questionmark1
Advertisement

Dear Mark,
You’ve probably heard a story like mine before.  I’m 31 and live in Wilton Manors.  I’ve been here for a few years and really love it down here.  It’s nothing like the town in North Carolina where I grew up.  Since moving here I’ve dated…a lot.  I really enjoy it.  I left a semi-long term relationship and love the idea of meeting new people.  Recently, however, I began dating a guy who seems very serious about a relationship.  I told him from the start that “relationship” wasn’t in my vocabulary at the moment and he seemed fine with it.  Not unlike me, I have also been casually dating one other nice guy I met a few months ago.
So here’s the problem. 

 

questionmark1

Dear Mark,

You’ve probably heard a story like mine before. I’m 31 and live in Wilton Manors. I’ve been here for a few years and really love it down here. It’s nothing like the town in North Carolina where I grew up. Since moving here I’ve dated…a lot. I really enjoy it. I left a semi-long term relationship and love the idea of meeting new people. Recently, however, I began dating a guy who seems very serious about a relationship. I told him from the start that “relationship” wasn’t in my vocabulary at the moment and he seemed fine with it. Not unlike me, I have also been casually dating one other nice guy I met a few months ago.

So here’s the problem. Relationship guy wanted to go out to dinner last Friday. I already had something planned with casual guy so I just told him I had plans. Vague, I know, but not a lie. You can guess what happened next. The Gay-borhood is a small place and when we went to Bill’s for a drink, we ran smack dab into him. I wasn’t really that worried about it because I didn’t feel like I was hiding anything. But relationship guy freaked out on me. I tried to explain the situation but he wasn’t hearing it and he stormed out. It kind of put a damper on the rest of the evening for me.

So I’m not really sure what to do next. I like both guys. I’ve tried to be honest with them both from the start. One guy is okay with it and the other isn’t. But I’d really like to continue to enjoy dating both. What should I do?

Signed,

Jim

Dear Jim,

I think you already know the answer to this one. There is nothing wrong with casually dating. Many guys do it all the time. It can be fun and satisfying. You told me you were honest with them both from the start and that was absolutely the right thing to do. However, you have to understand that some guys will take you for face value and some won’t. Additionally, some guys will say they are okay with a casual arrangement and really desire more of a commitment from you. This isn’t your responsibility, of course. However, you need to be cognizant that this dynamic is very common.

This brings me to the issue of compatibility. If a guy says he is comfortable with dating you casually but then exhibits behavior that says he isn’t, it’s up to you to address this with him. You had the unfortunate luck to be “caught in the act” which always seems to ramp up reactive emotions for all involved parties. But my advice isn’t any different.

I suggest you contact this man. Explain to him the situation. Re-assert your case. Then see what he says. If he is open to the idea he may apologize for his behavior and ask for a “re-do”. This is a hopeful sign. He may just have needed clarification. But, also likely, you will see that he, in fact, does want more of a commitment from you. Language like “I just don’t understand why you have to date both of us.” Or “Why am I not enough for you?” These are clues as to the nature of his feelings for you. Then you will have a decision to make. Do you continue to casually date multiple men knowing that you will inevitably hurt some guy’s feelings? Or will you use it as an opportunity to re-examine your life and decide if you want to make some sort of shift towards a commitment? You haven’t said this, but it seems likely you will want another relationship in the future. When will that be? Is one of these guys the right match? Many questions. Good luck.

questionmark2

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here