Let's be honest: Dating sucks. Without a doubt.
You're thrown into this awkward situation with a complete stranger and forced to make it seem like you have your sh*t together, when in reality, you're trying to hide the fact that you're wearing bathing suit bottoms as underwear because you're too broke to do laundry.
But every once in a while, you meet someone who makes you think it isn't so bad. The thing is, when that relationship doesn't work out, you're back to square one and destined to go through the whole ridiculous process once again.
But why settle for just one date? Why not kill four birds with one Tinder account?
That's the attitude I've had about dating for over a year. Every time a relationship didn't work out for me, I would find someone new almost immediately, if not before the relationship was even over. It was like I could see the inevitable end on the horizon.
So, instead of doing the whole crying and eating my feelings thing, I'd have two or three backups on standby. This approach definitely had its pros and cons:
1. I get to enjoy different activities.
Dating more than one person at a time usually means you always have something to do and someone to go out with. This was probably my favorite part of dating several men.
I've had the pleasure of being taken to five-star restaurants, and then to dunes for four-wheeling. The best part about dating very different people is experiencing the things they're interested in and finding new things you can enjoy as well.
2. There's always someone to text.
Date number one not returning your texts? Why not hit up date number five to make yourself feel better?
I'll be honest: I have a very short attention span. So if I don't get a text back within a few hours, I'm usually going to start texting someone else.
When I dated a few men at once, it was actually nice to have that kind of attention. I was never mad if someone didn't respond because I had plenty of other people to talk to. The thing that's so great about dating numerous people is, when that vulnerable wave of loneliness hits -- and yes, we all experience it -- there is someone to take your mind off it.
1. There's barely a connection.
I always thought the whole point of dating was to find someone to spend a serious amount of time with. When you date several people at once, certain things can occur to make you wonder why you're dating all of them in the first place.
Sure, you enjoy that person's company and have fun whenever you're together, but do you actually feel a connection? Are any of these people appropriate to have a relationship with? For me, there would always be one person I favored over the others.
If that relationship didn't seem to work out, I'd go out with one of the others. Instead of letting someone know I wasn't interested, I just used him to help ease the hurt before I found someone I liked more.
2. It's kind of like a revolving door.
When you're juggling more than one person, it can kind of start to feel like a revolving door of sorts. Maybe you have three dates in a row. Maybe you even have more than one in a day (guilty), and you're trying to figure out how to manage them.
Now, sure. This sounds like the hilarious plot line to an adorable rom-com, but it really isn't that adorable. I was on a date with one guy, and had another date planned for later that evening.
We were at the movies. and I kept checking the time on my phone to make sure I wasn't running over. Instead of taking the time to enjoy the date, I was more worried about getting to the next one on time.
1. I've mixed up names.
I hate to admit it, but I've done it. I was dating two men at the same time who had similar names (both starting with “Bre-”). Sure enough, I would call each of them by the wrong name.
It wasn't even just on one occasion. Oh no. This happened several times.
Either they were incredibly dense, or they just never addressed it. But after a while, I started feeling guilty because I wasn't giving either of them the proper attention they deserved.
Instead of taking the time to know who they were, I just saw them as random guys. I stopped seeing them as people who had specific interests or hobbies that set them apart from the rest.
2. It sucks when it's over.
Even though you aren't exclusive with the people you're dating, it doesn't mean that the relationship doesn't hurt when it ends. The hardest part is when the other person discovers you are dating numerous others. I once was having a night in with one of the guys I was dating, when another texted me.
The guy I was with noticed, and confronted me about how many people I had been seeing since we'd met. Even though I was honest and pointed out the lack of exclusivity, the relationship ended. Seeing multiple people make some believe you're capable of lying or cheating if you aren't upfront with the fact that you're dating someone else, even when there's no label on the relationship.
This approach isn't exactly something I've been proud of, and it never even led me to find someone I thought I could see myself with long-term.
These men were merely placeholders for the lonely times. Don't get me wrong; there were definitely moments where I enjoyed it. But there were also moments where I would ask myself, “What the f*ck am I doing?”
Do I regret it? Not at all. If anything, it helped me understand what I'm looking for in another person, and how to fully appreciate him.