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Dear Mark,

 

I’m dating a couple of different guys at the moment. The other day, two of them found out that they weren’t the only ones I was seeing. I think they were disappointed about it, but we’d never discussed not seeing anyone else. I’ve only been seeing them for a couple weeks each and I think that’s too early to be exclusive. I’m not sure I ever even want to be in a monogamous relationship. What sort of speech should I give them so I can continue to see as many guys as I want and still have them want to see me?

Dear Mark,

 

I’m dating a couple of different guys at the moment. The other day, two of them found out that they weren’t the only ones I was seeing. I think they were disappointed about it, but we’d never discussed not seeing anyone else. I’ve only been seeing them for a couple weeks each and I think that’s too early to be exclusive. I’m not sure I ever even want to be in a monogamous relationship. What sort of speech should I give them so I can continue to see as many guys as I want and still have them want to see me?

 

 

Signed,

Lucky in Lauderdale

 

Dear Lucky,

 

I think you should skip the speech and try to have a conversation with these men. I think it’s entirely okay that you haven’t yet had the “I’m dating/seeing/sleeping with other guys” discussion. However, it had to happen sometime and now that they know, it’s an amazing opportunity to get all the cards on the table. Find out what they’re thinking about you and try to give an honest account of your feelings as well. If you only want to keep it casual, have the courage to tell them exactly that. If they say they want to be your exclusive partner and you don’t want that, again you must rise to the challenge and let them know what is going on inside.

 

It’s okay to date a couple of guys at a time; it’s how people have been doing it since the beginning of time. It’s also okay to have some anxiety about it, too. Some poor chap back in the 1800’s was probably pacing back and forth about the same thing. Relax into these feelings. They are normal. Your only job is to talk to the men in your life about them and stay true to yourself in the process. Don’t date a guy exclusively just because he really wants to. Nothing spells disaster quicker than beginning a relationship under false pretenses.

 

If all of the guys are okay with your multiple dating then I say, “Go forth young lad…have a blast!” But, if you find that one or more of the guys do indeed have a problem with it, then it is time to make a decision. Do you whittle away the men in order to have one true boyfriend or do you gently exit the connections that aren’t working for you so you can continue to do what you want? These are not easy questions and there are no easy answers either. Give yourself some time and space to decide what it is that you want and how you are going to go about achieving it. Best of luck to you.

 

Dear Mark,

 

I just got back from a circuit party weekend, Southern Decadence. I had a great time but am sitting back at work very sad today. I think I met the love of my life up there. We met on Friday and were inseparable until Monday. We spent every waking, and sleeping, hour together. I totally ditched my friends and so did he. We went to all the events and only had eyes for each other. I had planned on going to cut loose and dance and hook up with a few guys (you know…just a good old fashioned gay circuit weekend), but this completely took me off guard. We’ve been texting and have talked at least one time a day since I got back three days ago. I know this is a terrible idea since I am in Florida and he is in Alabama, but I can’t stop thinking about him. What should I do?

 

Signed, Lost in Love

 

Dear Lost in Love,

Ah….the exquisite pain of new love. Of course you know you are asking me questions that I cannot answer, but I would start with having a conversation with your love in Alabama. Lay out all your concerns. See where he is at…what he is thinking? Is he dreaming about more or was it just a fun party weekend for him? If he is thinking about more, does he think it’s feasible or completely out of the question? And what does “more” look like to him? Does this mean him moving to you, you moving to him or the two of you moving somewhere new? How could the two of you come up with ways to meet up with each other over the next few months until you have more of the answers? Do you find some cheap flights up or down? Do you drive and meet half way for a weekend in between your two cities? How are you going to manage “today” so you can give yourselves more time to decide on what to do about tomorrow? Just start the dialogue without pushing yourself to know all the answers and enjoy him…enjoy this feeling of new love. No matter what anyone says, it doesn’t happen every day. Savor it!

 

Mark Rutherford is a  licensed psychotherapist in private practice in West Palm Beach.  He can be reached at

 

561-835-6821 or at [email protected]

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