Dating Women Who Are Friends W/Each Other?
April 19, 2006 9:21 PM   Subscribe

I'm in a situation where two girls who are friends with each other have both given me their phone numbers (in the context of a speed dating situation). This is not a secret to either of them.

This isn't being hidden from them: at the very least, Girl A knows that her friend Girl B also gave me her phone number. I find myself initially interested in both of them -- both are intelligent and striking women -- but I'm really clueless as to how to handle this situation in the best fashion. (This assumes, of course, that I don't call the numbers in question and hear "Joey's Pizza" and "Frank's Pizza", respectively.) For example, if I call Girl A on Friday and ask her to do something, will Girl B assume I'm uninterested? As I think this over, the situation seems to be particularly unusual in that presumably Girl A and Girl B, as friends, are in communication with each other.

Furthermore, I should note that I've not had a great deal of experience at all in the romantic arena, and thus, this feels to me like someone with basic algebra skills suddenly finding themselves presented with a calculus question. Were you to have suggested this particular situation to me 24 hours ago, I would have commended you on the quality of your hallucinogenic.

Finally, if all of the above leaves you shrugging in confusion too, your advice would still be appreciated in terms of any general advice you may wish to impart about dating truths you've experienced in your life.
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (33 answers total)
(This sounds like something out of a Japanese video game, you know that? There's an entire genre for this kind of thing!)
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 9:28 PM on April 19, 2006

I would suggest you start w/ lunch dates considering the fact that you met them in a speed dating context. This would perhaps help you determine who you are more interested in and w/ the process of elimination before you got to the good night kiss part of the date. For me personally, things wouldn't get weird between me and one of my girlfriends until things got physical between her and the guy or me and the guy. And yes, of course the girls are in communication w/ each other.
posted by lannanh at 9:35 PM on April 19, 2006

I agree - lunch is a good tactic here. You can't date both of them for long, but you do need something more than a speed date to choose between them. As long as you remain open and honest about the fact that you've invited both of them to lunch (different lunches, natch), there shouldn't be anything to fear in terms of them being pissed off at you for playing them. Make a choice relatively quickly, though, because the longer you're seeing both of them, the more emotionally invested they both become, and that could be hard on their friendship.
posted by jacquilynne at 9:44 PM on April 19, 2006

Have them both meet you together, with a few friends, at a casual bar. After that, it is unlikely you will still be into both, and they into you. Hope sparks fly with one.
posted by SpookyFish at 10:18 PM on April 19, 2006

Do you have a wing man? The four of you could go out someplace, party, bar, whatever, and see where the chips fall, and with four nobody is the odd one out. Plus seeing how the girls treat each other and your friend might tell you more about their personalities than a regular date. But expect a little snark on this question; the trolls might not like that your cup runneth over.
posted by tula at 10:48 PM on April 19, 2006

If one or both of them creates drama over this, this early, I wouldn't be interested (in the one, or both, depending). This is a pretty basic early-stage dating situation. If it were me, I'd call them both, make separate dates for both, not really worry about the context of the dates (lunch vs whatever), and just play it by ear. Jealousy on either of their parts would be unbelievably lame.

The fact that the two of them are friends, in other words, wouldn't represent much more than a "heh, that's amusing" to me.
posted by autojack at 10:50 PM on April 19, 2006

"She's into it."

"Into what?"

"The menage. And not only that. She just called me and said she talked to the roommate and the roommate's into the menage too."

"That's unbelievable!"

"Oh, it's a scene."

"Do you ever just get down on your knees and thank god that you know me and have access to my dementia?"
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 10:56 PM on April 19, 2006

Yeah, C_D. That was going around in my head, also.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 11:02 PM on April 19, 2006

Call who you want to call. Lest there be any uncertainty, mention you're in contact with the other girl.
As long as everybody knows where this stands, life is smooth.
posted by Radio7 at 11:36 PM on April 19, 2006

You're going on a date, not proposing marriage. Good lord. You sound very uptight. Get a little tipsy and see them both on the same night, telling the first you have to keep it short so as to meet up with #2, then tell her you're sorry you're late, but you were having fun with #1. Keep it casual and they will both like you. It may sound counterintuitive but that's how the "romantic arena" works. (Also, never be afraid of what you really want to do.)
posted by _sirmissalot_ at 12:11 AM on April 20, 2006

What autojack said. They should have been aware that such a situation could arise, so they probably would be fine with each going out with you casually one or two more times before you decide which, if either, you prefer. Just make the decision sooner rather than later. If they have hesitations about the situation, and are reasonably good friends and communicators, they probably will have made an agreement that they should both steer clear of you so they don't get jealous. If either or both of them accepts another date, they're probably cool with it.
posted by gauchodaspampas at 12:39 AM on April 20, 2006

