Friday, December 17, 2010

It's Okay to Date More Than One

Where did this idea come from that dating relationships need to go exclusive? It is an idea I had when I was coming of age, and into my mid-20s, despite my own mother saying that unless someone was engaged to be married, they were free to date others. And she wasn't sleeping around; she was a virgin when she married my father. Of course, I was happy to have any dates when I was a teen; I didn't have the the "problem" of having to choose.

But really, there should be no expectation that a dating relationship is exclusive unless that has been discussed and there was mutual agreement that it would be. I would only advise agreeing to that if engagement is pending.

NOT PLAYING FOR KEEPS wrote in to Dear Abby:

I have been divorced for almost a year and am the mother of two daughters.
I would be interested to know how this all happened. Are the daughters from her husband? If so, why did she make two babies with the wrong man, or why did she treat a good man poorly?

I am dating two very nice men, and I have been open and honest with both of them about not wanting a serious relationship right now. They both understand. The problem is my sister seems to feel that I need to make a commitment to one of them because if I don't, I will be viewed as a "player."
Your sister is wrong. Your top priority should be raising your daughters, who have a broken home. When and if you can squeeze is recreational time for yourself (perhaps while your daughters are with their father), you can date, but I would not expose your daughters to these men. Keeping it casual is best, as long as you understand that they can and will be dating others. There's no reason to get serious with either one, at least not until your children are grown.

However, if I was talking to those guys, I would point out to them all of the reasons they should not be dating a mother of minor children.

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