I have a question for you because I’m trying to see if I’m in the wrong or if this guy I’m talking to is just doing the most. Long story short, we’ve been dating for literally one month and he got pissed at me because he found out I was talking to someone else. He randomly asked me two nights ago, and I just told him. I like him the most so far and could see myself being in a relationship with him someday in the future, but the other man is someone I enjoy talking to. Since I’m not in a committed relationship with either one at the moment, I don’t see the problem with dating them both, or more. I’m single.
I apologized to him for hurting his feelings, but he was still upset. Before you ask me, I wouldn’t be mad if I found out he was talking to other people, because we aren’t official.
So am I right to feel the way I do?
Dear We Grown,
Thanks for writing to me. It’s interesting that you’re asking me about this particular topic, because I know it’s one that people usually feel very strongly about when discussing. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard people argue that it’s not only wrong to date multiple people at once, but that it’s impossible to date that way if you’re seeking a real relationship. On the other side of this, I’ve heard folks claim that the point of being single is that you don’t have to abide by any rules. That single individuals don’t have to commit to monogamy because they aren’t in a relationship, and being able to date multiple people helps them figure out who they want to commit to.
Call me a fence rider in this instance, but I can understand both sides of this argument. Several times on this very website, I have advised people that they shouldn’t expect monogamy until they’ve had the conversation. And I stand by that today. So, you are not wrong for wanting to date multiple people at once. That’s your right. Especially, if you and this guy haven’t talked about monogamy, and you’re being transparent about what you’ve been doing and your intentions.
Now while I agree with this in principle, I know that in my own reality I’ve never been that good at dating a few people at once. For starters, I don’t have the time or energy to focus equal attention on more than one person at a time. Also, because of my personality, if I’m into a person and ready to vibe with him past flirtatious DMs, I zoom in on that individual. I date them with the intention of locking it down. And there has been an occasion when I was dating someone, and he was dating me and other people. I felt a way about it like your guy does. But because I vouch for the principle of not expecting monogamy until a conversation is had, I knew I couldn’t be too mad at him.
Look, if you really like this guy and he really likes you, what he wants more than a meaningless apology is clarity. He wants to know that he’s not putting his all in this situationship if you have no intention of committing to a relationship with him. He wants to know he’s not investing in you for nothing. And if you two have been dating for a month, you should have a pretty good idea as to whether or not you envision him as a boyfriend. His wanting monogamy or a relationship with you isn’t crazy. However, if you’re not there yet, then you need to be upfront about that. Again, if you like him, have this conversation.
Suggestions going forward
- When you talk with this guy, keep in mind that the expression “we good, we kickin it,” is not clarity. Any variation of that phrase doesn’t provide any new information.
- Try not to come at him being dismissive, but try coming to him with the intention of wanting to understand his perspective and feelings.
As always nothing but love,