, he chose that street. He stopped in and said hello (I was with a mutual friend), made niceties and off he went. I can’t even remember if I said anything.

    He is dating someone else – what part of that don’t I understand? I don’t understand when he is wanting to talk to me, saying he isn’t very happy, but is screwing someone else.

  81.  #81DocK on May 1, 2009 at 7:27 am

    Hi Lisalisa

    I hope someone here can offer some words of comfort to you. I am too much in a place of not being able to provide the support we all seek from each other for the hurts that you all are experiencing with your exes because I am in a place where I just want my ex to disappear. that is because I feel he is a nutcase whereas the men you are all writing about were, for the most part, very good but the relationship just didn’t work out for some reason.

    I do feel so very sorry for you for having to run into him like that – when you still feel so much for someone, it is like having alcohol poured into a wound and it hurts like hell. Doesn’t help that you are feeling confused about what it is that he does or doesn’t want for both of you together. Your sadness is so strong, I feel hurt for you and I hope that you get the clarity you need and that it can bring peace to you.

  82.  #82Daria on May 1, 2009 at 10:18 am

    Dock –

    OH MY GOD EW!!! I Feeel so disgusted and repulsed and your ex sounds just like some of the passive agressive totally socially inept guys that have tried to date me in the past. I TOTALLY see where you are coming from. I feel angry, provoked, turned off and also a little afraid…

    I hate that “guilt trip” thing… I tried to call you but you didnt answer blah blah…

    or even from a not so bad guy the other day… I got a text saying… I guess I won’t be seeing you again huh? Well… with that kinda text you probably won’t buddy. I feel annoyed and There’s no answer coming…

    Also I’ve found that ignoring those texts usually doesn’t lead to them stopping contact… they’ll be back. I unfortunately don’t know how to avoid ex from contacting you… ( one idea would be to have a male friend speak to him in very CLEAR terms that he should not contact you).

    Lisalisa – hugs! Now you have your answer. He DID NOT lean forward, so there is no reason to send him any feeling messages. Lean back, date and Do nice stuff for you.

    A guy that I was “best friends” and also lovers for 6 years is now not contacting me and having a baby with someone else. It hurt for me to lean back and stop contact (I am realizing that I was perhaps initiating ALL contact the WHOLE TIME except for the beginning of our sexual relationship)… and it also rebuilt my safe elsteem piece by piece, and gave me a good look at a future for myself, instead of desperation and holding on to him. Yes I am looking forward to the day that he does contact me (although I feel annoyed that I still Want this) and I am also not contacting him. I ran into him 3 weeks ago at a mutual friend’s house and he DID NOT come to speak to me first, just said a casual hi to me and I felt so overwhelmed I only managed a one word reply (and a murderous look that I didn’t really want to show). I am practicing being stronger so that I don’t feel intimidated when he does show up. Because I believe that when I feel strong and good he will show up… or SOMEONE BETTER. And I want to feel ready and strong and love myself plenty.

  83.  #83DocK on May 1, 2009 at 11:22 am

    Daria – thank you. I feel your support and I appreciate that so much.

    My friend, “Handsome” already offered to talk to “ex” but I am going to wait in case he does come back to contact me again – as you and I both suspect that he will. He is moving back here for a reason and I believe that I am at least part of that reason and him giving up so easily not an option.

    I feel your strength as well in your own situation – hard to go through when you were with someone for so long but I also feel you hugging yourself, loving yourself through this. I also think it is normal to vision, dream and WANT that day when the ex comes back and you have moved on and it doesn’t matter. Well, that is usually, as long as it isn’t a scary person like my ex.

  84.  #84Lisalisa on May 1, 2009 at 5:48 pm

    How will I know if he is leaning forward? That it’s more than him just wanting to be friends?

  85.  #85Linda G on May 2, 2009 at 2:33 am

    I remember hearing on one of Rori’s progrms that if a guy does not get it that he needs to make plans in advance with you, then he’s stupid, and what do you want with that guy? For me, the same holds true for phone calls. I give out my cell phone number o guys, and sometimes I just cannot pick up. I’m working, in school, on a date, busy. I never cll bck after a first phone call, unless the message is purposeful, and even then not right away. When I get a response thatispunishing, like, I called you but I guess blah blah blah..then I really never call back. It’s smothering and passive aggressive like daria says. At first I would feel guilty, until a guy who called, called back again, more than once. He was truly interested and truly able to step up without the need to control me or judge me.
    Although he is not the cutest, not the richest, not he most exciting or exotic guy, he is my new favorite.

