If You’re Addicted To Men – Do This

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Allana Pratt, the Sexy Mom Expert (and I know her and love her and she truly is…) wrote a comment about my Circular Dating as Healing post – you can read the whole comment here-> and basically, she deals with her clients a bit differently than I do in this one way…

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.

Here she is:

Allana asked what I thought and about my own experiences as a coach – and here it is…

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 onlies.”

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 – wherever you are.

So – the question is – what should you CHOOSE to DO while you’re bumping up against old horrible feelings?

What should you CHOOSE to TRIGGER yourself with – 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 my answer is pretty simple.

The moment you AVOID doing ANYTHING NEW – you are involved in RESISTANCE.

The moment you PROPEL yourself into something you don’t really want to do, because you think it might be a good idea or I told you to – you’re all up in your HEAD.

So – the ONLY answer is to follow your FEELINGS.

So – how do you follow your feelings anywhere good when you’re addicted and have been leading yourself to bad places for so long?

I’m very, very big on learning by doing.

In other words – you can’t learn from a situation if you’re not in the situation.

There are many steps involved in Circular Dating. It’s not just about “going out on dates.”

It’s about learning to stand in front of a total stranger and feel relaxed and open and speak in Feeling Messages. Once you’ve practiced doing that in your imagination, using all my Tools – you can’t go any further if you’re at home alone.

It’s about learning to pick up red flags from men and see them a bit more clearly, to feel how you feel about yourself when you’re in his presence. You can’t do that at home alone.

You CAN do it, however, ANYWHERE. So Circular Dating would include going to the market and practicing opening your heart to the clerk behind the counter. Circular Dating would include Flirting, and making eye contact.

Circular Dating would include learning to be fully PRESENT, and Listening at Level 2, with everyone at the local Starbucks.

Circular Dating starts with practicing emotional availability, and learning to tolerate that a step-at-a-time.

All healing starts with the Truth.

Learning to see the truth, hear the truth, and speak the truth.

Learning to see beneath everything we’ve each built up around our hearts to keep us from the truth.

Even at a retreat in an ashram in India, you’re around people. You meditate in the company of people. You speak to people, sit next to people.

You learn to be who you are with people by being with people and interacting.

Only – the normal, day-to-day hustle-and-bustle is practically non-existent. It’s quiet. You don’t have the distractions we depend on, we don’t have the “busy-ness” to keep us from our thoughts and feelings.

I LOVE the idea of “retreat.”

That would be a few days where you commit to doing only certain things – meditating, dancing, yoga, walking…a vacation from your normal environment. Or – for me – it’s an art class where I think of NOTHING but what I’m immersed in.

And yet, in my experience, when you return to “real life” – you might feel even more “guarded.”

Because no matter WHERE you go – you can’t HELP getting triggered. In the most peaceful place in the world – someone might look at you (even an animal) and trigger you. The smallest thing may bring back a traumatic memory or make you feel bad. Just because you’re somewhere peaceful doesn’t mean you FEEL peaceful. Unless you PRACTICE.

So – use what Allana says as WELL as what I say. Try the “retreat” technique and take yourself away from excess stimulation for as long as you can, and EXPERIMENT with how that feels, how amazing it is to feel the stress go away from your body so that you don’t feel so intensely triggered as you might when you’re in a sea of other people’s expectations.

And try the “Triggering On Purpose” technique that is Circular Dating to provide OPPORTUNITIES for you to practice different Tools. It’s this combination of the inner work of triggering yourself and using “Strong Surrender” and all its Tools – and then resting so you can integrate everything you’ve discovered – that will move you the fastest.

Allana is terrific, and I’m going to ask her to guest post for me and help here with comments, too.  You can get all kinds of info from her and about her at www.AllanaPratt.com

Let me know what works for you, and I’ll write about it.

