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Multiple Partners, A Dating Issue


jlhf3

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Hi there. I figure the people on this site are probably pretty open-minded people and so I might get some much needed feedback without the judgment. I am a single 41 year old mom. I am dating and am naturally monogamous. I know that others are not and I don't pass judgment on them as long as they are up front about it and not cheating. My question is, how common do you think it is for people to be involved in multiple sexual relationships at one time and what are your thoughts on that. Is this an age issue? Male/female issue? Obviously being safe and using a condom is crucial. My last relationship I dated a guy for a little over a month. We had sex after the like the 5th date but I didn't find out (I finally asked for clarification because I was starting to like him) until a few weeks after we had been having sex that he was sleeping with at least 1 other woman. I told him it was important to communicate and be up front and honest. This is not why we broke it off. In the end he just ended up being a selfish jerk! Such a bummer!! Anyway, I would so appreciate your thoughts and advice. Thanks! Jenny

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Jenny, I guess I'm old school, but first you were having sex long before you began to "like" him? Just what did you expect him to be you were fucking him and you didn't have any real feeling for him? You seem to think he was suppose to be Mister Wonderful, believe me he was probably using you just like you were using him. I' m not trying to be judgemental, but come on now. I think IMHO that there must be some kinda "liking" at least before there is sex or it's just plain ol' FUCKING and don't expect anything in return. I guess to sum it up we are humans IMHO not animals when you add sex to ANY relationship it gets complicated.

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This has been a fairly hot topic around here lately and I think the general concenous is that as long as someone is honest about it then fine. Now as for how common, I know in my age group it is fairly common and I think it's also fairly common after things like divorce or big breakups. That doesn't mean once a player always a player but sometimes you just need to reassure yourself of your own attractiveness, ya know?

Now as far as that guy goes, I TOTALLY know what you mean. Sure you weren't maybe thinking he was "the one" but he was the right now and the least he could do was be honest, i mean there are health issues to think about right? right. I also think that you do have to be able to trust someone to sleep with at least on some level. That and really who wants to even have a sex only relationship with someone who is selfish, where's your fun?

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Like Suz said, this has been a hot topic on here of late. Most have said that communication is the key to make having multiple partners "OK," but we have not really talked a lot about how common we think that is.

Call me pessimistic but I think it is a lot more common than one might first think. Being a person recently rescued from the single's scene, :) I have to admit that when I did go out with/start a relationship with someone, I always assumed he was seeing someone else unless and until he said he wasn't (and even then I usually wondered.)

In a perfect dating world, people would date only one other person, not have sex until they were in love, and we would all live happily-ever-after. But, the dating world is far from perfect. It is filled with good, honest people who are just trying to find their soul mate, but there are also a ton of people, male and female, who are just looking to hook-up or add notches to their bed post. There are also a lot of people who simply want/need physical human interaction but for whatever reason they do not want a deep emotional relationship. That was me for several years.

As for it being an age or gender issue - I don't really think so. Maybe women are less likely to date multiple partners, especially when sex is involved, but I would not say that is a definite. It is probably fairly safe to say that older you get, the more likely you are to be looking for a soul mate as opposed to the hook-up, but I again, not a definite.

Good luck out there, and WELCOME to TT!

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Welcome to TT.

I've been married a long time, but when I wasn't I was a serial monogamist. I never liked to play emotional games in my personal relationships (still don't). If we didn't like each other enough to only date each other, that's fine, move on.

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Welcome!!!

Yes, the Dating World can be confusing, exciting, and hell; all at the same time!

I too, was naturally monogomous. I was always in long-term relationships. Never really "dated", until I got divorced from my first husband. Once I was legally seperated (which now many states don't even recognize. You're either married or divorced), I started playing the field. The betrayal of my husband really changed me, and I had felt him pulling away from "us" even before the marriage. So, I wasn't surprised when it all happened.

Anyway, I went on a couple of dates with an old boyfriend, which felt nice. However, I was upfront & honest with him, and the other men I chose to date, that I wasn't ready for a serious relationship. The old BF thought this was a good "start" to make up for what went wrong in our past, & wanted to get serious, so I broke it off before anyone got hurt.

Conversations would come up in my dating adventures, where, they'd want to know a little bit about me. Divorce would come up, their stories, and usually, the general consenus was that neither one of us were ready for anything super-serious. But I did have a lot of repeat dates. I also had a couple of Friends With Benefits situations, where nothing was expected on either side (except pleasure).

The point I'm trying to make is that you need to be honest with those that you go out with, but not like blatantly "HI! I'm having a great time, but I don't want anything serious. Where do you wanna go?" LOL But, within a couple of dates, you can usually see how things are going. If you're looking for something serious, then the question of "coupledom" should come up. Up until both of you agree to be in a serious, monogomous relationship, don't ever assume that your Date is being faithful to someone that hasn't "earned" the status of faithfulness yet. And the same goes for you too, if you're comfortable with it, there's nothing preventing you from going out on other dates. And yes, until you're both committed to making a true relationship, you shouldn't think that you're in a true relationship. If you go out on a date, and think that that stakes a claim on him, making him untouchable, you're in for a lot of heartache.

