The 3 (or More) Man Dating Plan: Lots of Pots on the Stove

Love, Self

Is dating in multiples okay? La Petite Provocateur argues why it's the best way to go.

At roughly the midway point in my recent sixty day dating detox, a good friend of mine casually mentioned that I join her weekly Book Club at their upcoming meeting. Evidently, they were beginning a 6 week “dating course” about attracting mature and meaningful relationships, and my friend thought that I would be a great addition to the group…particularly for this little adventure. I mean…obviously.

Admittedly, I was hesitant. Something about the concept reminded me of a “dating support group,” and I was in no mental place to be bashing men or bitch about dating. I mean, once I hit the midway point in my dating detox, I was finally in a comfortable and optimistic emotional space, and I wasn’t about to relapse in to old non-productive habits. Still, I trusted this friend’s judgement, and, really, I was incredibly curious. Plus, I had 6 weeks to spare and nothing to lose. So, I was in.

Ever since, this amazing group of six smart, successful, sexy, and single women (yes, I just lumped myself in with their fabulousness…deal with it) has met ever Monday at various wine bars, taco joints, sports bars, and cafes to chat about our progress through the dating program and support one another along our independent but now somehow intersecting journeys through the wacky but wonderfully delicious world of dating. You’ll likely hear more about this group because, well, I’m basically obsessed with them. But, for the moment, all you need to know is that they are simply amazing…and, for whatever reason, they like me enough to let me join them. Don’t question it.

So, at our second or third “book club meeting,” one of my fellow daters brought along Dr. Ali Binazir, author of The Tao of Dating: The Smart Woman’s Guide To Being Absolutely Irresistible (read more here). It was a uniquely fantastic opportunity to not only absorb some of this dating professional’s incredible insight, but this also meant that a MAN (::gasp::) would be joining our group for one night. I mean, it doesn’t get much more scandalous and exciting than that!

Ali was not only undeniably charming and insightful, but he was also a great sport. And, he absolutely gave us some wonderful and interesting advice. For me, the most interesting bit of advice was what he calls “The Three Man Plan,” which essentially means not putting all of your delicious dating eggs in to one silly little basket. Instead, date a few men at once. Create competition. Keep your options open. Date around, if you will, until one man rises to the top.

Personally, I preferred my friend’s analogy a bit better but, again, I’m absolutely in LOVE with the women in this book club, so it’s nearly impossible for me to stay objective here.

Either way, she explained it as being the singular sexy cook in the kitchen of your dating life. As the lead chef, you get to keep lots (and lots) of pots on your relationship stove. The amount of water that is in each pot is up to the respective partner. How much heat you give each pot is entirely up to you. And, where on the stove each pot falls is also up to your discretion. Oh, and of course, all of these variables are constantly changing. But, until one pot bubbles over with passion and commitment, you should keep as many pots as you want going at the same time.

The reasoning is that, again, you get to keep your options (and heart) open to the many dating opportunities that may arise. It also means that you may feel less pressure put on any particular relationship while it is in the earlier stages, giving it its own time and space to blossom without any expectations.

For me, juggling multiple men has always been a challenge. Last time I did this was in my freshman year of college, and I always felt a little bit guilty about seeing more than just one man at a time. While I never lied about my intentions, and I certainly wasn’t getting it on with every single one of these guys (I mean, maybe two or three of them got me in to bed, but…), there was always a part of me that felt maybe I wasn’t being fair by not putting my whole heart and energy in to just one relationship.

Still, lately, I’ve been reaping the benefits of going in to all of my relationships (romantic or otherwise) withoutany expectations and letting them blossom (or boil over) at their own pace. And, while it is still a bit uncomfortable for me to think that I could be hurting anyone’s feelings, I recognize that I am absolutely being authentic, present, and honest in all of my engagements. I am still giving each encounter (or pot) the love and attention that it deserves, and I am merely letting the pots on my relationship stove provide me with varying nourishment and enjoyment…until I settle on which pot is best suited for me…and I for them. So, in other words, until I settle in to a relationship, I’ll keep a few “flirtationships” going…and see where the chips fall.

Make sense?


