early dating: more than one iron in the fire
December 13, 2005 8:32 AM Subscribe
I have had plenty of relationship experience in the past but never really "dated" very actively until the advent of internet dating.
Now, thanks to the 'net services, it's as easy as 1-2-3 to line up several potentially interesting dates for any given weekend. I have rapidly found myself in a situation where I'm dating more than one person at the same time. This is all very casual, first-couple-of-dates kind of thing. Nothing serious yet. But I have no idea how to navigate it.
Recently, for example, I met two different potential mates at about the same time. Both were interesting to me for different reasons. The two connections have both proceded at different paces for various circumstantial reasons, and now one connection is a little further along then the other (a couple more successful dates and one good kiss). Do I now need to stop trying to see and get to know the other person? I would regret having to do so as our first meeting was very intriguing and I'd like another chance to explore the match between us. Even though I'm a couple steps further along that process with another person, nothing conclusive yet.
I don't believe you can really know someone in just a couple of dates, and I don't like having to choose so early on in the process. Ideally, I would prefer many dates and a couple of sexual experiences before making up my mind whether somene was relationship material for me.
Now that I have kissed one, do I need to break it off with the other and follow through to sexual experiences to see how it goes? What if it's terrible and I've lost my chance with the other person? It doesn't seem right to be having sex with more than one person at a time. But I really don't think I can necessarily choose between two people without some sexual chemistry as input to the decision. Sex is important to me and I haven't always chosen partners well in this regard in the past. I don't want to repeat that mistake.
I can't just pursue one person a at a time, all the way from initial email to final decision, before trying another. Given the noise-ratio of internet dating, that would take forever and just not be tenable. I would lose weeks on jerks who drop the ball or change their mind or whatever. There's nothing wrong with making 3 coffee dates for the same weekend. But what if 2 of them actually go somewhere? Is there anything wrong with having 2 dates for the same weekend that end in kissing? Making out? Sex?
Some people believe that until a conversation takes place establishing the relationship as an exclusive arrangement, it's okay to do whatever with anyone you want. I am not sure I share this opinion, but I am starting to see its wisdom. If you want to meet a lot of people and find the right match for you, it's very hard to do so on a one-by-one all-exclusive basis. You don't want to miss your chance with that special someone and timing just doesn't always cooperate.
What do you think? How shall I proceed? I would like to ultimately find a long-term relationship but I need to feel confident that the person is the right match. I have screwed that up before.
One final request: no "if it is meant to be it will be" type philosophies, please. I have to choose a course of action, here, and am trying to make the right conscious decision. Some concept of fate is not relevant to me.