How Dating And Flirting – Even If You’re IN A Relationship – Help You Stop Hurting

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Allana Pratt, the Sexy Mom Expert (and I know her and love her and she truly is a wonderful coach…) wrote a comment about my Circular Dating as Healing post – you can read her whole comment here->

Allana asked me a question – basically about the concept of taking a “break” from dating to heal…

For the most part, she encourages Circular Dating, but if a woman has a strong addiction to men who are awful for her, and is feeling terrible about herself, Allana asks her to stop dating entirely for about a month.  During that month, her client goes through pretty much the pain of “withdrawal” from the addiction and then is able to return to “conscious dating” from a much better place.

Allana asked what I thought and about my own experiences as a coach – and here it is… (I’m going to be doing an entire new program around Breakup Rescue and Healing Your Heart – what this is all about –  so I’m just going to touch on this here…)

In my experience, just like men – we are either the kind of person who launches ourselves into action and goes out dancing the moment we hit heartache, or we’re the kind of person who sits at home with the TV and a gallon of ice cream night after night.

Some of us are party girls, like the celebrities we follow in the news, and some of us hide ourselves away.

But it’s the same thing going on.  It might look different – if we go out partying, we’re trying to distract ourselves from the pain of our heartaches, our addictions and frustrations and all the old traumas and old patterns that are running us in an unconscious way.

If we sit home and cry, we’re still following some old patterns of coping – sinking into the hopeless “what ifs” and “if onlyies.”

If we go out to seminars and workshops hoping to heal ourselves by doing group work that SHOULD be meaningful and helpful, we often feel our pain even MORE than if we just go to the nearest Starbucks for coffee.

It’s not what we DO that’s important.  It’s how we USE what happens inside and outside us when we do it. It’s about bumping up against our old icky “stuff” – the deeply painful and terrifying feelings we’ve buried our whole lives – and transforming the “energy” of the feelings – just by EXPERIENCING them- even a little.

With a talented coach like Allana, you would be walked and supported through doing this and get great results – wherever you are.

So – the question is – what should you CHOOSE to DO while you’re bumping up against old horrible feelings?  How should you CHOOSE to TRIGGER yourself – to Trigger the bumping up against these deeply buried and powerful feelings?

Should you choose to take baths and do yoga in your living room, and read and meditate? Should you do only the necessary things – marketing, the dry cleaners, work, driving the kids around, paying your bills, cleaning and de-cluttering and decorating your home?

Or should you get yourself on an online dating site or go to Speed Dating events or go to dance classes, lectures, group hikes, acting classes – places where there might be MEN? Should you accept a coffee date even though the man who’s asking you looks just like the one who just broke your heart and treated you like a second-class woman?

These are the questions Allana is talking about, and here’s my short answer:

When you’re working to shift the way you’ve been your whole life, there’s a pattern:

1. Something happens. It can happen with or without your choosing, with or without your action.  In the course of your day, you may see even the smallest thing – a bug, or a tree, or a picture…or smell a perfume or some food…or so many things you might come in contact with…and that something that happens will…

2. …Trigger you.  This means you will have an emotional, physical and mental REACTION.  You will feel something.  And then that feeling will trigger some thoughts, and those thoughts will lead to other feelings.  And almost all the time – the feelings and thoughts that are triggered, the ones that show up and take you over for a moment, an hour, a day, a week – are the SAME exact feelings and thoughts that ALWAYS come up when the same thing happens.

This Triggering is an automatic reaction based on old traumas and fears…and it can be mixed in with a perfectly healthy, “normal” reaction to something real – For instance, someone in a restaurant walks by you and suddenly drops a tray full of glasses.  They crash to the ground.  You jump out of your seat, your heart pounding.

Part of this reaction was instinctive about the threat that just happened in reality – you heard glass crash, you were startled and instinctively moved to get away from the flying glass and the noise.

And part of this reaction might have been a replay of your reaction when a loud noise and crashing sound happened to you BEFORE.

To your brain and body – it doesn’t matter if it’s really happening or if it’s just happening as an automatic response.  Your mind and body believe, for that moment, that it’s real. And if you’re like me – the experience of this can ‘bum you out” all evening.  The old feeling takes you over, puts you in a “mood.”

Or – a man can say or do something that sets you off – perhaps feeling chemically, powerfully attracted to him and nervous, or makes you feel dismissed and angry and hurt…and that can just be the same thing you’ve experienced over and over and over again.

