How to Avoid the Pain of an Imaginary Relationship

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manbrokenheartWe all feel compelled – from a deep, inner, subconscious place we can’t easily get to – to do and say things that those deep, inner, subconscious parts of ourselves think will keep us “safe.”

But those hidden parts of ourselves only think they know how to keep us safe.

Most of the time – it isn’t safety at all.

These deep, hidden, subconscious parts of ourselves are operating out of old, stiff, stuck, repetitive reactions and responses, and push us to do and say the same things over and over again, that create the same situations and the same results for us over and over again.

This is not safety these hidden parts of ourselves create.  It’s DISTANCE.

We make it, from deep inside ourselves, that we can only get as close to another person as we can without getting anxious and feeling the inner pressures build up.  The moment anxiety shows up, we are instinctively pulled back into our old ways of thinking, feeling, saying and doing.

And that’s why nothing changes for us.  Things look different – different faces and different places – but they’re the same in an emotional way.

Therapy is traditionally about healing these inner pressures – going down into them, rooting them out, talking them out, connecting them up to each other and releasing them.  Only – that doesn’t work so well.

Thoughts and ideas and research around the field of psychology is constantly changing, and the practice of it by therapists is constantly adapting.  I believe firmly that by going down and dredging up old stuff, you stay much more down in there.  I believe old stuff is as alive and kicking in us right now, this moment, as it ever was – and that the fastest and smoothest and least painful way to release the old patterns and start fresh is to do it in REVERSE.

In other words – START FRESH.  Forget about letting go.  Forget about resolving stuff.  Start fresh.

And in the process of starting fresh,  the old pressures will start to bubble up.

But – instead of bubbling up in the therapist’s office, they’ll bubble up where you don’t want them to bubble up – in a romantic moment with a man you like, in an argument with him, at a party with a lot of high energy and fear and so many new people.  In life.

They’ll start to rise in our systems and start to try to get noticed, try to STOP the parade of this new, fresh start – all in the service of trying, desperately, to keep us SAFE.  And the clue that this is happening is ANXIETY.  FEAR.  Sort of out of nowhere, it shows up, and we can’t always attach it to something.

If we’re very observant, we can notice what might have TRIGGERED the anxiety…but STILL – we have to deal with it.  We can ask ourselves – What am I afraid of?  What am I angry at? We can consciously relax our bodies and minds, so that we’re forced to DROP into the feelings – which pretty much bypasses the anxiety completely…

The idea is for the stuff to come up…but in a way that feels good – that feels like a RELEASE – even if it’s a chaotic feeling – rather than feeling like a painful knife in your gut – something we feel the intense need to resist, to overcome, to STOP.  What we want it to feel like is just a “dropping-into.”

Monica wrote me with a situation that so perfectly describes how we do this to ourselves using relationships with men.  We cannot tolerate being intimate emotionally with someone, for reasons deep inside ourselves, and so we constantly become involved with, pine after, desire, invest in men who are simply, basically – unavailable.

When we choose to involve ourselves with an emotionally unavailable man, it’s very subtle – we can talk ourselves into all kinds of excuses.

But when the distance is actual, physical distance as well – when there’s distance in many logistical ways – it’s such an illogical thing to do – we have to turn ourselves into pretzels to believe in the excuses.  We create Imaginary Relationships out of words – which might as well be out of thin air.  And this is exactly what Melissa is doing:

“Hi Rori, I am currently in limbo or possibly ended a relationship as my long distance boyfriend a lot younger than me who lives 500 miles away in a different city. We have only been together twice in last 8 months. I am 47 and he is 27, I know it is a huge gap and I have never dated a man that young before, but definitely dated younger men ie. 6 to 8 years younger and a few slightly older men (they were only short term though).

The reason why I say ‘limbo’ or ended is everything ‘appeared’ to be going fine…Ron, my boyfriend and I spoke on the phone several times a week and he was wanting to TRY and move to my city and try and get a job while doing his studies and try and get a placement here for his degree in Business studies he is currently studying and even spoke of wanting to have a child and getting married. By the way I am his first girlfriend, so in many ways he has very little experience in relationships.

Well he simply stopped calling…The last time we spoke was about 2 weeks ago and the last phone call seemed out of character he sounded nervous tense and little abrupt and by coincidence he had just moved into a new house with old friend, who invites Ron to attend his church sometimes and that is where he was when we last spoke shortly.

I am shocked and surprised at this sudden change in behavior. I tried calling him a few times the next morning after we spoke shortly and then several times in the evening with no answer or response and then noticed he switched off his phone which he doesn’t do and my last message was an sms asking whether he was ok and is everything ok and would love to speak with him that night as I would be busy for next several days due to Christmas and absolutely no response whatsoever. I have intuitively felt to not call again, just give him space which is what I have done, but was very difficult initially. In fact I was a mess the first week, couldn’t eat or sleep properly feeling brokenhearted anxious and upset as I thought we had a better relationship and he trusted me and felt safe enough to tell me anything.
I look forward to hearing your response. Blessings of love and peace, Melissa”

And here was my first answer:

Melissa, Thank you for your letter, and I’d like to print it and answer it on my blog, if that’s okay – using a fake name, because this just gets me all in a lather.

I don’t know how to be gentle about this.

It doesn’t matter what a man says.

It doesn’t matter what you think is going on.

Seeing a man 2 times in 8 months is not a relationship. Not even close.

I so hope you were dating other men during that time, and not waiting around for him at all.

You are totally caught up in the “Imaginary Relationship” pit I talk about a lot…and on the blog, and through coaching, if you like, I can help you to do a better job of taking care of yourself and getting the love and relationship you want. Love, Rori

And Melissa wrote me back:

“Wow, that was a quick reply Rori thanks 🙂

Just to add to the story further …I don’t blame him, I take full responsibility for creating this situation on some level more unconsciously though and yes I am a bit of a dreamer and thought I had let go of the fairytale syndrome.

Just to support Ron though, I know it is unacceptable behavior him not communicating with me at all, but I have a strong intuitive feeling I will hear back from him and because this is his first time on one level I feel I want to give him another chance if he has a genuine reason and genuinely wants to get back and try again, but the other part of me says NO , I need to let go and love him as a friend as he is unable to give me what I need right now in a relationship and probably not as ready as he thinks based on his lack of experience and maturity as much as he wants it and I think I also may not be as ready as I think I am and need to get some areas of my life in order and cleaned up ie. finances . I know one thing I probably should not be putting my life on hold, loving myself and taking care of me without a man has always been a bit of a difficult lesson and yet I have spent living on my own for most of 20 years of my life and no I was not dating any other men and it has been very hard not being with him more regulary as I am a very sensual person and love the physical contact and affection.

Don’t laugh but I have for the past 12 months been studying and partaking in many tantric sex workshops quite intensively and am intending to do the 9 month (1 weekend a month) facilitor course my mentor is running. She is an incredibly wise authentic loving and inspiring woman who I admire and have great respect for and her work in tantric sex is phenomenal…she very much focuses on the relationship we have with ourselves not just a partner and being in the NOW and being authentic in our expression of love and who we are. You think I would know better with everything I have learnt.

Its kind of weird like I have these blind spots and when I do shed light on them I can still be stuck in attempting to shift them, transform the old patterns and ways of being into more empowered, light, healthier, genuinely loving ways.

Hmmm, I hope that has not confused you me adding my thoughts around what is happening and expanding a bit more on where I am at. I look forward to hearing back and reading your book.

PS. not that it is an excuse for him but since 26th December he has been having to work 7 days a week and 2 or 3 very early shifts on top of that, so I feel he is overwhelmed with a lot of things right now, so I guess I am cutting him a bit of slack. He will drop the shift in February and go back to only working 3 or so days a week on about 21st January and then he goes back to his studies. Sounds like I am defending him doesn’t it, I just wanted to see how much he is going through at the moment and also my feeling is, and this could be a guess, he hadn’t told anyone my age yet, but I believe he told his  friend and I am guessing that peer pressure or whatever got to him….I know it still doesn’t change anything, but I feel for him too….So am I totally mixed up? I am probably thinking too much about his feelings and not my own , right? Sorry to blurb this all out, it just feels better now that it is out. Thank you for listening Rori Raye, I want to be as successful as you in relationships especially with myself and that special someone for me. Blessings of peace and love, Melissa”

And here’s my answer (and I’m just getting tougher and tougher here):

Melissa – He doesn’t NEED an excuse. He has no responsibility to you whatsoever.

There is no relationship here.

He called, and then he stopped calling.

He’s not bad, or doing anything weird. He’s running his life the best he can.

All this craziness and focusing on him on your part is causing you untold grief, and is making your energy very needy and unattractive in an ethereal sense – which I believe he can feel, and so can every other man.

I applaud your taking of these classes and immersion in Tantra – and yet would ask you – isn’t it conveniently safe for you to explore this on your own (which is great, I totally insist that women who work with me do this work on their own too) and, at the same time – shut yourself off completely from actually relating with a real live man by insisting on being so attached to this one – who is NOT AVAILABLE – and never HAS been available to you?

