OP: DancingDoc's intro to the dating world....

I have written about dating a lot. Here I go, again:

Dating by its very nature and purpose is about finding Mr./Ms. Right and to do this means that we go out with lots of people in order to learn what humanity has to offer. Doing so makes it easier to determine when this person comes along, and, it develops recognition skills that help us determine what we like and do not like in a person, and what qualities are valuable. By dating lots of people (even at the same time) we expose ourselves to lots of likes, dislikes, quirks, interests, morals, values, goals, mannerisms, ideals, etc., et cetera, etc.

Dating is not all about stopping with the first warm body who comes along expressing an interest in us. It is not all about being exclusive with each other to the exclusion of all others--at least not until a long time later. Dating is about becoming closer to a person than is possible thru a casual friendship. By becoming "closer" you are then able to learn more about each other.

There should be no exclusivity until you and the other person are ready to settle down and marry. Until then, you can be kept busy with the relationship(s) you have with one or more people. Exclusivity with one person is not a guarantee that you will always have a date or be kept socially busy. By not being "exclusive", particularly during the teen years, eliminates much of the angst, drama, and trauma in relationships that a teen is not yet prepared to handle. The same can hold true for adults even though they should have matured having also developed better interpersonal coping skills.

By dating more than one person and at a time, you stand a much better chance of filling your social calendar, learning new things, and as noted above--exposing yourself to a variety of personalities that will help you determine when Mr. Right comes along.

Because dating by its very design is not and should not be exclusive, and there is no legal contract, there can be no "cheating". If when the time comes that you want exclusivity, then it is often implied long before by simply behaving toward one another like it is or has been. Your behaviors toward each other tell the tale. Until such time both people are free to date others should they choose. Until such time, devote lots of your dating activities deciding whether this person is marriage material, worthy of exclusivity, and only when you are ready to work on this aspect of your life make this commitment with each other.


Posted: 08 Oct 22:01


In my experience, not being "exclusive" during the teen years seems to create the problems you state. Most girls that age would probably be a little ticked if you told them you were dating other people too.

I understand this idea and think its great. However, I do not think most people would agree to such arrangements, unless you wanted to keep it a secret, but that could cause major problems later on.


Posted: 08 Oct 22:01

I agree with what is said here, as a teenager myself with an exclusive boyfriend fro the past two years. It would be devastating to think that perhaps my boyfriend was also seeing somebody else.

However i do believe this may work if as you start dating somebody, you have a conversation about the matter, ask what both people think and then working from there. It may be difficult though as there are a lot of women (especially of a teenage age) who only believe in being exclusive.

There are also problems with both teenage boys and girls on a maturity level. If a teenager does decide to live the lifestyle of being un-exclusive, a nasty reputation tends to follow. This of course is not wright, as no one has the right to make these judgments but the lack of maturity from these people will make it inevitable and however mature a person thinks they are to be able to deal with this, they will still be find it very hard to have a healthy social life with people.

I would also like to say that you can still be exclusive and have a healthy social calendar, as not all social activities involve in dating. There are many people including myself who can hold down an exclusive relationship and have a full calendar, because i also have a lot of friends, and of course there is no reason why others can't live that way.


Posted: 08 Oct 22:01

I think the term dating is used too loosely. It seems to have different meanings in different contexts as well:

To be currently dating. (As in dating people in general.)
Going on a date. (The act of actually going out with someone.)
And dating someone. (Seeing only one person.)

The last one, I think, is where the meaning of dating can get fuzzy. You could say dating as in you're just currently seeing each other frequently, like going on dates, or actually dating them, as in you're together.

I think dating one or two or even three people (like Dancingdoc said), will only lead to complications. It seems too much like multi-tasking to me. Thats not the way to learn commitment either. Maybe some people here (those who don't believe in exclusive relationships until thinking about marriage etc etc) might think it inappropriate for me to have this opinion, but being 18 and having a boyfriend, I would not be happy to find out that while being with me, he was also seeing one or two other girls.

And how can you, by just dating people over a period of time, pick one you want to marry? Sure, dating is the process of getting to know someone, but I don't think that until you are in a more serious, exclusive, relationship with that person can you really understand the inner workings of their personalities and fall in love. Just going on dates with someone won't lead to truly loving someone for who they are and deciding you are ready to settle down with them and marry them. I, for one, am not ready for marriage and haven't been with my boyfriend long enough to establish a real serious relationship, but I'm not about to see other people while we consider each other our significant other.