What’s important here is:

3.  What you do when you get triggered – do you avoid and resist the painful feelings, or do you sink into them and go THROUGH them to the other side?

If you RESIST, nothing will change within you internally.  You will reinforce your stuck place, AND you will feel even MORE pain – because the pain is in the Resistance.

If you choose to SINK INTO the feelings and go through them (The way I walk you through in many of my programs…) you will then need to…

4. …Rest.  You have to rest because your body, mind, spirit and heart will be Regrouping and Reorganizing.  Resting, Regrouping and Reorganizing takes the time it takes, and each of us has to learn to get in touch with how this part of the cycle works.

Now…here’s where you get to decide some things:

5. How do you choose to go through this process of  Something Happening, Getting Triggered, and Resting? Do you wish to be ACTIVE or PASSIVE about getting triggered?

In other words, do you want to PUSH yourself forward, or do you want to SIT BACK and see what happens?

No matter what – SOMETHING WILL HAPPEN.  You WILL get triggered.  The only difference is in what YOU CHOOSE to get triggered by, and how active and specific you want to be.

NOT doing something is not RESTING.  Even if you lock yourself in at home, you will get Triggered.  You will go through the cycles over and over again every time you THINK of something that triggers you.

And here’s where curing an addiction to love and certain kinds of men differs from curing an addiction to alcohol or drugs. We know what a drug is.  We know what alcohol is.  You know when you go into a bar there will be alcohol there.  You know when you go to a party with the old friends you used to do drugs with – there will be drugs there.  And you know what those drugs look like.

You can say yes or no to something concrete.  But men are different.  It takes skill and practice to tell a man who’s a bad drug from a man who’s a good guy.  It takes practice getting in touch with your own feelings.  Living is an art.  And like the art of acting or music, you cannot learn how to be with men without practicing.  Without actually DOING the acting scenes and playing the music.

Tiger Woods could not redo his entire golf swing (a major, major undertaking) without practicing the new swing over and over and over again – and experiencing how drawn he would be to the old swing.  Staying away from his golf clubs would not have helped, because the response in his body to picking up a golf club is to swing it in a certain, old way.  He has to retrain his body to swing.

And most all women have been swinging wrong.  What we consider “dating” and relationship can actually be, as Allana had said here also – an addiction, and not relationship at all.  We have taught ourselves to NOT be authentic and NOT to feel in the presence of a man.

So – we can either go to work, the market, and stay home (and this is all after the “Rest” period – which could take anywhere from hours to days  – and your Rest and Regroup and Reorganization process will go faster and faster every time you go through these cycles if you go INTO the feelings instead of RESIST them)-

– Or you can force yourself to get Triggered in both – yes – ARTIFICIAL situations (Speed Dating, Online Dating) – and also organic situations (lectures and workshops and classes and stores that interest YOU, and feel good to YOU), and use ALL those situations to use my Tools and my Flirting and Circular Dating techniques to learn – as fast as you can – while still HONORING your need to REST.

In other words – Dating and Circular Dating is Free Therapy.  This is not about “distracting” yourself from your pain and hurt. This is not about finding your dream man.

What this is about is working through your addictions in the presence of the drug, until you learn which man will ENCOURAGE your addiction – and which man will help you detox, so you know which to avoid and which to let in.

This is on-the-job training.  This is learn-as-you-go.  This has nothing to do with finding Mr. Right. This has everything to do with helping YOU feel Right with YOU.

And from there – you can have EVERYTHING you want.

We can talk more and more about this, and about what “Resting” uniquely means for you, and I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Love, Rori

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  1.  #1Cassandra on October 30, 2008 at 7:15 pm

    WOW Rori….did this ever hit home for me! I know that I am dealing with the addiction part here and am trying so hard to change that. I feel so excited about this whole process even though it hurts. YOu and I both know that I am with a man who feeds the addiction by not treating me right and being completely about himself. The hard thing though is that I can’t even THINK about spending time with another man. I have made so many bad decisions about who can be in my life and in my heart that I now do not trust myself at all to make that decision and am terrified to even think about having someone in my life. I hope that once I get through all of the steps…get stronger within ME and feel good about ME….perhaps I will get there? I don’t want to be alone…I do want to be loved and cherished…married and have a famiy so I hope that I can get to the point where there is no longer fear but faith to step out on. Thanks for this wonderful article Rori.

    With tons and tons of love….

