Tuesday, March 13, 2012

dating exclusively?

A precious friend of mine recently started dating again and is dating 3 different men.  She asked her friends if it is considered "cheating" to date more than one man.   First of all, I am totally no relationship expert.  My past dating life is proof, but I want to record my thoughts, so here goes:

Is it ok to see more than one man at a time?

It seemed to be ok in the olden days (or maybe I've just seen too many Jane Austen movies).  But, in today's culture, it is unacceptable (by many).  Why? ...since today's culture is a non-committal, why-buy-the-cow-when-the-milk-is-free mentality?  It is a culture that forces women to settle for less than the best while calling it a "feminine liberation" because now they can have fun too (supposedly) without the "commitment."  But women are created for security and commitment.  It is men who are able to float about, unemotionally tied to anything or anyone, but women are relational.  So, how is this mentality to jump from one guy to the next supposedly better for women than demanding commitment?  And since (many) men won't commit, why is it wrong for a woman to have more than one suitor vying for her affections and her heart?

I dated a lot.  And on two occasions became quite intimately involved (not physically) with some incredible men.  However, as this more-than-a-friendship but not a committed-romantic-relationship drew to be a year or even two years old, I began to wonder: "Where is this going?" "Are we friends or is there more to this?"  "He hasn't said anything to me about us seeing each other exclusively, yet we spend every waking moment together."  "Are we exclusive?"  "Am I available to respond to another who wants to pursue me?"  And to make matters even more confusing...after months (or years) of him not stating his intentions, I would feel it necessary to ask where the relationship was going resulting in his anger over my stepping out of my role as the "non-initiating responder" and thus severing the relationship once and for all.  Was it my fault that I was flailing in the abyss wondering if I was free to allow another man to pursue me when a non-committal one (albeit a genuinely good man) was occupying all my time and energy?

Then, I met a man who pursued me for real.  He even allowed a "surrogate" dad to be our liaison.  It seemed that making myself unaccessible caused this man to jump through every hoop he had to in order to have contact with me.  I get that men love the hunt, the chase.  Ok, that's cool.  So why don't we allow them to chase us?  I don't want to advocate playing games here and pulling the stupid "hard-to-get" maneuver, but our culture has made women far too accessible to any man who may want her.  How is this better since women tend to wear their hearts on their sleeve and are so much more vulnerable than men to have that heart injured?  This man never expected me to return a phone call...he worked feverishly to make sure that he caught me at home when he called (not an easy feat, I assure you).  And he often told me his intentions, how he felt about me, and where he saw the status of our relationship at any given time.  I LOVED this and appreciated it so much because it met my need to know where we stood.  We eventually amicably parted ways and both of us were married soon after, but it gave me a taste of the "right way" to do things.

On another note, my precious husband was/is a pursuer of pursuers.  He knew what he wanted and really didn't care who or what may have been in the way.  Any men who may have been interested in me at any given time were not a hindrance to his pursuing me.  This is one of the reasons why I think that it just may be ok to "date" more than one man...and only if it is agreed that the two of you are not exclusive.  The "one" will stop at nothing to have you.  Once exclusivity is declared, then I think it is right to keep your eyes in one spot.  But what deems exclusivity?  Just saying so?  The promise to marry or at least be in serious pursuance of that end?  It seems that if there is no intent to marry, then there should be no exclusivity.  (Please keep in mind, these are only my rambling thoughts at the moment and a voice of reason can easily sway me toward another opinion.)

Would love to know your thoughts on the subject.

1 comment:

  1. I just want to know where all these persuers are! Oh brother!