If the other person wants to continue to date and we don’t, we stop dating them.
Not all daters are stringing everyone they date along with promises of a monogamous relationship. Some people only want to date and aren’t ready for a relationship. If you feel like you’re truly being strung along then you stop dating them.
Actions over words, always. Many people say, “I don’t want anything serious” as they are treating you like a significant other. What you think you want and what you actually want can be very different things. And many people will call you their girlfriend/boyfriend while not remotely treating you like one.
I don’t think dating several people at once is distracting, I think it’s enlightening and smart. You may be used to one level of happiness/love/interaction/respect and go on a date someone who blows all of that out of the water, and then go on a date with someone else who lowers the bar farther than you imagined was possible. I don’t think repeatedly putting all your eggs in one basket is a smart move.
Dating IS a competition. Serial monogamy doesn’t change that. All you can do, and should focus on, is being the best version of you that you can be. You’re not going to be the Right One for everyone you date, and that doesn’t make you faulty or flawed. Relationships don’t fail, one or both partners realize it isn’t the best fit for them. That’s not a failure. You’re not supposed to be the best person for everyone.
Dating is about meeting and getting to know a new person, and having some food or drinks. That’s it. If sparks fly, then go ask her on a second date, and so on, until you decide that YOU have found the best match for you and ask her to be exclusive. Dating more than one person works to your benefit, too.
How well can you really know someone after three weeks? Not very. Once I started looking at dating this way, without expectations, instead of “The Search For My Future Boyfriend”, with the expectation that the next guy I went on a date with would be The One and I could be done, dating actually became fun, something it had never been before, ever, not once in my life.
I wasn’t crushed when I didn’t get a second date because I wasn’t expecting anything. And I was happy if I did get a second date, because I wasn’t expecting anything. Yes, we should expect respect and being treated with kindness. But that’s about it. If we don’t like the way someone treats us or behaves, we stop dating them. Next!
The friends I’ve seen jump from one exclusive relationship to the next tend to be clingy, insecure, needy, jealous, and fly off the handle. It’s a sign of something much deeper when you feel like you can’t be alone.
If dating one person exclusively at a time works for you, and has brought you deep, satisfying relationships and little heartache, then by all means keep at it. If not, then maybe switching up your game could get you what you’re looking for.
Thank you for your response!