Thursday, October 11, 2007

Dating Etiquette

Hmmm... A commenter has encouraged me to follow-up with a gal I had a date with despite initiating a casual date with someone else. What's the etiquette on that? There seems to have been a rule for young people (high school age) to date only serially, but there seem to be different rules as one gets older.

A quick poll around the water cooler seems to bring in mixed results, and unwelcome questions.

So to generalize, is it OK to date multiple people at the same time? At what point is it necessary to openly discuss it with the people involved? Is there a presumption of non-exclusivity until it's explicitly discussed?


  1. ok. I'll lead off here.

    Yes, it's fine to date multiple people at once.

    And no, you don't need to bring it up. It may never be necessary. The point at which you "decide" will likely bring an end to the other relationship. Of course, you shouldn't lie either. If she asks you "are you seeing other people" - you can probably say yes. Of course, I wouldn't be graphic. The point is - you're not necessarily dishonest by not talking about the other person you are dating. You would be dishonest if it was clear that you were becoming emotionally involved.

    Really though - this is all hypothetical. You should have a pretty good intuition about exclusivity. The question then becomes how comfortable YOU are with maintaining multiple romantic relationships.

    Casually dating multiple people is fine (and perfectly acceptable, for most people). Maintaining significant emotional and physical relationships with more than one person, however, is wholly different.

    As a side note - dating people you are already familiar with adds a bit of a wrinkle, as these are people you normally don't hide things from. Nevertheless, honesty doesn't always equate to full disclosure.

  2. Hmmm. This is a hard one.

    When I wad first dating someone (who I am still dating), that person asked me whether or not it would bother me if they went on a date with another woman. When this happened we were between date 3-4, and it honestly kind of weirded me out that D asked me if it would bother me.

    Of course, I told him that it wouldn't because we were unattached and uncommitted at that point- even though is asking me kind of made me think it was not going in that direction. And at the same time as I told him it wouldn't bother me, it totally did, but I am not sure why. Maybe it's because I didn't have anyone else to date at the time.

    I don't think that this anecdote is really helping clear up your dilemma at all.

    I would say that you should do what you feel comfortable with. If you feel comfortable dating more than one person at the same time (and it's casual) it seems okay. But if it made you feel weird or awkward with any of the parties you were dating them maybe it's not the right thing for you.

    In this situation High School dating rules seem a lot more simple than trying to figure out what is okay in the adult dating realm.

  3. The important thing is to get the senior wife's permission first. She will take into account the ability of the household/compound to support additional sister-wives. If the senior wife is a bit resistant and you still want to pursue the women, getting on the prophet's good side is always helpful.

    You may also want to take into account current media attention, the total amount of welfare income, and people wearing sunglasses and hearing aids sitting in unfamiliar cars outside your compound.

  4. OK Brigham, I'll put you down for "That's not cool."

  5. catBonny: Was the other date what weirded you out or the discussion about whether it would be OK? Or both?

  6. It was the asking me whether or not it was okay that made me feel weird just because as the time I didn't feel like it was any of my business or that I should have an opinion on the matter. I think I felt like the asking me if it was okay meant that he felt stronger about me than I did him (at the time) because I wouldn't have asked permission had I decided to go out with someone else.

  7. catBonny: That's really interesting. Someone said to me off-line, that the discussion forces an "emotional test" which when done to early, is kind of a bummer. Which makes sense.

    So consensus seems to be multiple casual dates is fine and discussing it isn't constructive and might even be counter-productive.

    Maybe it would just be easier to consult my senior wife. Oh, that's creepy.