picture by ugaldew
I used to think it was weird to date more than one person at a time, since I’ve only experienced serial monogamy.
After reading the awesome book, How to Get a Date Worth Keeping, I actually think it’s not such a bad idea, if you’re honest and clear about what’s going on and don’t lead people on.
Now I realize that for some people, non-exclusive dating, or dating several people can be a great way to date.
It’s a great way to get to know a lot of different people to learn more about the opposite sex, yourself, and basically enrich your life by engaging in regular one-on-one interactions with the opposite sex.
Here’s how to do it without creating drama:
1. Make it clear to everyone you’re dating that you’re not looking for a serious/exclusive relationship at this time. You’re out dating to get to know people…
You want to do this without leading people on. And the way to do that is to be clear about your intent.
2. This piece of advice was from my coworker Ken, who knows from experience how casual dating works: Don’t hang out with them more than once a week, twice MAX.
The reason for this is because people naturally make this association:
time devoted= level of commitment
Even if you don’t verbalize commitment, someone could still get hurt because they will see that you’re spending a lot of time with them. They might come to the conclusion that you are only seeing them. Of course no one should ever make that conclusion without the other party actually saying something about wanting to be exclusive, but people’s natural tendency is to think, “We have something special here,” aka, he/she couldn’t possibly have this same kind of interaction with someone else!
3. Other than mentioning that you are dating casually/non-exclusively to get to know a lot of people, DON’T mention your other dates!
They really don’t need to know any details about any of the other people you are seeing. Make sure they are your focus when you are with them. It’s just good practice, common courtesy, and respect for their feelings.
4. As soon as you realize that someone is no longer a candidate you would consider pursuing an exclusive relationship with after getting to know them better, STOP DATING THEM.
Don’t lead them on. Let them be free to explore their other options. Maybe you’re not that into her. You don’t know what she’s going through. What you do know is that she still wants to see you, so you can guage from that, that there is still a romantic interest. Let her go.
It’s only fair. If you know you would no longer desire to possibly see them exclusively in the future, let them go. If you are a guy, just stop asking the girl out. If you’re a woman, when he asks you out again, just say, “I’m sorry. I don’t want to pursue this any further. You are a great person, and there is a great person out there for you, but I don’t see this moving forward.”
If they ask, “Why?” you don’t have to answer that question. All you have to say is, “I’m sorry. I don’t want to get into it. Good luck though.”
Band aid approach. WAY better than stringing someone along and then dropping them when they’ve already fallen hard for you.