  2.  #2Ashley on October 30, 2008 at 10:37 pm

    Oh my goodness, I have realized lately that I definitely have the tendency to try to resist feeling those painful feelings when they come up! I have noticed that I try to distract myself and avoid them at all costs, out of fear of “seeming insecure” in the presence of a man.

    Like one of my worst fears is that a guy will pick up on the fact that I am really insecure at times (despite how confident and “together” I have the tendency to project myself to guys that I am dating). I feel scared that he will see when I am anxious or nervous around him (especially on those first dates when I get to know a guy). So I do everything to try to push those feelings below the surface so he won’t see them.

    But in actuality, I need to start to sink into them and FEEL them. Be authentic. And realize he’s probably just as nervous as I am sometimes (especially during the first date or two)!

    Sometimes it just seems counterintuitive that I should sink into these negative feelings. I am afraid that if I sink into them too much, I might become depressed, or in an overall state of nervousness and anxiety. But maybe if I practice FEELING instead of resisting, I will finally be able to release those negative fears/feelings instead?

    I’m not quite sure what this “resting” period means for me yet, but I will try it and hopefully let you know. This is definitely new territory.

  3.  #3Daria on October 31, 2008 at 2:13 am

    Soo… I had a fun hang out date at a music studio at a neighbor’s house… I was just thinking about him in passing as I drove by this morning and he called me out the blue tonite… yay… I used to date him years ago but we kind of grew apart…

    It was great to practice the tools… he is really into the stuff he does (music, the computer, himself) and I remember I used to feel really ignored around him… this time I kept moving my thought energy from my head to my pelvis, and telling all my body sensations I loved them… I totally felt like it was therapy, it was like being by myself but he was just there for me to learn…

    I realized for the first time ever that my brain is an organ too! And it holds energy… my mind is not “nowhere” it is in my head! so when I am thinking I really feel tightness, hotness, energy in my head area… it feels so different to move it down my body and in my pelvis! I feel very innocent like a little girl… and I like it. And it’s amazing how I’m so used to having it “up there” and how if I get triggered I will sometimes revert to thinking or daydreaming and find my energy “up there” or spinning or traveling out before I search for my actual body sensation that I am trying to escape and get a chance to melt it with I love you…

    I also had to practice listening at level 2 and realized I have more to learn in this department (I thought I had it handled without trying but now I see I lost track a few times and made judgements)

    Everytime I would tell a tight feeling I loved it it would melt or else become really enjoyable instead, even sensations I usually hate (like having to go pee for example and knowing there was no bathroom) lol sorry for the info but I was being very detailed with lots of sensations… I also spent a lot of time “mini”-dancing while sitting on the couch while he played and edited music… even my shivers of cold which I usually hate turned pleasant and I realized how embarassed I am of some of my regular body reactions… like shivering, getting into unusual yoga-like positions, (I kept hearing my mom’s voice saying “Don’t sit like that!” “Stay in one spot!” LOL) making “humph” sounds and “humph” laughter from my chest (I do this all the time since I started allowing my emotions to flow. I think it’s how I realease some emotions) and feeling my vagina tighten… I feel insecure writing that but it kind of feels liberating… at one point I felt I had a mini orgasm! LOL…

    so I must definitely be seeing the fruits of my labors of tolerating my loneliness because I was loving myself…

    I found myself worrying about the “best” way to leave and kept realizing that it was entirely up to me as this was MY therapy! When I did leave it happened so organically and I said bye in a beautiful unplanned tone and had to do no leaning forward and he gave me a hug and said he will definitely call me more often…

    also I got a late text from a friend who said his cute cousin (that I admit I had asked about) had said to come see him… which is usually fun because he hangs out somewhere where there are lots of guys! Well i got the text 3 hours later for some reason… but that goes to show that people were and are trying to contact me right at the moment when I am raging about feeling lonely… I must have really let go energetically… YAY…

    I’m feeling very pleased…

    as a side note… while I was at the music studio I was able to hear the instruments separately in a song for the first time in my life… I have wanted to be able to do that FOR SO LONG. I feel really happy because I like music and dancing I would like to create it but always felt unskilled. Now I feel I have finally opened up and learned enough to figure out how it’s done on my own! I feel happy and blessed…

  4.  #4Reshi on October 31, 2008 at 7:47 am

    I’m finally at the point where I get excited when I get triggered, when a painful feeling comes up (which is every day–but NO LONGER every minute!) And I’m getting pretty damn good at sinking into my feelings, if I do say so myself. 😉 Yesterday I was feeling depressed and unloved and I asked myself what I wanted, and I wanted to feel love for myself and faith in my man’s love for me…and I took myself through the tunnel by putting on some music and dancing and just following my feelings, and then suddenly it just hit me like a revelation from Heaven: Love will come to me in its own time and I don’t have to do a damn thing to go get it.

