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Article updated 2020
There are many people who strongly believe in leaning back when dating. Since the early days of the internet, when Rori Raye started spreading her idea on leaning back and circular dating, or rotational dating, which means dating several men at the same time, the idea of leaning back has spread.
Some people say that you shouldn’t take too many initiating actions with men, and let him chase you, whilst you still must remain warm and receptive.
Apparently, this is because it’s the natural role of a man to come forward, to work for you, and take care of you or claim you, as the woman. The idea is that you shouldn’t take this ‘forward leaning’ role as a woman. You should let the man take that role of coming forward, pursuing you as the prize.
Leaning back is not something I’ve advised women to do. And that’s not because I think leaning back is wrong. Leaning back and mirroring a man can occasionally be useful to re-calibrate yourself. It can be useful for pulling yourself back when you’re feeling very desperate.
But I’ve done a lot of thinking about this lately, and want to share my thoughts with you. You don’t have to agree with me, and I am not dissing leaning back. I am suggesting that leaning back has no longevity in terms of your relationship value, and self-development.
All I am really doing here is seeing beyond the superficial stuff.
Ultimately, as a woman in the dating world, I understand that your concern may be that you give too much, or that you get taken advantage of, or even that you start to become desperate.
First, let’s look at what leaning back involves.
It apparently involves not having an agenda (lol!) it’s funny because for most women, leaning back is still about a woman wanting the man to come forward. You still want something from him.
There’s nothing wrong with that per se, but what we have to respect is the fact that most women lean back to try to ‘make’ the guy do something that SHE wants, and this is not exactly an advanced way of adding value to the connection/relationship. It’s a taking-mindset rather than a connection-oriented mindset.
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Here are some examples of leaning back (taken from varied dating articles)
You do not initiate calls or texts.
You give your man emotional and physical space (you create distance so that he can come forward to you).
You do not complain or whine.
You spend time with yourself and invest in yourself.
You feel your feelings and let them come up, without taking them out on him.
You stay warm, receptive and inviting.
You just stay there.
You do not try to fix things for a man.
You let go of attachment to any outcomes.
You don’t focus on the future of the relationship. Instead, you enjoy the moment with him.
You don’t initiate any invites to go out somewhere.
Some people’s idea of what leaning back is, is really just a minimisation of risk on your part as a woman. It involves insulating yourself from rejection and pain, as well as insulating yourself from the natural process of calibration (ie: avoid making mistakes! But what if mistakes are what we need to calibrate ourselves?).
The original Rori Raye describes leaning back as a kind of being in your body, opening up your body and basically receiving a man as he is, without an agenda.
Generally, Rori Raye’s expression of leaning back seems to be the best expressed and delivered. (Except that a lot of women truly have a deep longing for a man, and it’s hard to accomplish leaning back when your love well is trillions of miles deep, unless you truly let yourself feel)
Now that the idea of leaning back has spread, other dating advisors use the term, too. Now it’s becoming a bit complicated. Let me give you an example.
Supposedly, leaning back is you being in your feminine, and this is supposed to be a good thing because men want to chase you. They want you to be the prize.
Let’s talk about this first. Leaning back is not necessarily feminine. And, just because a woman leans back does not mean she is in her feminine.
And having an agenda is not masculine energy. No, not at all. And ‘agenda’ shouldn’t be seen through this lens.
Agenda is a human thing. We can all have an agenda.
All leaning back means is that you are trying to preserve your value and not act out of fear. Generally speaking, any action taken from a place of fear can damage your relationship and strip from your value. That’s not always true, but it’s often true.
The idea that leaning back is a feminine thing is not true. Even if you’re being warm and receptive.
What if a man leans back?
Picture a strong, rich, successful, intelligent, masculine man leaning back. Is he suddenly feminine because he has leaned back energy? NO! A masculine man can be warm and inviting and still stand deeply rooted to the earth as a high value, high status man of value.
A man having warm, receptive energy is still masculine if he’s masculine.
So, let’s look beyond the surface here, and stop bastardising the idea of masculine and feminine.
I mean, if you’re very lucky, then you’ve experienced the luxury of being with a man who is not only highly successful, but is also deeply warm and receptive too.
The truth is that leaning forward can actually be you being in your feminine.
I know, right? What a shock. It’s not the actions you take with men! It’s the place those actions come from. It’s whether you’re attuned to a man or not.