So, for the sake of being totally clear with all of you, dear readers, I wanted to inform you that I, La Petite Provocateur, am happily engaging in The Three Man Plan as we speak. I don’t want to just casually cook forever (or, really, at all…if we are being honest). But, in the meantime, let me introduce you to the active (or recently active) pots in my kitchen:

Mr. Music Man: we met online before my dating detox ended and had a casual coffee while I was on my dating detox. He was handsome. And sweet. And tall. We got along well, and I was intrigued, but I sensed just a friendship interest on his part. However, the moment my dating detox was over, he was all up on my Facebook page. And, after a few late-night flirtations, we ended up having cyber sex. Like, old school non-video dirty talk to mutual completion cyber sex. It was strangely hot and an entirely new experience for me. And, I wanted more. So, we had cyber sex again. And I had one of the most satisfying orgasms of my life from it. But, our paths never really cross outside of cyberland and, when they do, they are disastrous (all talk and no game!). So, I guess Mr. Music Man’s pot still exists in my kitchen, but it’s packed away in the pantry. Why? Because I have so many other active pots that his drip drops of contribution just won’t cut it.

Mr. Hot Chocolate: in honor of successfully completing my dating detox, I threw myself a sort of “Carly’s Got Her Groove Back” coming out party at my favorite bar. I invited all of my friends. And my friends invited all of their friends. I baked snacks. Brought treats. Booked a space. And I let me love flag wave. Yes, in true La Petite Provocateur fashion, I wore short shorts (blue sailor-inspired ones) and high heels (gorgeous suede sky-high wedges) and I mingled like it was my job. But, I really wasn’t expecting to meet anyone special…until in walked Mr. Hot Chocolate himself. All smiles. All charm. All dimples. And ALL MAN. Still, I wasn’t convinced that a hottie like him would go for a girl like me. I mean, I’m all kinds of hotness, but…. Fast forward to the end of the night. We kissed. He came back to my place. We had incredible sex (twice). And we saw each other three more times that week. I’m definitely invested in him, and I miss him when he’s not around, but I’m unclear about where he is emotionally, and I sense him pulling back a bit (okay, A LOT). So, for as much as it breaks my heart, I’m turning the heat down a few (or more) notches on Mr. Hot Chocolate’s pot.

Mr. Dirty Birdie Goodie: When Mr. Hot Chocolate flaked on a night out, I decided to stick with the plan and make some memories and bad decisions the other night. So, I grabbed my favorite wing woman, threw on a short dress and my favorite spring time heels and hit up the nearest block o’ bars in San Francisco. Within minutes, I had a stranger reaching down to touch my bare legs on a street corner, another stranger asking to kiss me, and yet another stranger sweetly ask if he could keep my company to ward off all of the creepers that kept hitting on me while I waited for my friend. Somehow, the evening turned it to a number-scoring man-tastic bonanza for my friend and I, and I was left wondering what yum yum secret pheromone sexy hot sauce we had somehow dipped ourselves in because, quite literally, there were men lining up at the bar (and circling like hungry lions) to talk to the two of us. Regardless, this led me to meet Mr. Dirty Birdie Goodie, who fought off a friend to score my attention…and a few kisses. There was instant chemistry, the kisses were gold-star worthy, and he seemed genuinely interested in me. Plus, he was assertive and masculine, even pushing me in to the bathroom stall at one moment to steal a steamy makeout session with me. It was hot. He was hot. I was all hot and bothered as a result. But, there is such a strong undercurrent of raw sexuality in our conversations that I have concerns about longevity and sincerity. No worries. This pot is on and cookin’.

Mr. French Toast: this is a tricky one. You see, Mr. French Toast and I were introduced through a mutual friend because she insisted that we were soulmates. But, we don’t live in the same city (hour plus flight away) and, when we did meet in person, he instantly explained to me how he was focusing his heart and time on a budding romance back where he lives. So, I’m obviously very firmly placed on Mr. French Toast’s “friendship ladder” of relationships (read about The Ladder Theory here). Still, I see so much genuine potential for greatness there that I’ll continue letting his pot simmer (even if he hasn’t placed any water in it) just to be sure. He is such an incredible individual and our time together was so effortless that I’m just happy to have him in my life at all. But, again, his pot is at the ready…should he ever want to drop some water on in and see if we can get a steady boil going.

So, those are my pots. Yes, there are a few other smaller pots hanging around my kitchen. Some of those pots are filled with water but I just haven’t given them any heat yet. Others have some water, and they used to have some heat, but I’ve merely placed them off to the side for one reason or another. And, there are still another few pots that I’m really not sure about where they stand. They may have water. They may not. I’m just too scared and or unimpressed to even peek inside at the moment. And, oddly enough, the opportunities for additional pots always seems to find their way to me.

What’s a (girl) chef to do in this situation? Keep them pots a’ cookin’ and keep an eye on which ones are coming to a boil…and which ones should just be thrown out the window. Because, until there’s reason to stick to just one pot and savor its sweet sweet contents, this crazy little dance around my kitchen certainly does keep me entertained and on my toes.

…and I wouldn’t have it any other way….


La Petite Provocateur


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This article was originally published at . Reprinted with permission from the author.