"Dating" doesn't mean that you have to sleep with each person you go out with. What's wrong with going to a movie, out to dinner, or an outdoor adventure, having fun, and not expecting anything else? Absolutely nothing.

A couple of decades ago, things were different. Going steady was the way to claim someone and high school girls dreamed of marrying the star quarterback, having oodles of kids, white picket fence, and a dog in the yard. Divorcee's were looked at with scorn & ctiticizm. Children who's parents divorced were pitied and whispered about. Now, if your parents have been married all your life, that's the odd thing! So, times do change.

I don't think it's an "age thing" as far as wanting relationships or just playing the field. I think it's personal preference, how you grew up, maturity level, and what you've learned along the way.

True, there are men AND women out there that play the field, go out with a lot of people, sleep with a lot of people, and are perfectly happy with that. And, so long as they're being honest AND safe, then I don't see anything wrong with it. What I do thing is wrong is when they lead their SO's on, letting them think that they're in a true, monogomous relationship, knowing that their SO thinks they're being faithful. That's what irritates me. Willingly misleading someone else's heart & emotions , THAT'S the wrong thing to do, IMO.

A lot of the time, the person that you will find you want to spend a lot of time with, is just someone you met, had fun, and learned to love. It doesn't have to HIT you right off the bat.

I wish you much luck, happiness, and fun! Stay safe, and welcome to TooTimid!!!

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Jenny, I guess I'm old school, but first you were having sex long before you began to "like" him? Just what did you expect him to be you were fucking him and you didn't have any real feeling for him? You seem to think he was suppose to be Mister Wonderful, believe me he was probably using you just like you were using him. I' m not trying to be judgemental, but come on now. I think IMHO that there must be some kinda "liking" at least before there is sex or it's just plain ol' FUCKING and don't expect anything in return. I guess to sum it up we are humans IMHO not animals when you add sex to ANY relationship it gets complicated.

Thank you all for your replies, info and support! Just for the record, we had expressed that we really liked each other. There were several comments made that made me feel like perhaps he was not sleeping with others. It was when he mentioned taking our kids bowling that I really asked questions. I surely wasn't ready to involve my little girls as that is SERIOUS business. I wasn't totally shocked when he said he was sleeping with another person but we had been seeing a lot of each other and I didn't really think he had much time outside of that to date. He has a friend with benefits. This wasn't the breaking up point either. He had serious communication issues and to me communication is so crucial to a successful relationship. It was a bummer because where I live it is very conservative and close-minded and I could not be with someone like that. I also had issue with introducing ourselves and our girls to each other. He didn't seem to think that his 12 and 13 year old daughters would realize there was more than friendship between us. My girls (5 and 8) would realize. Then again, I have my girls 95% of the time. . . They know when I go on a date because it means a sitter, lol. So think good thoughts for my dating life. It is hard to be 41 and not have a live sexual outlet!! I appreciate your posts as I have been a lurker for a few years. You guys give awesome advice! Anyway, this post was mostly out of curiosity because my younger friends (20s) felt like people who sleep with more than one person at a time were scum while some friends more my age feel like it is not so uncommon. Like I said, I don't have a problem with it as long as people are safe and honest. I would like a monogamous relationship at some point and would not want to be with a serial dater for long but am game for seeing if there could be something more. While I desperately miss sex, I am incredibly lucky and happy with my 2 amazing girls, house and a teaching job in a state that just laid off 26,000 teachers. Now that is NOT the kind of laid that is good. Thanks all!

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Jenny, welcome to TT and thank you for responding I didn't mean to come off so stong and I'm glad you explained the situation in a little more detail. I agree he was a total jerk from what you say. I'm still old school, but was involved in multiple dating last year and I know under the best of circumstances that can be trying. Please be careful and for your sake and the children's practice safe sex. Best of luck to you, welcome aboard.

And o'by the way even OLD MEN need sexual healing. :D

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I've found this a little confusing myself. Logically I can handle the idea of a guy seeing other people if we're not in a specified mutual relationship, but emotionally I'm finding it hard to not feel a little hurt and rejected by it. I mean you can say "I'm just having a good time" all you want but I don't think I'm the only woman who tends to get a little emotionally attached if you see or talk to or go out with the same person quite often, whether you want to admit it or not you (or at least I do) tend to get that "he's mine" mentality going. When you know he's seeing or talking to another woman you can't help but feel a little kicked in the gut like you're just not enough, even though I don't think it's that, I think it's just the guy's inability to commit and his addiction to always looking for some new toy.

