I heard a great phrase the other day that was related to dating. The idea of ‘A pair and a spare’ lets you date several people simultaneously until one suitor stands out. If you’re casually dating, ‘serial dating’ is fine where you date one person, and when that relationship breaks up you start looking for the next suspect. The issue arises if you’re on a time schedule as it can take quite a bit of time to find the next person you connect with. If you’re a woman in your early thirties and want to have children, you might not have as much time as you’d like.
If you really are on a mission to get married and/or have children you need to step up the program. ‘A pair and a spare’ dating means that you are always seeing two people on a semi-serious basis, with one waiting in the wings for when one of the potentials implodes or explodes. This way you are always dating someone and have the next one lined up with no wasted time in between.
While this may seem like the actions of a slut or player, it doesn’t have to be. You don’t have to be sleeping with them all, although you can if you’re healthy, fit and have a great memory. Just don’t say the wrong name in the throes of passion or ask the single one “How are the kids doing?” if they don’t have any. I’ve heard of women (and you know who you are) who kept a spread sheet that they’d study before any upcoming date to be sure she got the nuances right. She once said how much she loved last week when they’d had sex in the restroom of the restaurant they were dining in. The problem was that episode wasn’t with the guy buying her dinner that night. Needless to say it cast a pall on the rest of the evening!
If you’re not ready or willing to have multiple partners you can date until you get ready for that big step in intimacy and then choose which suitor gets the prize. At that point tell the other one that you’re exploring another relationship but you’d like to remain friends, etc. If he sticks around it shows that he really is interested in you and is willing to give you some space. Most guys’ egos are too big for that but at least you will have tried. If that relationship progresses well you’re set! If there are humps and bumps (and not the good kind) you can always start the process over and get through the awkward meet-and-greets and bad first dates while looking for a replacement for the relationship you’re in.
While at first it may sound cold and calculating, if set up correctly you can save a ton of wasted time in the beginnings of re-entering the dating world. If you can’t handle multiple relationships or partners, this strategy might not be for you. But then don’t complain about being lonely or having some douchebag waste a month of your time only to find out he’s an idiot. Think about where you want to be, and then decide the quickest method for getting you there.
Online dating is both good news and bad. You’re going to be able to find (and be found by) way more potential dates than has ever been possible before. However, with that availability comes the issue of sorting through them all to find the ones that you really will connect with. If you really are ready for that serious, long term monogamous relationship, the short term might require dating more than one partner at a time. Try it! The only thing you have to lose is time…