Why do some people think it's bad to date many people at the same time?

Isn't dating's purpose to get to know people?
Being exclusive and committed is a thing, and dating is another thing?

I have many girlfriends who date many guys at the same time and they just go out and talk basically, at the end they commit to the one they want to be in a relationship with.

Some time ago I said there is nothing wrong with dating many people at the same time and I got many downvotes. But it doesn't make sense in my opinion. It's definitely not cheating if you are not officially in a relationship.


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Most Helpful Guy

  • From a relationship coaching perspective, there is NOTHING wrong with dating more than one person at a time so long as:

    1) No one you're dating thinks that you two are exclusive
    2) You can handle the idea that the people you are dating may be dating other people too

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Most Helpful Girl

  • I agree with you. People who think otherwise have clearly never been on any dates because they don't understand how it works. You're just getting to know each other. That's like saying you can only make one friend at a time because it's rude to make many friends at once. Dating is not supposed to be serious. You're only seeing if you like the person you're going out with, and if they like you back. And you can do that with as many people as you like (but obviously it's still easier to keep it to a minimum, because you still want to be able to be somewhat invested in these people).
    No promises are made when you date. You're not exclusive until you talk about it. You can't expect the person you date to only be dating you, even if they're the only one you're dating at the moment. It's very much open-ended, and that's the whole point of dating. If you can't handle the fact that the person you're dating isn't exclusive with you (meaning: in a goddamn relationship with you) from the first date onward, then you shouldn't be dating in the first place, and you should calm down with those high expectations.

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    • Thankyou this is perfect!

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    • @Joti_Harrison "An indecisive person who would like to always have options, that enable him/her to eat their cake and have it."
      Or it just means that the person doesn't want to commit to someone they don't know on a more romantic level, and if they're a little bit interested in a couple of other people, they're willing to get to know them better in order to rule them out, or to become serious with one of them. How many people someone dates =/= their capability of being committed once they find the person they actually click with.

      "Dating is a journey between two people towards somewhere, and I sure as hell know many girls would be quite pissed If they knew there was also another hypothetical "sandra" along for the ride with them."

      I can understand that. And nobody is forcing them to date people who are dating many others. However, it's just the reality of dating. You're not committed to each other, you are both technically single, thus you can do whatever you want until you've made

    • @Joti_Harrison your decision. My boyfriend admitted to me that he went out with another girl after we had gone out on our first date. They didn't click so he didn't take it further and decided to focus on me. I've never dated more than one person at a time. But I understand that it's a part of the reality of dating and I'm not going to hold it against him, because *we weren't exclusive*.

      As a feminist myself I don't agree with girls using men on dates as a free meal ticket. But then again I've also found that these girls pretty much never identify as feminist themselves; they're usually more traditional and expect the man to pay because it's his gender role. Which is something feminists disagree with and want to get rid of.

      Also I don't know if you've noticed, but I'm a girl. Lol.

What Guys Said 53

  • They get this idea into their head that one or two dates means declaring undying love for each other. People who feel that strongly about dating one person at a time are, in my personal experience clingy as hell and an absolute nightmare.

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    • Totally. I once had a girl ask me how many other people I was seeing on the 2nd date and that was within a week of meeting her.

      Even if I caught feelings early on, which RARELY happens, I still keep my options open and play it by ear in case it doesn't work out.

  • Because you're dividing your efforts into different people. You're treating people as disposable, which is disrespectful.
    Imagine you're on a date, and you ask the guy what he's doing later, and he tells you he's going on another date with a hot girl. Wouldn't you think there's something not right about that? Don't girls complain about guys being "players" because they date multiple girls at a time?
    This guy is telling you how pretty you are, how awesome, and shit like that, but 30 minutes later he's telling the same thing to another girl. You'd be 100% ok with that?

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  • Look lady, there is a difference between dating multiple people at the same time and befriending multiple people. When a friend asks you on a date and you accept, he no longer becomes a friend, but a relationship prospect. You can have as many friends as you want, but having several relationship prospects means you are unstable and indecisive.

    How would you feel If guys you go on dates with told you all those amazing words of how beautiful you are and how he can never live without you and then goes in a few moments on another date with another other girl and tells her the same thing. You probably wouldn't trust him If you found out.

    Now multiply, that and imagine the entire dating scene was like that, everybody going on multiple dates everyday, how will you know who is truly genuine?

    I shouldn't even have to answer this, within your heart you know it's not right. Besides a lot of girls tend to use multiple dates as meal tickets.

