Dating more than one guy at a time used to be frowned on years ago, but things have changed. In a world where everything moves so fast, serial dating has become the norm rather than the exception, at least in the early stages of dating.
Women are so busy these days and feel their time is so limited that they tend to put themselves out there as much as they can, hoping to increase the odds of finding the right man quickly. They don’t feel they can afford to wait and see if one relationship works out if there are other people they’d like to get to know.
Online dating encourages this kind of serial dating. You will usually have several guys at various “getting to know you” stages at the same time. And there’s really nothing wrong with that. After all, there’s a fair amount of sifting to be done online and off before you find someone you want to have a more serious relationship with.
Or perhaps you’re not looking for a relationship at all, and you just want to have fun getting to know as many people as possible and have a good time by casually dating several guys at once. That doesn’t make you a bad person either.
But there’s a way to go about casual or serial dating so that you keep your integrity intact and don’t intentionally harm others (or yourself) when you see more than one guy at a time. Here are some points to bear in mind.
What’s Sauce For The Goose Is Sauce For The Gander
Realize you’re probably both seeing other people so don’t expect him to behave like you are exclusive while you see other guys. You can be pretty sure that you’re not the only one, especially if you met online. You don’t need to discuss it until one of you wants to be exclusive. It’s enough to be aware of it and have the right expectations. Never assume you’re exclusive unless you’ve discussed not seeing other people.
Put Guilt Aside
You should be entirely comfortable with dating more than one man at a time or else you shouldn’t be doing it. If you’re feeling even a little guilty, it will show in your interactions with any of your dates and could spoil the experience. You’re not cheating on any of them if you haven’t committed to a relationship yet, so there’s no need to feel that you’re doing something wrong.
Don’t Discuss Other Men
While you should always be honest if asked whether you’re seeing other guys, don’t rub his face in it. If you are busy on a night that he wants to meet, you can say that you’re meeting another friend or that you have other plans.
Give Him Your Full Attention
While you’re with your current date, don’t allow yourself to be distracted by messages or calls from any of your other dates. Focus on the one you’re with and be fully present. Also, don’t make comparisons in your mind while on the date.
Treat each of your dates as you would like to be treated – with respect and consideration. If he messages that he’d like to meet at a certain time, but you’re otherwise engaged, take the time to let him know right away you can’t make it. Don’t ignore messages because you have other fish to fry.
Don’t Date Men Who Are Likely To Know Each Other
It makes things overly complicated if you date men who are likely to know each other. Even if he’s fully aware that he’s not the only man you’re dating, he won’t want to get into competition with friends or co-workers. Think twice about accepting if a guy’s friend or work colleague asks you out.
Talk As Soon As Things Get Serious
If one of the men you’re with is getting serious, it’s time to think about how serious you are about him. It’s unfair to string someone along just to have a busy social life if you have no intention of reciprocating his feelings. Be honest about where you see things going so that he can decide what he wants to do, and you’ll sleep better at night.
And if you start to get serious about one guy, or stop wanting to date other men altogether, it’s time to talk with him about being exclusive, so you know where you stand. You’ll get a good idea how he feels about you from his reaction, and you can then decide whether to pin your hopes on this one guy or not.
Don’t rush into this conversation after just a few dates so that he feels you’re pushing him to commit too soon, but then again, don’t wait until you’re totally hooked to have it. Hopefully when you have “the talk”, you’re both happy to stop dating other people, but if it’s not good news, it’s better to know before the point you’re going to have your heart shattered by his answer.
From the point you agree to be exclusive, focus all your attention on your guy. Don’t try to keep your options open by keeping your online profile up or flirting like crazy with other men, no matter how much of a habit it has become. There isn’t any reason to keep dating other guys at that point, so give it up; that’s when pursuing other men crosses the boundary into cheating.
Over to you: What do you think about dating a number of guys at once? How has it worked out for you if you do or did this? Please share in the comments below.
Great post Ana! Great points here for women looking for their ideal mate. 🙂 Thankfully I am already happily married. 🙂
Hillary recently posted…Bravery after a Miscarriage
Thanks Hillary – dating is a bit like a minefield these days but hopefully that happily married state that you have is the result for everyone who wants it.
Ana recently posted…Still Single? There’s Nothing Wrong With You
Thanks for these tips. What an interesting post! I am happily married too!
krystal recently posted…Experience the Florida Everglades at Everglades Holiday Park
Thanks Krystal. I have the theory that the happily married know much more about dating than the many dating experts who are still single – they succeeded so well at dating that they don’t have to date any more LOL
Ana recently posted…Three Little Things From This Week
Interesting post and probably of interest to those who are dating more than one guy. I tried that in my twenties, but I’d get too confused about what I said to which one. Caused problems as you can imagine.
Edie Dykeman recently posted…Dementia or Too Much on Your Mind?
Thanks Edie. I know what you mean. It’s even more complicated these days. My friend got so confused about the handful of guys she was in contact with online that she had to keep notes about what they’d said to her and what she’d already told them so she didn’t repeat herself.
Ana recently posted…37 Free (or Almost Free) Date Ideas
Years ago I tried dating two guys at once. It can be done, and be very enjoyable, but I will admit, it’s rough. Sometimes I would forget which guy I may have done something with like, which one of them attended a certain movie with when I saw a movie with both of them. I did this for a few weeks and then realized I am not an organized dater and cut back to just 1 at a time 🙂
Misty Spears recently posted…Bedroom Makeover: Meet Mr. Tester
Thanks for sharing Misty – you do have to be organized if you do that 🙂
Ana recently posted…Are Shared Interests Important In A Relationship?