Dating is like going to a candy store. Each time you try a different piece to see which one you like the best. Some look enticing on the outside until you unwrap and taste it only to discover it wasn't what you thought. Others may not look so great displayed on the shelf, but once you try it, you realize that it is your favorite and you keep going back for more! "Playing the field" in dating Candyland is actually a healthy way to discover not only who is right for you, but also a great way to get to know yourself in the process.
When I coach clients, I always explain my theory of dating as having several phases. The first phase is the courting phase where it should be light and fun while getting to know various people. Before settling down into that serious relationship right away, here are some tips so that you can be a successful multi-guy dater and find the right man for you.
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Be Honest—If you are just dating, you are not in relationship so don't feel bad about meeting different people. In fact, he is most likely dating around too. This is the normal part of this courting phase. Many of my women clients state they feel guilty for dating more than one man at a time. As long as you are honest about where you are at, and true to yourself, then the man will respect that. In fact, not being hyper-focused on one man creates a sexy, fun challenge which at times will make the man want you more.
Let Go Of "The List"—Unfortunately many women focus too much on the end result of a relationship rather than being present and enjoying getting to know someone. In fact, there is a tendency to have a Bugs Bunny list that scrolls out 10 feet long of all the qualities the man must have. In this case, you might be spending wasteful energy constantly checking off the list and in the end decide that no one can ever really fulfill your requirements. You might therfore hypothesize "There are no good men out there!" Because there is too much emphasis on completing the checklist during a date, it becomes a Q&A interview, and you dismiss him as "boring" and "not right" for you. Ladies, let go of the list and be in the moment to see if you even have chemistry. There is plenty of time to get to know some of the deeper, serious non-negotiables later!
Diversify Your Dating Portfolio—When clients come to me with feelings of discontent and frustration around dating, I help them develop a dating plan so that they get out of their rut, infuse more positive energy, and create opportunities to meet several potential mates. It's really important to diversify your dating portfolio. As in a financial portfolio the more you diversify the less your risk of losing it all, and the more you increase your chances for success. I help my clients develop a dating calendar filled with activities, tasks and homework so they are forced to get out there and expand their horizons. By doing this spirits are lifted by being actively involved in something. That positive attitude attracts the opposite sex and will increase your chances in meeting that special someone!
The bottom line is that it's O.K. to date multiple men. In fact, it's a crucial stage in terms of really getting to know what you like and what to avoid, so that you pick wisely for that long-term relationship. Remember, taste and unwrap several candies to find that special one.
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