It's time for another Community Q! Many of you have been submitting questions via the Community Talk, which is awesome :) This one, however, comes from the anonymous survey I posted a while back!
The question asker wanted to know:
Q: Is it okay to go on dates with multiple people? Will it hurt the people I date if I see different people at the same time?
Excellent question! I have a couple of thoughts on the issue...
A: Dating multiple people is normal.
When you're looking for a longterm relationship, you might have to try on a few people to find the right fit. It's only natural.
I mean, that's what dating is; it's a trial run for the rest of your life. Does this person fit me? Are our communication styles compatible? Do they love me in the way I need to be loved? Can we laugh together, be quiet together, and spend long hours by each others' sides without exploding?
However, another side of dating is managing expectations (both yours and your partner's). In your mind, you might just be going on dates with someone, but in their mind, maybe they think you're in a committed and exclusive relationship.
How do you solve that kind of expectation mismatch? Easy: communication.
In short, seeing multiple people at once is totally fine – as long as everyone involved knows what's going on.
It varies from situation to situation, but when I was hooking up with multiple people in college, I generally went by the following rule: if you haven't discussed being exclusive, you're not.
Of course, different people have different expectations for relationships, so know what your partner is thinking before you start going on dates with other people – or somebody's probably going to get hurt.