    This felt amazing, but of course now I’m feeling upset that love did not come to me in its own time, like, TODAY. Back into the soup I go…

  5.  #5Cassandra on October 31, 2008 at 8:51 am

    Reshi….I think that I am finally getting the hang of some of the steps and I have gotten to feel a little of the awesome things that you have been feeling in working thru all of this…I am so happy for you….thanks for posting…your posts have helped me so much.

    Love and hugs…..Cassandra

  6.  #6Daria on October 31, 2008 at 11:47 am


    here’s some food for thought… what is your imput on this…

    “If you want a man to call back, give him a “reason” that’s interesting, unpredictable, fun, etc.
    But most importantly, it’s got to be a reason that will make him FEEL ATTRACTION for you.
    If you do something less predictable, like tell him…
    ‘Hey, since you’re going to Europe, if you’re good I’ll tell you a few secrets about what makes the French such great lovers… or great cooks… whichever you’re more curious about…'” – Christian Carter newsletter

    Although a little corny, this seems to be trying to teach women to flirt… What do you think? Is this too leaning forward… or within bounds? It also seems to be setting the tone as having the man chase us because of the “if you’re good” part…

    Do you think this is a good way of flirting… or will it backfire because it’s not a feeling message?

    I seem to have lost some of the playfulness of how I used to flirt and gone into a more mysterious, deep “feeling” way of communicating with men… but am interested in experimenting and also how to work this into our feeling way of being…

  7.  #7Rori Raye on October 31, 2008 at 1:33 pm

    I absolutely adore Christian Carter. He’s my friend, I work with him, I’ve appeared on his programs, and he’s mentored me in a business sense.

    I think his contribution to women is gigantic.

    And in this one area – it’s not that we disagree – it’s that it’s not my style.

    In my experience, being clever, funny, flirty and coming up with smart one-liners and questions to start a conversation with a man is very, very, very advanced work.

    I’m pretty funny in normal conversation, but I don’t think I could do this properly.

    The problem with it is it requires THOUGHT. It requires being in your head, it requires moving away from your body and your feelings for the time it takes to think this up and say it – and that’s what all my work is about – moving AWAY from thinking.

    Also – in real life – if what’s really going on is that you feel anxious and want to call him – then saying something like this will be utterly inauthentic – he’ll get right away from your “vibe” that you’re feeling insecure and weird and want to talk with him. So it won’t work.

    And – the whole thing seems like so much EFFORT – doesn’t it? And the moment you start “efforting” – that’s when you start feeling resentful, you start feeling bad – it boomerangs on YOU.

    That said – I’m all about EXPERIMENTING. If this feels like your style, try it and let the rest of us know how it FELT to you.

    Love, Rori

  8.  #8Reshi on October 31, 2008 at 10:36 pm

    I imagine that Christian’s flirting technique would work if the right words come to your mind NATURALLY. I’m actually not a funny person naturally but I grew up with two sisters who are, so I had excellent training…so it’s easy for me to flirt in a teasing kind of way.

    On the subject of experimenting, I did something interesting today. It was beautiful out, so I got all dressed up and went to the local botanic garden. Now this is not generally a place where one would find single guys wandering around, but I got it in my head that I would go to this one specific area of the garden, and there I would find a man and use Rori’s tools to get him to take a picture of me.

    So I’m going about my business, giving myself up to trees, alternately feeling like a goddess and a freak. I got to my intended destination and suddenly was overcome by a feeling of disappointment, I felt that I would not succeed in my goal of finding a guy to photograph me. And then I felt resigned to that disappointment, and went on exploring…I was pretty much Riffing without the benefit of being able to write the feelings down…and then out of the blue two beautiful young men wandered in and were taking pictures of the garden. I watched from a safe distance to figure out whether I was actually going to get up the nerve to approach–and I know I’m not supposed to approach men for dating but I figured I might as well do it for an experiment–and it looked safe, so I walked up about 7 feet away from one of them and then just stood there in the Rori Raye Dance Position and smiled and said hi.

    I definitely had the guy’s attention so I made my request, and he very graciously obliged. And then I wandered away and spent pretty much the next 10 minutes shaking because I was so amazed by what had just happened. And I looked up and they were there watching me from a safe distance, and then I got the hell out of there before they realized that I saw them! LOL.