Love, Rori

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  1.  #1Daria on December 21, 2008 at 11:43 pm

    I FEEL SO ANGRY! At this one guy… Amazingly I feel like I am moving on from him since he told me he is probably having a baby! YAY that would be life-changing… to move on! But right now I feel angry that he has not paid me the money he owes me! I feel like calling him (again I tried twice today because he owes me) and yelling at him! I want to tell him that I feel outraged… that I like him and I feel so angry! That I feel outraged that he hasn’t paid me back! I love myself! Have I mentioned I love myself? I am getting so much lovely male attention, and meanwhile I am loving myself! Yay! I feel better lol!

  2.  #2nir on December 22, 2008 at 10:25 am

    “The moment you AVOID doing ANYTHING NEW – you are involved in RESISTANCE.”

    Oh, this got to me. I needed this article, because I have triggers everywhere.

    Daria, I have a guy who owes me money too. What is it with these men?

  3.  #3Cassandra on December 23, 2008 at 1:09 pm

    That same sentence got to me as well! Sometimes….well ok…often…I get into these places where I feel so overwhelmed with choices that I do nothing for fear of doing the wrong thing again….it is like I can’t move or decide what I am going to do so I do nothing. On that note….Rori..I have a question for you….what am I doing? Am I in an imaginary relationship or is this a real relationship with Charles really planning on us getting married one day? Going into the new year, I do NOT want to go the same route that I did last year and would truly like your opinion on this. You know the story and I remember at one point you said that he has not intention of marrying me…ever. Do you still feel that way or do you feel that there is a chance for us? Things have been so much better it is as though I have the manthat I fell in love with back and I love it!! There are some possibilities opening up for me and I don’t want to make the wrong decision or put my life on hold going into the new year for him or anyone else again.
    With love and hugs….

  4.  #4Cassandra on December 23, 2008 at 1:10 pm

    Oh….forgot to mention that he still maintains that we WILL get married – he just can’t tell me when and of course we are still in the same household.

  5.  #5Daria on December 23, 2008 at 3:36 pm

    Cassandra… why don’t you move out and then if he really wants to marry you he will pursue you? Then you will really be able to tell…

    Honestly I feel that his signing up for a “cheating” site is 10 times worse than porn and his on and off behavior is inexcusable, especially when it comes to marriage.

    I can’t wait until you tell us that you have moved out and are starting a strong happy life.

    I feel way out of my league here and my opinions are definitely coming out of my own judgement and feelings. I definitely don’t feel safe thinking about you and Charles.

    Nonetheless, its only about what YOU feel! Ok?

    I care about you and that is my honest yet clumsy answer, and I feel really uncomfortable posting it since your question was for Rori…

    That feels like frowny face, like fear of sticking my nose where it doesn’t belong, it feels icky… I’m not sure why post it except that I feel I care about you. I don’t want to hurt you or influence you toward painful thoughts and feelings…

    Big hugs to you and me too.

  6.  #6Cassandra on December 23, 2008 at 5:30 pm

    Daria…..You did not offend me at all…on the contrary! I VALUE your opinion and it means so much to me that you do care about me and simply want me to be happy. I have thought of doing exactly what you said by moving out then I will REALLY know where he stands BUT…..to have to leave him and our home will literally rip my heart out of my chest. I know myself well enough to know that if I do indeed end up having to move it will hurt me so much especially given the fact that I gave up an amazing, full and happy life to move here to marry him and here we are…still not married….it would hurt me so much to have to leave him and our home that I am not sure that things could ever be repaired for me. Sure I would recover but as far as him and I – I am not sure that we could be repaired. I have poured my heart and soul into this house and yard and I feel that a large part of me is here too and then there is his family….I have also fallen in love with all of them and they have totally embraced me as part of this family. His Mom even calls me her daughter in law and she doesn’t even call his brother’s wife who is REALLY her daughter in law that! I really do love this place, this family and our friends and of course…him. Things really have been great lately but you also brought another really important point….the cheating site. I am with you on that…that it is worse than porn…between that and the dating site (HE has NOT been on either for a little while) I am honestly NOT sure that I would ever be able to trust him totally again. When you said that you don’t really feel safe thinking about him and I together….I can’t say that I blame you as I am not totally sure that I do either….I WANT to but I am not there yet and he has to realize that HE is the one that changed the dynamics and destroyed trust. Lately I think that he has been trying to rebuild it but after all that has happened I am not sure that it can be rebuilt. I sure hope that it can but that is up to him but you know what Daria…..honestly as much as I love him and WANT to be with him here in our home let’s just pretned that he came home right now with a ring that I love and said….’let’s go do this and make things right…I don’t want to be without you….marry me?!” With all that has happened how could I say yes let’s go now? I would have to say yes but we need to go to counseling first…I could not just out and out marry him right now and that makes me so sad….it feels like my heart breaking…it hurts. I do love him but even as much as I so so so want us to be together for the long haul and get married and have a family I am not totally sure that things could ever be totally right again. He still has those profiles on those sites although he has not been on them…his profile is still there….that bothers me so much.

