Is it okay for women to date multiple men at the same time?
To me, the answer to this question is obvious. If a woman is not in a mutually committed relationship, she should be able to date as many men as she chooses. Men do it all the time, so why can’t we? I had a roundtable discussion with a few of my friends (both men and women) about this and was quite surprised by some of the answers that I received.
Craig, 35 – Married
If a woman is dating more than one man at a time, she is not giving enough time or effort to finding out if she is truly compatible with any of them. Women can try to make the argument that men date multiple women all the time, but men only do this when we are out to ‘play’ - we don’t do this when we are looking for ‘the one’. When we are looking to settle down, we will invest all of our time and efforts into that one special woman.
Jade, 38 – Divorced
I think you have plenty of time to get to know each one and figure out what you like and what you don't like. I do think you shouldn't juggle more than two. But there is an obvious double-standard here and double-standards are bull - I make my own rules. Also, just because you are dating more than one man, does it automatically mean you are having sex with all of them? No, it doesn't. But even if you decide to, that is your business. Men don't tell all of their business so why should we? I am not promoting hoeing, just seeing what options there are.
Tasha, 33 - Divorced
I have been back on the dating scene for about two years now. I think its ok for a woman to date multiple men at the same time, and I sometimes do. Dating only one guy at a time leaves you at a disadvantage, as you are not allowing yourself to meet other guys, spend time with them, and compare. When you only date one guy you have nothing to compare to because you picked someone who you thought was the best but in actuality they were just available to you.
Men think that women hold all of the cards when deciding who we are going to date exclusively. However, just because we know who we want doesn’t mean we are going to get who we want. Guys will chase us, waste our time, and then we are left trying to figure out where we made the mistake. Isn't the reason why men date multiple women is so that they have choices? And when they do pick one, they are hoping that they chose the best candidate. So why shouldn't we be afforded the same opportunity? It seems a little unfair don't you think? Or is it an egotistic thing?
Julian, 40 - Divorced
Listen, I hear you loud and clear. But too many times I have seen some ladies that are my friends who take guys on a ride, then not stay with the guy because he is ‘too this’ or ‘too that’. Then they try to change the "candidate." If you have never done this…and I'm not asking you to answer this question. But have you never, ever taken a guy for a ride just because you can and all along had your mind made up that he is not the one?
Tasha: No, I have not. I don't have time to play games. I know you're right, I have seen women do that. Most of the time women do that because of their experiences. If they have been on the dating scene for a while and guys have taken them for a ride and continue to do so, eventually they will get fed up and start doing it too. Most of the time they end up doing that to someone who really wants to be with them. It's a game that both men and women play. But I have noticed that men do it more. They do it because they can and men always have a back strategy. I told Anique that I will consider dating two guys. But the way my attention span is set up I don't think I can commit to it for very long.
Anthony, 29 – Single
If I am dating a woman and she tells me upfront that she is dating other men besides me, I would not take her seriously. I would assume that she is out to play games. I might continue to have sex with her, but it probably won’t go much further than that. If I find out later on that she is dating other men, and I am already into her, I would probably demand that she stop seeing the other guys if she wants to continue dating me.
Tasha: In my experience, if a man knows you are dating him and others, he will make you a priority in order to win you over. However, when he thinks that he is the only candidate and there is no competition, he will think you have nothing else to do but to wait for him, so he won’t make you a priority and it will show in his behavior. Men don’t like it when women date multiple men because if you are not sleeping with him, he will feel chumped because he’ll assume you are sleeping with the other guy. If you are sleeping with him, he will believe that you are also sleeping with the other guy, plus him, so now you are a slut.
Men hate to compete, especially for a woman – they just make me sick.
Julian: Come on women - you guys are the ones that end up deciding if you will date the man again. We (men) chase…you’re being chased. So why date more than one man if, from the start, you may know which guy you’re going to most likely end up with? Even the not-so-attractive women have this power. So why jerk the other guys around?
Kylie, 33 – Engaged
It’s not jerking anyone around. We are deciding; the same way that guys date multiple women. You date to find a life partner. It is not an easy thing to do, to decide on the person you want to be with for the rest of your life. Men just want to be the only one, while they run around dating multiple women.
I found someone and said yes. Before him, I dated multiple guys... I never had more than one date with someone I didn't like. I ended up picking my best friend. There's always going to be someone you connect with more. But I was never going to be serious with him until he made that move.
Wrap up (Anique): For the most part, I don’t think men and women will ever quite agree on this topic. There seems to be an obvious double-standard regarding the rules of dating for men and the rules of dating for women. Women seem to acknowledge and understand the rules that men play by, but men don’t seem to want to acknowledge that women are allowed to play by these same rules. My grandfather used to always tell me that a lady cannot do what a man does and still be called a lady. I didn’t really understand what he meant back then, but that saying is crystal clear to me now. As much as I hate to admit it, Grandpa was right. No matter how much we don’t like it and don’t want to admit it, we as women are held to a higher standard than men. We are expected to be pure and virginal, yet perform like a porn star for them in the bedroom. Where the hell do men think we learned those things? Practice, practice, practice. I do not condone infidelity of any kind. However, if both parties have not agreed to be exclusive, then neither party should expect exclusivity from the other.
Cover Image by Nirrimi Firebrace