    Those guys definitely had a message for me and I think the message is “You CAN get what you want, even if you think it’s unlikely and have just about given up on getting it.”

    Of course, then I came home and couldn’t get my husband’s attention long enough to express even 1/100 of what I’d experienced during the day…how frustrating…I went upstairs and sank into my feelings and just sobbed for a while, and then got bored with that and started dancing, and my intuition kicked in and told me that I could just go downstairs and get in his bed and play video games. And I’d been afraid to do this because it seemed like leaning forward, but the response was actually NOT negative, I got the attention and conversation that I wanted, and felt better, and I think he felt better because I wasn’t being tense or weird.

    Now a question for Rori: What do you do if your man’s standard response to your Feeling Messages is “WHY?” And then you explain why with another feeling message and he follows up by trying to make a logical statement out of it…argh.

  9.  #9Ashley on November 1, 2008 at 9:38 am

    Rori, I totally agree with you. I have read Christian Carter’s e-book and I gained a LOT from it. But at the same time, this part of it troubled me. Because it almost made me feel inadequate… being myself isn’t enough for a guy. I understand how this kind of flirting and being as interesting and unpredictable can be intriguing. But it does feel like so much WORK. And how long can you keep that up, if it isn’t something that comes naturally to you?? I feel like a guy would just see right through that once he got to know me better.

    Although maybe Christian’s techniques here are meant to be used more in the early phases of attraction, to get a guy hooked? I don’t know. I don’t even like the sound of trying to “hook” a guy….he should be trying to hook me! HE should be doing all this “work.” Ugh this feels very frustrating.

  10.  #10Rori Raye on November 1, 2008 at 3:45 pm

    Reshi – Your botanical story is amazing, and the video games in bed is amazing, too – and it’s OKAY if he gives a logical answer – listen to him. Then take it from there. The idea is just to get emotionally closer by communicating on a deeper level – keep doing what you’re doing. Love, Rori

  11.  #11Rori Raye on November 1, 2008 at 3:58 pm

    Ashley – RIFF on the frustration – don’t make it a “given…” You’re going about this the right way – from the inside out – and putting yourself in places to experiment with men, and using the “Choose Your Words” part of the Rori Raye Mantra to work from the outside in, too. Love, Rori

  12.  #12JP on November 4, 2008 at 5:38 pm

    I’ve read Christian Carter’s book too, and yes, some parts made me feel anxious and shrinking! But I’ve got to say – when I’m feeling un-selfconscious, relaxed and playful, I surprise even myself in the flirting department.

    I was at a music event last year and the musicians were young men who called each other ‘dude’. In the UK we use the term ‘bloke’ and my girlfriend and I got into a fun discussion about it. Next thing, I’m standing next to an attractive man my own age and I said ‘So – would you say you’re a dude or a bloke?’ and he said ‘Well now, I’m a geezer’. And we’ve been friends since, in fact lovers for a while. Great free therapy for both of us lol!! (I hope the UK humour translates across the Atlantic or my point will be completely lost I fear…!)

    It was a spontaneous, unplanned remark that had great results.

  13.  #13alison on December 19, 2008 at 6:32 pm

    Hello Rori, I’m trying to work on how to welcome my anger feelings and not to resist them but I have a difficulty. When I like a man and we get a little bit physically closer just by a small gesture he has, or a kiss, I feel impressed and really do not know how to show him I want more, as if, in my view, he would be offended if I asked for sex. The result is always the same: he pushes away after a variable time and I feel a huge anger because I feel very strongly he refused to sleep with me and to have fun and intimacy. So, the situation is very tense after that. In this case, not resisting my feelings would be telling him “I feel angry because you did not sleep with me!”? Or is it my job to solve this problem on my own (without telling him anything)?

  14.  #14Rori Raye on December 20, 2008 at 1:06 am

    Welcome Alison, And I’m very confused about your problem. You sound both offended and rejected, and yet like a man in your approach to sex. It’s usually a man who wants to have sex, and yet you seem to find men who don’t. And then you pursue them sexually and they aren’t interested. Is this all you want in a relationship? Sex? Are you living in a culture that’s different from what I understand?

    No woman on this planet should ever be “asking for sex.” This kind of thing shows up often in long marriages and in relationships that are having other difficulties – but certainly not at the beginning.

    Please start with my ebook so you understand how you’re pushing these men away and can try some Tools to change that right now. I wish you luck and look forward to hearing from you again. Love, Rori