They May Be Friends and I’m Dating Them Both. What Do I Do?

Hey T,

Let’s hope you can help me with my personal life because it’s a mess. It could be worse, but it’s definitely not great. About 6 months ago I got out of a year long relationship, and just started putting myself back out there in September. Since I’ve been trying to date I’ve been talking to guys on Instagram and Tindr, and I do just mean talking. Speeding this story up a bit, I met two guys on Instagram who I really like. They both look good, are smart, and have their shit together. I’ve been on dates with both of them, but haven’t had sex with either of them. Although, I will admit I’ve exchanged a few nudes with the two.

The problem comes in, because I recently found out the two guys know each other. I saw them laughing together in an insta story at some kind of house party. I’m feeling a little creepy or anxious because I never wanted to be the guy dating two friends, and now I don’t know what to do. Do I end things with one guy before they find out I’ve been dating them both? Am I obligated to tell either of them I’m seeing the other? Can I just keep quiet about what I know and continue to date them both until it’s clear which guy I want to be with? What do I do here? Again, I’ve never been in this position. Or at least that I know of. Your advice is appreciated.

Henny and Ice

Dear Henny and Ice,

Thanks for writing to me. Your dilemma is one that I’m sure many folks have found themselves in at least once or twice. Speaking as someone in the Black gay community, I’m baffled how it seems my community is super small and there is literally six degrees of separation from everyone in the community. As is the case, issues like this are bound to happen.

Let me start my advice by saying you aren’t wrong for dating two people at once. As I always say, dating doesn’t require exclusivity until folks have a conversation and come to that understanding. And I assume you haven’t gotten to that point with either man yet. Also, it’s pretty clear you didn’t know the two men were familiar with each other when you pursued them both. I raise these points because I don’t want you to feel bad that you found yourself in this predicament.

Doing nothing in this scenario isn’t the best option here. It only works on the assumption that the two guys don’t ever speak about folks they are talking to or dating, and that’s quite the assumption to make. While some groups of friends and acquaintances don’t kiss and tell, that’s definitely not the case with other groups. Should the two guys talk and your name come up, there is a chance one or both of the guys may wrongfully accuse you of “Crew Love” (shout out to Drake). Although, given you haven’t had sex with either of them, they may not necessarily jump to that conclusion right away.

Now I understand that you’ve been dating both guys, but I would find it hard to believe you don’t have one guy you like more than the other. As I believe this to be the case, you could easily end things with the one man you don’t have as strong of a connection with. If you’re asking yourself if this means you have to tell the guy you want to keep seeing about dating the other guy, my answer is yes. Get in front of the narrative and explain once you realized the two know each other you made a choice to end things with the other man.
Suggestions going forward.

  1. I didn’t mention it earlier, but let me point out the possibility these two men aren’t really friends or anything, but just have mutual friends in common that brought them to a house party. If that’s the case, you could be making a bigger deal out of this situation than you need to be. In a subtle way, you should ask one or both of the guys how they know each other. If it turns out they just really know of each other and aren’t close, then I’d say you don’t necessarily have to tell one guy about the other. However, you should definitely stop dating both guys and choose one to eliminate any potential mess.
  2. It’s worth noting that I generally don’t believe people’s dating history is the business of a future partner, unless the people in question have dated the future partner’s friends, family members, or someone crazy that may be around to create some Lifetime Movie sized drama. So again, if the two guys aren’t friends you aren’t necessarily obligated to share the information.
  3. Remember, you accidentally wound up in this sticky situation, so don’t label yourself a bad guy here.
  4. If you take my advice and choose one guy and come clean with this guy because he is friends with the other man, make it clear you never slept with the other person. You don’t want the man you like to cut things off because he thinks you “smashed the homie.”

As always nothing but love, 
Tavion Scott

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