Again, it’s not the actions you take! It’s about the energy you put out, who you are and what your habits are, and the place inside you that your actions come from. This is why I’ve never bothered with ‘The Rules’.
Here are 5 Things Leaning Back DOES for You:
1: It helps you create a push and pull effect (when you lean back, it encourages a man to come forward naturally, but it doesn’t mean he will necessarily commit to you).
2: It can help you create a feeling of suspense, if you give him the space to come forward, then he has the chance to wonder if you are still interested, and he has the chance to miss you (provided he perceived value).
3: Attempts to raise your perceived value as a mate, but doesn’t work long-term.
4: It can give you a temporary ‘test’ to see how far a man will come when you pull back. Again, it’s not a reliable indicator of his future investment in you and commitment to you, but it gives you an idea of how far he is willing to come right now. But that ‘how far he is willing to come’ could only indicate that he lusts after you, or that he wants sex with you. So, be alert! And be aware that there are reasons why you should be WORRIED if he comes on strong.
5: It can help you re-calibrate. What does that mean? It means that instead of over-functioning and leaning forward, you go to the opposite extreme, and from that new extreme, you find new, balanced footing as you acknowledge the problems that leaning forward brought you. Instead of over-doing it and smothering a man in desperation to try to ‘catch’ him, you instead try to create space for him to ‘catch’ you.
But let’s be clear: I don’t care how much you truly believe in the idea of leaning back. It will simply be impossible for you to show up high value, without being attuned to your man and to the current feel of your relationship together (if there even is one).
And in order to be better attuned to a man and a relationship, you have to be feeling through everything until you are empty, first. You need to honour yourself and open up (to yourself!) in this way first.
And by the time you’re empty, there’s a real likelihood that you may no longer even WANT this man, because you’ve allowed your body’s natural intelligence to be felt and heard. That intelligence gives you the strength that you need to walk away from the wrong man. And you won’t even have to fake it or try too hard.
Here are the 9 Dangers of Leaning Back in Dating…
1. Warm and receptive isn’t necessarily good
I understand that a lot of people try to tell women these days that you need to be warm and receptive to a man.
The idea makes me laugh. Not because it’s a bad idea. It’s not a bad idea because in dating, it can be a more preferable thing to do than to be aggressive and controlling.
But just because it can be a better thing to do doesn’t mean it’s the accurate response.
And, because warm and receptive isn’t always the holy grail.
Feminine energy isn’t the holy grail. It is the holy grail perhaps in the BEGINNING of your personal growth journey, where you are removing old masks, defenses, and an image that you’re strong and masculine. To become more feminine, and remove these masks, see How Most Women Reject Their Femininity & How You Can Stand Out From The Crowd.
Beyond that beginner stage, and an intermediate stage of trying to understand men and give to men, you then become a woman who values attunement. And to be attuned, you have to be capable of getting outside of yourself, and not retreat into yourself over insecurities and even hate.
Another reason why ‘warm and receptive’ makes me laugh is because of this: What if the situation doesn’t call for you being warm and receptive???
To be high value, you need to be attuned to the context and the relationship!
Do the right thing at the wrong time, and you get pain…
For example, sometimes in an attempt to be feminine and lean back, you lose all access to your gut feelings out of devotion to the rule of leaning back!
The truth is that you MUST have the capacity to be deeply receptive, but you should have just as deep a capacity to be unwilling or even cold, which is the opposite of receptive.
You should ideally have the ability to access these two extremes, and go to them in the right context.
It is through this acceptance of all parts of yourself that you have more value to give. There’s simply more of YOU to give when you are not one dimensional and trying to be feminine all the time.
On the topic of being the best and most high value version of yourself, here’s an article written by D.Shen on The Nice Version of You Versus the Best Version of You.
You see, we often lose ourselves in this obsession with attaining the ideal ‘femininity’ and ‘receptivity’. But think about it this way.
Who cares how receptive you are when you have so many strict rules on what you can and can’t do whilst leaning back?
Who cares how receptive you are when/if your man is sexting 5 other women whilst trying to get into your pants as well?
Who cares how receptive you are when you have rage pent up from past relationships that has not been felt through until you’re free of the rage? Is it even really valuable then?
In fact, you can get stuck being in your so-called feminine energy in the wrong place at the wrong time, and do you know what happens when you do the right thing at the WRONG time? Yes, you do! You get pain. The wonderful Tony Robbins says that: “When you do the right thing at the wrong time you get pain”.