Sorry to be so tough – but I have a feeling no one else has laid it out like this for you.

I say this knowing I will trigger you and cause you to feel very angry with me..and that’s okay…If we were coaching by phone…I might say something to you, when you say something like “I truly want to have a great relationship” – I might say “I don’t believe you.”

All the questions here are about you asking them to yourself.

I know you can do this…Let me know how this shake-up feels…Love, Rori

And Melissa wrote this back to me

“Hi Rori,

You are right it felt like a big slap in the face and a reality check….I wouldn’t say I felt angry at all , more like I want to cry…very sad and even sadder because I feel I know all of this and feel I am spiraling down in this hopeless trap of anxiety neediness and insecurity…I can watch myself doing it now and am frightened of my own fear…and know it is self-destructive to me and my relationships…and yet I have not found a way and no one has been able to help me find a way to get passed the fear and insecurity…it becomes so gripping and intense and just feels out of control and I feel very embarrassed and inadequate knowing it because more than anything I want to get passed it and heal it/transform, but it just seems to take over. Do you think you can still help me…I really hope so, more than anything….I feel so upset and am crying right now because I know I have killed a lot of my relationships like this….I am praying you can help and I do want to be happy and successful in relationships.

Thank you for your honesty, as much as it really hurt I respect and accept what you say and don’t have resistance to the truth…it just hurts but I am sure I will get over it….I guess I am looking for a solution her ultimately to overcome my fears in this area…..I really appreciate you listening and replying. Where do I go from here, I know first thing is start reading your book, but what would you suggest after that and do you think there is hope for someone like me.

Much love, Melissa”

And here’s my answer:

Melissa – first, BRAVA to you!!!!

You just took a massive, huge, amazing first step!

All the anxiety is because you’re closer now than ever, with the tumbling down of this fantasy construction, to touching your DEEPER feelings about yourself, your life, and encountering the trauma that started all this Trauma Response of choosing distance over intimacy.

This is GOOD!!!  Now all you need is a bit of help dealing with the anxiety, so that you can slip BENEATH it – to the fear and terror and anger that are underneath.  We’ll all help, and I can send you to great resources.

Especially learn here how to Circular Date – and just simply start FRESH by trying it out.

What we want here is to retrain your whole emotional system so you can get closer to a man, instead of automatically allowing your inner pressures to instinctively either push him away, or push yourself to invest in an unavailable one.

You can DO THIS!!! Love, Rori


Okay – now – if you, like me, have been through this before, or are going through it now – let my tough words to Melissa help you get past the fog your inner demons are creating to try to keep you safe…and drop into a reality YOU CAN MAKE UP for yourself!!!  A reality that’s SO much better than the imaginary one you have going now.

Let’s talk about this more…I have so many personal stories of doing this kind of thing, and I know you do, too…let’s all help Melissa and each other to “drop-in” to feelings, no matter how frightful they are now – and let their power over us evaporate.

Let the mold of our old patterns dry out and dissolve and become harmless and blow away and disappear and leave us cleaner inside by showing it the light of day, of truth, of your total commitment to what you want and deserve!

Hats off to you!

Love, Rori

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  1.  #1Nancy on January 9, 2010 at 10:52 pm

    I’m not quite sure where to post this. It definitely pertains to imaginary relationships, even if it isn’t quite as extreme as the example Rori wrote about.
    I have chosen, out of fear, to remain stuck in the girlfriend trap for the last several months since I posted. I posted a speech here (in essence, “you can take all the time you need to be ready to commit, but you can’t have me all to yourself while you do that”) 5 months ago and got great support from all of you and Rori, but haven’t said my speech because I am so very afraid of losing my guy. I’m not the most intrepid boat rocker in the marina. I read another book, “Pre Engagemnt Limbo” that offered a slightly less scary option of giving a speech that basically says “I want marriage, it’s important to me, I’d love to be married to you, but if that can’t happen for us at some point in the not too distant future, I’m going to need to move on.” This felt a little less scary. I decided to use that one and then give the one I posted here in a couple of months if the first one brought no results. I completely resolved not to bring the subject up in any other words or way until I gave my speeches. I did what I bet many of us have done and waited until after the holidays were over – who wants to risk a break up until the holidays are over? I did very well with not talking about the relationship. We took a trip to Hawaii and while we were there, he took my hand, walked into a realtor’s office, sat down and told the realtor I’d always wanted to live there and that we’d like to see some houses. We looked at houses. We found one we liked. We started working on finding jobs there. That didn’t go so well. Hiring freeze there in my field, etc. We were there in November. No proposal in Hawaii (or anywhere else for that matter). We get back and there is talk (I don’t remember who brought what up when) about where we might live in our area. I looked at some houses online and mentioned that there were some great deals out there. He says “I don’t have a problem with going to look at some.” I’m thinking “Okay, I’m not going to put a lot of stock in this, but hey, maybe the man is moving forward, maybe just a little” and I get guardedly excited. Mind you, he knows I will not live with him unless we’re married. There were beautiful diamond earrings at Xmas and I felt very loved and appreciated, but was quite aware that I was not proposed to. So I get a bit hopeful and we go look at houses. The agent wants to know when we want to go see more and we look at each other and I say (big mistake?) next week. Within a few days I sense he is not going to look at houses next week. I become concerned about wanting to give the agent notice if we’re not going and ask, “Are you still interested in going to see houses on Saturday?” He’s not. He has too much work to do on his house and isn’t ready and feels very stressed by the whole thing. He feels uncomfortable. I say, “That’s fine, I don’t want you to feel uncomfortable, and without knowing I would, I blurt out my first speech! I had rehearsed it so many times that I said it well even though it wasn’t in front of me. “That’s fine, but I want to tell you that, for my part, I want a shared life together. That’s why I’m in a relationship. I want marriage and to live with my husband. It’s important to me and if that’s something that can’t or isn’t happening for us, then at some point in the not to distant future, I’m going to need to move on.” He said okay. I said have a great day, I hope your appointment goes really well. He said I love you I said I love you, bye. I felt good that I said it and incredibly anxious that I’d said it. I realize now that he didn’t say “I’m not ready to move the relationship forward.” He said “I’m not ready to buy a house right now.” And he has suggested one time recently, for one little moment, that maybe we could live in his house. I didn’t believe he was serious about moving the relationship forward so I let that moment go by, but I did hear it. But when he said he wasn’t ready to buy a house, I heard “I’m not ready to move the relationship forward and may never be, will probably never be.” Out came the speech.

    Anyway, you know it’s always the unexpected. I never expected, when I thought of giving my speeches, either of them, that he would completely withdraw. I have heard nothing from him. For almost 2 days. And he usually calls anywhere from 2-5 times a day. Harsh. It feels very harsh and hurtful. I got so angry earlier today, feeling some very intense pain, that I felt like ending it just based on how harsh he’s being with me. What did I do? I read into what he was saying, but hey, I’ve heard that he’s not ready to move forward enough now that I assumed that is what he meant. And it probably was. And even if I misread the situation, what have I done to elicit this withdrawl from him? How did I push him away? Or is he just being a butthead?
    All comments and feedback, hints and tips, insights and advice welcome! I don’t get it!!!

  2.  #2janjune on January 9, 2010 at 11:51 pm

    “to “drop-in” to feelings, no matter how frightful they are now – and let their power over us evaporate.”

    omg, this is the hardest thing in the world to do for me, i want to fight them off so i don’t have to feel them they’re so scary.
    i even asked myself that tonight after my experience today and after lisa saying there isn’t a trap door between your head and your body so you can just close one off from the other and not feel what you’re feeling… (she said it differently but that’s how my mind heard it.)

    facing down my demons is terrifying.
    but these Tools work.

  3.  #3janjune on January 9, 2010 at 11:55 pm

    you may have inadvertantly given a power speech before you wanted to, but nevertheless you gave it.

    your man will be showing you the answer soon…

  4.  #4janjune on January 10, 2010 at 12:09 am

    hmmmm… must be something in the air about fairy tales tonight. 🙂

    had to go back and read your answers again. this rings so true:
    “Now all you need is a bit of help dealing with the anxiety, so that you can slip BENEATH it – to the fear and terror and anger that are underneath.”

    the anxiety is overwhelming and then when we try to peek underneath it, yes! there it is!!! this FEAR and ANGER and TERROR! No *wonder* we want to put close our heads off from the rest of our bodies…

  5.  #5Saskia on January 10, 2010 at 3:27 am

    Gosh, I am going through a very similar thing. I KNOW that the man I am with is no good (not for me anyway, but neither for anybody else frankly – far too toxic) Still, I can’t bring myself to leave him, even though I often plan and phantasize about doing just that. The crazy thing is though, that whenever he withdraws and I fear losing him I get totally panicky and out of control and desperately want to cling to him. My rational mind knows that I am much better off without him and I am not even particularly scared of being alone. When things are “okay” between us I am quite happy not to see him (it’s a long distance relationship) as I am so much more myself without him, but yet…. If only there was a pill I could take to not have those terrifying feelings of anxiety when he seems to want to end it all!
    Godamn it, I am so mad at him for making me feel so weak and pathetic and hurting me so much.

