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Dating etiquette, please help

(40 Posts)
SuperBunny Fri 02-Jan-09 05:04:51

...but be gentle with me!

I have no idea how this works and what the rules are.

I am separated (and almost divorced but not quite)

1) I have been on a couple of dates with a seemingly nice guy I met online about 18 months ago. We chatted but didn't meet up til a few weeks ago. We will see each other again this weekend. We have slept together I don't know if he realises I am not yet divorced. I don't know if that matters yet. We have been for a drink, for dinner, a movie, the usual dating stuff. He knows I have a DS, we have a few things in common, similar sense of humour, make each other laugh but he is young, lives with 2 other guys, has no responsibilities, a sport car (mine is ancient and the bumper is falling off) and goes out with his friends several times a week - our lives are very different.

2) A friend that I see a couple of times a month at a group I am in has taken me for dinner, requested (and been given) my phone number and has asked to see me sometime. I don't know if this is just as friends or what. He seems nice, we have lots in common, he knows about my situation. We get on well, I enjoy his company and he goes out of his way to chat to me.

3) I am going on a date tomorrow with an online man who has kids. He does not know much about me other than I have a DS and am separated/ divorced. I was all up for meeting him until he suggested a really fancy, expensive place (that I cannot afford), known for it's wine. I was expecting to meet up for coffee. He is French so we are both expats, single parents, have teaching backgrounds but I am nervous and want to cancel.

4) Someone else has asked me out - he knows I have been seeing someone.

I think this is too much! Yet I am single and bored and want to be out meeting people, socialising etc. But at what point am I playing the field and being unfair to someone? It's not like I'm sleeping with everyone and have made no commitments to anyone but, well, I am confused and my RL friends haven't dated in years and don't really know what to make of it. Actually, none of them know all of this.

SuperBunny Fri 02-Jan-09 05:06:31

If you managed to wade through my OP, thanks. Not sure why I posted - just needed some guidance or something. I dunno. This is all so complicated...

snookster Fri 02-Jan-09 05:52:35

I wouldn't worry too much about whether you're fully divorced or not. I guess a decree nisi is a sign you're on the way to the absolute. Personally, if I were in your shoes and someone would ask me, I'd say the truth. Not fully divorced yet but on the path to no return.

I'd say yopu've done well lady lining up all those boys grin No harm in doing that & keeping busy. You don't want to go either to a nunnery nor down the aisle any time soon I suppose. You'll get out and will meet new people, sounds great. The one thing I'd be careful about is to make sure not to introduce every guy to your little one!

snookster Fri 02-Jan-09 05:56:58

Ah, just meant to add, multiple dating is very American and very very common there. I'm continental European and have always ended up dating guys successively, so focussing on one guy at a time, but tbh, I did play the field for one year when I was living abroad. Also, most of my male friends do this all the time and find nothing untoward about it. Don't let your friends dampen your fun. When going out yopu might also meet new friends and be more on the same wavelength IYSWIM.

hockeypuck Fri 02-Jan-09 06:58:12

Sounds ideal to be honest! Definitely a god idea to keep your options open at this stage and you are not doing anything wrong because you have not committed to any of them.

I wouldn't worry about the decree absolute - at the end of the day, you're single regardless of paperwork, that is the main thing.

Go out, play the game, enjoy it, and most of all enjoy all that attention!

NAB3lovelychildren Fri 02-Jan-09 07:30:28

Pick one!

NotQuiteCockney Fri 02-Jan-09 11:23:08

It doesn't sound like you are sure enough of your feelings for any of them, nothing wrong with waiting and seeing, as long as you're not deceiving anyone.

#1 sounds like a nice way to pass the time.

#2 might be something serious, but you're not sure if you like him that way, or if he likes you that way.

#3 - hmm. If he suggested an expensive place, presumably he meant to pay? Doesn't sound like the best fit, anyway, if you're not comfortable being clear about this stuff.

#4 - you're not saying much about this one ...

aseriouslyblondemoment Fri 02-Jan-09 11:53:53

Superbunny go out and enjoy..
and if you're ready to start dating again it's because in your mind you are single.
Like most divorces they seem to take an eternity to come thru..
I don't think that you should feel particularly bad about seeing a few men at once if you are keeping it all fairly light hearted thou there runs a risk of somebody getting hurt once sex becomes involved.