When you’re with a man, and he has really wronged you, then you better have the capacity to be ‘unwilling’ around him.
When you are in a situation that calls for you to protect yourself and protect your heart, then you better have the capacity to be unwilling.
And if a man has acted with zero integrity, then yes, you should have the capacity to show him that you’re unwilling, at the very least, for yourself.
If you want a good example where a woman should have been (or could have benefitted from being unwilling), but she was focused too much on just being feminine, then check out this answer I gave to a beautiful reader.
2) Even if a man leans forward, it doesn’t mean there is a real relationship…
Leaning back is short term solution to a short term problem… Just because a man leans forward after you lean back, doesn’t mean anything about the lasting ability of the relationship.
You could essentially be trying to push for an emotionally committed relationship when there wasn’t going to be one in the first place. You have to know, appreciate and understand the man, where the man is at, and what his intent is. Not just lean back. Here are 10 Signs of A Commitment Phobic Man.
Try to ask yourself what needs is he trying to meet by being in contact with you in any way, shape or form?
And you’d be giving yourself false hope if you leaned back and he leaned forward, feeling like leaning back is ‘working’.
It works on a push and pull level. Not on a flowing, natural attraction and connection building level.
3) If you NEED the advice to lean back, there’s a problem…
When a woman badly needs the advice to lean back, then there comes an important question.
When did her emotions get so intense and so strong that she started “leaning forward” and over-functioning in the first place?
Let’s honour her emotions right now.
Why is the emotion there?
Well, it’s there because it’s trying to tell her something. It’s trying to tell her to stop and feel. She wants to lean ‘forward’ not because it’s wrong, but because she is afraid of something. Namely: CONNECTION.
And that is, connection to everything. Connection to a man’s real intentions despite how much she wants to live in denial. Connection to a man’s soul. Connection to the lack of depth in the relationship and how this hurts her.
Now back to the emotions that make a woman ‘lean forward’…
I don’t care how much you lean back, if you don’t get to an ‘empty’ place, where you’ve given yourself permission (or even the external TRIGGER) to actually FEEL all the longing, the hate, jealousy, anger, resentment, hurt, pain, suffering and fear, then leaning back only counts so much.
Because you cannot emotionally and physically truly give value to a relationship or to a man if you don’t process those feelings first. You’ll be too stuck in yourself. You’ll have too many of your own issues to think of the health of the relationship with a man.
Women who have pent-up feelings from yonks ago, cannot take care of a relationship because they haven’t taken care of themselves. (this doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be IN a relationship, not at all! It just means that they cannot take care of the health of the relationship at that moment).
You CAN potentially add a lot of value to a man by feeling these emotions right in front of him, as long as it is totally vulnerable feeling. But whether you are ready for that and he is ready for that is another issue. And whether feeling in front of him really adds value or not depends on your history with him and where the relationship is really at right now.
4) Women who NEED to lean back usually have bigger fish to fry…
There’s another way to see all of this. It’s a more advanced way to see things.
If you already have extremely intense, leaning forward or aggressive feelings towards a man, you cannot change that.
Those intense feelings are there for a reason.
In some situations, the best way to learn and become higher value is by making the mistake of leaning forward and being controlling, and feeling the effects that this has on your success with men. It can actually help you calibrate.
If you allow your aggressive and over functioning feelings to drive you; yes, you might lose a man (only in the early stages of dating before enough value has been built up between you both), but look at it from another perspective.
This is your life we’re talking about here. This is your story we’re talking about here.
Who said you cannot make mistakes?
What if honouring the feelings that you hold deep inside about this relationship situation are more important than the prospect of losing him?
In other words, sometimes you have much bigger fish to fry than focusing on ‘not leaning forward’. Sometimes you HAVE to lean forward and make that mistake in order for real change to happen.
Because people sometimes overlook the bigger, deeper problems in life. Namely, that you have resentment, hurt, anger, or longing from the past that you haven’t felt or acknowledged.
And sometimes, by ‘leaning forward’ or being controlling, this has a way of giving you the ‘trigger’ or the ‘opening’ for your old bottled up feelings to be released. Which, if they were released, would give you a new relief in life.
Sometimes, these intense emotions CANNOT be released without another human interacting with you in some capacity. Even if it seems like a negative interaction.
It could change how you show up altogether. So, instead of showing up aggressive due to old ‘stuff’ pent up, you are relaxed. You are breathing deeper. You aren’t burdened by emotional stress.
