by Rori Raye
One of the things I discovered and made myself do that – completely improved my own love life and is the best dating advice I can give you – was to KEEP MY OPTIONS OPEN.
If this sounds nearly impossible, because you feel so emotionally connected to one man, you can STILL do it.
One of the first steps to understanding why it’s so important to always keep your options open is to challenge the way we all think relationships should go.
You know, you meet a man, he’s great, there’s chemistry, he wants to spend all his time with you, and pretty soon you’re seeing each other every weekend, and then maybe once in the week, then two, and he calls and emails, and before you know it, you’re a “couple.”
And then, after maybe 6 months or a year, he proposes, you get engaged, and then there’s a wedding and you live happily ever after.
And the thing is – that’s the way it’s SUPPOSED TO GO!
Easy and simple and without stress and frustration and tears and worry.
It’s supposed to go without insecurity and confusion.
And it’s supposed to go fairly quickly.
The only difference is – it’s not necessarily supposed to go the whole time with JUST HIM!
I know this goes against everything you’ve ever heard or dreamed about.
We all think when we meet “The One” it will happen fast.
And often it does.
But most of the time – we’re not quite READY for it to happen this quickly and easily.
If we’ve been wounded, or have trust issues, or are struggling with low-self-esteem and some bad patterns with men in the past – we have some PRACTICING to do, first.
And “The One” man for us may be in the same “not quite ready” place, too.
So, what do we do while we’re waiting for both of us to be ready?
We Keep Our Options Open.
We date other men.
*** Here’s a letter from Debbie
A few months ago I reconnected with a man that I dated briefly back in the fall last year. He was the one that ended it with no explanation.
When he came back into my life I asked him what happened and he said that he was dealing with some issues within himself and that it was nothing I did.
He told me he was “looking for a good women to love him the way love should be” and he told me he missed being my friend and would like to try again.
Since then, we have gone out a couple of times and have been intimate. What is confusing me here is when we are laying in bed, he always initiates the conversation about us.
The last time we were together he asked me if I could see myself loving him and always jokes about us getting married and I told him that I could, but that he has to love me too and he told me he would if he knew that I loved him.
He told me one night that he was “scared” and that I was too good for him. He is dealing with a career change right now and is feeling a bit insecure. When he and I are together it’s great.
It’s like we are this couple in love and everything just fits but he’s so hot and cold with me. He comes on strong and then I don’t hear from him (it’s been 3 weeks since I have seen him and have talked to him briefly – I called him) and when we do talk he says he misses me and has been thinking about me.
I’m so confused about him and our situation. What do you think is going on or what advice do you have for me? I have never stopped liking him and it is very hard for me to “move on” because I feel we are so perfect for each other. HELP! Thank you, Debbie
***If you’re finding Debbie’s story familiar, you’re not alone.
Here’s some dating advice that will be a HUGE help
This is such a common, awful-feeling thing.
A man blows hot and cold, he comes and goes, he loves you and then he’s “a friend.”
He knows what he wants and then he doesn’t know what he wants.
He calls 10 times a day for 2 days and then you don’t hear from him for 2 weeks.
And often – he has a great excuse:
He’s working so hard, he has “issues” there are kids and exes and bosses, and his own dreams for himself, and he just “forgets” to stay in touch.
He doesn’t do terrible things or treat you badly when you’re together.
He just keeps you off-balance.
It’s happened to me so many times – it’s like he lulls you into thinking you’re “together” and then he jerks it away.
One minute you feel totally peaceful with him, and the next you’re confused and tearing your hair out in frustration.
It doesn’t have to be like that.
***Here’s the one simple key to this whole awful mystery, and how to overcome it:
IT DOESN’T MATTER WHAT HE DOES.
That’s the truly important thing to keep in your mind and in your heart, so I’ll say it again:
It Doesn’t Matter What HE Does.
It only matters how YOU FEEL.
Every one of us women have different needs and different tolerances for closeness.
We each have different ways of relating to the world – some of us visually, some of us through sound, some of us through touch.
And so, what might be a deal breaker for one of us (an example might be that we need to hear him “say” he loves us), might be completely unimportant to another of us (who might care more that he “show” his love by doing things for us).
And sometimes, these things, these “deal breakers” can change!
You can start feeling so much better about yourself that things he does and doesn’t do all of a sudden aren’t all that important.
You start to feel good about the WHOLE relationship, and you start to feel LOVED, and it just sort of spills over onto everything.
To start that process happening, start here, start with Loving Yourself, and allowing yourself to FEEL what you’re feeling when you’re feeling it.
You get to be who you are and want to be loved the way that FEELS good to you.
And once you realize that it’s all about how YOU FEEL, and not necessarily a judgment about what HE DOES – everything in your relationship will change.
Instead of seeing his behavior as “right” or “wrong” you’ll EXPERIENCE it as feeling “good” or feeling “yucky.”
And then you get to use all my Tools to communicate how YOU feel to HIM.
So…how does this work with KEEPING YOUR OPTIONS OPEN?
A man who blows hot and cold is just doing what he does.
Unless he’s a bad man (and we’ll talk about that in a different eLetter), he’s not blowing hot and cold on purpose to HURT you, he’s just doing it because that’s what he does.
So, the most hurtful and frustrating and important thing that’s really going on is this:
While he’s blowing hot and cold, coming and going, doing his irritating and frustrating “dance,” what’s really causing the most pain is if you’re WAITING for him!
