Dating around but not sleeping around. Sex with multiple people at the same time is unacceptable.
By Tom P Blake – Finding Love after 50
Last week, we mentioned Joe's dilemma. He's new to dating and wants to date around: "I put my profile on e-harmony and within days had over 100 matches within a 30-mile radius. I filtered the matches down to 10 that I contacted. Some friends tell me this is unethical, that I should only contact one person and make my decision before contacting another."
Being an honest guy, he told the first lady he dated he'd likely be meeting other women. Joe said, "She told me 'Goodbye - and don't come back until you are finished looking and want me.' I felt like I had done something wrong. Are there rules I should know about?" Joe asked.
Seven of you gave your opinions
Lynne said, "I don't see anything wrong with someone seeing more than one person at a time. Maybe Joe's mistake was announcing it. When I was young, you went steady with someone only after you had sampled what was out there. Is it the norm for older people to 'go steady' immediately? Doesn't make sense to me."
Betty was direct: "Tell Joe he should date as many women as he wants - as long as there are no commitments. May the best woman win."
Marta said, "Anyone who expects exclusivity after one or two dates is too needy. Joe should run in the other direction. I'd rather know the fella had a good look around before he settled on me as the most interesting woman he's met."
"I've dated men who thought I was Madame Wonderful right away. It was almost insulting. They didn't know me at all. These fellas want any old gal, they are lonely and anyone will do. No thanks. I want someone who knows me with all my foibles and still thinks I'm the most interesting woman around."
Kate shared, "I'd say Joe has just seen the warning sign of a possessive woman. Going to lunch once with a woman is not enough to know if you're ready to forego other dates and getting-to-know-you activities. Keep going and find a woman secure enough to develop a friendship with you before getting exclusive."
Jennifer, "Most people who use a dating service are meeting and talking with multiple people simultaneously, just like one would do at a party or a singles event. People are under no obligation to become exclusive with someone they just met.
"Online dating is an introduction, not an offer of a relationship. If people were to date only one person at a time, it would take 20 years to meet everyone in the database who is a match. The key word here is dating around, not sleeping around. Sleeping with multiple partners at the same time is wrong.
"Joe's lunch date was insecure and naive and she seemed to be expecting a premature show of interest from a man she had just met and didn't even know yet."
Jon added, "I get bad vibes from the lady who told Joe to get lost. Her attitude should have been less possessive and simply accepting of the fact that there are a lot of fish out there and we are all fishing."
Sandra, "We sign up on Internet sites to meet many people. She sounds much too possessive to me."
Most older singles agree that it's not only okay to date more than one person at a time; it's a good idea to ensure compatibility. It's a nice option to have. But once a commitment is made, the looking should stop. And while we have members who feel differently, most feel that sleeping with more than one person at a time is a no-no.