A conversation I had earlier with @FelipeZambrano inspired me to open this question up to the Love & Relationship community at large! I wanted to hear what you guys think about this issue. :)
There's more than one way to do dating. Different people set different rules for themselves. Not only that, but the word can mean so many things! Does "dating" mean going steady with one person, going on dates with a handful of different potential suitors, seeing people casually, getting to know one person to see if they'd make a good lifelong partner...?
Depending on your definition, and your goal for dating, you'll probably have a different point of view on this question too: is it okay to date multiple people at once?
I personally think yes. You can see a couple people casually, as long as no one has the expectation that you're exclusive with them. It's a good way to efficiently get to know a bunch of people at once. When you live in a big city, you can go on dates with a couple different guys for a few weeks or even a month before you know whether he's someone you want to keep seeing – or get serious about.
I believe there's a period of getting to know someone before you're sure if you want to date them exclusively and seriously, with a future for you two in mind. And when you're young, that period might be longer. Or maybe you just want to date for fun! That's okay too. Keeping it light and non-committed is okay in that case. You just have to make sure, above all, that everyone's on the same page.
Which leads me to another question. When's the right time to tell someone you're not exclusive? Do you have to tell them from the very start that you're seeing other people, or is it something to mention later, like the third or fourth date?
I tend to broach the topic once I feel there's a need to define the relationship. I keep things casual, and assume the other person is too, until I feel invested in seriously pursuing a relationship with them. When it's time to have that conversation (you know, the dreaded DTR, or "Define The Relationship" conversation that @jordanhamilton's always writing about 😉) – and in my opinion, it's very clear when that conversation needs to happen – you lay your cards out.
You say: A. Hey, I just want you to know, I'd like to keep things casual between us. I'm still seeing other people – is that okay with you? Or were you looking for something more?
B. Hey, I just want you to know, I really like you. I've stopped seeing other people, and I'd love to be exclusive with you.
Simple as that. This could happen on the third or fourth date, or it could happen three months into our canoodling. Whenever. Every relationship has its own tempo.
So what do you think? Do you agree?
What does "dating" mean to you? Is it okay to date more than one person at a time?
And if you are seeing multiple people, when do you tell them about it?
Let me know your thoughts! I'm really curious about what everyone will have to say. 😄
(And I hope that wasn't too many gifs for you, @AkashBhojraj! 😁 hehe)