Posted: 08 Oct 22:02

Everyone seems to define "exclusivity" in slightly different ways. Married or just in there for the long term it's a matter of what both parties are willing to accept. High school is a pain to begin with. Rumors run extremely rampant... (even if you aren't sexually involved)and it's too easy to pick up a nasty reputation. Teenagers can be very cruel and overly dramatic. However, Dancing Doc is correct here on many levels. The more people you date the better off you are in figuring out what will work out for you in the long run. It actually ends up coming down to a)Deciding with the person(s) you are dating what their definition of cheating is and what both of you are willing to tolerate. and b)Not having sex with one or all of the people you are dating at the same time. It ends in disaster. Not only is it dangerous for your health but it leads to drama and consequences you may not be able to erase later. So yes... go out and date, and date often especially while you are young. Just make certain you are upfront and honest with the people you are dating. Life is short so live it to the fullest.


Posted: 08 Oct 22:02

Yeah but i'm really young but i'm happy not to date around and just be with one person and he is with me. I don't see that being a bad thing, you can learn what you want with just one person surely, i know i have learnt a lot the time i've been with my boyfriend and i'm sure he feels the same.


Posted: 08 Oct 22:02

Zorbo's (still no clue on the name--LOL) last statement is so so true. "Live life to the fullest". One never knows what is around the next corner so why not enjoy every fleeting moment of the journey. There probably is not set format on dating, relationships etc. each individual situation is different.


Posted: 08 Oct 22:02

No one is saying that dating only one person in high school is a bad thing. Actually I was saying earlier that for the most part it is a very good thing. Teenagers are very cruel and love to make up stupid rumors. Back when I was in high school (practically a decade ago) I remember telling one of my so-called friends that I knew a couple of twin males who had transferred over from our other city high school. By the next day it was all over school that I'd slept with both of them and mothered a child by one of them. I was still a virgin at the time and a freshman in high school.

Getting to know the ins and outs of a relationship while in high school is great beginners experience. All of the lessons that you learn from the drama involved will end up helping out greatly later on. So yes. Learn to be faithful, learn how to deal in an argument or when something is said that isn't true. Learn to deal with heartache while you still have years to get over the person. Please keep this in mind: Whatever you are feeling now may be real but is really intensified by hormones. You may think you know everything and are unstoppable now, but you'll learn otherwise as the years pass.

You will not be the same person at 21 than you were at 18. You won't be the same person at 25 that you were at 21. Your overall personality as an adult actually develops by your mid-twenties. Marrying your high school sweetheart (especially right out of high school) almost never works out in the long run.

Date more in college or after you get out of high school. That's where you will figure out what you can live with and what you can't. Trying to date in your late 20s is not easy, and when you are going into it with a couple of kids (from getting married too early) only makes dating more difficult.

It's also a bit of a headache when you are older and dating a guy who never went through relationship drama way back when. While you are expect certain things from your mate (how to deal properly with conflict or when to call you for example) they see it differently and you end up frustrated.


Posted: 08 Oct 22:02

Learning commitment? No, that's not dating - that's being afianced and then married because by the time you get afianced there should be NO doubts or uncertainties about who the person you're planning to marry actually is. If you don't truly know then you did not date enough and should break off the engagement.

Dating is for getting to know people; getting to know all about people and then getting to know all about the few people you might consider marrying. Take your time over this and 'multi-task' all you want. Rushing to the altar has been the cause of more heartache and trauma than any dating relationship so don't do it.

If while dating you cannot find out the deeper inner workings of a personality and "fall in love" then you're not very perceptive. How do they act? Does what they say match what they actually do? Does he/she give a damn about your hopes and dreams after she's/he's been in your bed? Do they demand or control? Do they blame everyone and everything other than themselves for their failures? You CAN learn a lot about people just by dating them and not necessarily exclusively.

The number one thing said when people find out their date is also dating others is "am I not enough man/woman for you?" This is an expression of wounded pride/jealousy/insecurity/fear of being rejected and therefore unworthy. What any 'date' does on his or her own time is his/her business and nothing to do with you. Thinking this way gives you confidence, poise, security, and self-respect. All of which silently requires your date(s) to 'step up ' and be adult, if he/she can.

Yes, this works for men as well as for women.

Here are some 'dates' for you to consider:

1. Decent enough man, nice lunch, but then he demanded fellatio in the parking lot because he had driven a long way to meet her. Without saying a word, she put a $20 on the table, got up, and left - leaving him there alone. Think she learned enough about him?