    A guy I went out with nights ago who I called email guy, always emailing nothing messages, texting nothing texts, texts me to ask if the date was thumbs up or thumbs down. It really triggered me to think he was so insecure and so girly. couldn’t even call or text, to say he had a nice time, but even the eval was up to me. It took weeks to get him to stop texting and emailing and finally call and ask for a real date, not just are you busy now. What alot of work, ick.

  86.  #86Linda G on May 2, 2009 at 2:44 am

    Lisa Lisa
    I feel your frustration and anxiety, wanting to kickstart this scenario with this guy. you will know when he is leaning forward only when you stop writing, calling contacting, doing anything to get his attention, He will be leaning forward when he asks to see you, and you lean back, and he tries to pursue you. not in a call that says, just felt like talking, seeing how you are doing, thats a guy who wants to keep you hanging around for his own amusement. pursuing you looks like a date.

  87.  #87Lisalisa on May 2, 2009 at 2:53 am

    Well he isn’t doing that (pursuing me). All he is doing is trying to be friends. After 10 years. I don’t know how he doesn’t know he broke my heart and it hurts that he’s off with someone else. I am not the one contacting him. Do I just not reply to his emails? Say I can’t do friends?

  88.  #88Lisalisa on May 2, 2009 at 3:49 pm

    I think accepting his attempt at friendship will only hurt me more in the short term. I can’t move on with him in my life. But to say that to him will be very hard. We shared 10 years. But he opted out. I didn’t. I can’t pretend for his (or anyone’s) benefit that I am happy just being friends. The only one that really hurts is me. If he wants to talk about reconciliation and counselling, I am open to it. Anything else is not acceptable, not until we have both lost the attachment to each other.

    Saying this to him will be the hardest thing, but he made his choice to leave. I’m not doing it to hurt either of us.

    I spent 10 years with someone who was never really committed, so unless he does a 180, what is the point?

    Is an ultimatum wrong? Realistically, I don’t think it will make any difference.

  89.  #89Linda G on May 2, 2009 at 4:41 pm

    Lisa lisa:
    my feeling is that an ultimatum will not get you what you want, which is to state your boundaries and feel good about yourself. an ultimatum will push him into a corner, think lion in a cage, or even if he tries to accommodate you, it will be temporary. any commitment or interest has to be initiated by him.
    if you need to express yourself, s you are saying you do, perhaps the conversation/power speech should sound like: I am looking for a relationship, love, marriage, etc. It feels wierd being friends. I don’t want to be friends with you. maybe even, I want to be free to explore my other options, and being friedns with you will take too much of my energy and time right now. (although I think this last statement is unnecessary, if that is what you truly feel, say it.) the pont is, be true to your feelings, what you don’t want, what you want, not from him, what you want in your life.
    anyway, this is my opinion, please don’t feel I am bossing you, I am only trying to channel what I have learned so far from Rori and my own experience.
    He will know what you are feeling from that,no reason to demand counseling, phone calls, anything. and I would only tell him this when he calls again, on his own.

  90.  #90Lisalisa on May 2, 2009 at 4:50 pm

    No Linda G, you are not bossing at all. What I need is to listen and to learn and I really do appreciate it. Thank you.

    I have learnt a lot about myself over the last 6 months. I am looking for a relationship, love, marriage, committed to open communication. It feels weird being friends you, knowing you do not want those things with me, but these are things I want in my life.

  91.  #91Ann on May 2, 2009 at 4:53 pm

    Lisa I feel that sometimes with men the best way is short and simple. Your still in love with him so it would do you more harm than good to be his friend at this time.

    So maybe you should simply say ” I have to take care of me first now. At this point in time I’m still in love with you. So I feel it wouldn’t be in my best interest to try to have a friendship.

    This is just my opinion. Hope you find what feels good to you.

  92.  #92Lisalisa on May 2, 2009 at 5:31 pm

    I don’t want this man out of my life, but the reality is that he is in my life in a way that I don’t want…distant, friendly only. I want more. I don’t have to accept less.