  6.  #6FEMENERGYLOVE on January 10, 2010 at 5:27 am

    its so true anxiety often covers up fear.i currently really like a guy that is going through a break up with his live in girlfriend.i’m way out of the way.their relationship is none of my business i believe.i feel at peace with my decision to not be involved.him and i have not even began to date.i would certainly like to try when He is truly free.i have not let in on this though.i did get an email from him asking how i was doing.we have not spoken for about a month since i found out from him that they were breaking old instincts are to jump in be supportive etc but i know that i know that i know that if i ever date this man i do not want to have helped him in any way to get out of this relationship.rori did say if you become a helper you may ultimately end up as friends.i dont want that.i felt a little anxiety about how i can still communicate with him withouig being miss supportive or miss over cheerful while he deals.i’m anxious because i’m AFRAID i will say something wrong and may never get a chance with him somewhere along the my anxiety stems from do i remain in contact that only he initiates ofcourse and not become his crutch or be totally insensitive at the same time?my inner goddess says be myself.

  7.  #7LongDistance Girl on January 10, 2010 at 6:14 am

    Hello Melissa,

    I absolutely understand how you feel right now.. I just broke up with my long distance boyfriend last month. Even though I was preparing myself for it, I still felt bad. I knew all along that our “relationship” was imaginary (as Rori has told me an email) but I still hoped and held on because I thought we really understood and got along well with each other.

    Anyway, I just want to tell you Melissa, that you can still have a great relationship with a man who is nearer – physically and emotionally available. I am feeling better now, much, much better than when we were still “together” through text. I am not anxious anymore, waiting endlessly for his text. I feel more free and ready for some real love!!! I declare that I will meet the right person for me. And I declare it for you too!!!

    Be happy!

  8.  #8Tara on January 10, 2010 at 7:10 am

    I learned this from Rori: If saying one wrong thing wrecks the relationship, it wasn’t going to work anyway, and it wasn’t the relationship you would want for yourself.
    I also used to be paralyzed by fear of ruining the relationship by saying or doing the fatal “wrong thing.”

    This past week, I’ve been working intensively with two Tools: First, I unzip my heart when I’m in a safe place physically (alone, of course) and allow it to melt as much as I can.

    Then, I use the Fountain tool and bathe myself in all that warm, happy self-love I find when I unzip my heart.
    I imagine this fountain flowing down over me, nourishing and filling me, all day long.

    It really helps with the fear. When I’m interacting with a man, especially one I like or feel nervous or anxious around, I just keep bathing in that fountain of love and focus my energy on me, not him.

    Here’s part Two of the success story:

    The infamous theater board meeting was Saturday morning. I knew Steve would be there. But I wasn’t worried. I’d been working with Tools every day and was feeling a lot different. I’d been able to get under the anxiety and deal with some of the fear and terror that had filled my relationship with Steve, and had had a success earlier this week while talking to him on the phone.

    Instead, I’d decided to own my position on the theater board and had prepared for the meeting. I didn’t worry about what to wear, and I strolled in there with almost NO makeup on. Of course, I Unzipped, bathed in the Fountain, and did the “Effortless” tool before I went.

    I felt NO FEAR when Steve showed up. I just kept focusing my energy all over ME and how excited I was to be doing a project for the board.

    He sat next to me and smiled at me, and I mentally opened those fists that were starting to hang on to his shirt tail. I smiled back, with no anxiety.

    Not only did I receive enthusiastic help from other board members for my project, I was INVITED to read for a part in the upcoming show by its director (an old friend who’s retiring and whom I’d love to work with again). This director also asked me to help with costumes.

    Steve isn’t going to do the show (full-time job plus 18 online credits this semester), so I felt very free and good about doing a show just because I want to, not because of him.

    Next, one of the other members proposed that I direct the summer Youth show. I’d been trying to get on the season for over a year, and was actually NOT selected when we had voted on the upcoming season, but due to a combination of events, a spot had opened up.

    I was unanimously voted in to direct a Shakespeare, which I LOVE! (This is incredibly exciting for me).

    The director of the fall show, B, asked to start collaborating with me soon, since I’m designing his costumes. He’s one of my favorite people to work with, ever, and I’m really excited about this, too. (He’s happily married and has kids, so it’s purely professional and creative).

    Steve walked out to the parking lot with me, insisting that I followed him to his house so he could loan me a book I needed for one of my classes Monday. (Now I don’t have to drive 15 miles to the nearest Borders or spend $12 for the book — wahoo!!). He’s rearranging his Wed. schedule at work to take me to coffee.

    Strangely, that’s an “Oh, well” for me now. I will enjoy the coffee and convo about books, classes, theater, etc., but I feel NO compulsion at all to be his therapist or tell him how to get out of his abusive situation. Wow, that feels good!

    Later yesterday, I saw him in the grocery store with Jane, the baby, and their teen daughter, and I remembered what Rori said about him being unavailable, etc. She is RIGHT!

    What feels liberating is that I am losing my rabid desire to “get” him. I feel myself kind of floating away. It’s good.

    Steve belongs to an ethnic group such that he has very dark coloring. His first two kids look like him. The baby, however, is very pale, blonde, and blue-eyed, and it’s pretty obvious that Steve isn’t the dad. But, I no longer felt any pressure to tell him to do a paternity test, divorce Jane (who beats him and abuses him frequently), or anything else.

    Instead, I just kept pouring my self-love all over me. He has to find his own way out of that situation. Last night, as I went to bed alone and started feeling all the sad, lonely, feelings, I allowed myself to sink into them.

    When they bubbled up and finally subsided, I thought about staying on the horse, and all the marvelous insights I’ve had from my intuition lately, and all the amazing opportunities throwing themselves into my path this week — and all the cute men at school. I haven’t dated any, since they’re all half my age, but I can bask in their cuteness and enjoy their male energy anyway.

    The Tools work! They can work quickly. And they are life-changing.

  9.  #9FEMENERGYLOVE on January 10, 2010 at 7:30 am

    TARA!you should see my many light bulbs going on with your post i’m about to have a seizure!i feel so happy because you my sister have addressed every single issue.i’m off to digest everything you have said.Thankyou Thankyou Thankyou.which is you favourite shakespeare play?love love love

  10.  #10Lola on January 10, 2010 at 8:23 am

    It felt good to hear about all that progress and be updated on on what has been happening with you – very interesting!
    Well done! XXX

  11.  #11tinque on January 10, 2010 at 9:15 am

    Tara – this is so beautiful….

  12.  #12Flipper on January 10, 2010 at 9:27 am

    Nancy, I feel admiration for getting your speech out and compassion for what you must be feeling now. Until your man comes out of his cave, I hope you’re giving yourself warm hugs and tender heart-rubs, and especially, allowing yourself to start circular-dating therapy (or intensifying it if you’re already a practioner). You deserve to feel better, and your relationship needs for you to feel better, too, without delay. This therapy won’t be for nothing, even if things work out soon with this man. No matter what happens, ‘dating’ yourself and/or other men Right Now, without knowing the outcome, will ingrain the tools so they’ll be there to help you through future rough spots with this man or your real Mr.Right. I feel hopeful and encouraging for you.

  13.  #13Rachel on January 10, 2010 at 9:30 am


    I’m so excited and proud of you! Your story mirrors mine in so many ways (emotionally at least) that I feel like your victory gives me hope for my own journey!


    I remember you posting about the rubbing your heart exercise. I can’t find it and don’t remember the whole thing. Would you mind reposting. I feel like I need this!

    Conversation last night with Guy A felt distant again. Nothing really wrong, but I was determined not to lead the conversation so it didn’t really go anywhere. At the very end, he tacked on… Oh and I still love you. And it felt like a crumb that he threw to me.

    So… today I want to direct my energy into having fun with my kids and maybe spending some time with Guy B this evening. I wonder if I can retrain Guy A… that when he doesn’t go anywhere, I go away. When he rows the boat, I come near and he can enjoy my beautiful goddess self.

    For now… I hurt a little, but I’m going to choose to be ok today. It’s his loss!!

    Hugs to all

  14.  #14Flipper on January 10, 2010 at 9:54 am

    I feel appreciative for another list of feeling words – thank you Mary.

    I feel great about Tara, and about all the Sirens feeling through/down into and feeling better by leaps and bounds and soft, melty cuddles.

  15.  #15mary on January 10, 2010 at 11:40 am

    Hello Tara,

    Wow. I feel so hopeful reading your victory story! Thank you so much for telling us about it. I’m so glad to picture you at the grocery store without that UMMMMPH feeling stabbing at your heart, and maybe a little distance there. I’m worried that he’ll be wanting to reel you in, you wild siren, swimming in the sea! But I’m confidant that you can keep your focus and listen to your feelings. And I’ll just borrow a little of that focus, if you don’t mind…

  16.  #16Nancy on January 10, 2010 at 11:57 am

    Tara, I love you’re reminder that saying or doing one wrong thing ‘does not a relationship break’. I reminded myself of that yesterday as I started second guessing and it’s great to read it again this morning (loved the rest of you post as well – congratulations!)

    janjune and Flipper, thank you, just for responding. It helps so much in these life moments of deep scary feelings to just feel heard. I am remembering to circular date and am taking myself on a date this afternoon, to the location of my choice. And I’m taking my dogs on an outing as well.

