How to Date More Than One Person (the Right Way)

How to Date More Than One Person (the Right Way)


There are a few strategies to make sure you're being as safe as possible without being an asshole, whether you're in an ethically non-monogamous (ENM) relationship or just going on a series of Tinder dates without settling down.

You must communicate effectively.

Inform any and all other partners of your plans! ENM relationships and dating on your own are OK, but only if everyone knows. Ask yourself why you're hiding something.

On the apps, you'll see a lot of people who have "ENM" in their biographies or who explicitly indicate that they aren't seeking something "serious." There will also be lots of people who aren't so ethically non-monogamous or who aren't so blatantly eager to date or sleep around. Follow the example of the first group of folks. It may feel odd to inform potential dates that you don't expect anything monogamous to blossom from your rendezvous, but it's better than having to tell them they're just one among many relationships when they hit you with a third date. "What exactly are we?"

If you're worried about someone on your roster objecting to the existence of a roster, too bad. They have the right to disagree without being duped.

"Dating my last boyfriend was like being on the Bachelor but not knowing I was on The Bachelor," a popular tweet from 2019 went viral. Sara Morse, a 23-year-old marketing administrator who is now in a monogamous relationship, was interviewed for this piece to find out what she learned about being one of many women on a suitor's list.

She believes that communication is crucial, even if it means that someone you're talking to or dating won't want to go down that road with you after hearing what you have to say.

I would never have dated him if my terrible ex had told me he was going to be a serial cheater, she stated. It gives me the impression that I'm not good enough.

Of course, people's perceptions of what constitutes a "cheater" differ, and there are people who will not feel "insufficient" if you tell them you want to play the field. Again, you need to talk it out. Before Morse and that ex-girlfriend started dating, they admitted to each other that they were both talking to other individuals. That was fine! Morse stopped talking to others as the troubles became acute, but his boyfriend did not.

To avoid becoming the subject of a viral tweet, be clear about your aims, stick to them, and speak every step of the way.

Be open to change

You may believe you're merely looking for a naughty summer. You may believe that all you want is non-monogamy. When you meet someone who changes everything, you may think a lot of things that turn out to be completely insignificant.

Don't put a stop to your own blessings because you have a preconceived notion of how things should go or what you're capable of. After dates, hookups, and talks, check in with yourself to make sure you're not falling in love with someone without realizing it. And if you are, take it from there—don't be scared to stray.

Use protection

Condoms and other measures of protection should go without saying, but we'll say it anyway: Nothing ruins a sexy summer or a carefree time like, well, a baby or chlamydia. Don't put yourself through it, and don't put someone you don't want to commit to through it; you might end up dealing with the problem on your own, which is a pain.

If you're going to ignore the first tip, this one is very crucial. (No offense intended.) It's unfair to hit it raw or keep that secret if someone you're casually seeing doesn't realize there are other people in your inbox and bed. These are merely facts.

Consider this: If you're out having fun and dating around, your other partners might as well. Isn't it their right? You have no idea who else they're hitting. Wrap it first before tapping it.

Learn more about yourself

Morse realized from her time on a Bachelor-style lineup that she wasn't interested in any form of non-monogamy, whether it was consenting or not. When Mariella Mosthof, a 33-year-old culture journalist who has dated numerous individuals on and off over the last decade, first became part of "a really great, formative triad with an older married couple," she discovered the exact opposite about herself.

When I'm dating polyamorously, I feel like less of a freak, she told Lifehacker. I'm a person who craves profound engagement in general. I just feel extra sensitive and as if I'm 'trying too hard when I'm among. I have a tendency to obsess over one person/relationship, which always ends badly. Polyamory suits my temperament better since I can channel some of that strong energy into each vessel. It's a better mental balance for me.

You'll learn a lot about everyone you date, whether you're polyamorous or dating on your own, but you'll also learn a lot about yourself. Take advantage of this opportunity to discover who you are and what you want. You'll be the best possible partner not only to your many lucky companions but also to yourself.

Most suggested, Feel your feelings all the way through and as shamelessly as you can. You are not exceptional, and your troubles are not unique; you are not alone! Consider everything, determine your requirements, and try again. 

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