Monday, 20 June 2011

How many men can you ‘date’ at one time…?

That’s a question, not a challenge!

I recently had a conversation about dating with my hairdresser, Nicco.  I regard him as an oracle on such matters, as he has many female clients of my age who are single.

“For heaven’s sake, Lara, don’t limit yourself to just one person.”  He said. 

“Well, how many people is it OK to date at once?”  I replied.

“Oh!  I’d say three people at once is perfectly acceptable.” 

OK – if in today’s modern dating world it’s acceptable to date more than one person at a time, exactly how do you define ‘dating’. 

Is it a drink at a bar?  Dinner in a nice restaurant?  Or a drink in a bar, followed by dinner and once totally hammered, back to his place for a quickie?

I’m not being facetious – I just don’t understand! 

I willingly admit that I’m a bit old fashioned.  I have never managed to date more than one man at a time.  To be honest, I generally get a feeling early on as to whether I like someone and if I do, they have my full attention.  But if I know they’re not suitable, I just don’t want to put myself in a compromising situation, so I politely decline.

And the reason for this twofold.  Firstly, my nervous system can’t cope with juggling several men and secondly, I wouldn’t want to jeopardize a potentially successful relationship, by secretly seeing other people.

I say ‘secretly seeing other people’ because I presume that if you’re dating several men, you don’t tell any one of them about the others. 

So, going back to the conversation with Nicco, I asked him whether he thought it was OK to ‘date’ other men if you were having sex, but not yet at the ‘officially going out’ stage with someone else.

“Oh yes! Don’t worry – we all need a bit of that…!”  He laughed. 

As a woman, I know I can multi-task (I can load a dishwasher, scream at the kids and send a text message simultaneously!) but, to be sexually involved with one man, whilst ‘dating’ a couple of others, is beyond me.

What if ‘one of the others’ makes a sexual advance? 

I can’t imagine many men being impressed by being told “Sorry – it was nice of you to buy me dinner, but actually, I don’t want to go back to your place because I’m already being shagged!” 

Do these women who ‘multi-date’ expect that the men they’re seeing are doing the same?  And do single men think that this is OK?

I want answers!

I know there are quite a few men out there reading this blog and I want your views on this subject!

What I want to know is:

Do you think it’s OK for a woman to ‘date’ several men at one time?

Do you think it’s OK for men to do the same?

And most importantly, how do YOU define ‘dating’?

Please, let me know your views by posting your comments.  I really do need to know!

If I like someone enough to spend my limited and precious time with them, its got to be because I think there’s potentially a future in it.  What’s the point in going out with someone once you’ve established that they’re not Mr Right?

And if you discover you've met Mr Right and the feelings are mutual, at what point would you off-load the others?  And what if Mr Right finds out?  I worry that he would think me dishonest.  Not a good way to start a relationship.

Well, until I hear all your views, all I can say is, I don’t think the multiple dating game is for me.  Oh dear!  I’m not sure I’m cut out for this modern world…  


  1. I do not see a problem with dating more than one man at a time... as long as they know you're not dating them 'exclusively'...

  2. I'm like you, I can't do it once beyond the dinner and drinks stage. Frankly, like you, I never went beyond the dinner and drinks stage unless I was interested enough to only date that guy. I just never have, am not capable of, overlap. Not to mention, there is the time pressure. How with two kids, dogs, a home, exams looming--when would you find the time?
    I am interested to hear what the guys say, though.

  3. OK boys point of view. I agree it's OK to multiple date as long as it's clear it's "dating" and it hasn't progressed to "we're seeing each other". I think any more than 3 is greedy and my rule as soon as one of them feels like it will have legs then it's down to mono-dating. I have a 5 date limit - if I've got to 5 dates and it still doesn't have momentum then I'm out.

    Also,during dating snogging is fine anything else means different rules.

  4. OMG - I really must be prim and proper!
    Snogging OK? (I love that word "snogging". Makes me feel about 18 again!)
    And more than three dates greedy! I admire your stamina for managing three at one time! Where do you find the time?

  5. I think once you stop using the word snogging then it's all done & dusted!!! At one point it was almost like a part time occupation but thankfully tripped over someone earlier this year and so far so good!!

  6. Well, I'm pleased that you seem to have found someone... keep me posted. In the absence of any male diversion, I have to live vicariously through others!!!

  7. I just wish I knew three people who want to date me at once...!

  8. Hairdressers are great sources of knowledge when it comes to knowing how the world really works!
    I was reading your blog whilst sitting having my hair done & of course discussed this with my hairdresser - she is 30 & lives with her boyfriend - I am 42 & have been married for 14 years!
    Her take on it - you can date as many guys as you like, but you can only have one relationship at a time..... go figure!


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