Not only is it OK to date several people at one, I believe it’s the path to finding real love.
I always envied women who could attract, date and string along multiple people. I was never very good at dating more than one man at a time because, in a nutshell, I lacked confidence and self-worth.
When a man showed a genuine interest in me, I stopped dating other men because I lacked the courage to juggle several men. I felt sneaky and unethical dating two guys at a time. I didn’t know how to deal with two men texting and calling me or how to handle their sexual advances. I was afraid if a guy found out that I was dating someone else, he would drop me.
When I was infatuated with a new man, fantasizing that he liked me as much as I liked him, I immediately declined date invitations from other men. That rarely worked out for me; he would sense my needy relationship agenda, and he would stop calling me. If I casually slept with a man, I felt morally obligated to cut myself off from other guys. I threw all my eggs into his basket and we dated until he disappeared into the night and I was left with a bleeding heart.
Putting all my focus on dating one man limited my opportunities to meet my ideal partner.
I invested my time, energy, and emotions in a man, and then weeks or months later I’d decided he was the wrong man for me. I’d become intimately involved with a so-so guy, put another notch on my bedpost, get dumped, and then I’d worry about contracting STDs. I forfeited opportunities to date a variety of men, one who could have been my perfect match.
I’ve since figured out that dating one man at a time is a mistake on several levels. I worked on my self-esteem and confidence, and I told myself that as long as I am respectful to the feelings of the men I date (I’m not a “player” or a “sleepover”) and I am truly looking for the qualities in a man that will lead to a meaningful, committed relationship, not only is it OK to date several guys at one, it’s the path to finding real love.
Here are four reasons why I strongly believe women should date multiple people at once.
It allows you to compare and contrast the attributes and compatibility in numerous potential partners.
Some people instinctively know the traits and qualities they truly value in a partner. Others learn through trial and error and heartbreak. Evaluating a potential partner with your intellect, and not your emotions, can speed up the process.
It boosts your self-confidence and improves your dating skills.
Getting attention from two (or more) romantic prospects has a way of making me feel desired and empowered, increasing my confidence and self-assurance. Dating is like interviewing for a job; with each interview (date) you hone your communication skills, you become more at ease with the interview (dating) process, and you learn to more accurately assess the potential of a position (person).
It helps you to reserve emotional and intimate involvement with the wrong man.
If you fall in love quickly and then romanticize and obsess about the outcome of a possible relationship, you need a reality check. Keeping a diary while dating two people can help you curb your infatuation and sentimental longings. Write down both people’s desirable traits, as well as their objectionable behavior. Someone may be attractive, successful and intriguing, but they may lack the qualities necessary to maintain a long-term relationship.
It sends a subliminal message: they have to work to win your heart.
People can often sense when you are dating someone else, and it sends the message that you are worth pursuing. If they really like you, their competitive nature will kick in and they will want to have you all to themselves. However, if you flaunt that you’re dating other people, you play hard to get, or they’re only interested in dating casually, they may decide it takes too much effort to pursue you.
Until someone tells you you’re the woman of their dreams, that they want you to meet their momma, that they’re closing their online dating account and wants you to do the same, you are free to date an entire soccer team if you so desire.
This article first appeared on Xojane