  93.  #93Ann on May 2, 2009 at 5:42 pm

    I understand, I know that hurts very much. But truthfully what you want and what he wants to give you might be 2 entirely different things. The only way you’ll feel better is to take care of you first. And that can be easilier said than done.

  94.  #94Linda G on May 2, 2009 at 5:42 pm

    and lisalisa, I know this sounds completely wierd and backwards, but the only way you will ever get what you want from him, is to turn your back to him.
    look elsewhere, date, circular date, soon you will feel good about yourself and maybe wonder why you would ever want to be at his mercy, or anyones again, who knows, you may meet someone who can give you what you want, sooner than you think, but not until you cut him off and free yourself.

  95.  #95Lisalisa on May 2, 2009 at 5:49 pm

    Isn’t him dating already saying that I can’t give him what he wants? He said he’s not very happy. I know he feels very guilty for hurting me. I don’t want him to, but he did string me along for 10 years. I want to be with someone who knows what he wants, in life, in a relationship. I can’t live with uncertainty again, it’s destructive.

  96.  #96Lisalisa on May 2, 2009 at 9:27 pm

    I just have to remember that when I miss him so much it hurts, he’s sleeping with someone else.

  97.  #97Ann on May 2, 2009 at 9:37 pm

    Rori hope you don’t mind there is a sentence in your ebook about synchronicity I have to keep reminding myself about.

    “If you use most of your energy thinking about how miserable you are, and focusing on what you
    don’t like about what’s going on in your life, it’s like signaling the world to keep on sending more of the same your way.”

    I needed this reminder at this time in my life. Re-reading on your ebook tonight.

  98.  #98Lisalisa on May 2, 2009 at 9:41 pm

    I am changing things in my life for the better. My health, my finances. I don’t know whether to fight for us, if there is something to fight for. Or just give up. Be friends. Completely cut contact.

    What I do want is a wonderful relationship with this man. But he has rejected me, left me, after 10 years.

    Why can’t I see I am fooling myself? Why am I pining for him?

  99.  #99cookie on May 3, 2009 at 8:39 am

    Lisa Lisa,

    I have been following along with your stream of thought and situation and I don’t really have anything new to add, I feel the ladies have offered you really good advice thus far. I can only say that I am experiencing some of the same things in my relationship with my LI. He has not been stepping up to claim me, although he makes little comments here and there. But I don’t believe in “future talk” as Rori would call it because that to me feels like taking crumbs. I do want to initiate conversation around the future of relationship and he is still on the path to marriage and children but I have literally been “putting my hand over my mouth and staying home more, going out for more walks alone, saving my money, and doing things for myself. My natural inclination is to lean way forward and ask questions until he gets angry with the questions but I have restraining myself lately. And it feels better to me actually. I had to retrain him with the phone call thing. At first he would get really upset that I didn’t initiate any calls to him but now he calls when he wants to and if I can accept his calls I do and I never say “why didn’t you call me” etc. etc. So I’m proud that I’m making efforts to improve my self esteem and degree of difficulty.

    For you, I wish you some peace of mind, I think everyone is right that you should turn your back to this situation and focus on what seems like a much neglected you. He will return, they always do. But if you want him to see differently and the relationship to be different, you can’t talk about it, you have to just be it. I am learning to be this way myself.

  100.  #100Lisalisa on May 3, 2009 at 1:42 pm

    Thank you. I don’t think he will return. I think I am just having a hard time realising it’s truly over.

  101.  #101Lisalisa on May 3, 2009 at 1:47 pm

    Yes, we were living together and I moved out after the break up. I believe now he never intends to get back together. He wouldn’t have left me if he didn’t. I am just having a hard time facing reality. He left after 10 years and is dating someone else, what more do I need as proof he isn’t coming back? We barely talk, because I don’t want to do the friends thing. It’s like he was able to instantly detach from 10 years together and I can’t do the same. I feel like a fool, like I want to wake up from this bad dream.

  102.  #102gina on April 4, 2011 at 8:40 pm

    I am curious why, when we are talking about not being ‘exclusive’ in dating a specific man that we want to ‘wake up’, why is it recommended that we continue to have sex with them exclusively? How does that say that he is going to be the same? If we are saying that we will date others, but be exclusive sexually with them……how do we know they are going to stay exclusive sexually with us……men are pretty insecure and if they think that we are dating other men…..they will date other women and probably not keep it exclusive……just my thoughts