The Definitive Guide To Building Your Spring Dating Roster
Warning: Hot girl inspo may arise.
Insecure’s Issa Dee called it a hoe-tation, TikTok calls it “rotational dating,” and some simply refer to it as hot girl summer. Name it what you will, building a dating roster means opening yourself up to go on dates with multiple people at a time — granting yourself more options, more dating experiences, and more time to decide what you like and dislike à la The Bachelorette (hopefully sans the drama).
Before you side-eye: Rotational dating doesn’t necessarily mean you’re going on several dates a week, giving multiple people full access to your time, and being intimate with all of them. Dating even one person can feel exhausting sometimes, and those who practice rotational dating say the point isn’t to make your life more complicated. Instead, it presents a more empowering premise: You’re choosing who you’d like to spend your time with, how much time you’d like to spend with them, and how you’d like to explore that time together. Ideally, you’re creating a list of eligible contenders you’re interested in and calling the shots throughout the process.
Below, creators, influencers, and a life and dating coach offer tips for curating your ideal spring roster, setting boundaries that work for you, and keeping things fun in the process.
For Starters, Think About What You’re Looking For
Fanta Cherif, 27, a D.C.-based creator who often shares dating advice and stories about her roster on TikTok, thinks most people struggle with knowing what they want out of dating, which can cause them to settle for situations that aren’t the right fit. She advises making sure you’re not compromising your standards for anyone.
“You’re being intentional and making sure that each of them are quality — that they’re all of the same caliber,” Cherif tells Elite Daily. “Also, know what your intentions are, so when they ask you about them, you can be clear on whether you’re dating for fun right now, going with the flow, or dating to see what lands and going from there.”
Paige Michelle, 35, an Ohio-based life and dating coach who has had her own roster and led courses on relationships and self-empowerment, echoes that rotational dating needs to be intentional. Otherwise, it can get messy fast. “If you’re just networking, meeting people, and having fun, that’s one thing,” she tells Elite Daily. “If you’re specifically looking for a partner, that’s another thing.” In that case, you’d want everyone on your roster to fit the qualities you’re looking for in a long-term significant other.
Diversify Your Hangout Spots
Sam Feher, 25, an NYC-based cast member on Bravo’s Summer House Season 7 who talked about having fun with a roster heading into the show, says that to meet more people, you should start by being extremely social.
“Hit the bars on weekends; go to the gym instead of going on a hot girl walk; buy groceries at the store instead of getting them delivered,” she suggests. “Love strikes like lightning, and it can happen anywhere! I once got asked out over the watermelon bin at Whole Foods.” But don’t just show up — make an effort to strike up a conversation. “Even a simple ‘Are you done using this bench?’ at the gym can make someone feel more comfortable starting a conversation because you’ve already broken the ice.”
For Cherif, opening herself up to new experiences helped her meet different types of people. “You’re not going to build a roster by just being on TikTok or Hinge,” she says. “You need to go outside and try new settings. That means going to places by yourself, even if your friends aren’t going. Go to bars, hotels, games, game nights, book clubs. Just try to get out there and diversify the places that you take up.”
Use Dates As Research
Serena Kerrigan, 29, NYC-based actor, influencer, and dating card game creator who keeps a roster, says it’s always important to check in with yourself after dates. Evaluate if you enjoyed their company, if you felt safe, if you liked how they spoke to you, and if you felt OK being yourself; then you can decide if it’s worth seeing them again. Have that talk in the mirror with just you, in what Kerrigan calls your “bad b*tch reflection state.”
“It’s all research, and the only way to get better at dating is to date,” Kerrigan tells Elite Daily. For her, dating more than one person helped ease the pressure and take each individual date off a pedestal. “I was able to compare and contrast more, which is really important. Like ‘Oh, this guy planned the date.’ ‘Oh, this guy actually paid for my Uber.’ ‘Oh, this guy texted me to make sure I got home.’” Giving herself room to objectively analyze her options helped her see each relationship as it was, instead of idealizing it — and that helped her keep her dating roster limited to people she really enjoyed spending time with.
Feher’s ideal roster included people who are very different from each other. One younger, another older, one in finance, another a restaurateur. Having a variety of options, even if they didn’t work out, helped her decide what types of people she’d be most compatible with long term. “You’re never going to know what works for you in a relationship unless you try it all,” she says. “I once dated a restaurateur who couldn’t take me on a date between the hours of 3 p.m. and 12 a.m., because that’s when he had to be at work. So our date options were… lunch? Forever? Or the middle of the night. That’s an important thing to consider when determining whether your relationship can go the distance.”
To really explore options, Cherif doesn’t believe you should go into dating with only one outcome in mind. “Yes, of course, be intentional, but also be open,” she says. “I’ve had dudes help me land positions, land contracts, and meet new people. When you’re only dating one guy, you can get stuck in a very small silo where he becomes your entire world.” Dating high-quality people of different lifestyles will offer you a variety of experiences and may leave you more fulfilled than just dating one, she says.
Ultimately, there’s something useful to gain from almost any date. “What do you have to lose?” Kerrigan says. You’re either going to find out more about yourself, your date, or the types of people you enjoy spending time with — all necessary info when building a roster with intentionality. “Or you just have a really good drink — or you don’t, and you’ll never go back to that bar. Right? Now you have a story for your motherf*cking memoir. Do it for the plot.”
Honor The Flow, But Keep Tabs On Your Needs & Feelings
Kerrigan religiously follows the rule of thirds in her dating life — as in, she typically has three people on her roster at a time. This doesn’t mean she goes on three dates a week, every single week. “It’s all about flow,” she says. “I’m just giving myself options. And if one of them isn’t available to give me the attention that I want, no worries. I’m going to go talk to someone else.”
Cherif likes to keep dating light and fun, but if she notices she’s starting to feel super attracted to one person and wants to pursue that further, she leans into that. In the meantime, she maintains her boundaries around intimacy. “Even if I have a roster of five people, I’m not [hooking up] with five people. That’s never going to be a thing for me,” she says. “I’m also making sure that I’m still balancing my time between my friends, my family, my work, and everything else that I have going on, and making sure that I’m not overprioritizing keeping up a roster.”
Most Importantly, Remember That You’re The Prize
After a date, Kerrigan says she doesn’t ask herself “Is he going to be my husband?” but instead “Do I want to go on another date with him?” “That’s the difference. Did I like him enough to go on another date?” she says.
As a hopeless romantic, Kerrigan used to hyperfixate on whether she really liked someone, and then she wouldn’t show up to their dates as authentically. Rotational dating helps her stay grounded. “When you have a roster, you stop editing yourself,” Kerrigan says. “You have abundance in your choices. And when you have choices, you’re not saying ‘Oh, well, this is only what I’m stuck with. I have to make sure it goes perfectly.’ You’re like … ‘I’m going to be myself. And if he doesn’t like that, goodbye.’”
Michelle calls this abundance dating — when you’re stepping into it feeling secure and happy, and aren’t looking for someone to make up for what you lack. “If you’re looking for someone to fill what you’re missing, you’re less likely to communicate how you actually feel,” she says. Whereas, if you’re just dating to have fun, approaching it from a secure place means you’re not depending on your dates for validation and approval.
Kerrigan echoes this. “Do you want to be the one chosen, or do you want to be the one that chooses?” she says. “I’m the one in power. Once you stop going on dates to be liked and instead see who you like — it’s the most empowering thing.”