2. Okay guy, lively restaurant for dinner, but then he quizzed the waiter about the beer, quizzed the waiter about the food, complained about the water spots on the knife while his date sat there waiting to be noticed. Dinner conversation consisted of a constant gentle stream of what's wrong with the world and how it should be fixed. There was no second date. Are you surprised?

3. Gorgeous man, very nice dinner, she gave him a lift to the subway stop, but while in her car he began hitting her. Her screams were heard by some nearby construction workers who rushed over to her rescue but the guy got away. She was treated for a broken cheekbone and lacerations to her face. I think she got a pretty good idea of what sort of man he was, don't you?

Each of these was a real life first date between grown-up men and women. Each date had been set up after talking both on-line and over the telephone. They all met in crowded public places and each of the ladies involved had set up a pre-arranged safety call with friends. I do not know if the men had set up such calls although I know they usually do. Doing everything 'right' does not guarantee a positive outcome.

You can learn TONS about a person on just one date. So 'multi-tasking' isn't as 'confusing' as it might at first appear.


Posted: 08 Oct 22:02

Hmmm thats a interesting point you make about teens Doc, I am 17 (still a teen) and I am socially active with 3 different girls, it can be very stressful at times, but the way you explain it makes a lot of sense. I am experiencing 3 different personalities, I am learning how each personality responds to what. Fortunately non of them are aware that I am talking to different girls. Although, I was never like this up until the beginning of summer, I used to be shy and timid, now I am not afraid to make a move I do still get nervous at times.


Posted: 08 Oct 22:02

Thank you for the positive feedback. It sounds like you are learning about others, yourself, interactions, what qualities you like and do not like in others, all while having good times.

What sorts of situations or things cause you stress?

As for being nervous, this will become more manageable with experience.



Posted: 08 Oct 22:02

Well the situations that make it a bit stressful is that I have to be very careful about what I post on my social networking websites. I must keep the things on my phone on lock down just in case one of them decides they wanna look at something in my phone, and while I am with either-or, and I get a txt message from one of them I do not reply but, and also now that school is about to begin, one of them goes to my school, the other two go to different schools, and you know how it was in high school Doc, people talk. The worst case scenario would be that they find out about each other, I have no idea how they would react towards me and each other. Also, I must know what each of them are doing in order to avoid being caught in public (at the movies, restaurants etc.)


Posted: 08 Oct 22:02

Such is life and growing up and maturing. These multiple dates will be easier to handle when you are older, have more options, a car, and a large area in which to do things.

You have every right to be cautious, now, because girls talk, and some tend to snoop, more out of curiosity than anything. Privacy? Well, if you want privacy, leave your cellphone locked in the glove box, and, stop with all the social networking venues. Shucks! back before computers, most parents limited their kids to twenty minutes an evening on the phone, and we communicated with friends by talking--not texting every ten minutes.

Of what great benefit is it to you and others who have Facebook accounts, etc., to have to let everybody know what you are doing minute to minute? It's juvenile stupidity.

If you don't want people in your business, get rid of the conveyances that allow them to be. I don't have any of these social networking accounts and get along just fine with an occasional E-mail, and telephone call. I do not need a minute-to-minute UPdate of what certain people have been or are currently up to. My recommendation is to turn all this stuff off or delete accounts, go thru withdrawal and then join the rest of the world in having a "life".

Not really unless I've forgotten something between then and now. The trouble as everybody perceives it is that dating means exclusivity; therefore, if you are seen in the company of two or more girls, then you must be cheating. [COLOR="red">WRONG[/COLOR]! Dating should not begin and end with the first warm body who expresses an interest in us, nor should dating necessarily be about one person. Dating is all about learning about others, and, what we like and dislike about their personalities, likes, dislikes, characters, etc., and enjoying the pleasure of each other's company while doing so.

If a boy and girl decide to go out with one another, then set boundaries--meaning we are not in a closed exclusive relationship and are free to date others. That we do not choose to is just fine. You then have exclusivity by consent and without it being declared and restrictive. The only girl I dated "exclusively" was my high school sweetheart. Every other young woman from college on up was open. That we chose to behave as if it was not eliminates all the trials, tribulations, angst, pain, drama, and trauma.

So what if you are seen about town in the company of others? If your relationships are open and non-exclusive, it doesn't matter one hoot! I just do not understand why the younger generation does not understand this age old concept.

One more reason to make your relationships with each of these girls an open one. If they cannot handle this then they are too insecure and immature to be with you or any other guy.

All this said, so what if you happen to run into one of your girlfriends. Each one is a friend who is a girl and that you go on dates with in order to have fun, be able to have a relationship, and, more chances for same.


Posted: 08 Oct 22:03

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