The way the dating game is played nowadays is like an episode of The Bachelor or Bachelorette, with people openly sharing that they are interested in more than one person.
Unlike The Bachelor, most of us don’t have the deep pockets of a hit television show backing us. We don’t have the luxury of putting our lives on hold for months while we focus on nothing but dating. This begs the question, considering real life limitations, how many dating prospects can an average person juggle at one time?
(Pick your analogy here: how many to juggle, how many irons in the fire, how many to keep on the radar, how many plates to spin, etc…)
There are mental health reasons to date multiple people as well, as diversification is an excellent way to reduce risks against heartache.
I previously asserted that a typical single woman should juggle AT LEAST three men at a time. That example assumed that there was a “Mr. No Commit” in the picture. However, in my opinion even women who are fortunate enough to not be plagued with a Mr. No Commit in their lives should keep at least three men in play. There are many reasons to keep multiple men “on the radar” at one time. Some of the moral and practical reasons that come to mind are:
- As a matter of principle, you should not put your life on hold until the man makes a commitment to you.
- Ironically, it makes the man of your dreams value you more.
- You have a head start on recovery if your #1 prospect does not pan out.
I could list a hundred bullet points here actually. But the bottom line is that being in demand is a good thing. It raises your value. Contrarily, if you give someone a monopoly on love, you will get less of what you want at a higher price. [Yes, I know this disgusts you, but the laws of Economics apply to love just like everything else.]
For me, I need to have multiple prospects in play to keep from losing my mind! As much as it pains me to admit, the harsh reality is that I am completely insecure when it comes to women. I crave approval, affection, and attention from women all the time. I’m obsessed. I don’t recall ever craving female attention as much as I do now. It is not just sex–I want attention. I like texting, talking, touching…all that stuff. It is sad really…but it is what it is and being in self denial about it won’t make it any less true.
This is my weekend with the kids. As much as I love them, I am basically bouncing off the walls starving for adult time. It is too cold to get outside. I lost the treadmill in the separation…I am stuck inside with too much time to think and not enough distractions. That is a bad combination for an insecure dude!
There are a few women I would love to flirt with to pass the time. But doing so will only make me come across as clingy and/or desperate. Not cool at all. For weekends like these, it is good for me to have multiple women to juggle. It increases the odds that one is available to keep me entertained via flirty text and so forth. That way she keeps me distracted so I don’t obsess about the one(s) I’m interested in that are out with other dudes right now.
[Unhealthy spiral? Probably. I’ll cross that bridge another day—NOTE: Any woman who says “you need time to heal” in response to my confessional will be showered with sarcastic comments. Well deserved sarcastic comments…]
However, juggling multiple women is a double edged sword. Flirting with too many women at once screams “player”. Any woman I would be interested in a long term relationship with will be smart enough to spot a player, and will dump me in a millisecond if she feels she is getting played.
To use Economics parlance, the theory of diminishing marginal utility comes into play here big time. Meaning, at some point the extra benefits of having another woman in play are not worth the costs. There is an optimal number of women to keep in play at once. I just have to figure out what that number is for me.
I do believe that answer is “at least three” until exclusive material is found, and feelings are mutual. But are four too many?
Again, I am not talking about sex. I am talking about women that I am communicating with via phone, email etc. that I am interested in taking on further dates, and who seem to be mutually interested.
I want to set a maximum number of women to have “in play”. Once I reach that number, I do not log on to a dating site again until one of those drops off the list. At some point the diminishing marginal utility is too great and one just needs to work with what he has…
Another benefit of giving oneself a quota is that it makes one become self aware of the quality of the prospects. For example, let’s say I am keeping four women “on the radar”, and yet I still feel a strong temptation to flirt with new women on an online dating site. To me, that indicates that those four women aren’t quality prospects if I am that tempted to find new ones. Therefore they should be culled and replaced with higher quality prospects.
Thoughts? I would like some male opinions on this one…