If you’re someone who’s just started dating through dating apps, you’ll realise two things. You’re a hot piece of human and everyone what’s a piece or something about your profiles screams swipe left(no) or die.
Let’s assume you’re the former and you get a healthy dose of matches on a weekly basis, heck let’s assume daily even, eventually some of these matches start to turn into conversations and then dates.
Your first dates become second dates, then fourth dates and so on, which begs the question. Do you pick a favourite and stop dating the rest with reasons like “I’m sorry I’m not ready to date right now” or “I’ve decided to get back with my ex”? Or do you keep having these multiple dates till they fizzle out like a cheap Claire’s accessories candle?
Date as many people as possible
There’s a saying about eggs in baskets, don’t put all of them in just one in case your basket becomes sentient and betrays you, breaking all your hard earned eggs.
If you’re the kind of person who likes to keep their options open then dating multiple people at a time increases the chances that one of them could actually be a millionaire, or you know “The one” or whatever.
Dating multiple people keeps your options open just in case two turn out to have hands for feet or one has a thing for populating the earth with more mothers. It almost seems silly to ignore the chance that your new match could be great just because you happen to be dating someone’s that’s just okay.
Or maybe you’re not looking for anything in particular and just “seeing what happens”, letting fate take the wheel as it precariously drives you from one adventure to the next. The last thing you’re thinking about is “settling down”, you’ve been doing that for years and the dopamine inducing *ping* on your phone of a new match is like a Pomeranian hearing the alluring sound of doggy treats rattling against his food bowl. You thirsty.
Or heck maybe it’s as simple as you hate to deliver bad news and just never call a date quits. “Sorry I’m busy” becomes your new way to say no and the distance between your responses just gets longer in the hopes that they eventually get the hint you’re too scared to spell out.
Dating multiple people at once is almost encouraged by dating apps, it has no conscience, all its trying to do is connect you to as many people that like your face as efficiently and in as little taps as it can, what you end up doing with your admirers is up to you.
Whether you end up trying them all out while comparing or discussing their pros and cons on a strange but interesting YouTube channel or podcast is up to you.
The complications of dating more than one person at a time
It’s difficult to date multiple people at a time without coming off as disloyal, callous and deceitful. Although there’s nothing particularly wrong with it, it’s something that will eventually become an issue the longer you spend time with a date, eventually one of you will start to wonder where it’s going.
It’s especially worse if you end up sleeping with one of these individuals while also not ruling out the idea of sleeping with a different one.
What starts off as keeping options open could suddenly become leading someone on or being manipulative. Even though all you’re doing might be blowing off steam, entertaining yourself or trying to experience and understand what you might want from someone, at the end of the day you may be doing it at someone else’s expense.
Date one person as a time
As efficient as it may sound to date a healthy plethora of people to increase the likelihood you may find someone special, you could also lose someone special by treating them like just another notification on your smart phone calendar. Focusing on just one person means you’ll probably be a lot pickier deciding who’s going to take up your time for a few weeks.
It’s no longer a numbers game and more about finding someone who ticks enough of your dating checklist. Even if that checklist makes it seem like you’re looking for a Beauty and the Beast like fairy tale.
It’s also pretty stressful having to worry about who works where, who had a dog, who hates coriander and who’s a vegan or even just their names. Ever found yourself refreshing your memory for a date, literally minutes before meeting them.
In addition I find that the idea of dating more than one person at a time feels a bit like turning up to a buffet and putting one of everything on your plate because you don’t know what you want and you don’t want to miss out.
Whereas finding one person that you actually have a fair amount of interest in is like going to a fancy restaurant and ordering that £30 steak with that peppercorn sauce or the cauliflower steak with nut butter for you vegans out there.
It’s a conscious thought out choice rather than just something to keep your mouth and tongue occupied for a while.
You also don’t really want to have more people to interact with because you’re interest lies in someone who more or less ticks enough of your boxes that you don’t feel the urge to add another individual to the mix.
The complications of dating one person as a time
Just because you’re dating one person that you’re interesting in doesn’t mean they’re thinking the same. There’s a bit of a stigma about asking the question “Are you dating anyone else”, almost like a slither of vulnerability and commitment might scare the other person away.
There’s nothing wrong with checking that the other person is in the same mindset as you are, you’re not being nosey or insecure by asking, you’re making sure that this person isn’t also sampling someone else’s morning coffee. It also could mean that you’d be more prone to disappointments since there’s more likely to be an attachment to this special someone you’ve taken time and effort to find.
Negatively impacting your experience and making you want to stop dating altogether. Especially since you seem to be one of very few people actually doing it for the purpose of finding someone rather than just… keeping your mouth and tongue occupied.