_sirmissalot_ nailed my M.O. Though my style is see one on a Thurs (around here like a l'il weekend) then one on a Friday. Just call them on the same day so neither feels dissed. Don't forget--one night stands often happen back to back. Anyone have a theory as to why?
posted by sourwookie at 12:56 AM on April 20, 2006

I'm sure they both will have no problem with it, provided you don't sleep with one on the first date. Just be honest about everything, and when you are sure you like one over the other (or neither, let's be honest about all the possibilities here), make the break. They surely must have anticipated the possibility of both being interested in the same person(s - in theory they probably offered their numbers to multiple people) at the same speed dating event, and if they didn't want to compete they would have gone to different events.
posted by antifuse at 3:35 AM on April 20, 2006

Run, run like the wind. Just because they say they're fine with each other being in the picture, it doesn't mean to say that they will be when one gets picked above the other. It's a horrible drama waiting to happen.
posted by saturnine at 5:31 AM on April 20, 2006

I think it's safe to say that anonymous's MO is absolutely nothing like the MO's of _sirmissalot_ or sourwookie. If he could pull that off with panache, why would he have asked this question?

Anonymous, go with the casual lunch/coffee outings. But yes, call them both the same day to head off any girl-competitiveness. For the love of god, do not wait until you've gone out with one before calling the other.

As long as you don't actively try to play them off of each other, lie about seeing the other, or act like an asshole (because yes, the other will hear about it) you've got some time to see them seperately before weirdness sets in. After all, they did go to speed dating together and sit next to each other.

If sparks don't fly with either, then perhaps you have two new female friends.

On the other hand, if either of them start acting very, very weird, then's a trap.
posted by desuetude at 6:22 AM on April 20, 2006

2 in 24?
posted by feloniousmonk at 6:30 AM on April 20, 2006

Go out with both of them, at once, as friends. Like, go out with both of them to a restaurant, or coffee, or whatever. Treat it like you would any other casual outing with friends. No romance. No flowers. Go dutch. Over time, you'll see if you want to pursue more of a relationship with either of them, but you can still be friendly with both.

Or maybe that's bad advice. Still thought I should throw it in the mix.
posted by Alt F4 at 6:31 AM on April 20, 2006

I concur with the separate, casual dates plan, with calling them on the same day.
posted by bullitt 5 at 6:39 AM on April 20, 2006

I've been in a similar situation and it's really not wise to put friends into a competitive situation. It's not worth it and it's really kind of a creepy, uncomfortable place to be. Pick one of them (the prettier one bien sur) and tell the other that you like her but she's not your type. Go from there. Trying to date both of them and be "fair" to both will just lead to unnecessary drama and confuzzlement on your part (hence your question). Keep it simple and just be honest with yourself and your partners.
posted by nixerman at 6:49 AM on April 20, 2006

My friends who have done speed dating have never had any lasting relationship come from it.

Trust me dude, they've already talked about you, and if they're both going out with you, then you're part of a fun little "sex in the city" type experiment.

Just don't turn the dates into auditions and you'll be fine. Keep things light and try to have fun. If things progress, then they progress. The key is to not have any presumptions. Just be honest about the ridiculousness of the situation. Revel in it a little bit.
posted by dobie at 7:28 AM on April 20, 2006

Keep things light and try to have fun.

This is excellent advice. Try not to agonize, be upfront about the situation, and for god's sake don't say anything to one of them you woudn't want the other to hear, because it will be repeated. Probably nothing will come of it, but if you wind up getting together with either one, it will be a great story.

Flagged a couple of derails. AskMe is not the place to exercise your wit.
posted by languagehat at 7:35 AM on April 20, 2006

Be very careful. This situation is probably not about you. This is likely some strange dynamic the women are having with each other, whether they know it or not. So go out for drinks with each of them, but realize that this might be more about their friendship than anything else.
posted by turner13 at 8:08 AM on April 20, 2006

Wow, I can't believe how many people would be just fine with this. Maybe I'm old fashioned, or just a jealous harpy, but I couldn't deal. If I was into someone and a friend gave him her number I'd be mad. If a friend was into someone and had already expressed her interest to him I'd abandon it completely, even if I thought I'd be a better match.

