Monday, August 14, 2006

How many dates until...

I had lunch with Chi over the weekend. Last week she had mentioned to the group that she's hidden her profile so that she won't receive new matches.

In the past couple months, she's been on a handful of dates and some coffee meetings. Her estimate is that she's considered communicating with some 100+ eligible men during that time. I'm sure she was in contact with more than 20 guys over those months.

Of them, Chi found one she's feels is genuine and interesting. Juan has been dating online for several months. His friends signed him up during some down time on a ski trip. He's very active with outdoor activities. When they first starting writing each other, his next 10 weekends were already booked.

They've been out on two dates in the past... four weeks? They both went really well. He's been very good about calling to talk and setting up next dates in advance. The third and fourth dates are already reserved though not planned (to Chi's knowledge). He returns from his vacation this week.

When she mentioned going out to a movie with a guy on Saturday, I asked if it was a date. No, it was a co-worker friend who she's known for a long time. As she talked about taking herself off of her online dating sites, I had to ask, "isn't it a bit early?"

"I know, yeah, my sister says the same thing."

"I don't want to nag, but other people have advised me in the past about keeping your options open."

"Yes, you're right, but I don't want to. He's such a good guy."

"Okay, just wanted to check. I want to be optimistic about Juan but felt this was important to mention. I won't ask again."

She was a good sport about it. It was also a relief to hear that her sister has called her on it as well. Advice is tough to follow when you like someone.

Chi looks happy; it's cute. I want to believe she's found a good guy. In my younger years, the thought never occurred to me to date more than one person at a time. It seemed like cheating (and I could never understand how you remember to whom you've said what). Nor did it occur to me that the guy I went out with might be dating other people. It's kind of sad that I can't think that way anymore. I understand Chi's actions, I'd want to do the same (and have). But at this age (and she's the same age), I feel like we can't be so narrowly focused (so soon).

So the question I have now is, how many dates do you go on with someone before you stop dating other people? Is it measured in months? Do you wait until you have "the conversation" and agree to be monogamous? At what point do you have that conversation? Is it a decision where you must trust you gut?

Oh yeah... and because she'd like to see where things go with Juan, she's wanting to pass along the set ups for her offered by friends to me. Nice I suppose, it just seems a little odd.


mini said...

i wonder the same thing. when is it no longer okay to be dating other people or even giving out phone numbers when asked? i think that if at any point there is an assumption that you're exclusive (even without explicitly having talked about it), it's no longer okay. but that's about as vague as not having a rule at all.

i have no idea, and i feel like i've been treading on pretty thin ice lately with this issue. i've been telling myself that after 3rd date, i need to make a decision, one way or another.

but perhaps the best measure is how you feel about it inside. if you feel guilty, then you're probably pushing the boundaries on what's acceptable and what's no.

Pandax said...

Hey, it sounds like you've been getting some attention lately? :)

I agree that after 3 or 4 dates (about one month) seems like a good point at which to have a more solid feeling. You're past the early nerves and major dealbreakers (hopefully). This, of course, is all working under the assumption that the two people are looking for a committed relationship rather than just dating for fun.

zerodoll said...

i agree with shan, if you feel guilty about it, you shouldn't be doing it. but it's also worth a conversation with the other person. if you're that into them (and they into you), you should be able to say, hey, i'm hiding my profile. of course, i was so clueless when i was on match, i didn't even know you could do that so that was how the conversation came up (hey- where did you go?)

Anonymous Writer said...

Like you, it wasn't until I was older that I realized it'd be okay to date more than one person at a time...though in this case, I think that hiding a profile too soon might be risky in that the other person might log on, see that it's not there anymore and maybe think you're moving too fast.

I agree that by the third date, you get a sense of where this might be headed i.e. whether you want to see more of the person, etc., but I think two people aren't really "serious" until they start seeing a lot of each other i.e. several times in one week, rather than having it spaced out and preplanned.

I guess I'm just more cautious, though, 'cause I don't want to send the wrong message to the other person.