    I have a question for all of you – I don’t understand the Man Cave thing. I read the Venus and Mars books and still just don’t quite get it. Do they just have no clue how painful it is when they suddenly withdraw and stop communication during the most frightening moments of a relationship? Do they just run away and hide while they experience the relief of their emptiness? I remember Rori saying that they just shut down when there is too much emotion, that their brains basically short circut. I know he will say he’s been soul searching.

    My question is really more to do with emotional availability and the type of men I am choosing. Do they all withdraw completely for a day or a few days at times? Is this common? It isn’t something I want to encourage or tolerate. So I’m interseted in knowing if it’s just a given that they’ll do this when deeply stressed or if it’s not such an issue with some men.

  17.  #17Rachel on January 10, 2010 at 12:10 pm

    Just got back from sledding with the kids… I focused on feeling the joy of being silly and soaking in the incredible beauty of the surrounding mountains.

    I returned home to find this “message from God” (via Facebook!) waiting for me. It felt good and I wanted to share it…

    “You know how sometimes it seems that life is just throwing you one curved ball after another? Well, guess what, – you have a great way to respond! – you can use every opportunity, every single one, to be happy. Don’t just take a shower – feel into and receive pleasure from the water on your skin. Don’t just walk on the street – enjoy the fragrances of the trees and the flowers on your way. Don’t just drive your car – sing karaoke to your favorite radio station. “

  18.  #18mary on January 10, 2010 at 12:14 pm

    I’m suddenly coming to an acceptance of R! And I see that his objections to me = my nasty voices, and hearing them caused me a lot of pain in the past. Now that my nasty voices are my friends, so are his objections! And I love his objections! We’re on the same page there! And I accept him the way he is. I don’t know where this love that we have for each other will take us! I don’t know how it will play itself out. But I accept where we are today. And I love today. And I love R. And it’s okay if we don’t stay together. Everything is okay… today. My new motto: Let it Be… whatever it is.

  19.  #19Rachel on January 10, 2010 at 12:21 pm

    Wow! I really like that Mary! Let it Be… that sounds like a good way to stay in a peace-filled place.

    Thank you!!

  20.  #20mary on January 10, 2010 at 12:24 pm

    Hello Nancy. I’ve been thinking about your post. R is a realtor, and he used to take me to see houses too! With no talk about us. No “where would YOU like to live?” of “Can you see us living here together?” Nothing like that… just “let’s go see this house!” And we were ENGAGED. It was like playing house and knowing it was just a game.

    I feel sad for you! I feel like I want to hug you and just walk with you for a while.

    But I also feel so glad that you said your speech! “you can take all the time you need to be ready to commit, but you can’t have me all to yourself while you do that” That is so amazing!

    I’m with you in the waiting… and I know it can be excruciating.

  21.  #21mary on January 10, 2010 at 12:26 pm

    Yes, Rachel. It does feel peaceful!

  22.  #22tinque on January 10, 2010 at 12:31 pm

    Nancy – Men tend to retreat inside when stressed, but every man is different. It could be a few minutes to a few days or weeks. Usually it’s work or family, but it can also be relationship pressures.
    An emotionally healthy man will not withdraw so much when a relationship becomes more intense whether it’s a negative intensity or a positive one. I’m assuming you are asking when things get closer and deeper.
    Naturally most of us have been hurt, wounded, damaged even, men and women, so for most a trust needs to grow between two people for there to be a safe feeling. The more trust is established, safety, the less a need for withdrawal when things are intense.
    When a man retreats though, it is imperative to leave him be until he is ready to come to you. The more you push, the more he will want to withdraw, get away even.
    I’m talking in generalities here. Again everyone is a bit different. There will be exceptions.
    I hope this helps.

  23.  #23Lola on January 10, 2010 at 12:39 pm

    Well done for delivering you speech.
    I have no particular insight into the man retreating thing, but plenty of experience of it and know how frightening and frustrating it feels.
    I agree with Tinque – it’s best to leave them to come out – something I have always found very hard to do.


  24.  #24Lola on January 10, 2010 at 12:43 pm


    I feel like I’m in a similar place of acceptance for right now. I still feel more focused on my new course right now and the dry skin brushing.
    I went out to get some shopping and got a beautiful smile from a man walking towards me. It made me feel so excited at the thought all the men out there (and that it might even rain men like it did for dorethea!).
    glad you are in a good place!

  25.  #25Arizona on January 10, 2010 at 12:45 pm

    Melissa is angry and has not tapped into it. She doesn’t even get angry for a second when Rori tells her the truth. I think that Melissa is nice, perhaps too nice. She wants to be nice, she wants people to think she is nice, and she probably based lots of her self worth on how nice she is. I am not trying to be critical at all. I have totally been there, and lived that life of burying all my anger under a nice smile, while I was torn apart on the inside. Just a thought Rori, help her tap her anger, and release it, and understand all that stuff you talk about with feelings. Anger is just one of them, it doesn’t make her a bad person. I am dealing with a girlfriend right now who sounds like Melissa, totally imaginary relationships all the time, and she is so angry on the inside and has no idea. She is convinced she is unique and different, and fine. She is so mad, you can hear the anger spurt out at times, and she shuts it down, and says she has no right to be angry, her life has been to wonderful, she wants to be nice. It is maddening. I have begged her to read you, I have forwarded her e-mails, I have quoted, but I hope that Melissa gets in touch with her anger, and realizes that touching it can release it.

  26.  #26Lisa on January 10, 2010 at 1:17 pm

    An excellent post for me, Rori. I must confront why I choose distant or abusive men, and that is my own fear of intimacy.

    Rori says, “In other words – START FRESH. Forget about letting go. Forget about resolving stuff. Start fresh.”

    NPR had a program this morning on “To the Best of Our Knowledge” about the nature of reality. New imaging techniques shows that our brains really don’t much differentiate between virtual images in the media and those from our real lives. In other words, an intention can be perceived by the brain as an actuality, so why not act “As if”?

    The truth is, every moment is new, whether we choose to impose upon it a repetition pattern or not. It is easier to go with the template in our brain, but we are finding the brain is far more plastic than we formerly believed. If we could do things one way, we can also do them another.

    The only constriction on manifesting our thoughts is the realistic-ness of the thought, as in, is it achievable? If it is achievable, and to our betterment, why not try the new way?

  27.  #27Tara on January 10, 2010 at 3:08 pm

    My fave Shakespeare is “The Tempest.” I’ve dreamed of directing it for years, and now, I’ll get to do it! 😀

    Your power speech was great. When the man does come out of his “cave” he will show you who he is and what he’s willing to give you. It’s hard to wait, but keep pouring love and attention all over your beautiful self and send your energy to you, not him. Men can feel this even if they aren’t in direct communication with you.

    Thanks everyone for your great responses to what I wrote earlier!

    Loved what you said about acting “as if” and how our brains can’t tell the difference. That’s just what we do in theater. I’m starting to see that, as Rori said, we can make up our own destiny. The energy we invest into that destiny starts to literally change everything.

    Mary: Wow! What you wrote about you and R is amazing. I love seeing you grow and change through these posts. I remember it wasn’t so long ago we were climbing out of the pit together, and look what’s happened! Isn’t it great to be able to just accept somebody the way he is, even though we don’t know how the relationship will turn out?

    I’m loving the wild ocean, and if Steve wants to “reel me in,” he’s going to have to jump in here, too, and catch me if he can.

    Have a restful and great Sunday, ladies!

  28.  #28Christi on January 10, 2010 at 5:55 pm

    How can I change my boundary from an “us only” dating each other (that I set originally) to I’m now going to date others because he has pulled back. (He said he didn’t want to get serious–freedom issues)Is this an appropriate response for me or should I wait and just try the leaning back first. I have already gone out on some dates and have men calling me. The dating has kept me sane and focused elsewhere, but I want to be honest about dating others–because he needs to know.

  29.  #29janjune on January 10, 2010 at 6:00 pm

    it feels so exciting to read how everybody is doing!

    femenergylove i love this:
    my inner goddess says be myself.
    oh, yeh!

  30.  #30janjune on January 10, 2010 at 6:09 pm

    “I learned this from Rori: If saying one wrong thing wrecks the relationship, it wasn’t going to work anyway, and it wasn’t the relationship you would want for yourself.”
    thanks for posting this.
    i just love how you worked the fountain Tool! i can hardly wait to try it this way!!
    and how you used the Tools with your man… oh yeh!
    and what happened with the theater!

    all of it is so exciting to hear goddess’s progress!

