To think exclusive dating is the norm?

(14 Posts)
Minimou Sun 16-Mar-14 21:51:31

On another thread, someone said that multiple dating is now common, where people will be dating more than one person at a time. I have been in my current relationship for 4 years, so am willing to be told that British culture has completely changed in that time, but I don't think so! I have a friend who uses dating websites. She certainly has a lot of first dates, but even she is not going and having third and fourth and fifth dates with more than one man at a time, and I would think she was treating them pretty badly if she did.

I know a couple of guys who do this kind of thing, they even get to the stage of sleeping together, meeting the parents, and they are still seeing numerous people. Without exception, the women have always been very upset when they found out, but the men think they have done nothing wrong saying, 'aha, but we never said we were boyfriend-girlfriend/exclusive, so this was fine.' I have never had that kind of conversation with a boyfriend, but simply assumed it was mutually understood that if we met, went on a date, liked each other and decided to go out again, then that was it, we were dating, and we wouldn't be pursuing any other avenues. It might last a few more dates, or it might go on to be a long term relationship, but for that time, we were 'exclusive' and I would have been mightily shocked and pissed off if I found out otherwise.

Smilesandpiles Sun 16-Mar-14 21:57:09

I know what you mean. If other people do it, then fair enough but it's something I just can't bring myself to do. Dating more than one person at a time to me just feels wrong and unfair.

I've been on the receiving end of the "but we didn't say we were exclusive" excuse and that's all it is to me. It's an excuse. After all, if you really liked someone, you wouldn't bother seeing anyone else in the first place would you?

I would even go so far as to say it was the final nail for me. It's put me off dating anyone and I'd rather be single for the rest of my life than put myself through that again.

beals692 Sun 16-Mar-14 22:06:25

I think it's still the norm - and, if it were an honest misunderstanding about the exclusivity of the relationship - surely you'd know about the other people they were dating?

If you go out on dates with someone, talk to them about what's going on in their life etc and they thought it was agreed and accepted that they were seeing other people surely it would come up in conversation? e.g. asking them how their week's been, what plans they have for the weekend - The other dates would naturally be mentioned, wouldn't they? If you proposed to go out on a certain night, they'd honestly say, sorry, I've got a date with someone else that night. If someone's got that far into a relationship and somehow this hasn't come up in the conversation, it's not a misunderstanding about the exclusivity of the relationship, it's because they knew you wouldn't like it and were hiding it from you until they got found out.

I do think it's okay (but not that common) to date multiple people as long as you are upfront and honest from the outset .

squoosh Mon 17-Mar-14 02:10:20

I think multiple dating is great as long as people are honest. It seems to be the American way and a much quicker way to find someone you like. Nothing wrong with a bit of fun.

Cuxibamba Mon 17-Mar-14 03:44:01

I know people multiple dating- but only max two to three dates, then they decide whether to take further (exclusively) or not. And for them all, it's open- fairly often, their dates are doing the same. So not long term, just ensuring they meet the most people possible.

TestingTestingWonTooFree Mon 17-Mar-14 05:06:56

I've heard of it being common place in the US, but not here.

LettertoHermioneGranger Mon 17-Mar-14 05:27:25

I wouldn't say it's common in the US. Not to the point of sleeping with multiple people.

I think supposedly the norm is that first, second date you could be going on dates with other people as well. But I truly have never known anyone who has done so - where are they meeting all these people? I think finding one person to go on a date with is an accomplishment.

PollyIndia Mon 17-Mar-14 07:19:51

Jesus, it's hard enough dating one person, working, starting a new business, having a social life and being a single mum to a crazy toddler, without trying to fit in other people to date too!
Who has time?!
Wouldn't be for me. It is definitely big in the us though. The exclusive chat is a big milestone.

GertTheFlirt Mon 17-Mar-14 07:26:29

"Have you had the exclusivity conversation" this is a phrase uttered only on MN. I know this because I ask in the office, when there are fledgling relationships. Without fail, aged between 22 and 38 they have all looked at me like I'm barking mad or been slightly offended in case I've called them sluts.

PollyIndia Mon 17-Mar-14 07:29:22

Well it isn't gert - I have quite a few female friends living in New York and they have all come across this. It is defo an American thing.

WooWooOwl Mon 17-Mar-14 07:42:58

I think this is one of those things that has become more common with the arrival of Internet dating.

It seems to make sense to me that an 'exclusivity conversation' would need to be had with someone met on the Internet, because you already know the basic fact that they are actively looking for and having dates with people they've met online. I've never done it, but I know from my friend that does that she often has more than one date lined up, or more than one virtual conversation going on at any one time.

It wouldn't occur to me to have the conversation with someone I'd met through real life, but it would with someone on a dating site.

CoffeeTea103 Mon 17-Mar-14 07:55:23

Yes it's still the norm, but mn is not the norm so you shouldn't take anything said on here as a true reflection of real life.

badtime Mon 17-Mar-14 08:06:06

I think it depends.

I know a lot of people who do internet dating, and I have done so myself in the past. Everyone I know basically assumes that anyone in that situation is still actively looking unless they have specifically said otherwise. Nobody expects the other person to drop everything immediately. Why should they?

I don't think there is anything wrong with it per se; however, I do think it leads to a lot of the internet dating distress and 'there are no decent men on the internet' nonsense I see around here, as there will obviously be other people with different expectations.

HobbetInTheHeadlights Mon 17-Mar-14 10:15:41

I think it is the norm here.

However I am seeing more of this "exclusive dating conversation" and it being a big thing and major milestone in the relationship cropping up in US books and TV shows. I do idly wonder how that relates to RL over there.

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