My friend, we'll call her "Melissa", recently confided in me that she was having a little problem with her current dating life. She was happily and casually dating two men, one a poor interesting artist and the other a very rich filmmaker who was not uninteresting.
I can hear my Hispanic mother in the background strongly advising that there is nothing more to talk about and she should follow the life that is less complicated. Of course, my mother fought in a war and had some pretty epic love stories which have now transformed her into the ultimate Lady of Leisure who embraces a more zen life style.
My interest in "Melissa's" story is not who the right choice is, but that she has to chose at all. After all, she just started dating them. Men date multiple women all the time and its considered normal. Women are now also dating multiple men at once and continuing the relationships until one of them takes their natural course.
And what is the problem with evaluating your best prospect? We've said before, all dates are like interviews right? So how do you decide you want to hire? How do you decide whose qualifications are best suited to you. Is it wrong to want a more comfortable life? Or is it wrong that Funny is just more important to you than salary? Maybe the artist talks to you about things no one else understands, or maybe the thought of living comfortably with someone you care about isn't such a selfish thought after all. What kind of scale do you use for that?
But what are the rules of multiple partner dating anyway? You'll have to excuse my ignorance, but as I am new to the dating scene and my last boyfriend was seven years ago, I honestly don't know. Obviously you kiss the multiple partners, but is there sex? If there is sex are there sleep overs? At what point do you invite them to meet your friends? Do they get to meet your parents?
The parent thing I find very interesting because being from Nicaragua, your dates ALWAYS meet your parents, probably on the first date. Mostly because people live with their families until they get married, but also because it being a small country for the most part the families have seen all of the kids grow up. if they haven't, then there is all the more reason for them to meet. Right away. Most American families that I know are not like that. I didn't meet my ex husband's family until after we lived together and I certainly didn't meet any of my ex boyfriends families until we were pretty serious. How does that apply to the multiple dating scenario? Does it matter who your friends/family like more and should that weigh in on your option of who you want to date?
Reese Witherspoon and the very very sexy Chris Pine and Tom Hardy have a film out right now about dating two people at once and what the rules are. She insists on a "sex tie-breaker". And why not! This is 2012, this all seems like perfectly normal, natural way to handle things.
So why am I having such a hard time wrapping my mind around it? I'm certainly not a prude and have no qualms about dealing out advice to my friends. I told Melissa the same thing, she should keep dating them both until one of them just becomes obsolete.
I think when you've had a major break up, and not just a divorce, but a major break up in general, the thought of dating one person seems monumental enough, let alone the thought of dating two people and sleeping with them both. Call me old fashion (shocker! I know!) but this is one place where if I were consistently dating two people, I might have a hard time with. (har har, har har). Seriously though, I can barely keep my thoughts straight. how do you remember who you told what to? How do you keep progressing both relationships at the same pace while figuring out who you want to be with? Isn't there some magical "this is the one" moment? I have no idea. Maybe the truth is I just haven't dated around enough yet, maybe its time to relieve the magic of my early college years, maybe multiples is the way to go!
I get way too involved though. This is probably my giant folly. I just don't think I would be able to, but if I test that theory, you'll be the first to know.
Any advice is most welcome!