  31.  #31janjune on January 10, 2010 at 6:11 pm

    sending you thoughts prayers and wishes for the outcome you that will bring you your happy ever after…

  32.  #32Nancy on January 10, 2010 at 8:13 pm

    Thank you all for your comments and support. Touching base here has helped me feel so much better. This is radical and amazing learning! I feel more patience towards myself during this crisis than in the past. I also feel like what Rori is teaching us is beginning to finally really gel. Whatever the reality of my situation, it is far better to dwell in it and address it than to live in a pretend relationship, indefinitely postponing my having what I really want.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you.

    Thanks for the well wishes and I’ll keep you posted. 🙂

  33.  #33Ema Lee on January 11, 2010 at 1:15 am

    Hi everyone,

    I know i’m not on the topic here, but i have a problem and i think i may have sent it initially to the wrong address so i’ll write it again in here (please don’t be mad at me):

    My problem is this: i am 28 years old and until now, because of my overprotective family, i’ve never had any boyfriend.
    I would like to start dating but i am simply terrified by my complete lack of experience in this matter. I’ve tried to date a
    few guys in the past but I was lucky enough that they told me from the beginning they weren’t interested in a relationship
    but instead wanted an affair, so i was able to finish it before i got emotionally involved, but this also left me discouraged
    and a bit disgusted. I’ve also had self esteem issues for the most part of my life and it affected me in many ways, including
    at work. After i began reading the newsletters things improved significantly, meaning that i learned to accept myself for
    who i am and to be aware of my qualities and i grew more confident, but i still have a problem with dating because if i
    dated guys, i would sooner or later have to tell them (or more likely they would figure out for themselves) that i never had
    a boyfriend before and i feel scared of how they would react to that, due to my age. What if they think something is wrong
    with me or that my family is too weird and that would push them away?

    Also, i know that sex is considered very important these days in a relationship and is a deal breaker for most men.
    However, i would like to wait until marriage “is on the plate” in order to take this step, otherwise i just know i
    wouldn’t feel confortable and secure to do it (since i am still a virgin). Do you think a good man could wait?

    Thank you for listening,


  34.  #34Aldonza on January 11, 2010 at 7:34 am

    This is one of Rori’s more important posts. I think we all do it to a greater or lesser degree. But women who get into long-distance relationships? Or online-only relationships? Or put up with seeing someone so sporadically, etc? It’s so clear when Rori says it. We’re in them because *real* relationships are too scary for us. Being with flesh and blood men in front of us…too much.

    Who’s distancing? Us or them?

  35.  #35Sasha J on January 11, 2010 at 9:56 am

    I agree Aldonza …I feel so…safe

    I left my previous “boyfriend” of 2+ years about 2+months ago, and with rori’s tools started putting myself online and I feel guilty of the above.
    ..I have met someone a couple of thousand miles away (!!!?!) and there are plans to visit me and we talk almost everyday and he has sent me gifts that he thinks would make me feel happy.
    Actually when I remember Rori’s tools I feel sstrong and I actually practice all my tools with him…if we are chatting on webcam I always lean back and I always use feeling messages and I have made power speeches even when he was upset at me for “being non-committal”.
    And I feel adored and understood and heard in this.
    Interestingly, I notice and feel very peaceful and calm when I acknowledge to myself that even though he is saying things and making plans for us, I do not feel carried away by the ‘future talk’. It feels fun and then I always say, that sounds nice and it would feel nice to see how I feel when we do meet. And by the way he is getting his own place when he visits.

    And I have also said that yes I feel really close to him and at the same time do not want to feel confined and not want to feel like I am waiting for him to show up because it feels really needy and yucky. And I feel better if I met other guys for coffee or food.

    He says he understands and does not want to lose me nor scare me away and he says ‘if you love somebody set them free’. After calming down, he says he can see my point and he understands and he is doing what he can to save money so that he can come visit me.

    Overall I feel really safe and understood…and I feel really really healthy with this person…it feels new….the message could simply be, this is what something healthy feels like….

    Furthermore, I am still keeping my online dating and emailing a whole bunch of guys who seem pretty awesome who want to meet me in person. I have to say, I am putting it off and have stopped contact with a few of them because I feel myself chicken out regarding meeting them.

    hhmm…how can I take another baby step forward?

  36.  #36Sasha J on January 11, 2010 at 9:59 am

    and oh from rori’s teachings i realise that my ‘boy’ mode sets up my profile and my ‘girl’ mode expresses herself in it….and my ‘boy’ mode puts myself out there, and my ‘girl’ mode looks through what comes in and says ‘yay or nay’ according to how i feel….

  37.  #37orchard on January 11, 2010 at 11:07 am

    Can anyone help?
    I have been married for 20 years and have 5 children and last January my husband said he didn’t love me and was in a crisis and walked out. I was completely heartbroken.
    For the first 6 months he agreed to go to some counselling and then he decided he wasn’t coming back and that it was over.
    While he was still thinking about things, I was willing to see him and to let him into the house to see the children – all of whom were furious with him – which caused mayhem amongst them all. But now that he was decided, I told him he could no longer come into the house because it was too distressing for the children and me but that I encouraged them to see their dad outside the home. I have had almost no contact with him since, but he has tried to see the children.
    The older ones haven’t seen him in almost a year and he sees the 2 younger ones sometimes.

    Now he is angry with me because he says I am blocking access to the children but I imagine he is angry because I haven’t played it the way he expected, with me willing to be friends and seeing him and letting him into the home.

    A year later, I am thinking of opening up some controlled channels of communication and will have to meet him face to face. In my heart I still love him and would love our whole family to be mended. I have done a lot of work on myself trying to re-find who I truly am beneath all of this story. And I do feel in a better place than a year ago.

    But where do I take it from here? I don’t want to be his friend, I want to be his wife. And he has very little chance of mending his relationship with the children if he isn’t living here. How do I face him in these meetings we will be having? What should I say?

    Does anyone have any insight? Thank you so much.x

  38.  #38orchard on January 11, 2010 at 2:47 pm

    Can anyone help?
    I have been married for 20 years and have 5 children and last January my husband said he didn’t love me and was in a crisis and walked out. I was completely heartbroken.
    For the first 6 months he agreed to go to some counselling and then he decided he wasn’t coming back and that it was over.
    While he was still thinking about things, I was willing to see him and to let him into the house to see the children – all of whom were furious with him – which caused mayhem amongst them all. But now that he was decided, I told him he could no longer come into the house because it was too distressing for the children and me but that I encouraged them to see their dad outside the home. I have had almost no contact with him since, but he has tried to see the children.
    The older ones haven’t seen him in almost a year and he sees the 2 younger ones sometimes.

    Now he is angry with me because he says I am blocking access to the children but I imagine he is angry because I haven’t played it the way he expected, with me willing to be friends and seeing him and letting him into the home.

    A year later, I am thinking of opening up some controlled channels of communication and will have to meet him face to face. In my heart I still love him and would love our whole family to be mended. I have done a lot of work on myself trying to re-find who I truly am beneath all of this story. And I do feel in a better place than a year ago.

    But where do I take it from here? I don’t want to be his friend, I want to be his wife. And he has very little chance of mending his relationship with the children if he isn’t living here. How do I face him in these meetings we will be having? What should I say?

    Does anyone have any insight? Thank you so much.x

  39.  #39Rori Raye on January 11, 2010 at 3:01 pm

    Saskia, Welcome, and than you so much for your story…I can feel myself wanting to write a lot – so I’ll jump off into a post…Love, Rori

  40.  #40Rori Raye on January 11, 2010 at 3:02 pm

    LongDistance – Thank you so much for your encouragement and story! You sound wonderful. Love, Rori

  41.  #41Rori Raye on January 11, 2010 at 3:03 pm

    Arizona, Thank you for your insight — you are so right about the anger…I’ll jump off into that in another post…Love, Rori

  42.  #42Rori Raye on January 11, 2010 at 3:09 pm

    Christi – why do you think you have to “up-front” OFFER him information about what you do when you’re not with him? He said plain as day he “didn’t want to get serious” I’m here to tell you – NO MAN expects exclusivity without a ring. Deep down, he knows it’s not right. I don’t care how much he complains. Just date, and if he asks, tell him the truth. Respond – don’t make a big deal about it, becasue it’s NOT a big deal. Your dating other men is NORMAL! Love, Rori

  43.  #43Rori Raye on January 11, 2010 at 3:26 pm

    Ema Lee, Welcome, and thank you for your bravery in wanting to live your life. The “please don’t be mad at me” was a tip-off to your self-esteem issues – promise me you’ll never, ever say that again to anyone!!! First – forget about ANY of your opinions. About anything. Sex, dating, men. Because all your opinions will be WRONG!! Don’t even TRY to have a position on things. I want you to experiment. Circular Dating is the ticket for you – because you can start slow by just smiling at men, then allowing them to talk with you, practicing the Tools as you go. Start with the ebook – and after you’ve read it and got the concept behind it all – start with Listening at Level 2. You’ll be comfortable there…and so you’ll see that you don’t have to DO anything! You will be charming and adorable, and let me know how it all goes – baby-step by baby-step. Love, Rori

