Wednesday, 15 September 2010

In which I consider dating many men

I’m often convinced of the merits of the argument that if one of a thing is good, then more of that thing is better: glasses of good red; excellent tiramisu; glorious sex. But I’ve recently found myself in the position to consider whether dating falls into the same category, and whether it is, in fact, acceptable to date more than one chap at once.

I, perhaps understandably given my history in general and this year in particular, have a relaxed approach to the multiple dating thing. I have few qualms about going for drinks with several different men, in the knowledge (or, vain hope) that things might lead elsewhere with any of them. And I feel the same way about those chaps with whom I’m having that drink - I have no problems with their taking out women who aren’t me. At such early stages where dalliances are still so casual, a drink is just a drink. Before anything has gone anywhere; before the getting-to-know-each-other stage where skeletons and emotional attachments to exes have revealed themselves, everything’s fair game.

But while my attitude is definitely at the laissez-faire end of the spectrum, and were I living somewhere like NYC would probably be accepted as The Done Thing, I’m not sure that British men - even the supposedly / comparatively* sophisticated London types with whom most of my dates happen - would feel the same way.

Just to make the case that I’m not an utterly shameless harlot, I’d like to take the opportunity that glasses of wine are all that’s being shared. Whilst the diary’s filled with social appointments, there is definitely no naked naughtiness happening with any of them (and, as of many months now, not even Speckled naughtiness. I’m growing up. Sort of).

For, whilst I wouldn’t consider a glass of wine to be anywhere on the infidelity scale, I don’t know that the boys would have the same approach, and I don’t know whether the comparative chastity would be enough to convince my dates that I wasn’t playing the part of London’s sluttiest strumpet.

There is part of me that likes to think that, were I to be brazenly open about the fact that there were several chaps on the agenda, the guys’ inherent competitive natures might rise to the fore, viewing the situation as a challenge rather than an insult. But one never does know…

Of course, failing everything else, there is always, and reliably, that extra glass of red.

*delete as appropriate


Chômage said...

Hmm, I *think* I would probably have walked away, purely because I would have struggled to take that person seriously. The sense of indifference of one date to the next would set off alarm bells of being played, that's all. Not saying that's how you are, but that's how it may come across.

Mike said...

Interesting post. My comments represent an American point of view, so feel free to ignore them completely. I probably would.

The key to me: are the men in question seeing others? If you both tilt towards "one at a time" then it probably needs to be a rule followed or at least discussed.

If you think they are also having wine with others there doesn't seem to be any reason that you shouldn't as well. If the relationship starts with you altering your behavior for what you think they might want...well, that's probably not a good thing.

In the final analysis, Blonde, except for the occasional Uncontrollable Speckled Fling, your judgment seems pretty well honed. I don't actually think this is rule territory but something to sort out with each person.

Daisy said...

First, 'strumpet' is most definitely a word that should be used more often.

Second - in response to Chomage and Mike - while I understand the points you both make I think a vital detail has been missed here: Blonde is not talking about a 'relationship'; it is a glass of wine. I have my prudish moments, but even I don't consider myself to be in a relationship before, during or even in most cases, after the initial glass of wine. That would give blind dates or random asking-people-out-on-buses experiences a Russian roulette tinge that I'm simply not prepared to deal with!

It seems to me that a man who couldn't cope with the possibility that I might have glasses of wine with our members of his gender:
a) is mighty insecure
b) obviously doesn't think I'm very desirable
c) lives in the 1700s
d) wouldn't cope very well with me having male friends or a career.

This being the case, I doubt I'd want to date him.


jman said...

Perhaps I would draw the line about having your having a glass of wine with another man literallt at the same time as you were with me, but to somehow extrapolate that being asked to go for a glass of wine means exclusivity borders on the absurd.

theperpetualspiral said...

When I was on my own at the start of the year, there were a couple of people I went for glasses of wine* with.

After all, you have to go through a process of deciding whether you want to see them again, and to use an old (and tired) cliché, it is sometimes a numbers game.

As long as you don't go from one drink with x to another with y the same evening, I cannot see an issue.

* insert alternative drink where necessary.

David said...

Daisy, my criticism is not the doing, it is the disclosing. I'm not sure why anyone would be "brazenly open" about it during a date, that's all. In fact I'd probably call it date suicide.

Chômage said...

Aha,the above comment was me. Goshdarnit.

Blonde said...

Chomage: That's fair enough; this is the consideration.

Mike: Y'see, you lot seem to be a bit more open minded about the whole thing than we are.

Daisy: Ah, we are clearly on the very same wavelength about these things. I suppose then, the follow-up question is: is there a limit on the number of men you can see at once, or is it merely diary-slot dependent?

Jman: And I think you would be justified in that opinion. Interesting - there does seem to be a definite acceptance of the process Across the Pond.

Perp: That's reassuring. And you're right - hopping from one to another in one night really is rather hussyish (that's on top of the fact I'd get hopelessly confused and unable to distinguish between 'em).

Chomage: Ah, but surely it's better to be open about these things, just in case?

Chômage said...

There's open, and there's OPEN. There's making him feel like he's one in a million or making him feel like he is one of a million. One person's sense of romanticism is another person's "living in the 1700's" it would seem, so please don't take me as gospel!

(edit: strange coincidence, my security word was "babbi" which is something I will have by Sunday!)

daisybakes said...

Hmm... limits? I go for diary slots, patience, hurtiness of feet, desperation to watch Spooks, ability to find suitable men to fill diary slots, and patience of said men when works overruns. You could go with the more technical 4 man plan approach but - and this comes from a fully signed up Excel enthusiast - I'm not sure I can face doing that many sums before deciding whether to accept a dinner date.

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