As someone who doesn't fully get how casually dating multiple people is a thing – I'm pretty much all in or all out and have basically zero sense of chill and need a good amount of alone time on top of going out – I know that there are real benefits to having an extra-full social life. Dating multiple people at once can help you get to know faster what exactly you do and don't like in a partner. And on top of that, dating multiple people could reveal signs you're not ready to be exclusive.
Chris Armstrong, relationship coach and owner of Maze of Love, has a theory that what most people want from an exclusive relationship is comprised of three things that make a "pie": physical, intellectual, and emotional intimacy. But, he says, sometimes you can find "pie" from separate people. Each person can fulfill you in a different way.
Samantha Burns, relationship coach and author of Breaking Up & Bouncing Back, also offered her own insight on how to tell if you're ready or not to make it official with the person you're dating. Read on to see what the two experts had to say.
If you're going through a lot in your life, or are juggling a lot of things happening at once, you may not want to add a serious relationship to the equation just yet. Part of being in a relationship means checking in on someone else, planning dates with them, or being available to offer love and support. If you're not into that at the moment, no shame at all – just make sure the person you're dating is on the same page as you are.
"If you’re enjoying yourself and having a blast doing ‘me time’, then by all means stay single and keep investing in yourself," Burns tells Elite Daily. Focusing on your career or academic studies, and having someone to hook up with or casually hang out with can be a good compromise for what you know you can handle at the moment.
Liking being unattached and having the flexibility to do everything on your own schedule isn't a crime, and you should enjoy that lifestyle if it's what you need or want.
"If you’re more excited by the potential of a first date with someone new than another date with the person you’ve already started seeing, this suggests you’re either addicted to the process of making an online love connection, or you’re just not that jazzed about the person you’re currently dating," Burns says. By continuing to swipe on dating apps to see what else is out there, and talking to other people gets you pretty pumped up, it's a sign settling down with one person isn't a good idea for you at the moment.
"Ask yourself what’s missing [from that one person], and what you’re hoping to find in someone else."
And then, if you realize when you're thinking about whether or not you want to be exclusive with someone and determine you don't want to because you're just not that into them, maybe it's time to re-evaluate spending romantic time with them at all.