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Dating / Monogamy question. What is acceptable?

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  • Dating / Monogamy question. What is acceptable?

    This may seem like a basic notion to most people, but for a variety of reasons I am ignorant about this. It seems to me that when people date, it is acceptable, even encouraged, that people date more than one person at a time. When you are dating, as opposed to being in a committed, long term relationship, is it acceptable to sleep with more than one person at a time? I don't mean in the same session, I just mean, is it acceptable to be non-monogamous? As a guy, I always wonder what the girls think about the guys they date. On the one hand, the impression I get is that women don't want to date a guy who isn't dating a bunch of women. On the other hand, I feel like a jerk for dating more than one girl at a time. So, at what point in dating is one expected to commit to one person, and at what point is monogamy not expected/expected? And, when not in a relationship, what is a woman's perspective of a man who is dating? I realize this is a confusing question, but hopefully it is understandable enough to answer.

  • I have NEVER heard of dating more than one person at a time, and I would never, ever be okay with it. What you're talking about is called "swinging," not dating. Dating, unless both people agree ahead of time that their relationship is "open," is between two people ONLY. If you take a girl on a date on Friday, you can't take a different girl out on Saturday unless both you and Friday-Girl agree that you're not into each other. If that's not clear, Friday-Girl will definitely be upset that you took Saturday-Girl out, and vise-versa. People aren't a buffet of hors d'oeuvres; you can't just try a bunch at once. One at a time. That's the acceptable way to go.
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    • I tend to disagree with amaranthine.

      I believe that when two people have been dating a while, there comes a point where one or both of the people involved can bring up the topic of monogomy with one another. What point does that happen? Depends on the people dating each other. Some people want monogomy after a date or two, others want to wait longer. There's no set "time" limit.

      However, for me, after one dates, I don't want to automatically assume that we're monogomous. I think that limits both people who may not even be that serious about each other, particularly if the dating is just casual (not serious). Why would single people want to do that? If after a few dates, things are going well, and I feel like I want more from the relationship, THEN the talk about monogomy needs to happen. Until that point, I'm not tied down, nor is he.

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      • I think there is "the talk". I don't know that I've ever actively dated more than one guy at a time but I have definitely been talking to/interested in more than one guy at once. Or not tied down so it feels okay to flirt, go to a bar and pick someone up or whatever....but once you have "the talk" it's all over. Bottom line it has to be mutual. If you are stringing them along it's not fair. There needs to be clear boundaries made by each person. If you think it is moving too fast and you want to be less than a strict boyfriend/girlfriend type relationship, then say it. It hurts worse to be strung along and find out later than to know what you're getting yourself into. And, if she is mature she can deal with it. If she cannot talk about those things, then she is not ready for a relationship anyways (in my opinion). However, that goes both ways. You need to be mature enough in your relationships to have reasonable expectations and also be open to what might happen when you have this talk....if you're not then maybe you need to rethink juggling more than 1 girl at a time?

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        • I think you are all correct about things progressing to a point where you have to choose to be exclusive. One thing I am still curious about though. Do you think that once you've had sex, you are committed? I don't think commitment comes from sex, per se, but I'm wondering how many people think that sex is no big deal, and that you can sleep with somebody and still not be in the "exclusive" mode. I had some other posts here earlier but they must have violated some rule because I don't see them now. I really hate to sound so sheltered but I don't know. I have never slept with a girl, and then broken up with her soon afterword. I think pop-culture has skewed my perception of what other people find as acceptable.

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          • Also, (I just thought of this), I've heard various opinions on when people think it is appropriate to have sex for the first time. Some say after 3 dates, some 4, some more. It seems to me that 3 or 4 dates does not seem long enough to commit to a person long term, yet there seems to be a lot of people who feel that this is enough time before sleeping together. I'm not saying those people are wrong or anything. I just don't know whether to expect that after our first time together, I should expect her to be committed, or that is unreasonable.

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            • That is a very touchy subject (no pun intended). When I was single, it was no big deal for me to go up to a guy at a bar or a club and tell him he was coming home with me. However, if I'm actually interested in a guy I hold off with sex until I'm ready to be committed. My current boyfriend and I hung out/talked for a couple weeks before going on a date and then went on several dates over a few weeks before having sex (I also made him get tested for all STDs at the university). So that is my view on it. But other people might be very conservative and not have sex until they are for sure in love. Others might sleep with several people at once and see it as no big deal. Once again, this is something you need to TALK about. Sounds like you don't know her very well? I, personally, think you are over-analyzing a situation that could very well be solved by a simple 5 minute conversation.

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              • I appreciate your input Bug_Lady. You sound like a very honest person. There is no "her" yet for me. I had a whole post on here earlier about a couple of perspective dates earlier, but it got erased. Anyway, I am just now getting back on the dating scene. I broke up with my last girlfriend in August '11. I'm not really going to be fully available until the end of July because of some big things going on in my life. But I've been starting to test the waters. The reason I ask these questions is because I am starting to date again, and it is a question I have always been kind of confused about. I sometimes get the impression that sex does not mean necessarily equal commitment, and sometimes I get the impression that it does. I realize that some people are lucky enough to experience the one night stand. Obviously the sex in that situation is meaningless. That's what makes it a one night stand. But there seems to be a sort of hazy area in between "seeing each other" and "committed to each other" where sex either does, or does not mean monogamy.

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                • James, it really depends on the person you're dating. Women are not cookie-cutter. There are no set "rules" for this. Some say the "3-date rule" as you mentioned is the golden rule for when to engage in sexual activity, but this isn't always the case. Some women can engage in casual sex without it having any more meaning than for sexual pleasure. Having sex doesn't automatically mean a women wants to be monogomous, or even have very deep serious feelings for the man she's sleeping with. Then there are also women who find sexual activity to be exclusive for the men she cares for and wants to have a committed relationship with.

                  I really want to drive home just how individual womens are. You have to look at every woman you're dating as a unique person, with unique wants and needs, and unique ideas for what they want in a person they're interested in dating. This is why dating is so important, it lets you get to know the person you're seeing, so you can get to a point where you're comfortable enough to have conversations that cover this. I can't imagine that two people dating would be comfortable enough to have sex with each other, but not comfortable enough to talk about it or understand what expectations go with having a sexual relationship.

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