And worse, and even more painful is if you’re STANDING AROUND waiting for him.
And so many of us do this.
It’s just the way we’ve always done things.
It’s like we get paralyzed, and try to freeze- frame our lives.
We try to put everything on hold, hoping that he’ll stop his dancing and do what he’s supposed to do: be with us.
It feels horrible to wait.
It feels like being trapped, and used, and beat up.
The worst part is that the one who’s doing that to us isn’t him – it’s US.
Let’s take it even further:
It doesn’t even matter if HE dates other women.
It only matters that YOU DON’T WAIT AROUND.
The best dating advice is not about “dating.” What matters that you focus on being happy, and then, a huge part of what will make you happy is for you to DATE OTHER MEN.
Until he’s ready to commit.
(And I’m not talking about a “boyfriend” and “girlfriend” commitment, I’m talking about the WEDDING RING or WALKING OFF INTO THE SUNSET TOGETHER commitment.)
With many hot and cold men, talking about “the future” isn’t enough.
A commitment should be a place where YOU feel completely COMFORTABLE and SECURE.
For some men and relationships, it could be at the first time you have sex, for some the proposal.
I have many great stories about women who have successfully navigated this – by keeping their options open UNTIL there was a commitment that suited THEM.
When a man is READY, and sure he wants you, then the romance REALLY begins.
Then comes the ring and the wedding, and the walking off into the sunset together.
I know this is a challenging concept.
The best dating advice I can give is that most of us resist the idea of “dating” as a waste of time, boring, and full of jerks and clueless men. But that’s not what it is.
And that’s why I call it BRIDGING now.
Because it’s not just about “dating.”
And it’s not about making one man jealous by dating other men.
This is about GETTING READY for the REAL THING.
This is about letting as many men as possible LOVE you EMOTIONALLY until the one who wants to claim you FOREVER shows up and makes it as easy and simple and certain and fun and romantic as it’s supposed to be.
So, being exclusive and afraid of “moving on” is Debbie’s biggest mistake. (Important note: This is not about making Debbie wrong – this is about helping you to never have to go through something like this ever again by noticing and understanding the mistakes and then not having to do them – ever again. And it’s about me explaining exactly HOW.)
There is simply NEVER a good reason to become exclusively involved for ANY length of time with ANY one man without a COMMITMENT.
It’s not Debbie’s fault – it’s just the way we’re all used to doing things.
We think that we’ll wreck what we have now if we dare to keep our options open for what we WANT.
And that’s NOT the way it works.
We won’t wreck anything we have by keeping our options open for what we want, as long as there is no serious commitment.
And “exclusivity” is NOT a commitment.
Exclusivity without a commitment is a TRAP.
It’s great for him – but not good at all for you.
Keeping your options open makes it POSSIBLE to have what you want…and it makes it easier for the man you have to GIVE you what you want.
It works for everybody, all around.
You just have to get used to it.
Because once you try it, it actually feels amazing.
It feels EMPOWERING.
It feels Goddess-like.
It feels like high self-esteem.
The way it works is that you simply keep dating other men (no sex – just lunch, coffee dates, getting to know each other – this is “BRIDGING”) until your man – or a NEW man – steps forward and claims you in the committed way you truly want.
In my own story, this is how it went:
We’d had a deal at the time he moved in that we’d be engaged by New Years.
So, with my old style, and old patterns (and pretty much ignoring my own intuition) I got all dressed up for a night out and what I expected to be a proposal of marriage.
But the truth is, I could see from his face, and could tell from the way he’d been acting, that it wasn’t going to go that way.
At 2am, home from the party, sitting on the couch, me waiting for the proposal I KNEW wasn’t going to happen and “Leaning Forward” as usual, he leaned back, put his hands in his lap, and said, almost defensively, that “if I really loved him I’d give him the time he needed.”
And, though, to this day I don’t know where my calm words and calm voice came from, I smiled, I leaned back, and I said “That’s fine. I really do love you, and you can take as much time as you need.”
And THEN I stopped, took a breath, and said, “But you can’t have me all to yourself while you’re taking your time.”
I shocked myself.
And I KNOW I shocked him.
And then I got up, took off my fancy clothes, made myself some tea, and was very calm and sweet and flirty.
The next weekend I booked a hotel room in the nearby seaside town and left.
I left him sick in bed with a cold, waved goodbye, blew a kiss, and skipped out the door with my suitcase.
I didn’t call him the whole weekend, and he proposed to me 2 weeks later.
There was affection, attention, warmth, love, great sex and a secure feeling of total commitment.
It wasn’t just the weekend away that worked, or just the words.
It was my attitude.
And you can get it, too.
Start with allowing yourself to THINK about Keeping Your Options Open.
And then start making a game plan about how to do it.
Keeping your options open is a frame of mind.
It helps keep your focus off of your MAN, and firmly where it belongs – on you, on what’s important to you about how you want to be in the world and contribute to the world.
It’s getting a bigger picture that your man can FIT INTO, instead of feeling like he’s the center of.
It will shift everything for you.
From Sarah – Rori Raye rocks – even her sales pages are amazing, filled with information and help – she goes at this relationship thing and attraction thing in a different way than anyone out there. To learn how you can have the relationship of your dreams and get your free Rori Raye newsletters, go here Rori Raye’s Free Relationship and Dating Advice eLetters