  44.  #44Rori Raye on January 11, 2010 at 3:33 pm

    Orchard, Welcome. He is nothing now but the father of your children. You WANT your children to have a good relationship with their father – and I want to encourage you to help that happen. You must DATE. You must get yourself a love life and consider this man a part of your past. Please don’t get all fantastical about this. You did great by keeping him out of the home except to pick up the children. And you don’t have to be his friend, but you have to be cordial and friendly, so your kids don’t have to choose between you. This happened. That’s all there is to know. It happened. As you start truly living your life and loving it and yourself – you will be okay with him. He doesn’t get to be in your home. He gets to visit his children like every other divorced father. And his children get to stay with him some of the time. You’re very fortunate he hasn’t hauled you into court…be as cool as you can be to continue avoiding that. What you need more than anything right now is a good divorce lawyer. It’s hard to move on without that – and you need to move on. Even if he were to change his mind and want to come back – your deciding to move on would be the most interesting and magnetic thing you could do. Love, Rori

  45.  #45janjune on January 11, 2010 at 3:48 pm

    things happen so fast in this program. it’s hard to realize how fast things are moving and yet there’s no discomfort or stress about the pace… it does blow me away though. from week to week at first,… and then faster like every few days, and now it seems like minute by minute or at least hour by hour major shifts come…

    i say this all the time, but thank you rori!

  46.  #46Lola on January 11, 2010 at 3:58 pm

    I want to take my hat off to you for carrying on with 5 children to take care of. That would feel tough to me and I sense that you are a strong woman and potential super goddess!
    I feel that you don’t need to worry about his relationship with your children – that’s down to him and plenty men have good relationships with their children outside the original marital home.
    I hope you will stay around and enjoy all the support and help that there is here.


  47.  #47janjune on January 11, 2010 at 4:31 pm

    first of all i am feeling so much love today i could just cry.

    my family seems so loving = i’m feeling an out-toward-me vibe which i noticed at first on Christmas Eve.
    it felt so warm and sincere it felt like an almost material, tangible thing.

    have also been feeling respected noticing that they want to know what i have to say, trust that i am going to make the right decisions, trust that i will take care of everybody’s needs. (i’m the point person on a major family issue that involves us all right now…)
    i feel trusted by my family. that feels very very good.

    then i heard from my three best friends.

    then my neighbor called and said he was bringing me some of their organic free-range eggs and another neighbor had come over and tried to get some of the ice and snow out of my driveway… i feel the care of those people toward me and feel it toward them. too, so i made two batches of my Cinnamon Donut Muffins to give them.

    i feel so much love coming in and going out today.
    feel so aware. feeling the vibe. living, bathing, basking, moving today in the vibe of the love.

  48.  #48janjune on January 11, 2010 at 5:00 pm

    but last night and earlier i had the old bf, who i thought was gone, on my mind and heart very heavily. he was not just on my horse with me, he had pushed me off and was riding it alone.
    i felt like the old patterns were back in charge. *groan*…

    that feels like soul death.

    but it was another lesson.

    when i read the comments on this post and then re-read the post, it changed and i realized that it was the fear, MY fear of true intimacy that had kept me hanging on to him for so long.
    simple as that.
    not that i don’t love him and couldn’t love him.
    many great things about him.
    but, i knew the first time we tried this, that he would never want those things from me – emotional intimacy things. oh god, that’s how i could love him so deeply because he was safe.
    TOTALLY safe.
    i never had to worry about being swallowed up or smothered or taken over…

    so there was my lesson and then the heaviness of him being on my mind was gone.

    i feel ready for something else.
    i felt ready for something else last night just before the feeling of heaviness about him hit.
    i had actually started working on a new profile so i can join POF.
    and then i decided to check my dating email inbox, there was an email from some man from which i had quit two months ago but keep receiving messages from them which i just delete without reading because i just haven’t felt like spending time on men right now, which is why i quit in the first place… grrrr

    but i opened this one and he was kind of cute and i liked what he said in his profile and his message was just nice and to the point so i wrote back and told him i would feel good about talking to him if he was interested in that and then gave him my email address.

    his message had set in the inbox for several days, he may not be interested, i don’t know if i would be if i didn’t hear back from someone within 48 hours or so.
    oh well…
    anyway it was good to get that email right at that time when i felt for the first time in two or more months receptive to spending some time on men again!
    i feel strong enough.
    i feel not expecting of someone else to “make me….”.
    i feel making things for myselfness.
    and they can join me if they wish
    but i’m not stopping
    and i don’t expect them to stop either
    or want them to.

  49.  #49mary on January 11, 2010 at 5:32 pm

    Hello Orchard,

    I know Rori’s advice sounded rather harsh. And you’re wanting to find a way to get your man back. And you’re hoping against hope that you can!

    In my opinion, doing what she says – going out and dating – yes! even with 5 kids – believe me the word will get back to him! – will give you a win/win. You’ll see who else is out there, and he’ll respect you!

    That’s a lot to hope for.

  50.  #50Rachel on January 11, 2010 at 7:41 pm


    You sound in such a beautiful, strong place tonight. I love it! Your words give me a lot to ponder … and to hope for.

    I feel like very good things are on the way for you. Thank you for continuing to share your journey with us.

  51.  #51janjune on January 11, 2010 at 7:45 pm

    i feel teary.
    thank you rachel.

  52.  #52Lisa on January 11, 2010 at 8:02 pm


    I love that you are feeling your place in the flow of love. That is proper. Sometimes I join you there.

    Sometimes I feel the “Soul death” you speak of, when thoughts of J, come in. You say,

    “that’s how i could love him so deeply because he was safe. TOTALLY safe. i never had to worry about being swallowed up or smothered or taken over…”

    I totally resonate with that. Moreover, I had so identified with him, the project of “fixing” him, that to abdandon him would be akin to abandoning myself. To DIE! And that I could not do.

    Until I realized my soul was dying with him. I was able to tell him, to be with him was to be lonely. An absolute truth. It is like Mark Twain saying the coldest winter he ever spent was a summer in S.F. What should have been warm was icicle cold.

    I remember fate delivering me a message the last time I really cried over him. Usually, the tears were hot, but the last time, they were little freezing icicles.

  53.  #53janjune on January 11, 2010 at 8:24 pm

    so is it safe then to say that you were able to continue to tell j he was a good person even in the midst of evidence that he was not, or at the very least was not acting like one
    because you felt like he actually was
    and not because there is something inherently wrong in you, as i believe you’d implied a few posts back?

  54.  #54janjune on January 11, 2010 at 9:05 pm

    and also,
    i find it kind of comical that he would write you and tell you so many times that it’s over.
    you already knew that.
    you left him.
    to me it sounds like the little kid on the playground who keeps threatening not to play with the other little kid who had already quit playing with them.
    or like the little kid holding his breath because he’s mad
    or the kid who starts crying when they’re mad and can’t figure out how to stop…so sometimes it does feel right to feel compassion at people’s vulnerability and try to “fix”. but compassion for another person’s issues is one thing and abuse is another and fixing is a fool’s game.

    im seeing that the issue in rori’s program
    isn’t whether whoEVER in our lives is or isn’t capable of being a good person. that just simply isn’t on rori’s radar.
    it’s about Y-O-U!
    What do YOU want for your life?
    What kind of treatment, regardless of anyone else on the planet, do YOU choose to … CHOOSE.

    there was something in the ebook i was reading at lunch today im going to go find it…

    i’m taking enotes on her ebook! anyway here were these notes:

    1. where do your desires come from
    2. what are they leading you to
    3. how would it look if you had what you want”

    that’s it , i feel that’s the first split between rori and other coaches, etc.
    YOU pick!

  55.  #55alias girl on January 11, 2010 at 9:25 pm

    Cinnamon Donut Muffins!!!!!!

  56.  #56janjune on January 11, 2010 at 9:36 pm

    sending you a muffin alias girl!

  57.  #57joanna on January 11, 2010 at 9:59 pm

    I would like to know more about re-entering the dating scene after a long marriage ( 27years). Have no clue

  58.  #58Daria on January 11, 2010 at 10:03 pm

    Janjune – I feel curious (and guilty asking) about your recipe for Cinnamon Donut Muffins

  59.  #59alias girl on January 11, 2010 at 10:36 pm

    Cinnamon Donut Muffins!!!!!!!!! hoooooooyeah. thanks!:)

  60.  #60janjune on January 11, 2010 at 10:47 pm

    hi daria,
    i was wondering if you were okay…

    they’re easy to stir up:
    preheat oven to 350 to 375 degrees.

    in large mixing bowl:
    1 3/4 c. flour
    3/4 c. sugar
    1 1/2 teas. baking powder
    1/2 teas. salt
    1/2 teas. cinnamon
    1/4 teas. nutmeg
    blend with a fork.

    in small mixing bowl:
    1 egg slightly beaten
    1/3 c. vegetable oil
    3/4 c. milk
    blend with a fork.

    make a “well” in the dry ingredients in the big bowl,
    pour the wet ingredients into the “well”, all at one time,
    blend gently with the fork until moist, but still lumpy.

    spoon batter into muffin cups lined with cupcake papers, filling 3/4 of the way full.

    bake for 20-25 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

    let them cool 5 minutes while melting 1/4 stick of butter.
    put 1/4 cup of sugar and 1/2 teas. of cinnamon in a little bowl.
    while the muffins are still warm turn them upside down so you dip the muffin top in the melted butter, then dip it in the cinnamon and sugar.
    that’s it! i’ve made them so many times that it only takes about 10 minutes now.
    love them in the morning with scrambled eggs and bacon.

