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Online Dating Magazine > Columns > Dating Triumphs & Tragedies > Dating by the Numbers

Dating Triumphs and Tragedies
by Nicole Roberge

Dating by the Numbers

There I was at the gym, just trying to finish my workout—you know, benching 250, when I was rudely interrupted.  Okay, I was on one of the arm weight machines and I wasn’t technically interrupted, but I overheard two guys talking and it was so rude and annoying that I felt like I was being interrupted.  Whew, now that we’re clear…this is what happened. 

There I am, sitting on the machine, pumping iron. Two dudes, on separate machines, not really working out, but chatting.

Dude #1: “Yeah man, I don’t know what I’m gonna do about this.  They’re ruining all my fun.”


 Dude #2: “Well, are they gonna find out?”

Dude #1: “If one waitress starts talking to another waitress, then yeah, it’ll just explode and then they’ll all hate me.  Each one is already starting to get on my nerves though, trying to make things serious.  You know, all nagging, like ‘Why didn’t you call me?’ and ‘Why can’t we hang out tonight?’”

Dude #2: “Oh I know dude, I hate that!

Dude #1: “I don’t see why I just can’t mess around with each of them, I don’t want to have to hang around them all the time.  I’m just afraid they’re all gonna start talking and then it’s gonna blow up in my face.

What a weasel that Dude #1 is!  I got so aggravated that my biceps didn’t even bother to give him a little wave goodbye.  We just left.  Talk about a jerk.  He probably thinks he’s smart and has prime access to as many dates as he wants, with so many waitresses, but yeah Dude, they will catch on, and I hope they do.

But it did raise the question, what is a suitable number of people to date at one time?  If you’re not seeing each other exclusively, that is.

I must admit, I have never been all that daring to do such a thing.  Okay, maybe I lie a little.  I was dating someone once, and we were in the midst of breaking it off—and then back on—and then off…it wasn’t anything serious…and when it was pretty much off, I went on a date with someone else.  A very non-productive one.  Part of the fact that I haven’t been able to do it is because I like to see where things are going with the one person I’m dating.  Dating two people at once, even in the early stages, just seems too difficult.  And from my experiences, dating one person can be complicated enough.

But as far as the dating world goes, it is pretty acceptable to be “playing the field” until you make that “commitment” of seeing each other exclusively.  And as with all things, dating more than one person has its good and bad points.  Here are some to remember if you dare to take the challenge:


» You get to meet a variety of people and personalities to see what you are really looking for, instead of dating one person for a while only to find you are not compatible, and then have to go back to the drawing board.

» You get to try new and interesting things based on the person’s interests that you are dating.

» You don’t put too much pressure on yourself that the sole person who you are dating has to be “the one.”  You can just have fun and enjoy the dating life of being single!


» There’s always the possibility of getting confuse, like if you have a date with Mike on Friday and Bill on Saturday and you start mixing the two up.  Mike just told you he loves hockey and when you see Bill, you talk about how you guys should go to a hockey game sometime.  “I hate hockey,” says Bill.  “Why would I want to do that?”  Uh-oh, quick cover.

» I have a friend who can never get anyone’s names right, even good friends.  She used to call “Jeanette,” “Janet” all the time.  So what if you’re dating a Steve and Eric?  Seems simple enough, but you might slip up and call them by another name.  Or worse, a Joe and Joey.  Bill and Will.  It can get complicated.

» Making plans can be tough.  What if George and Eddie call and want to do something with you on the same night.  How do you choose?  You like both of them.  Can you pick a different day?  Nope, they’re busy all the other 6.  That’s when it comes down to really deciding—who do you like more?

Dating more than one person at a time can be fun and enjoyable, until you’re ready to settle yourself into a relationship with one person.  But it can also be a little daunting if you’re not so organized.  The best way to avoid some risks is to just be honest with the person.  Tell him that you’re dating other people right now and why—whatever your reason is.  And then he’ll probably tell you whether he is or not.  Because often times, it goes unsaid, and wouldn’t you rather know?  If you are, he might be, and honesty when dating is always a plus.  And as long as he doesn’t answer, “Well I’m dating all the waitresses I work with, but other than them, it’s just you, baby,” then you should be good to go.  Until you realize he might be the only one you want to be spending your Friday, and Saturday, nights with.


Dating Triumphs and Tragedies is published every Sunday by Online Dating Magazine columnist Nicole Roberge. She can be reached at

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