There comes a time in everyone’s online dating life when your dance card suddenly becomes fuller than expected. You’re being flirted with, and asked out, from all sorts of eligible cuties. Although some people might view serial dating as sleazy or dishonest, dating multiple people at once can actually be beneficial and healthy. In fact, in this multi-tasking era of ours, playing the field actually makes the most sense. We can juggle our dates and our bustling Google calendar, all in the name of securing true love!
Here are some of the ways you can make dating multiple people work for you:
Gain the Confidence You Need to Be a Better Dater
Dating more than one person isn’t just about multiplying the romance—and dinners—in your life. It actually teaches you to be a better dater. “You know how they say that the easiest way to become better at job interviews is to go on a lot of them? Well, the same applies to dating,” says dating expert Simone Paget, author of the dating and relationship blog, The Skinny Dip. “Going on lots of different dates with different people is a great way to refine your dating skills and build up your dating confidence.”
Give Your Dating Life Some Balance
Have the habit of putting all of your proverbial eggs in one basket, only to have said basket not turn out to be The One, leaving you to wonder why you wasted all your eggs in the first place? Yeah, dating multiple people fixes all that. “If you tend to get really attached to individual people and then are emotionally crushed when things don’t work out, dating multiple people at the same time is a good way to give your dating life some balance,” says Paget.
However, Paget warns, that when it comes to your time, emotional and mental energy, “It’s important not to spread yourself too thin. If you’re dating multiple people at the same time just because you can and you’re not really getting much out of the experience or connecting with anyone, it’s okay to take a step back,” she says. “Dating multiple people at the same time should be fun. When it stops being fun it’s time to stop.”
Learn What You Like
Dating more than one person actually narrows down what you’re looking for. It helps you become more aware of the options available to you rather than being stuck on one person who might not fulfill your mental list of “must haves.” On the flip side, playing the field helps those who are unsure about what their “type” is. “When you get to know a bunch of different people you not only open yourself up to new experiences, you also learn what you do and don’t want in a partner,” says Paget.
Also, when it comes to connecting with people online, “you may have things in common and think they look cute in their photo, but this doesn’t always mean that you’ll have chemistry in real life. This is why it’s advantageous to date multiple people until you find one that you really click with.”
Stay Honest and Open
A lot of people might shy away from dating multiple people because it makes them feel awkward about what to say if one of the people they’re seeing asks them the dreaded question, “Are you seeing other people?” But dating more than one person isn’t about being selfish or deceitful. When you’re on a date with someone, your responsibility is to be present and focused on that particular person.
“Treat each date and person as an individual,” says Paget. “Sure, your favorite wine bar is awesome, but that doesn’t mean you have to take all of your dates there. Create some separation between dates to avoid potential awkwardness.”
And if someone asks if you are dating others, then you need to be honest and tell them the truth.
“Honesty and open communication is key,” says Paget. “As a rule of thumb, as soon as your relationship becomes physical, it’s important to let the other person know that you’re seeing other people to avoid hurt feelings and unwanted surprises down the road.”
Bottom line: dating multiple people can be a good way to meet that one person you’re really looking for, but it’s not the only way. If you know you can’t handle a busy dance card—or Google calendar—then don’t. “Only do things that you’re comfortable with,” says Paget. “If it doesn’t feel fun and exciting to you, don’t do it. If dating multiple people doesn’t feel authentic to you, don’t feel like you have to do it.”