    But at the end of the day, as long as you pay your end for each and everyone of the dates, it's your money you can go out and have fun hehe

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  • Because whilst one person may assume that they and the person they're dating are still relatively platonic in relation to one another, the other person could assume that there is indeed something more serious going on. So imagine how much the other person's feelings and pride would be hurt when they find out that the one they were dating didn't reciprocate so much that they considered him as just plan B - a fail-safe in case plans A, C and D fail.

    I would not date a girl who dates multiple other guys. It is her right to do so, of course, but it is then also my right to not take her as a serious person ready for monogamy.

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    • Well, it depends on how you look at it. If you're taking dating as getting to know people better, you can also date your friends.

    • @Żulson I take dating as a prelude to a serious relationship and I see a big difference between chatting to a person to get to know them on a surface level, and dating them to get to know them on a more personal and also romantic level.

      Dating also involves romance and one typically is not romantic towards their friends. Otherwise they have some weird friendship going on.

  • it's not about cheating.

    if we have been on 2-3 dates, plan another one and she still feels the need to look out for other guys, it means that she's not really interested or convinced of me. She takes me until she finds someone better. So the risk that she'll leave me sooner or later for someone else is much higher. -> Waste of time. If I haven't convinced you to give me a serious chance after 1-2 months, then we should probably better move on.

    If you have just been on one date with someone or you have multiple first dates with different people, that's something different. But if we are past the first phase where you're just get to know the other person then I expect a bit more dedication to the whole thing after some time.

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    • so there are different phases of dating in my opinion. generally I think you're right, but after some point I expect more

  • It's different in our world, for us dating/courting is not just talking to someone like or as friends or getting to know someone when we date/court someone we invest in them our feelings, our time a lot of people choose to focus solely on them to get to know them as it should be, some people dating and relationships are one in the same.

    But even for the people that it isn't they like us make the important realization that people are not objects your not buying furniture, a car or tasting food samples you can't just test drive test drive, sit in or taste people until you find someone you like while your are currently with someone and then toss em when you find something better.

    That's not how life works you can't have your cake and eat it.

    Also your definition of dating is wrong, talking with people an getting to know people as friends and people is not dating that's called being friends, acquaintances and socializing.

    The only time I think it's ok to do what your saying is up to 1-2 dates with someone. In reality that's all you need is about 2 dates with someone to get an idea about someone.

    Further more it honestly just wastes everyone's time in the long run.

    But that's just me I'm actually old fashioned raised to commit to one person at one time, via courting because it's the right thing to do, I'm not indecisive I make a choice, stand with it and I roll with the punches and deal with the consequences whether they be good or bad.

    This pretty much sums up "dating" multiple people in both ways.

    https://youtu.be/rPtwWoC1jA8https://youtu.be/lK3fpe3G0rY

    Either way never ends well.

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  • Men probably don't like it because it's a sign of extreme Hypergamy and no man wants to invest in a woman who will simply walk away as soon as "a better deal walks by".

    Also the thought of the woman your dating fucking 1,2,3 etc.. other guys while she's dating you is really fucking gross!! Like you take her out on a date, go your separate ways and she goes home to fuck guy #2 then goes out tomorrow with guy #1 and fucks guy #3 later that night, then has you over on the week end.. /puke!

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    • Date as in going out for a coffee and get to know each other, not fuck lol

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    • @lumos Wow that's amazing... but guess what MOST women don't do that. That's legit the first time I've heard that sort of story. Why people bring ''but i do this''... into arguments when we are talking about a general population... i don't know but it isn't a valid point.

    • @Jamesol1 too bad more women can't be this way. I can understand the human nature of pursuing someone who is "hard to get" but women are overly good at that naturally. They need to let up.

  • There are three possible reasons I can think of as to why many people may not be big fans of dating multiple people simultaneously:
    1. They wrongly assume you are doing it without telling your dates that you are dating multiple people and that you are playing them and will eventually hurt their feelings.
    2. They don't want the competition from all those other people you're dating and feel intimidated by your other dates because they feel like they can't compete with those other guys or girls who may be hotter or have better personalities than them. They also might be too lazy or not feel motivated enough to step up their game.
    3. They are used to things being done a particular way and don't like changes, irrespective of whether these changes improve or harm their chances of success in dating, so they defend the more "traditional" way of dating by saying that it is the historically tried and tested and best way of finding "the one".
    There may be other reasons too, but nothing else comes to mind.