And THAT is the number one thing that will free you to show up High Value (Click here to learn about the mindsets of High Value women).
5) Leaning back doesn’t automatically guarantee polarity and attraction
When you talk about being feminine, the usefulness of it is that you’re trying to create polarity and attraction. That’s the main use of feminine and masculine energy. Being feminine is not always high value.
But just by leaning back doesn’t guarantee that you are creating attraction or polarity. What leaning back creates is a push and pull effect. Instead of pushing, you pull, and you pull back. So, of course it’s going to seem like it ‘works’ because a man might come forward in response to the sudden change.
But is he coming back out of emotional attraction? Or is he coming back because of the surface level ‘push and pull’ effect that leaning back produces?
Is he coming back because he doesn’t want to lose convenient sex?
Is he coming back because he doesn’t want to lose the comfort of having someone ‘want’ him?
And is he coming back out of trust for you?
Something to consider…
6) You’ll only keep a man’s interest if he perceives relationship value, and if you have high value
As much as leaning back will work on the push and pull level, it’s a false promise to say that it works, because it is only real intrinsic value that keeps a man (and a woman!) around.
Men need to show up high value for you, too!
And you need to do your best to understand how you can also show up high value for the right man.
(Also please understand that sometimes, no matter how High Value you show up, some men just simply cannot appreciate or see high value, because they are too far into themselves.)
You’re not going to be able to sustain a man’s interest (and a man won’t sustain your interest long-term) unless you clearly have value for a long-term relationship in the first place. And leaning back is only one initial way to try to raise your value, but it is short-term thinking and doesn’t add value to the relationship long-term.
Even leaning back cannot fix a problem of a woman taking value long-term. Why? Because value-taking is a habit she got into. And that habit started when she decided she would not surrender to her emotions, (or when she felt entitled), or when she decided that she didn’t want to open to the pain and vulnerability of life!
By surrendering to our fears, our hurts and anger and our longing, we can get to emptiness.
And with emptiness, comes a strange energy of acceptance.
Tell me, am I right?
It’s a form of grieving.
Grieving for not getting what you want right here, right now.
There’s real value in grieving, even if there’s no apparent reason to grieve. Most of us don’t grieve enough, myself included.
If you avoid the grieving and try to lean back for the wrong reasons, you’re putting a band-aid on to fix too deep a problem.
There’s no real shortcut to raising your value as a woman. So, don’t rely on leaning back alone.
(What is the ONE thing you can say to ANY man that will capture his attention, trigger his curiosity and make him hang onto every word you say! Click here to find out right now…)
7) The rules of leaning back can kill true engagement
Rules are good when they are good. But if you adhere to all the rules of leaning back, then you’ll have problems.
For example, let’s just put it generally for now. The people in the world with the most rules of what to do, say or not do or say, usually have the lowest levels of engagement with others.
Because of rigidity. Their rules blind them to real engagement and connection in the moment. Their rules close them off.
And that’s what the rules of leaning back will do. They’ll cause you to pull back your quiet responsiveness…
They’ll cause you to pull back your ability to take little risks (such as inviting a man out to a concert) – something that he could potentially really appreciate (if done in the right context)…
Maybe you should be asking yourself, what do you want so badly, that you’re willing to kill your own ability to engage with a man, in the name of leaning back?
What is it that you deeply want? There’s no right or wrong answer, only your answer.
8) Leaning back gives false hopes after casual sex or early sex
Here’s the truth.
There are reasons why women get desperate and controlling (leaning forward behaviour) in dating. Sometimes it is because she has slept with a man very quickly, without enough emotional attraction and emotional connection having been built up.
Here’s more on that: The Secret Cost Of Casual Sex For Women
And sometimes the reason for a woman leaning forward too hastily is simply because she’s at a place in her life where she is desperately wanting to secure a mate.
Sometimes, she just got attached really quickly even without sex. But the real PROBLEM comes when women try to fix having had sex early on by “leaning back”.
You can’t fix the problem of having had sex before you felt truly ready, except by feeling that and adjusting your actions accordingly.
And this is after years of not prioritising romance, family, men and relationships.
A lot of women DO try to lean back after having sex with a man very early on after meeting him. It’s just damage control.
Whether we like it or not, biologically, by sleeping with a man quickly, women’s bodies know that they’ve given up something of incredible value – sex and potentially, his sperm meeting the egg.
