A guy friend of mine is actively dating-and by “actively dating,” I mean he’s hooking up with multiple different people. Some he sees pretty regularly, others are one-night stands. My question is: what does he have to tell them, and when? I told him that before he hooks up with anyone, he has to tell her that he’s seeing different people. He says he doesn’t need to get into it unless someone asks him to be exclusive. What do you think?
I have to say that I agree with your friend that he doesn’t have to tell them until they talk about exclusivity. However, should he talk to them about this early? Probably.
In the dating world, my assumption is that anyone I’m dating and/or sleeping with is may or may not be sleeping with others. If I don’t want to hook up won’t anyone who is hooking up with someone else, then it’s on me to bring up the conversation.
I’m often dating more than one guy—and I’m not saying I’m getting naked with all of them, but I’m not saying I’m not. I just assume that I can hook up with whomever I want unless someone says they have a problem with it. That being said, in this dating world it does make sense to have conversations early and often about what you want out of each and every relationship. If you aren’t open and communicative then then the chances are higher of someone getting hurt.
This type of dating multiple people, and taking off the clothing of multiple people, is somewhat new to me. It took me a while to adjust my mindset to just assume I’m not the only one spending time in between someone’s sheets. It seems like this multi-relationship lifestyle is not the most accepted and encouraged route to take, but among my group of friends it seems to be the most popular. I was thinking about it like you are for quite a while, and the online dating thing was a challenge for me to accept. Then a friend pointed out that it’s logical. Why date one person until you realize it’s not meant to be and then move on to meeting others? You could date multiple people (2? 3? More? Whatever you’re comfortable with) and then continue a relationship only once you see that it might be one worth maintaining. It just makes sense! When we mature and gain dating experience, we know what we want and aren’t falling in love with every other boy anymore. We become a lot pickier. So at this age we have more reason to explore relationships with more than one person at a time to see if they will really meet our relationship needs. If we do this with multiple people, we won’t be 80 by the time we find one (or more!) that we want to spend the rest (or part of the rest) of our lives with.
Keep in mind that this is my point of view and I’m approaching my late 20s. The type of dating and hooking up that you feel comfortable with can vary based on where you are in your life, as long as your own personal comfort level and needs. It’s different for each person. But for me, I think what your friend is doing is okay, though it’d be best if he made it clear to anyone he’s dating long term that he is interested in maintaining more than one relationship at this point and they should not expect exclusivity.
Bottom line is that I don’t think what he’s doing is wrong and as long as he feels comfortable with it, the most you can do is promote the concept of communication and how important it is with this type of dating. Also always encourage him to be safe. If he’s sharing his man parts around with a lot of women, he better be suiting up properly because he should value his health and respect his partners’ health as well.
Sex with one is often sex with many,
Image from What Makes Men Tick (1972). Photo by Katherine of Chicago (Creative Commons).