    My plan is to continue to look for a good job and then when I have enough money saved up to get my own place he and I will have to sit down and discuss where we are going….If I still have to move then I think that I will be done…if I can stay here with him in our home then I want us to go to counseling and totally commit to working things out and making them right for both of us. Time will tell though. It scares me though to think that I could be waiting for a little while longer and then lose out on what really I want for my life….that totally scares me. I so want to be married and have a family. There are 2 people in my life…..1 from my past (In my mind this is NOT an option because of his past behavior) and 1 that I dated for a little while but he was in another city and it was just too hard so we just sort of became really good friends and he has been 1 of my best friends for over 4 years….that want to explore a relationship with me. I don’t want to miss out but I am in love with Charles and I WANT things to work out with us…but is this BEST for me? I am not sure about that. This is what I am trying to figure out. I have NEVER made good decisions when it comes to this kind of stuff and that too scares me. One thing that I know for sure is that my friend that has been a really close friend for so long has BEEN there to the degree that he was going to drive 6 hours to be at my surgery but I did not feel comfortable with that. I felt as though I would have been doing something wrong in some way so I told him no. I do NOT feel that strong attraction for my friend though and sometimes – even though he would be a great husband to someone – I get scared that I will have to sacrifice that deep ‘in love’ feeling for security and emotional safety/ care. I do have that deep ‘in love’ feeling with Charles and am so attracted to him in every way. I don’t know…sorry this is so long..I didn’t mean for it to be. In any case….thank you for your post Daria and it means alot to me that you DO care! I so value your opinion!
    Love you tons and I send you a huge FLOWER HUG!!! 🙂

  7.  #7Reshi on December 23, 2008 at 6:22 pm

    Cassandra, I’m going to come right out and be a hardass: Get online and start circular dating, immediately. You don’t have to move out, but go get your dance card filled! Even if all you ever do is exchange e-mails, it’ll raise your confidence so high.

    The ring isn’t on your finger yet so you can’t let yourself be exclusive with Charles even if you are in love with him. Remember, Rori did the same thing with her now-husband; she told him he couldn’t have her all to himself, then packed her bags and flew off for a weekend, then had a proposal in what, 2 weeks? Give yourself a chance to find someone who’ll give you BOTH the deep “in love” feeling AND the commitment you want, deserve, and require.

    You’re still standing at the doorway of infinite possibilities. And I’ve found your story so moving and inspiring. I rejoice when you have a breakthrough, and my heart breaks every time I hear about Charles behaving badly or not stepping up. And I totally get how scary it is to even think about other men when you feel committed in your heart. It feels wrong! It feels like CHEATING! But this man you’re with signed up on a website for people who are looking to cheat. Under the circumstances, for you to date other men is not cheating. It is simply availing yourself of the freedom that is already yours. It is coming out of the cage you’ve put yourself in. And–yes–it’s f*cking SCARY. But you have what it takes to move through the fear. You’ve already moved through so much and displayed such extraordinary courage in dealing with your health issues–I’m breathless just thinking about it.

    We’ll all be here to cheer you on the other side.