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  • Usually when you talk about dating people, you talk about being in a relationship of some sort, which is less appealing for guys/girls who want to be in a serious relationship. When you talk about meeting people to hang out with and have a chat with (no sexual relationship or intimacy, like kissing), people don't usually say that you're dating them. It's not bad to get to know lots of people at the same time, even though some might find it bad since you're basically comparing them with other "candidates", but when you're in a relationship with lots of people, kissing some and having sex with others, that is what isn't right since you're basically deciding that from all of the candidates you have, you won't choose one but have a polygamy. Nobody likes it if their crush is making a move whilst in a "secret" or open relationship with somebody else.

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  • You would know what's wrong with it if you had any morals.

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  • While that may be true to some extent guys tend to be more focused on one girl from the start where girls notice several guys etc... it's how we are wired. So to guys when girls do it it's tacky. And I agree. Although not many really do it that I know. I did just get back from a date with a girl I really like who just revealed she has a boyfriend so it's just a friendly deal... sucks really bad but I enjoy her a lot so I will stick around... maybe if things change with them someday things will be different with us but if not I'll hangout with her still just in severe moderation as it is kinda hard for me

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    • Haha that's bullshit, there are many guys who do go on dates with several girls around the same time. Don't bother generalizing like that, it's not true.

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    • "guys tend to be more focused on one girl"
      "it's how we are wired"
      "So to guys when girls do it it's tacky."
      Your original post kinda says otherwise and heavily implies guys do one thing and girls do another. Not that we do them equally.

    • @lumos that's how we notice the opposite sex at least yes, as far as dating those I know who want something legit focus on one, those who don't tend to do several dates at a time. That's all I got to say. Whether you believe it or don't I'm not terrible concerned

  • It's not like buying furniture... where you need to see 100 different models or colors to get the perfect fit. You either know what you want or don't... but in your case Ill be guessing you have a specific exact type of guy in your head.. and if guy #1 doesn't fill those check marks... you'll go on dates with guy # 2,3,4,5 and so on until you find that perfect dude...--> which is a consequence of moving slow in the dating world... you become a little anal about your selections

    The only 3 reasons I can see that would make you date multiples would be
    1. The person hasn't caught your attention enough so you are looking elsewhere
    2. You are trying to get the best you can because you feel you are 'worth more'
    3. You are casual dating and just having a good time getting to know people

    You'd clearly fall in 1 and 2 lol

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  • Plenty of people have answered this question perfectly already, serial dating treats people as disposable and that's just not a healthy way to build a relationship to begin with. In a relationship you're gonna have to be exclusive anyway so focusing on one person at a time is better in every way unless you're a narcissist who's extremely needy for attention.

    I think the only question you have to ask yourself is how would you feel if you knew that a guy who you were going on dates with was seeing multiple women at the same time and he could choose one of the other girls at any moment. You can say that you'd be fine with that but the reality is that it's very unlikely that's gonna turn into a proper relationship compared to a situation where both people are only focusing on each other.

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  • One of the reasons its bad is because you forget people's details. I knew a girl who kept a spreadsheet with guys and their specific details so they could keep track of it. That's when you've gone overboard. The problem is your definition of "date" many people at the same time. Over what period of time - 7 years? Are we talking 5, 10, 15, 20 people? Dating a few people at the same time for a few weeks is fine if you're trying to figure things out but you should be able to figure out who you like within a short span of time and drop off the rest.

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    • But if you're dating for 7 years and still not in a relationship it's kinda weird haha.

    • I used 7 years as an extreme lol but yea it would be kinda weird especially if you were dating a lot for a long period of time. Maybe another word for weird would be picky :P

  • I think it's only bad if you aren't honest and don't tell the other guys about each other. One (or all) of the guys think you're only seeing them and then find out otherwise and are hurt. Otherwise there's no problem with it.

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  • I would never pursue anyone with that mentality. It just seems greasy to date multiple people. You're going to get more than one person wanting you and you're just going to hurt someone. It's pure selfishness and if I found out the girl I was dating was seeing other guys I would ghost her completely and not tell her why.

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  • It's technically not cheating, but I would lose interest in a girl if I found out she was dating other guys on the side, especially if she was sleeping with them.

