Tips when dating multiple women
My best friend has been single for the past six months, after being in a relationship for five years.I’ve watched her go through all of the phases I went through when I was freshly out of a long-term relationship: thinking about dating; dating; embarking on a dating freeze; swearing off dating forever, with and without a solemn oath; and trying on every state in between.
I advised her not to put all of her dating eggs in one basket, if you will.
I know how borderline insane that sounds, but I did that too when I was single: About six months after a long relationship ended, I dated two men, a professor and a crazy person, basically on two opposing sides of the spectrum, for about a month simultaneously. I knew I wasn’t serious about both, didn’t get hung up on either, and walked away bruise-free.
Of course, once I met someone stellar, I stopped with the two-timing and focused my energy on one wonderful man.
As an aside, in this day and age, dating two (or more) people at once is not considered duplicitous or “two-timing.” Until you have The Exclusivity Talk, you’re free to gad about, dating whomever in whatever quantity you desire.
This is the unwritten rule of dating in the modern age.
In light of all this, I asked psychologist Irene Levine, clinical professor of psychiatry at New York University Langone School of Medicine, to demystify the allure of dating multiple people simultaneously, once and for all.I asked her why distraction works so well, and why we are so much better at not freaking out about dating when we have a couple irons in the fire, even if neither of them is actually viable.“When a woman dates more than one person at a time, she is less vulnerable because, should something go wrong with any one relationship, she can fall back on another,” says Levine.Women are planners, and those who think ahead enjoy backup plans.Just like we prefer to have an extra umbrella in the bottom of the closet and more than one pair of jeans, so too are we more able to relax when we have more than one dating partner.First off, if things do end with one of them, one can “rationalize that the relationship really wasn’t that important to her, without a blow to her self-esteem,” notes Levine.Of course, this is impossible if feelings get tied up, heartstrings are plucked and all of that, but if you’re just casually dating, this is one serious benefit.“She hasn’t committed herself fully to one person, so she has invested less of herself,” Levine says of the woman who dates around.This results in less anxiety than when you go all in with someone.Since you’re not relying on one person to fulfill all of your dating needs, Levine points out you’re more likely to be “satisfied” or at least “complacent with less than perfect individuals, each of whom provides something positive or worthwhile.” Plus, you won’t be wishing that anyone would be someone they’re not, because you’ll be more relaxed and “less likely to be demanding of any one relationship, even in terms of the other person’s fidelity,” she says.So if you have a date with Mark on Tuesday and Julia on Friday, and it comes out that they are also seeing others, NBD.