If you’ve given a man “access” to your reproductive capability, without him ever building up feelings of emotional attraction and emotional connection with you, then you’re taking risks.
Now, some women are in a place in their life where they really just want casual sex, and that is it. But these aren’t usually the women wanting dating advice. These are often women who are recently divorced after being in a marriage for a long time, or they are just women who are truly not wanting any emotional attachment.
Most women want emotional attachment, and is it any shock to ANYBODY that when they sleep with a man quickly, that these women suddenly lean forward?
Or that they start to over-function?
Well, if it is a shock, it shouldn’t be.
Leaning back is sometimes, frustratingly, just an attempt to fix something that went the wrong way too fast.
When your body has built up attachment to a man through sex, it can be very hard to relinquish “control”. That’s why one might lean forward, because your body is trying to do the best for your future – it is trying to secure its mating future, in case you get pregnant and need to raise that child.
So, there’s no going around the issue of sleeping with a man quickly and without a level of 8/10 emotional attraction and 8/10 emotional connection built up first.
Leaning back might help him come forward, but in most cases, it’s just a case of him naturally coming forward due to the law of ‘push and pull’, and not because he is in love, or wants to commit.
Don’t forget that if a man has gotten sex easy, he doesn’t necessarily want to give you up immediately. Some men will be quick to leave, others won’t. So if you lean back and he leans forward, you’ve got to really critique his intent.
What does he want? Do you guys have an 8/10 emotional connection? Do you guys have an 8/10 emotional attraction?
If not, if it is less than 8 out of 10, then you need to either focus on building that or you need to really sit back and think about where he is at and what he is actually looking for. A lot of women are afraid to do this in case they meet the truth: that he just wants sex.
Regardless of what the truth is…you got this. You are strong enough to handle the truth. You got this.
9) Leaning back is NO replacement for attunement in a relationship
There is NO replacement for attunement in a relationship.
And attunement is where it’s at!
Leaning back is often still about ‘ME’ getting something from ‘HIM’. I lean back to try to get him to lean forward.
This is a far cry from what attunement looks like.
No amount of leaning back will replace attunement in your relationship and dating.
Attunement is defined by Dictionary.com as: being or bringing into harmony; a feeling of being ‘at one’ with another being.
Now, I want to be clear. You AND a man both have a responsibility to be attuned to each other. But there is never any harm in leading with your own desire to attune to him, because you will feel it and know it much faster if he’s a bad egg!
You’ll also know it faster if he’s the wrong one for you, if you are attuned, or have the desire to connect. It’s when we get stuck in our heads that we dig a rabbit hole too deep and find it hard to get out.
A lot of us lack attunement. In fact, we mistakenly think that we ARE attuned to someone, when in reality, all we’re attuned to is what we want to take from the situation.
As such, it’s much harder to answer the question, “How much emotional connection does HE feel for you?” than it is to answer the question, “How much emotional connection do I feel for him?”
We have to get OUT of our own bodies to feel someone else, to be at one with them.
And I will place a bet on the fact that for a lot of us, if we were to “lean back”, we’re much more in tune with ourselves than we are in tune with him. So, in that case, the only value that leaning back has is to avoid a desperate situation, and to hopefully make him come forward. But it doesn’t add any value to the emotional connection directly, unless who WE are actually changes.
Even if a woman is wonderfully warm and receptive, and she is inviting and leaning back at the same time, it will do nothing if she is doing it to ‘get’ something from him. Ie: get him to claim her.
It will do nothing if she leans back to try to ‘get’ him to come forward.
There have been stories of women who leaned back, stayed warm and receptive, and yes, the man came forward to claim her, but he didn’t want to commit to her. So, we have to keep our eye off the goal of commitment and getting him to ‘claim’ us, and focus our energy and attention of building attraction and connection.
Feel outside of yourself to be successful with men
There’s no replacement for your ability to attune yourself and appreciate any situation.
So, the only right way is the long way. Understand men, so that you can see and appreciate what they perceive value in for a relationship. But more importantly for yourself; you need to have the ability to feel outside of yourself so that you can see where he is at. (You need to feel yourself, too. You need both!)
The best thing to do is to Become His One and Only…
The best way to get a high value man for a relationship is to learn how to show up as his one and only woman, rather than a one of many woman. I have a FREE DVD for you on this very topic!
The promise of this DVD is to give you 5 secrets to have your chosen man fall deeply in love with you and beg you to be his one and ONLY. 🙂
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