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  • If your not offically in a relationship then your not dating them, you already worded it to make it seem right, why bother asking such a round about question? As long as your not dating multiple guys at once then there's nothing wrong with taste testing, at least logically, i fell that some

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  • agreed. i used to be afraid in the past of other girls finding out that i'm chatting and dating other girls.

    but i have realized that's foolish since i don't give a damn anymore, there is no guarantee that each one of them is dating only me, so i will just dating around until i got one that i find nice

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  • Some people just like to date one person at a time. I personally multi date because until you discuss exclusivity with a person, it is only safe to assume they're seeing others.

    Thinking otherwise is naive, especially if you met them online. Besides you never wanna put all your eggs in one basket as it can lead to disappointment and be discouraging if it doesn't work out.

    I see it as similar to applying for jobs, you just don't go for one.

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  • I understand the logic behind casting the net wide, keeping your option open, not putting all your eggs in one basket, etc. - but I believe it's better to give the person a chance first. Dating successively, one after another only after you've decisively chosen to move on, is more favourable to me.

    Then again, I'm not a girl so I don't have that dilemma of many choices :P

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  • It's called playing and no matter what they say it can backfire on you because of feelings, either yours or theirs
    It's a preference really
    I prefer to remain loyal to one person with a mutual feature of loyalty

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  • Dating multiple persons simultaneously IS wrong whether you like it or not. When you want to date, you should be looking for a partner who is "the one" and not date multiple guys and then choose the best and dump all the rest. It's a waste of time and money.

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    • How would you know they are the one if you don't go on a date first?

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    • Going out with someone. Doesn't mean sex or kissing has to be involved. Or feelings.
      Just interest is enough, then you get to know each other with some dates.

    • Your definition is different from mine.
      Your definition- Going out with someone. Doesn't mean sex or kissing has to be involved. Or feelings. Just interest is enough.
      ^This is called seeing someone.
      My definition- This is a later stage of a relationship in which you are fairly committed to each other, share interest, etc. You develop emotional ties with this person. Most of your friends have been introduced to your partner. Based on your personality, by this stage you may be sexually committed and also exclusive.

  • I think thats the purpose of dating, to get to know people and spend time with them so you can pick a good match.

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  • That's cheating to be honest if majority of women count porn as cheating this should be counted as cheating too.

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    • How is it cheating when they aren't in a relationship?

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    • haha it's okey you win :P Let's not make this day any worse for you than it already is xD

    • Awe :) you're so sweet thank you ^_^ lol.

  • That's great. If you give one guy a disease, it won't matter which one of them gave it to you to begin with. ALL OF THEM HAVE IT NOW!

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    • I'm a virgin, smh.

    • If you're kissing them, or if there is otherwise an exchange of bodily fluid, you might still be passing disease.

  • How very western from you :D
    Dating is kinda like a beggining of the relationship where a person has expectations. And if this person see you do the same with other people then this person won't think you are trustworth and will leave. This is what I would do.

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  • Interesting idea, id make it known if I did this that there would be multiple partners so thered be no confusion

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  • Thank you, yes dating is meant to know someone. Lots of dates never lead to anything more so it's important to broaden your horizons

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  • They don't want to get STDs

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  • More from Guys
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What Girls Said 25

  • People have different ideas of what dating is. For some, dating means exclusivity and for others it's just the process of finding a partner. It's just a matter of being upfront and honest about your definition of dating.
    As for meeting several people simultaneously, I don't judge those who do it but I do personally find it somewhat weird. I don't have the ability to be interested in more than one person at a time so the idea of "dating around" seems really disingenuous and inorganic to me.
    But yeah, if you're open and honest about your relationship status, it's definitely not cheating.

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  • Because it makes it seem like they're not 100% into you. And I am putting my full effort to make this work from the start, I want the same respect. Otherwise, our values are different when it comes to dating and I'd rather not associate with you.

    Like think about it, he's doing all these things to court you. Yet you ask him what he's planning to do later or tomorrow and he says "I have another date". So all those sweet words he was telling you all those attentive stares into your eyes as you told him about yourself, it all seems kinda meaningless and rehearsed because guess what? You're not the only one getting that treatment!

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  • Its different dating as in going to "dates" or just hanging out with him. I guess that you are allowed to go on multiple dates with different people but if you are already on your third, fourth date with someone then I guess you are a little more exclusive to that person. Meaning that you are giving him-her a chance of your entire attention, if you don't like him-her that much then you can just stop seeing him-her and going on first dates with different people. Honestly it all depends on the situation, I said if you have been seeing a person for a couple of days now and you know that he-she is sincere then give him-her the chance of your entire attention.

