Thursday, May 7, 2009

Dating around, Letting others do so

Over at Ms. Mandy's blog, she preempts another topic I've been thinking about: how to date around properly.  Ms. Mandy finds herself in a sitch: she's dating someone who needs to and wants to date other people, yet she herself is trying not to do it.

I'm a big BIG fan of dating many people as long as you're single, but only sleeping (consistently) with one person.  If you're not in a monogamous long term relationship, you should be getting phone numbers everyday.  This is true even if you're happy with one person (she's dating around if she's not serious about you).

Dating a number of women brings more choices to your eyes and your heart.  It increases your confidence, teaches you to be aware of psychoses, and actually prepares you to be a better boyfriend or husband for your future significant other.  But here's the catch: dating around is not supposed to be obvious to others.

The first thing to remember is that sex with any person you're dating, if it becomes consistent and repeating, will end your dating around.  There are very few women or men who can tolerate having sex with someone who is dating other people.  I'm not against polyamory, but I can't get it to work.  It's just too MUCH work.

If you're dating numerous people but have a hard crush on one, it is very important not to inquire who else they are dating, or who you are dating.  If she asks you what you did Saturday, just say "I went out."  Don't say who, don't say where.  If she asks "With whom?" be proper about it: explain the situation.  "I don't want to get into who we're dating outside of each other.  In the past it's caused problems."  Honesty works here.  If she starts talking about her dates, say the same style answer: "I don't think it's wise to talk about who we're dating."

If you or a woman you're dating want to take your relationship monogamous and serious, you have a big step to take.  Full consideration needs to be made to see if there's a match.  If there isn't (you still want to date around), understand that by saying no to going monogamous and serious, you could lose her.  THAT'S OK!  Just because someone seems great for you, she may not be great for you forever.

Losing a woman who is ready sooner than you for a relationship is a huge risk, but rushing into things before you're ready is a bad idea (see: divorce rates).  We all need one or two "the one who got away" people.

Back to the topic of sex: if you do date multiple people and end up having sex with one of them, don't make it a regular thing with them.  Hooking up is OK, but sex regularly will throw that open dating situation into the toilet.  If she tries to get you in the sack again, let her know that sex is great, you'd like more of it, but you're not ready to commit to anything long term.  Give it a few kicks and if she still wants you, and you here, go for it again, then take a rest break.

If you run into one girl you're dating when you're with another, don't worry!  By being open and honest early on, you'll not have to worry about "getting caught."  If you see one of your dates with another guy, just smile, wink, even say hi, and move away from that place.  Remember: you have the same power.  The better question is, why weren't you on a date?

Finally, as you learn to date more than one person, it is also important to know how to break up with people.  I'll get into that at a later article.


Andy said...

Exactly what I've been thinking. What is the point of rushing things and spoiling them with meaningless sex?

I'm not saying it's not good from time to time. But seriously, if you're looking for a relationship, chances are 9 to 1 that if you have sex within the first dates, it's not going to last.

Sex is just a part of a relationship, not the relationship itself. You can't have a relationship based on sex.

ChicagoSane said...

I can have an ongoing and generally long term just-sexual relationship. It isn't easy, but if both people are crazy busy, it's possible.

Once I had a relatively long just-sex relationship with a gal in California (4 hour flight). We'd see each other once or twice a month, and it went on for a better part of 2 years. All we had was sex: no phone calls, few emails, no real dating.

In terms of rushing things, I violate the rule that you can't have a great relationship if you hook up on a first date, but I agree with you 100%. Most of those fail quickly or never even make it to date #2.