Most people you meet are prepared for you to do something shitty to them. But there’s a big difference between a bad thing done poorly and a bad thing done well.
But a little consideration, some warning ahead of time, an acknowledgement of fault, and a sincere effort to protect the people around you will go a long way.
Think of dating less as an iterative process for finding someone perfect and more like a series of potentially enjoyable evenings with beautiful strangers.
For a large stripe of people, especially in cities, dating one person at a time is uncommon, if not completely fictional.
Dating is really just a string of dicey etiquette questions, but how do you talk to the person you’re dating about the other people you’re dating? With online dating becoming more and more popular, it’s only going to become increasingly common to see these questions come up and, honestly, they should!
What do I say to a partner when things are starting to get more serious with that other person?
I talked to people who are living/have lived the three-internet-dates-a-week life, and distilled their advice into some basic rules of thumb.
This is less of a rule and more of a fact to keep in mind: that guy you’re on your first date with is on his 4th first date this month, and so are you.
My friend P (and no, her real name is not just a letter but if you’re friends with P, then you’re friends with me) put it best.
“Assume people are sleeping with other people unless they ask or say otherwise,” she says. You’re not hanging all your hopes on this coffee right now either? As P puts it, “Don’t feel guilty about seeing more than one person, because you can make it weird, and don’t overshare about more than one person.” If they ask you what you’re doing on Saturday, tell them you are “busy.” If they ask what you’re doing, tell them you’re “meeting up with a friend.” If they ask which friend, defer, or lie.
This might seem like a sort of defense mechanism against getting too involved, but I like to think of it more as a liberation tool–you assume that they’re sleeping with other people, they assume that you’re doing the same, and all of a sudden the pressure is off this date. And don’t, under any circumstances, bring it up yourself. When you’re on a date with someone, they deserve your undivided attention.
Maybe more importantly, they deserve to feel like they have your undivided attention.