  61.  #61janjune on January 11, 2010 at 10:56 pm

    or by themselves with a glass of cold milk.

  62.  #62janjune on January 11, 2010 at 10:58 pm

    okay… now i want one. 🙂

  63.  #63Maria on January 12, 2010 at 1:30 am

    Cant wait Roris post about Saskia´s comment

  64.  #64Nikita on January 12, 2010 at 2:43 am

    I feel averse to a virtual relationship

  65.  #65Daria on January 12, 2010 at 3:07 am

    Thanks janjune. I am not ok in that my day was fln like my world is bein torn apart . Plus more an me leaving the house but also good things. So much crying and I did eft. And oportunities to fl blessd . On itouch

  66.  #66Tracy on January 12, 2010 at 4:01 am

    my feelings of anxiety and anger have started cropping up…Rori is right about allowing them to be and just feeling through all of it….I actually feel that i have kept so much of all these inside of me and subconsciously shut down to try and keep myself from hurt.I see how the pattern has repeated itself…just different situations…
    I feel my heart yearning to be loved and accepted and embraced no matter what…
    it feels much better not being scared of feeling anxious….I feel more courageous to meet accept all my feelings with love and compassion…
    I feel more love for myself…I deserve love and i see how i have neglected loving and accepting myself as a precious and loving goddess.How much pain i have caused on myself…I was looking for love but it was right here inside of me..

  67.  #67Tracy on January 12, 2010 at 4:04 am

    I understand now why Rori has to sound harsh sometimes…and i must admit the first time i read about imaginary relationship i felt hurt by her words….
    I love the support and good advise from the posts…
    I feel progress and much love for everyone…hugs!

  68.  #68Tracy on January 12, 2010 at 4:09 am

    I feel resonance with your story.Thanks for sharing.I have five siblings and my mum has had to work so hard to bring us up……My dad passed away 7 years ago…
    It felt difficult growing up and my mum sacrificed so much to keep us in school and all…
    I am with Rori on loving yourself and dating and meeting new people….From my experience my mum took little time on herself and she got depressed for a while but she’s getting so much better and its thanks to leraning to let go and taking more care of herself…
    I feel that the more we love and accept ourselves the more we are able to love and accept others…

  69.  #69alias girl on January 12, 2010 at 4:59 am

    thank you for sharing your truth tracy. i feel good to hear you feeling better by baby steps

  70.  #70orchard on January 12, 2010 at 6:18 am

    Thank you for commenting. I really struggle sometimes to keep going and to keep believing in myself after being rejected so suddenly and so traumatically. And all the thoughts you end up having about – was it all my fault, what did I do wrong, etc etc and you can’t make sense of it, so you feel crazy. And I end up being at the receiving end of the children’s anger and frustration with the situation.

    It is as if I have been abandoned in the wilderness with the children and that my job is to hold us all together and keep us safe and just to find the wisdom and strength to find the path for today. I tell myself that he has got lost in a parallel universe and that my job is to get on with reality and caring for the children and making life as “normal” and good as I can for us all. Sometimes I feel up to the task and other days I don’t!

    Do you really think it is possible to date other men with all the amount of holding together of the children I am having to do? I would love to have some lightness and fun but wonder how I could do everything.

    Surely 2010 has to be better than last year? I don’t think I can keep going with it all being the same. Surely something has to shift? xx

  71.  #71Linda on January 12, 2010 at 7:25 am

    Reading thru all these posts. Imaginary and real. I think I know the difference. Sometimes I wonder if what is right in front of you isnt imagainary. I find it quite possible that men say things and make plans with their words that stir us and before we know it our thoughts are have taken us down the path of having that commitment, ring, life with the man we love.

    I am having to keep myself in constant check with S. We are seeing each other a lot now. He has stepped up in many ways. I delivered my speech last week. I told what I was feeling and, expressed that I did not want to be “a girlfriend” long term….along with other things about money, goals, cars, life styles and housing…. He did not back up or shut down. I watched his body language. There were some things that I observed that I noted as possible warnings. But he never disengaged from our conversation and he simply said. “I love you very much”… with all we have just talked about it sounds like we are looking at this spring” (meaning, marriage and setting up our joint household).

    My challange in this is keeping this REAL. I am holding myself back…Not pushing or rowing, not assuming not imagining…(I am a thinker, planner and a doer)… This is tuff for me. We have been looking at cars, he has introduced me long time friends, attending church together, he drove thru a possible area to move to etc.
    He seems to be open to me emotionally and proving that in his actions too. Things are moving but….

    I have to keep this all in check. Keep in all REAL. I have a voice inside that says, dont be in a hurry, be open and fully present in each moment with him. I am finding a greater confidence now.. time is my friend. I keep reminding myself that I am in no hurry, that I need to maintain my new found independance. There are still things that I need to feel and experience with him.

    Just being present in each moment, enjoying his company, laughing with him, soaking up his attentions, listening and responding this is my job right now. Being a girl for me and remaining, responding and living in my girl energy with him is my challange. I am learning.

    I have another part of my speech to share very soon. I will keep you posted…

    Hugs Linda

  72.  #72Rachel on January 12, 2010 at 8:08 am


    My heart is with you this morning. You have so much courage and I can feel the love you have for your children through what you’ve written. A lot of your energy will need to go toward them right now, but they also need to see you taking care of yourself.

    So even for now if you just allow yourself to receive an admiring look or smile from a man at the grocery store, it will start to heal your heart and fill up the places that have been drained by all that you’ve been through.

    I went through a very hard time a few years ago and I only survived because I started to take care of my needs … emotionally, physically, spiritually. I had nothing left to give my children. And now, we’re doing better and I smile when I see my girls curled up in a corner “journaling” or going outside to enjoy nature. They are now actively taking care of their hearts. My little one said the other day, “Mom, this is what my spirit needs right now…” as she settled in to watch a favorite movie.

    Our children learn by watching us. So it’s not selfish to care for your heart. It’s wise … and it is a lesson that they need to learn as well so that they can heal too.

    I send you a hug and prayer for a strong, peaceful, inspiring day.

  73.  #73tinque on January 12, 2010 at 8:46 am

    Rachel – this is beautiful. your children and what you are teaching them.

  74.  #74mary on January 12, 2010 at 9:09 am

    saying some little prayers for you, daria! big changes in your life!

  75.  #75mary on January 12, 2010 at 9:13 am

    i look for your posts and don’t see them! i feel sad when that happens.

  76.  #76mary on January 12, 2010 at 9:27 am

    hello orchard,

    i feel compassion for your situation, and understand that being a single parent means that so many things get left undone! i don’t know how two parents can deal with five children in this day and age. it must be very difficult.

    i was just thinking back to being single without the Internet and what a different world it is now! it’s easier to at least be in touch with men now. and there are personal ads and craigslist, where you might even explain your situation: “hello. i have five children at home, and i’ve been separated from my husband for over a year. i would really appreciate some masculine companionship, although i know i’m not in a position to offer much time or support in a relationship at the present time. would anyone be up for coffee, or a walk, or a movie? i’d love an evening out!”

  77.  #77Lola on January 12, 2010 at 10:14 am


    This is SO important, your comment to Orchard re taking care of ourselves so that we can take care of our children!!!! They learn from us and also they see us moving past things like divorce and realise that there is a process and though it may take time, if we care for ourselves and each other, we get through.

    Orchard I feel very supportive of you and in awe of you right now.

    When my marriage broke down my son was extremely angry with me and his father, but I bore the brunt of it because I was the one who was there nearly all the time. His behaviour was very extreme and he would abuse me verbally in front of friends and in the street and once he spat in my face – it was all horrible and I thought I would never get through. my daughter was younger and it seemed to affect her less.

    There seem to be issues with absent fathers and access to the home. My ex still wants access to my home 5 years on. He has even entered the home while I have been away and tidied the children’s rooms and moved furniture around. Slung dirty washing from my daughter’s room into my bedroom. Put rubbish from my teenager’s room on my kitchen table!!! He got in because my son has a key.

    I felt horrified to come home (twice) and find he had done this. Boundaries, boundaries boundaries! I am learning the hard way!!!! But I am learning nevertheless.

    We are all here for you Orchard

  78.  #78janjune on January 12, 2010 at 11:46 am

    your 8:08 a.m. comment to orchard has me laughing and crying… so sweet… your little girls journaling and telling what their spirit needs…

    what wonderful gifts you’ve given your girls.