  8.  #8alias girl on December 23, 2008 at 8:57 pm

    caasandra you are bascially asking rori
    1) what are YOU doing?
    2) for her to read the future. rori as psychic. probably a different website.

    you are talking out of both sides of your mouth. on the one hand you are saying oh i could never leave this home. on the other hand you are saying once you move out etc etc etc.

    people have a poor opinion of charles based on the information YOU gave and wrote on here. we do not personally know this man. so i would say since your are providing this informtaion then obviously you are privvy to the same info.


    charles is NOT asking you to marry him.his behavior is not that of trying to marry you in my opinion. and just what about marriage is going to make and somehow transform this man registered for a cheating site? marriage is going to change him into your dream husband.

    you have all the answers inside you.. i think you are just unable to face your reality at this present moment of time because you feel helpless and powerless and sad and horrified and scared. of course i am just guessing all this based on inofrmation YOU have provided. just becuase you deny the truth does not make something any less true.

    i think the reason you posed the question is because you ARE trying to face the truth and make the neccessary changes and gather strength. and for that i stand behind you on your quest for self love and happiness. we truly do know what you are going through and what you are facing with this.

    with love, alias girl

  9.  #9Ann on December 23, 2008 at 10:16 pm


    Hugs… I think you know the answers to your questions inside yourself. And I think you WILL be strong enough to do what you feel you need to, when the time is right for you.

    I know I’m not Rori so I hope you don’t mind me replying to you.

    Take care. Keep growing. Keep practicing the tools. Keep learning to accept and love Cassandra first.

  10.  #10Cassandra on December 24, 2008 at 7:53 am

    Hi Guys….thank you all for your input…I DO value each of your opinions! I think that each of you is totally right. Reshi….I think that if Iwere in my own place by myself I would have started to circular date quite a while ago but because I am still dependent of Charles I just don’t feel comfortable do so yet. I feel that if he were to find out and get upset he could kick me out of our home and that scares me. Even though things have been wonderful lately that is still in the back of my mind. I do know that no matter what happens I will get through this it is just a timing thing I suppose. Once I can find a job then I will FEEL so much better. AG and Ann.. you guys…all of you are totally right. I do feel as though I am conflicted…..on one hand I want things to be ok and stay here and on the other I am moving. I don’t want to move – I never have that is all his thing but if I do have to then I have to prepare myself for ‘us’ being totally over that is all there is to it. It is my hope that he will go to counseling with me but if he does not then I still have to take care of me. I do think that once I have a job I will feel so much less dependent on him and that will help ME to do whatever it is that I need to do at that time.
    With love and hugs….

  11.  #11alias girl on December 24, 2008 at 9:56 am

    HE wants you to move from HIS home.

    you fear he could kick you out of HIS HOME if you make a wrong move.

    i am not trying to be cruel cassandra by pointing out your language and situation. my intention is to just shine a stronger light on things you already know. i think you are wise to play possum until you become self supported or in a different living arrangement. you are currently financially dependent on what sounds like an abusive man. this is often a large contributing factor to why people stay in these situations. plus the turnaround in behavior when the abuser fears he is losing his captive can cause a person to believe or hope real change is occurring.

    i don’t blame either you or charles. you are both just human beings doing the best you can. you may even end up happily married to charles. but if it were to happen with this power dynamic going on and then to bring children into the mix to cause you to be More dependent on him might not be great.

    the other thing is that truly a change must occur within you or you will go out and pick another charles. it’s childhood stuff. we are attracted to our early traumas god knows why. something in our brain turns it into attraction.

    but i beleive in miracles and healing and change and you can have your happily ever after cassandra but not if you’r not aware and awake to make healthy SELF LOVING decisions and actions.

    and lastly only you can know what your soul truly needs or desires. so no matter what anyone else says or advises it really nneeds to ring true inside you .

    in the end you are supported no matter what you decide to do. it is a benevolent universe rooting for your highest good and greatest bliss. xoxo

  12.  #12Reshi on December 24, 2008 at 3:03 pm

    How’s the job search coming? ;o

  13.  #13Daria on December 25, 2008 at 3:45 am

    I just love the picture for this blog topic. The green heart in the woman’s hands feels so comforting and attractive to me!

  14.  #14Michelle on April 24, 2012 at 6:11 pm

    Love this blog! This is just what I needed to read right now. The comments are exactly what I needed.