Playing the field

The thing with online dating is, it makes everything and everyone more accessible. Gives us all a massive choice. Particularly with the wide variety of apps that are out there now, there are some to suit specific tastes, some for finding flings, some for finding threesome partners. The internet is literally your oyster when trying to find a potential soul mate. Invariably people are on more than one app. I used to always use Tinder, but then also be on bumble for when I was feeling a little fancier. Most people I know are on a minimum of two apps.

The average number of matches in a week, obviously dependent on swipe rate, is 10. That’s 20 matches a week across 2 apps. Of those 20 we know that a good 50% won’t answer the first message and then a further 25% will probably have no chat/ask no questions/turn into a pervert after 3 messages. So we are sitting at around 5 people that we could be messaging in one go. Personally, I think that is pretty standard behaviour these days, I am never under the illusion that if a guy is talking to me then he isn’t talking to others. Then there’s the first date. I like to meet up pretty quickly, there is nothing more disappointing than chatting to someone for weeks only to meet them and have no ‘spark’. The pandemic may actually have helped daters a little here as video dates may become more standard and help cut out a load of wasted hours in dreary coffee shops or pubs desperately waiting for the other person to leave.

I’ve been on 4 first dates in a week before, well and truly playing the field. Personally I am always open and brutally honest about it, to the point where it has definitely put people off in the past. Back in January this year I was dating 2 people at the same time and casually sleeping with a third. All three knew about each other. All three have come to nothing, so I didn’t waste any time as such and neither did they. One of those guys was also seeing multiple people and we used to chat and laugh about some of the bad dates we had been on! Honesty and openness was the key to none of it being awkward.

I do understand that this approach isn’t for everyone. I often think you can tell when chatting to someone when you have their full attention, it’s very easy to get confused and forget who you’ve asked what! I’ve got a pretty good memory and I’m not into hours of endless messaging, so I don’t find it too stressful to speak to multiples, but I can imagine for some people it would cause absolute stress and anxiety. I dated a guy once that could only speak to one person at a time on Tinder for fear of getting something wrong, let alone going out drinking with several people at a time.

I have lost count of the number of first dates I’ve been on in my lifetime. Imagine if they didn’t overlap, how long that process would take? I guess the big question to ask is at what point you stop dating several people at once/talking to others. We’ve all had the guys that disappear for months and then pop back up 9 months later all ‘hey girl, how you doing!?’ We all know that the majority of the time we are being slow faded/ghosted, it’s because there’s another person on the scene. If there was open conversation around this from the start, we wouldn’t have to ghost, disappear, pop back up! Let’s normalise open and honest conversation.

This leads me to the only negative thing about multiple dating, and I speak about this purely from my personal experience of it. The judgement. The assumptions. The reputation. Some men (don’t worry guys, I’m not all menning here, this is my personal experience remember) do not react well to being told they are not the only guy you are talking to/dating/fucking. A lot of men. I have lost count of the times where I will bring up the conversation, as I always do, they will open up and tell me who/how many people they’re dating. It’s all laughs and smiles. They can’t believe their luck, that I’m cool with them speaking to multiples, even sleeping with multiples as long as everyone is being safe! Then I explain my situation. Dave is a long time FWB, I’ve been on a couple of dates with Bob and I’m thinking of giving Jason a go for a night out next week. Inevitably, this makes them uncomfortable. Particularly when sex with another man is mentioned. For me, this is a red flag. The kind of man I want to end up with isn’t the kind of man that would be threatened by me chatting and swiping on Tinder after 2 dates. The men that have caught my attention have been the ones not bothered by my dating antics, you do you hun, I’ll do me.

So multiple dating, playing the field and more importantly being open and honest about it has always been for me. Someone’s reaction to my behaviour helps me. Keep getting out there, keep video calling, zooming and going for socially distant walks. Covid makes multiple dating much riskier, and I’m glad I’m not in a position where I have to be making those decisions now! The biggest takeaway for me though is let’s all be a bit less judgemental. One persons style of dating, certainly isn’t for everyone. We won’t all be on the same page. But we can all respect decisions and be open and honest along the way.

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