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I find that when I have a FWB its easier to not get feelinsg for him if I don't actually hang out with him. LOL If we're not actually friends then I'm not so likely to feel anything. I mean there's no cuddling no chit-chat, when I have a bad day unless I'm looking for stress relieving sex I don't call him. When my friend "golden rod" started hooking up, we started hanging out as well, and talking, even after the sex ended we became best friends, and that's when the feelings started. I knew we had amazing sex, and now he's my best friend? yeah pretty simple math there.

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I would really like to hear all the MEN give their thoughts on this because I think men look at it diffently than us women do. So men, we're asking you:

before you were in a commited relationship - is it easy and natural for you to have more than one "thing" going even if there is an intensely hot sexual connection going with the first one? And if so does this mean that you really have no feelings for these women besides the sexual/flirtation excitement of the hook ups? Explain the way men think about this issue please!!!!

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I'd also be interested in hearing from some of the men on the board about this too.

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I would really like to hear all the MEN give their thoughts on this because I think men look at it diffently than us women do. So men, we're asking you:

before you were in a commited relationship - is it easy and natural for you to have more than one "thing" going even if there is an intensely hot sexual connection going with the first one? And if so does this mean that you really have no feelings for these women besides the sexual/flirtation excitement of the hook ups? Explain the way men think about this issue please!!!!

Everybody is fair game until I begin to date someone, at that point I get tunnel vision :P

I have only dated three separate women over the past four years, and I only retain communications with the last one (we were friends before we decided to go out, and have reverted back to that... and are not willing to give it another try!), the other two though... I dislike having any communications with people I have dated before and things ended up falling apart. However, as to being in a new relationship, and anything comes up in conversation or stories swapping about prior relationships let it be health issues or an emotional issue of some sort, no problem speaking of the prior relationship. Its old news as far as I am concerned. Now I did have one friends with benefits (fuck buddy) relationship a few years ago, and that I am really tight lipped about though, I think its just me being shy on the subject of discussing it if I am in a relationship or past the first few dates, what not. Another thing is that I can not stand the idea of multiple relationships at one time, even in some sort of case inwhich we are only dating and there is no committment, one thing comes to mind: I hate the idea of sharing myself with multiple people and will not do it. I refuse to look elsewhere in that time frame, if things don't work out then I can look around afterward. But that is just what I think on the subject of dating and speaking of prior relationships and the idea of having multiple ones at a time.

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I would really like to hear all the MEN give their thoughts on this because I think men look at it diffently than us women do. So men, we're asking you:

before you were in a commited relationship - is it easy and natural for you to have more than one "thing" going even if there is an intensely hot sexual connection going with the first one? And if so does this mean that you really have no feelings for these women besides the sexual/flirtation excitement of the hook ups? Explain the way men think about this issue please!!!!

I was never much interested in one-night-stands, and wanted a steady-honey. If I were dating a girl, especially past several dates, and if she were still seeing someone else, I would no longer be interested in her. I have no interest in sharing.

. . . If you're looking for something serious, then the question of "coupledom" should come up. Up until both of you agree to be in a serious, monogomous relationship, don't ever assume . . .

Yeah, well, no one ever explained any of this to me while growing up. So rightly or wrongly, wisely or stupidly, if I had been dating a girl a couple of months and continuing, sleeping over, seeing her most weekends, things seem to be going well, and all that good stuff, I would and did presume [at least I'm pretty smart with that: never assume anything; I PRESUME instead ;) ] that there were no other guys, I was it (at least for the present), etc.

Just two cents from one dopey, naive, introverted, socially awkward, dorky guy. That's my story, and I'm stickin' to it!

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I know it's a common thing now, but wasn't in my younger years. I think it's BS if you start a relationship on a lie, but if you are up front that you are not exclusive then at least the other person has the opportunity to stay, leave or even find others to date also.

Anytime kids are involved I personally think it should be more than a FWB or such. Children get attached pretty easily and get hurt a lot by parents who consider only themselves!

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I know it's a common thing now, but wasn't in my younger years. I think it's BS if you start a relationship on a lie, but if you are up front that you are not exclusive then at least the other person has the opportunity to stay, leave or even find others to date also.

Anytime kids are involved I personally think it should be more than a FWB or such. Children get attached pretty easily and get hurt a lot by parents who consider only themselves!

I am really not a FWB type of gal, but even when I am first dating someone, I do NOT involve my children. I mean they know I am going out, but I do not introduce them or do things as a couple with them until I am pretty sure that the relationship is long term. This can be inconvenient, but my first priority is my girls!

Thank you all for your answers. It has been interesting. I am still not so sure what to think when looking on dating sites and seeing so many men with the desire for a relationship but also for casual sex. I miss sex terribly but I am not the type to go out and have a bunch of casual sex with different people. I am monogamous at heart. So does this mean that they are not or not so monogamous? This is of course not a question for a first date. lol Take care all and thanks for the good advice!

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