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  • I think it's tacky to go on MANY dates with many people all the time. You know whether you like someone or not. Why play games and waste people's times? Yeah have fun but don't take the piss if you're not serious.

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  • I think it's common and OK, But also really awkward. I heard on the radio, where one guy said that sometimes you have to drop some of the other partners, because it's a holiday and you can't schedule them all in or get them all gifts!1 Crazy.

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  • I think it's wrong~ If i'm seeing someone I want to focus purely on them and i'd be pretty upset if i found out they were seeing other girls too. I can understand why people do it, but it just doesn't sit well with me, it's kind of like leading someone on and if you lose interest then you've got an immediate back-up plan. I'd rather date one guy and if it doesn't work out move onto someone else, it just feels more respectful.

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  • Well, I think it depends. If you mutually want to date around then it's okay. If you are unsure whether you like one person more than the other, then maybe dating both would be helpful. However, you should be open and honest to whoever you date that you are dating multiple people.

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  • It's ok if everyone knows what's going on, but honestly, I don't understand it. I couldn't do it. Do I care what others do? Nah, I just won't do it.
    I guess I'm most confused on the mechanics of it all-do you date 4 people for 6 months, a week, a few weeks, do people have anniversaries? It just seems like the more brief the time someone is dating multiple people, the best.

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  • I've done it and I see nothing wrong with it. If it's dating then I don't think it's exclusive and if the guy truly wanted exclusivity, he'd say it. There's no need to beat around the bush. I also wouldn't care if he's dating around either. The most I've dated at one time was three. It gave me insight and simultaneous comparison as to who fit me better than had I only dated one guy. With that being said, I respect people whose thoughts differ from mine.

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  • Because I ain't a damn commodity. If I ever found out the guy I'm dating is seeing other girls as well, I hope he knows the way to door because I wouldn't want to spend one more second on him.

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  • It depends on the type of dating. Going in many dates to find a partner you click with is expected and fine, dating someone for two years and having a child with them and living together is a different story. Looking for a connection and going on many low key dates isn't wrong, wanting to sample other flavours when you've already committed yourself to someone is wrong.

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  • Im im a committed relationship with two people. Polyamory is a thing and can work if everyone involved is at the same page or doesn't mind the differences.

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  • Because it's called being a player and most people hate that game!!

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  • don t care, I do it.
    it keeps my options open and allows me to not get attached.
    and liKe that I gain more experience and get to choose the one that fits my personality best.
    but note that I do tell them that we re not exclusive and it s no strings attached.
    and when I wanna consider him seriously I openly tell him to see what he wants too.

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  • I think it's better to focus on one person and not on a bunch of different people all at one time.

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  • Well Roktoranstrom, that's very... oh James, I'm sorry. How was work today? Oh you're finishing your MBA, right...

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  • I have been dating 6 at a time since a while. The one i want a relationship doesn't want me, is not yet sure as he explains, the other ones I dont want them. I dont see any problem honestly.

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  • I don't think it's bad. As long as you're not married, you're free to do anything you like as long as the other person is fine with that. If they're not, you either do what makes them and yourself happy or you find someone else.

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  • I think it's wrong but to each its own

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  • I've never had the luxury, but in theory I think casually dating more than one person is fine

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  • I've done it... that's the whole point. I won't commit to someone until I really like them.

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  • As long as the guys who you're seeing are okay with you dating other people it's not a problem. Some person is investing their time, their money, their emotional and mental weight on you. They may think that the relationship is progressing when you're just not at the same level. Not being honest then makes you accountable. Being on the same level is fair.

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  • Because it kills the romance of it. I'm surprised a girl is asking this. Would you be okay with it if your boyfriend was dating other girls as well?

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    • That's not the question though, I'm not talking about dating other people while being in a committed relationship, I'm asking about seeing people/dating with no commitment, of course I would be upset if my man sees other people!

  • How about you go out with a guy and he tells you I'm seeing two other girls besides you. I'm not sure if you're worth my time so for the next 3 months I might ask you out whenever I'm bored and the other two are busy. Hope you don't mind. I mean for all I know you could be the one but I just gotta date more than one girl. I hope you don't mind if I sleep with them.

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  • I just think people should be clear about their intentions and not mislead or use others

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    • Yep cheater

    • @Brah63926 I'm not a cheater and I don't condone cheating. I'm not even the type to date multiple people at the same time. I just think that people with that mentality should just date each other.

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