I don't care how low key you keep it, I don't care how OK they claim to be, rejection sucks. And rejection for a good friend would suck even harder. Eventually there will be drama. You won't keep dating both of them forever, and if you pick one over the other, their friendship will suffer for it.
posted by Kellydamnit at 8:17 AM on April 20, 2006

Watch the movie "Hannah and Her Sisters," where a similar situation happens, seen from the women's perspective.
posted by hsoltz at 8:22 AM on April 20, 2006

A date leads to a relationship about as often as an interview leads to a job, i.e., way less often than half the time. Have a coffee-type date with each of the girls, and see if the chemistry is there. If you feel "Wow, this girl is great and I can't wait to see her again" AND she gives the impression that she feels the same way about you, then you schedule another date. If either of you is like, "Meh, not bad, at least it's better than not having anyone to go out with on Friday night," then forget it and move on.

The only problem here is the case where

(You: Wow + Girl1: Wow) + (You: Wow + Girl2: Wow)

... which is a fairly small possibility, say the equivalent of going on two job interviews in one day and getting offers from both places. If it happens, you may find yourself in the position of having to flip a coin. But, again, this is an off chance. Most likely either you and one of the girls will hit it off, or else nobody will.

How the continuing-to-date-one-of-the-two-friends process will go really is dependent on the relationship between the two girls, which after all predates whatever romantic relationship you may find yourself in. But if you find that you and GirlX want to take the dating to the next level, you can deal with the GirlY issue at that time.
posted by La Cieca at 8:23 AM on April 20, 2006

Kellydamnit, I think you need to appreciate the "fast food" nature of speed dating. It's basically a form of entertainment for a lot of people. The two girls involved do not just have Anon's phone number. Heck, they probably have half a dozen of the same phone numbers.

Unless Anon is the sort of person who gives his dates a bulleted list of requirements for wifedom on the first date, he would be wise to just try and have fun with it and let the chips fall where they may.

If one of the girls wants to get serious, they'll probably work it out between themselves.
posted by dobie at 8:34 AM on April 20, 2006

desuetude writes...
For the love of god, do not wait until you've gone out with one before calling the other.

This bears repeating. Call one and invite her to lunch, AND DO NOT PUT THE PHONE DOWN before calling the other one and inviting her to lunch on a different day.

Let them both know you're having lunch with the other as well.

After the lunches, let things take their course. There are too many possibilities to cover them all here.

Well, okay I'll cover one: if they're both sweet and lovely, and both deeply into you, keep in mind that polygamy is still practiced in Utah. :-)
posted by tkolar at 9:26 AM on April 20, 2006

Good god, if they both know they've both asked you for a date, take them both out! What on earth would you have to lose by that?!

Hell, take 'em out at the same time: aim to develop a good friendship with them both, and if it turns out you fall for one of them, they'll be more likely to remain friends with each other and with you.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:50 AM on April 20, 2006

This problem may very well resolve itself. As the poster says, both of these women are intelligent and striking. Assuming that they are not also batshit insane, they won't be available forever. Anonymous is worrying too much about the drama of two friends giving him their phone numbers, and not keeping the larger picture in mind: he isn't the only guy on the planet.

So relax. The advice to call them up and invite them to lunch on different days is excellent. Do that, and if after lunch you still can't decide between the two, then come back and ask us for more help.
posted by ambrosia at 10:48 AM on April 20, 2006

In general I've found that admitting you're unsure of the correct behavior works. when you talk to the first one, maybe mention that "so you and your friend both did this and I have to say, I am quite confused as to the proper ettiquite." If done right it can be charming and good natured and have that effect of breaking the ice / bringing some intimacy.
posted by Brainy at 11:09 AM on April 20, 2006

big group outing that's laidback (pool, darts?), and then midway through the night make it clear to one that you're interested in the friend. you can even enlist her help -- girls love to help each other out. if that causes drama, run. a competitive game once started, rarely ends.
posted by ejaned8 at 11:31 AM on April 20, 2006

This bears repeating. Call one and invite her to lunch, AND DO NOT PUT THE PHONE DOWN before calling the other one and inviting her to lunch on a different day.

Let them both know you're having lunch with the other as well.
No. Why bother? If they're close friends, they'll already know. After lunch with each, you'll probably like one more than the other (or you won't like either), then the decision will be made.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 1:09 PM on April 20, 2006 [1 favorite]

Huh? this is speed dating lots of girls go with their friends to speed dating and give out their number to lots of guys. its really not a big deal

besides look at it this way. you are evaluating them. you need to hang out with both of them long enough to evaluate them and then make your selection. totally above board. simple as that.

oh and id suggest not mentioning that you are going out with the other one, unless they ask. NOTE: they will know you are going out with the other one anyway, the reason not to mention it is so you are not pushing in their face if there are competition issues (and there probably arent, its just speed dating.

basically forget about it its just the way speed dating works. if you got their numbers at a bar it would be different, but even then it would be cool provided you set a frame of you evaluating which you like better. simple as that
posted by tranceformer at 1:39 PM on April 20, 2006

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