Once the decision is made to put yourself out there and start dating, a new world can open up for you. Suddenly, you can go from sitting home on Friday nights watching Netflix, to having a social calendar that is booked for weeks.
Being single can be a fun, carefree time. It's a great time to meet new people, go to local hotspots and experiment with online dating. But how many people are too many people to mingle with when you are looking for your future plus one?
If you are looking to explore your options, it may seem harmless to schedule a date ever weekend with someone new. Over the course of a month, you would have had four dates which, by all counts, is a relatively small number. However, if those four dates are semi-successful and they ask for a second date and you have met four more potential suitors, you've just gone from seeing 4 people to 8 people and 12 dates overall.
The more people you see, the better your chances of finding a special someone. But does this also cloud your judgment as to narrowing down who may be a better match for you. You may begin comparing one to the other unfairly because you haven't had a chance to get to know each one long enough.
Also, if you are becoming intimate with these partners, this can begin to affect your emotions,too. Going from kissing one person for lunch and then someone else at dinner may seem like the ideal scene from Sex and the City, but for most people, it's one too many cooks in the kitchen.
If your social calendar is quickly filling up with someone new each week, follow this dating advice if you are going to have your cake and eat it, too.
- Be open and honest. It's only fair to let the people you are seeing know that you are playing the field. There is no need to play with someone's emotions if you are keeping your options open. Make it clear that you are not looking for 'the one' right now.
- Have respect for yourself and your partners. If you are choosing to have intimate encounters with the people you are dating, take the mature route. Practice safe sex and get tested. The life you save could very well be your own.
- Don't lead anyone on. If you decide that someone isn't making the cut, cut them loose. It may be fun to have a date every night of the week, but if you aren't interested, you are wasting your time and theirs.
- Be creative when going out. Even if the new Italian restaurant is your most favorite restaurant in town, don't go there with every person you meet. Try new places and explore new things on every date.
- Accept the terms of an open relationship. What's good for the goose is good for the gander. If you are not committing to one person, it's unrealistic to expect someone to commit to just you.
Dating several people at once can be a very liberating experience. Just keep in mind that emotions and feelings are involved. What may seem casual and aloof to you, may seem like a burgeoning relationship to another. Be upfront about what your intentions are and if you find your plus one, that's the icing on the cake.
Contributed by Kimberly James, MatchMaster & Dating Expert, www.findyourplusone.com