Hey, if one is good, two is better, right? That may be true when you’re talking about gold coins, chocolate bars, or orgasms, but the logic may or may not apply to dating. Right or wrong, many people find themselves in this situation, either accidentally or on purpose, when they wake up one day and realize that they are dating two people.
There is an element of greed that comes into play with dating two people—after all, there are many people in the world who can’t seem to find one person to date, so what gives you the right to have two, you date hog? There are also moral implications, logistical issues, and the expectations of three people to deal with. Are you sure you want to do this?
Do your dates know about each other?
When determining whether or not you can date two people, a lot depends on how honest and open you are, and that often is affected by the personalities and morals of the people you’re dating. In a perfect world, your dates would know about each other and be fine with it. In a really perfect world, there would eventually be a threesome involved, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves.
If you insist on dating two people at the same time and not being up front about it, you are basically exchanging the risk of resentment and jealousy for the risk of being caught. It adds a whole new level of logistics to your dating life, because now you have to keep straight what you did with whom and try not to let your two love interests’ paths cross. If cloak and dagger is your thing, living a double life with your dates and facing the risk of being caught might be just what the doctor ordered to get your juices flowing.
What are your long-term plans?
If you are looking to date someone roughly long enough to use up your current box of condoms before they expire, it’s probably not going to matter much if you date one, two, or five people. You’re really not going to be involved long enough to hurt any feelings, at least not too badly. If, on the other hand, you’re looking for your soul mate, the one you want to marry and raise a family with, are you sure you want to start that relationship by splitting time between two dates?
True, there are many factors that come into play and every relationship is different, but the longer you date two people, the better chance there is for something to go wrong. If they know about each other, it’s more time to develop resentment and jealousy; if they don’t know about each other, it’s more time to find out.
When the problems do arise, the stakes are raised because your partners have been with you for a long time and have formulated their own ideas about what your future together is going to be like—a future that most likely does not involve a third partner in the relationship.
How much time do you have?
Dating takes time. You’ll spend time going on dates, bragging to friends about your dates, complaining to friends about your dates, buying gifts, agonizing over whether or not your date likes your gifts, and so forth. Now take that amount of time and double it—that’s the minimum amount of time you’ll spend to maintain a dating relationship with two people.
Once sex enters into the equation, your time commitment goes up considerably. Now there are sleepovers, breakfasts, trips to the drugstore to purchase home pregnancy tests, and many more time-consuming events. When you’re having sex with two people you’re dating, now you can add in visits to the doctor or clinic to make sure that you don’t have STDs—isn’t that romantic?
Are either of your dates a long-distance relationship?
Maybe, just maybe, you can make dating two people work out if there’s some distance involved. If you’re only communicating by email or phone, monogamy is hardly implied. In fact, you may as well date two people because the person you’re dating is probably dating three or four.
It’s also a lot easier to balance the logistics of dating two people when at least one of them is a long-distance relationship. If you’re trying to keep it a secret, at least there’s no fear of you bumping into one partner while on a date with the other. It’s also quite a bit cheaper—dinners cost money; email is free.
Dating two people is a challenge that is not right for everyone. It might make you sneak around, spend more time and money than you want, and generally run the risk of problems with both dates. On the other hand, under certain circumstances, such as a long-distance relationship, you might just be able to make dating two people work for you.