I want to date multiple women, but I don't want to hurt anyone. Is this possible?

I am interested in dating several women at once to learn more about what I want from a partner. I realize that the social norm here in the US is that of serial monogamy, or one monogamous relationship(dating or otherwise) after the next. I want to ultimately end up with one special woman who deserves me, but I want to take my time and weigh my options. I am relatively new to this frame of thinking in terms of dating, and I would like some pointers as to how to go about it in the most responsible manner. I am in a situation where I have different women who want to be with me, and new prospects pop up all the time. I am currently dating a woman that I really like who has a lot of girlfriend potential. Its been about 5 weeks since our first date & kiss, and things have progressed quite well. She lives about 3 hours away, and drove all the way to see me this last weekend. We had sex for the first time, and she told me she is beginning to fall for me. I told her that I really liked her too and that I was excited about the direction our relationship was headed, but there was no discussion about "official status" or exclusivity. I know she would be really upset if she found out about me dating other women but I don't consider myself exclusive with her, since we really haven't been dating long enough. I am interested in pursuing our relationship further to see what unfolds, and then make a decision to be exclusive. Meanwhile, I know I have options where I am, and I would like to pursue them as well. I am trying to be considerate of this woman, since the last thing I want to do is hurt her. Its weird, we aren't even in a relationship, but I feel like I would be betraying her trust in a way if she heard something about me with another woman. Should I be worried about her finding out and being hurt since we aren't exclusively together? Is it wrong for me to want to pursue different women at one time? I know that the best thing to do would be to have a discussion about it, but its just too early for me to be approaching her like that I think. I feel its best for that kind of thing to happen organically. How do I go about dating several women at once, without having the "are we exclusive" talk too early, and keep them from finding out about each other. Any comments or questions would be greatly appreciated.


Most Helpful Girl

  • ok not to state the obvious. but you TELL THEM WHAT You WANT. they are not puppy dogs, they have a brain . You give them the info, they give you the verdict whether are not it is acceptable to them. Everyone is different -they will have a different view. People have open relationships all the time. they also stay in the dating stage, no relationship - this is the stage where you can date multiple people. The thing is so can they, and they might walk away with don juan before you have decided on who your miss perfect is... love doesn't wait- so I've heard.

    But maybe you can strike a deal with * like* :)


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What Girls Said 4

  • It's okay to not want to be in a monogamous relationship, or to not want to jump from mono-relationship to mono-relationship. It's okay to want to see multiple people at the same time, to have meaningful relationships and get to know people before deciding to commit to just one (if you ever decide to commit to just one). But you need to do so in ethical way (some people refer to this as being an "Ethical Slut", but slut isn't meant as a derogatory term in this instance)---to be honest about your intentions and to not hurt people in doing this. The thing that doesn't seem ethical to me in what you want is the fact that you're worried about her finding out that you're not exclusive/you want to keep the people you're seeing from finding out about one another. You need to be honest about the fact that you're not exclusive, and if they ask if you're seeing someone else, be truthful. Allow these women to make an educated choice about whether or not they want to date you and to not end up feeling betrayed, lied to, or cheated on (if they assume that you are monogamous with them).

    Unfortunately, it probably won't be easy. We live in a society where people are jealous and insecure, and maybe even encouraged to be this way. Monogamy (and serial monogamy) is the norm (people just follow it because it's tradition and don't bother to question it), and people who want to engage in alternative types of relationships are demonized (seen as players, sluts, or people who are unable to commit). Being honest about what you want is difficult because you risk losing the chance to get to know, date, etc. people who don't want the same thing. The majority of people believe that relationships HAVE to be monogamous, otherwise the person is "using you" or because you're not "good enough" for them---that they're just seeing you for the time being until they find someone "better" and leave you. It's hard to convince someone otherwise when that's the portrait that society paints. When you tell someone that you're not looking to be exclusive, a lot of people will run screaming for the hills because they think that it's not worth it because of the heartache it could potentially cause, because they want someone who only wants to be with them, or because dating you will make them less available for someone who DOES want to be exclusive.

    I'm sure you recognize all of this, but you still feel that serial monogamy isn't right for you. As such, my advice to you is to be honest and upfront fairly early in any "relationship" you start. Deception will only lead to heartache. Yes, many girls will decide they aren't interested and that really sucks, but it's far better than them feeling misled and hurt after they've already developed strong feelings for you.

    Dating multiple people also puts added resonsibility on you. You need to be cautious of more people's feelings and recognize real restraints you might face (i.e. how will you allocate your time among these people?

    • How will you decide who to see if they both want to see you on the same day?). If you decide to be sexually active with more than one person, it's also your responsibility to engage in safe sex (which you should already, but it's even more important when more than one person might be affected by it).

      As for this girl that you're seeing, you should talk to her about this as soon as possible. She has the right to know that you're not exclusive and she should find out directly from you.

    • It might not be easy and it might not be the way you want to go about things, but in the end, it's the best way to have this kind of relationship without hurting people.

  • Dating several women at once is one thing. Having sex with them is another. So, if you want to get to know different women and date them, that is fine. But once you start kissing someone and especially once you have sex, well sorry, it is not cool to keep dating other women, but you should know that. I mean, think it through. How would you expect Girl #1 to react if she walked in on you having sex with Girl #2?

    So, what it sounds like is you are asking for advice on how to not get caught. I will leave that to the players to advise you on, but if you really like this girl, then take the time out to continue to date her and leave the other prospects for another time. Doesn't mean you are in a relationship with her, but it is showing her the respect she deserves.

    • Oh and I do agree with some of the other comments, honesty is the best policy, but your honesty should have started before you had sex. It is not enough to just play the "we haven't had the exclusive talk" card. You have to say it outright "I am not ready to date you exclusively" and, yes, she may be very hurt by that and decide to end your dating. So, again, why not leave the other options for the future.

    • Nicely put. I do really like the girl I have been dating, and you are right, she would be very upset with me. I have not started dating anyone new, but there are definitely options. I simply wanted to get some perspective before I did something potentially wrong.

    • Cool. Yes, dating multiple girls to pick the one you want to get to know better is good, but sounds like you already found her. It's better to give this a real chance and lose out on one of your "options" than to give the options a chance and lose out on the girl you already have.

  • First thing, about having several options to pick from at the same time - it's normal in the dating scene - when you aren't leading anyone on and no one has expectations. That said, that girl seems like she does have some expectations and if you want to date other women you have to have a talk with her about "where-you-stand" on the availability and about her in particular. You are obviously not that interested in her, otherwise I'd think it would be pretty straight forward. Think about it, if you like her enough to see where it's going with her but if not, then talk to her if you are bent on other-women, because it's really unfair to the girl.

    Either way be very clear on your position in dating right away. Honestly is always the best policy.

  • Let's say this simply: NO. You have to PICK. You can't have everything.


What Guys Said 1

  • Why not? Most girls like to lead groups of men around to "keep their options open" - turnabout is fair play in my opinion.

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