  79.  #79janjune on January 12, 2010 at 11:52 am

    sending good thoughts and healing heart vibrations your way…
    saying a prayer. right now.

    “respect and love and honor”
    is what i am getting–

  80.  #80janjune on January 12, 2010 at 11:59 am

    “respect and love and honor”
    to yourSELF.

    for all the wonderful things that you ARE

  81.  #81Flipper on January 12, 2010 at 4:58 pm

    My fabulous cousin married a woman with 5 kids, including teens, and he already had 2 of his own. They lived in the boonies with a small population and not much going on, but somehow met at a local dance. They’re still going strong after nearly 20 years. She is very creative and has managed to keep her creative and professional fires going because of their importance for herself; she’s strong, yet knows how to accept and appreciate help.

  82.  #82Melanie on January 12, 2010 at 10:13 pm

    Rori wrote to Orchard: “Even if he were to change his mind and want to come back – your deciding to move on would be the most interesting and magnetic thing you could do.”

    Since I started circular dating a few months ago, my ex-husband (who wanted nothing to do with me for seven years!) is suddenly saying things like, “Why does it feel like you are magnetized? Did you put a spell on me? I can’t stop thinking about you, wanting you, coming close to you….”

    Today he stopped by the house to take care of college loans for our kids, and I was baking cookies. He moved toward me and asked if he could hug me. I had no objections, and when I let him, he said, “You’re driving me crazy. Why are you doing this to me?”

    I laughed gently and said, “I’m not doing anything. I’m just standing here.” (I wasn’t really even hugging back, but I was relaxed and receptive, not stiff.)

    He laughed and said, “Then stop standing there! I can’t take it!”

    He does not know I am dating.

    I told TN man about all this. TN man texted back: “You are free, loving yourself, not ashamed of your sexuality. That is very attractive to men. It is attractive to everyone, really.”

    (This is the kind of stuff TN man says all the time that really appeals to me. Even though he is long-distance and we haven’t met yet, I am “keeping” him. I like him!!!)

    I also loved what Rachel wrote about her children. Orchard, it is so true that our children need to see us loving and nurturing ourselves! I neglected myself for years after my marriage suddenly and traumatically ended, desperately trying to get him back because I felt it would be best for all of us, especially the children. My children are now older (two in college) and are frank with me about the bad example I showed them by not being good to myself during that time. We are all healing and learning together now how to love ourselves.

  83.  #83Rori Raye on January 13, 2010 at 9:42 pm

    Joanna, Welcome – and what a long answer this would be! Targeting Mr. Right is your program (after the ebook) – and reading everything here on Circular Dating and asking questions we can all answer as you go along will make this all easy for you. Love, Rori

  84.  #84Lisa on January 23, 2010 at 9:14 pm


    Late reading through everything. Thanks for your emphasizing the YOU in all of this. Love, honor & respect ourselves, for only then can we conduct an honest interaction with anyone.

    I have the right to speak my truth. I have that responsibility. Elsewise, it’s a lie. Knowing my feelings — the truth — will set me free.

  85.  #85Lori on January 24, 2010 at 5:58 am


    You continue to amaze me with your insight…

    “But women who get into long-distance relationships? Or online-only relationships? Or put up with seeing someone so sporadically, etc? It’s so clear when Rori says it. We’re in them because *real* relationships are too scary for us. Being with flesh and blood men in front of us…too much.
    Who’s distancing? Us or them?”

    You just described me. My last 2 long term relationships were with men who lived 2-4 hours away whom I only saw every other weekend or so. I spent 5 years with them combined. I kept telling myself it was because there were no “good” men in the town where I live. Even with my circular dating guys, only one of them lives here in town. One of them lives 12 hours away!

    Wow, I feel like I just got smacked in the face with reality. I choose men who are unavailable in some way (distance, career, emotionally etc) because I’M the one who has a fear of intimacy!

    Now that I see this, I want to change it immediately. I don’t want to live the rest of my life this way. How do I change this?

  86.  #86Maria on January 24, 2010 at 6:28 am

    l have a bit of a problem. l dont understand this “fear of relationship/intimacy” and choosing long distance men to avoid it. l do try to work on myself for understanding this concepr, but l fail every time.
    Here is the way l see it – what if for instance the (local) guys as potential relationship materials, do not feel the special attraction toward me, to proceed it forward?
    What if there isnt local guys?
    What if the local guys are either too young or too old…
    What if the local guys shapes up to be unavailable, too, in some ways.
    lm not talking about cutting off the opportunity to find someone local, but it does come down to a person eventually. What l understand is that long distance “imaginary” relationships are not real, however, l do not understand how l should think regarding to being resistant to a real relationship and being afraid of intimacy. As far as lm concerned, with the right person, there is capability in everyone of us not to be afraid and deep down we all are looking to open up and be intimate.
    Hence my confusion….

  87.  #87Maria on January 24, 2010 at 6:33 am

    To follow up the example of how l fear intimacy is this – there is a guy in my dating network, who is wonderful as a person, caring, etc however, just the thought of getting intimate with him, even touching him makes me absolutely resistant. l have told him, that lm not attracted to him, but he wudnt listen.
    Obviously that is the situation l call fear of intimacy, cos he is out there, open arms, with his heart and soul open, and lm so afraid, cos l just dont like him at all, but he kind of expects me to open up to him in all ways, and thats a bad situation, cos he just doesnt listen, that lm not interested. lm bit of an afraid of him.

  88.  #88Lisa on January 24, 2010 at 9:50 am


    Yeah, that is my insight, too. Once I became serious about finding a serious relationship (8 years ago), I found one in which I had to agonize. I was doing penance! It was my horsehair shirt! But there are a lot of guys who are not game players.

    As Maria says, some of them don’t light our fire, and we must be clear, both with them and ourselves. Tthey may remain in rotation as a friend, but we must not leave them hanging, or we are as bad as the yucky guys 🙂

    We are not prisoners to our feminine bodies. We do not have to do anything. We DO what feels good, and thus honoring ourselves and others.

  89.  #89Turtle Girl on January 25, 2010 at 11:06 am

    Oh Boy Lori-
    You just asked the 64 thousand dollar question didn’t you?

    “Now that I see this, I want to change it immediately. I don’t want to live the rest of my life this way. How do I change this?”

    Indeed how does one change? How does one reroute, retrain our brain to be something different? Some of these behavior patterns are years in operation. I know that recognizing them is the first step, obviously we can not change something we are not aware of. But then what?

    EFT? NLP? Hypnosis? All the practice we get circular dating? All of the above? Consciously making different choices even though it feels weird or wrong because we force our logical mind to override our emotions that just got us toxic men?

    I believe people can change, but wow-I guess I would love some practical how to steps, just like building a house or something. Oy! None of this is easy and it is a lot of work.

    And what is the deal with all the toxic men being really good looking and the good guys not so much.
    Do handsome men become jerks because they do not have to work at anything. Women just follow them around? And the poor guys who are not 10’s or even a respectable 5 lose out because they are nice? Anyone ever meet a good looking man that also had a good heart and was not toxic?
    Is there some connection to the chemical attraction we feel with a guy and the fact that he is toxic? Is it possible to be really attracted to a nice man? A man who is good for us? What is up with all of that?

  90.  #90tinque on January 25, 2010 at 11:53 am

    How does one change? By doing whatever it takes to change your patterns, whatever works for you, and usually it’s lots of different things which will help differently at different time. Try anything and everything that attracts you. All modalities work. The thing is to find what works for YOU. Sometimes you just have to tell yourself to stop the whining and pining and get on with things.
    Now what’s up with the “handsome men”? In the reverse, have you ever resented the mostly common fact that the “pretty girls” always get the guy? Or the goods?
    Both statements are nonsense in my view. I really have a hard time with anyone, man or woman being rated as to how they look, that a person with a “higher rating” is often thought of as “better”.
    How a person REALLY looks is how this person glows inside. This and only this is is what’s important.
    I blame the media for this. We are fed this CONSTANTLY. The media portray “beautiful” people as being better than the rest, and I would imagine in some cases these people do acquire a sense of entitlement. I don’t at all agree with this, but this is our world.
    WE can change this in our own little ways.
    Of course we tend to be attracted to a certain look.
    But how about trying throwing all your ideas of what “you like” out the window and keeping your mind and heart wide open.
    I did this and ended up with the dearest, sweetest, most loving, intelligent, interesting, wonderful man who is also the most amazing lover, and we are only getting better all the time, eight years now.
    I threw away all my ideas of what I thought I wanted my man to look like and made room for so much more.
    As for being attracted to toxic men. This has come up before. We tend to be attracted to the familiar. If we were brought up with abuse and neglect, this is what the child mind associates with love because up until the age of three or so, before the child learns fear, all that is known to the child is love. If love looks like abuse, then that’s what we seek as adults.
    If love looks like drama, that’s what we are attracted to. If love looks like abandonment, that’s what we find.
    UNTIL the pattern is recognized and actively changed, it perpetuates, and even then it takes time and patience.