After visiting my parents with Mr. R, I call them up. I thought it went well, with all four of us getting to ask really deep questions about intentions, history and who we are. The conversation had been great, and I was impressed with how he handled my parents. I get a green light from both my mom and my dad. My best friend gave me the thumbs up yesterday, and he passed the homeschooling kids group gauntlet like a champ, even handling an explosive outbreak with the most obnoxious kid with grace.
All signs say “this is it!”, yet mind is still running a gauntlet. I’ve fallen in love too many times with the wrong guy to make that mistake ever again. I flip open my journal and write Circles of Commitment Outline at the top of the page.
I think about it for a while and then start writing. What would my ideal personal timeline be… assuming that everything goes well. Something that would feel quick but safe to get me from online dating to living together, getting married and making babies in less than 3 years. What would need to click in and feel good along the way? What do I need to look out for? How can I prevent my past mistakes? When he leaves here what kind of commitment do we want to make in order to move the whole thing forward, instead of have us both disappear into the internet.
After a few hours of scratching away, editing and re-vamping I come up with this. Mr. R and I have already passed through the first two phases, but being Little Miss Virgo, I write up what I’ve already done too. I really still feel shaky that I won’t be back to the drawing board the day after he leaves. I’ve been heartbroken after too many one night stands.
Phase 1 (Month 1+)
Find men who are interesting to me
- 2-5 minutes with each profile
- Send messages to those who are above a 6 hot and/or 6 interesting
- I sent 148 outbound messages over 2 weeks
Determine if they are interested in me
- Interested replies back are now eligible for Phase 2 evaluation
- I got 40 replies back within 7 days
- Only 6 made it through without disqualifying themselves through:
- Lack of response or replying with overly sexual questions
- Communication style mis-match. I responded to their questions and then asked specific questions about what they wanted in relationship that were customized based on our shared interests/profiles, anyone who didn’t actually acknowledge or answer my questions was out.
- Mis-matched desires.
- One guy was questioning if he wanted children, and realized he really didn’t want kids in talking to me, another wasn’t interested in caring for someone else’s kid.
- One was very interesting to me but after looking through my youtube channel realized he was actually looking for someone less wild than I am because of a video I am particularly happy/proud of and likely would have been a hell yes for my husband.
- One was a vegan and needed a vegan partner. I realized I wasn’t ready to commit to that path in the way he had, we parted ways respectfully.
- One was interested in having a polyamourus relationship, and I realized I really did want a man who was committed to me first and foremost during childbearing years. Interestingly, I also later needed to clarify that the man I was committing too would be open to having conversations about opening the relationship up at some later point in the future.
To those three men who had no apparent dealbreakers I suggested a video call to assess energy and connection. Video is important, as photos can be very deceiving and I’ve made the mistake of having this first call via telephone before. (See Page/Chapter X – The Tough Questions You Need to Ask Yourself)() ()//
Not being realistic and going through these steps had let me get my imagination get all wild without being grounded in reality. Even with video exploration I was still really surprised by Mr. R’s body and how my body energy was with him when we finally met.
In those calls I was looking for:
- Am I attracted to him?
- Does my body respond to him over video?
- Do I like the way he communicates?
- Do I like how I feel when I’m talking with him?
- Is he curious about me?
- Am I curious about him?
- Do I want to see more of his body?
- Am I willing to show him mine?
- Clarifying any other big vision questions I may have about kids/dreams/homebase etc.
Go with your intuition, trust your gut, listen to your head and watch out for panty soaking super hottie, as your pussy is not the only one who needs to live with him 3 years from now.
After an initial video call that seems promising, you can move into Phase 2
Phase 2 (Month 2+)
- Determine he wants something similar to what I want in the future?
- 1-8 hours per possible relationship as you go over those 100 questions to fall in love looking for dealbreakers and undeniable yes’s
- Does he have the same ideas about having and raising kids I do?
- Do talk about this openly in your first phase even if you don’t want kids as mis-matched dreams/ideas on this is actually a dealbreaker for long term relationship
- Has he effectively processed his past trauma? (Any mean and unkind responses that don’t also include remorse are a red flag)
- Ask pointed questions about how he relates to his mom, dad and siblings.
- Ask about his ex-girlfriends and why they ended.
- Ask about meaningful relationships in his life.
By this point you should be down to just a few humans. If you have 0 humans left, go back to step 1.
Phase 3 (Months 3+)
Is he actually willing to commit and show up to those shared dreams?
- Creating an in-person meeting that requires commitment from him (2-4 days)
- Meeting family and friends and looking for dealbreakers (4 more days)
- Do his family members treat each other with respect?
- Look for snark/resentment/anger as these will be projected on you later
- What are the “old stories” about the family
- Ask parents/siblings about who he was when he was little
- Are you curious and actually interested?
- Can you handle dealing with his mom/family in an ongoing way?
- Navigating time/agreements for an ongoing digital nurturing of relationship
- Daily or weekly scheduled time for 1+ hour conversation to ask the rest of those 100 questions and get to know each other in a really big way
- Planning a longer time to be together
- How about a 3 month trial of living together in a temporary way, fully understanding that if it doesn’t work for both of us we can change at any time and we would not continue to live together.
- While you are in this phase look at all his actions for:
- Does he take initiative?
- Does he follow through?
- How does he handle challenges that arise?
- Does he actually know how to state his needs?
- Does he work on issues that came up?
- Is he capable of fathering kindly in real life situations?
Phase 4 (3-6 months)
This is a crucial place to make really strong discernments about what you’ve already learned about them. Committing to each other in a bigger way will make anything that’s a problem show up! Nothing brings out wounding like commitment! Along the way re-evaluate to make sure that none of your dealbreakers have shown up. Make sure you’ve talked through or can deal with any red flags.
- Making dreams together for the next phase (6+ months)
- Decide how long you feel you need to decide if you’re willing to commit to (life?) or any longer commitment
- Take time to dream up what you want to create together during that time
- Communicate those dreams and listen to theirs
- Commit to being in the relationship together with your full hearts
- Commit to talking about any issues that come up
Ask yourself questions like
- Can you create together what you want?
- What are the patterns that show up in how you communicate?
- Are you both supportive of each other in challenges?
- Do you want the same things in the next year and beyond?
Phase 5 (Month 6-12) Let’s try this out in an even deeper way.
This is the time where you get to celebrate! You’ve made it through those first phases, and if you’re really honest with yourself and things have gone well, you don’t see any dealbreakers, and you’re willing to live with the reality of what you’ve seen. (Remember it’s likely they won’t change the things that bug you!)
If after 6 months in the trenches of love he (and you) still want to stick around to make those OTHER dreams come true. You’ve got yourself a keeper! Let yourself fall fully in love with them and build your life together.
Together you can both now dream with more clarity what you want for this next 12 months and start to flesh out plans for what you want in your lives 1, 3, 6 and 12 years down the road. (Like a roadmap to baby making!) Remember just because you’ve made it through this circle of commitment doesn’t mean you have to stop talking about what your dreams are or working to make them happen. For each phase of your life moving forward you can break it down into smaller goals and cycles to help your relationship keep growing in good ways.