SuperBunny Fri 02-Jan-09 17:49:23

Thank you!

NQC, you summed it up nicely.

If asked, I will gladly tell them about the divorce not being finalised - I'm not hiding it, it just hasn't come up and it would seem odd to just blurt it out randomly.

I think I will go out tonight in the hope that we could perhaps be friends if nothing more. I don't know any other single parents so it will be a nice change And will see #1 tomorrow and see how things go. He is nice and I don't want to mess with him. And # 2 is just a friend for now.

Thank you for listening and helping - I am very grateful.

NAB, I will pick one!

NAB3lovelychildren Fri 02-Jan-09 18:31:48

I only said pick one in the hope your gut feeling would tell you who you wanted! grin

Have fun but be careful.

SuperBunny Fri 02-Jan-09 18:38:45

grin

Actually, it did. I feel like I am on blind date now but I pick #1

I am much more excited about seeing him for pizza and a drink tomorrow than I am at the prospect of tonight's fancy dinner. Which makes me wonder if I should just cancel. I do know that this is a nice problem to have!

NAB3lovelychildren Fri 02-Jan-09 18:45:10

See grin I might be crap at my life but I have my uses.

Not sure what to do about fancy restaurant man. If you knew he was paying would you go and give him a chance?

NAB3lovelychildren Fri 02-Jan-09 18:45:46

Cripes - fancy man is tonight!! You have to get a move on if you are cancelling.

SuperBunny Fri 02-Jan-09 18:52:59

I know. I think I can't cancel now and it'll be nice to go out. Anyway, he might be the man of my dreams and if I bail, I'll never know hmm

I'm great at telling other people what they should do, yet my life always seems to be a complete mess! Thanks for your help, NAB.

NAB3lovelychildren Fri 02-Jan-09 18:55:15

No probs grin

Have a lovely time.

elastamum Fri 02-Jan-09 19:15:27

I found this thread really interesting as I am seperated and feel like i ought to start dating. go and have a good time!! envy

ratbunny Fri 02-Jan-09 19:20:51

I found this really useful too - I have a friend that may/many not end up as more, someone I really fancy but not sure if it will go anywhere and another guy online who wants to meet up.

I dont know our situations are 'playing the field', but actually, maybe we WANT to play the field first?

Go girl! date those men! grin Its not like you are committed to any of them, and once soemthing serious comes along, I'm sure you will stop seeing lots of men then.

solidgoldsoddingjanuaryagain Fri 02-Jan-09 19:25:35

You can date - and have sex with - as many people as you like unless and until you have had a conversation with someone about wanting your relationship to be exclusive. People who assume that a relationship is or has become exclusive just because you have had sex are idiots who have only themselves to blame if they get hurt.
THough I do agree with those who say, hold off on introducing any dates to your DC except in passing (and all you need to do is say that it's a friend you're going out with if he comes to collect you from home or whatever, no details necessary).

CatOfOneTail Fri 02-Jan-09 19:49:01

What a useful thread - I've been thinking about the same issue! Back on the dating scene after an 11 year relationship, the last two or three years of which were extremely negative so self confidence is not high.
I have started internet dating. I am seeing one guy who.....ah bugger it, if I don't tell you it honestly I'll never get any helpful advice. He's fabulous in bed!!!! It's great!!! I can't tell you how good it is!!!! Woohoo!!
However, he doesn't want real emotional involvement. Would it be so bad of me to continue to chat/date other guys at the same time until I meet one that I want to be exclusive with?
Here's hoping you all say go ahead, shag away.

NAB3lovelychildren Fri 02-Jan-09 19:53:27

shag away but don't get hurt.

SuperBunny Fri 02-Jan-09 20:31:26

Oh, am glad this was useful for other people - I was beginning to feel like a bit of a floozy. But it is quite good fun, and am careful. And this side of my life is entirely separate to the rest of my life so DS is in no way involved.

Catofonetail- I agree with what has already been said and think sleeping with one man and dating other people is ok until you have a conversation with someone about being exclusive. So, as Nab said, shag away, be careful and don't get hurt.

It is very strange to go from being with someone for 10+years to suddenly dating again, isn't it?

SuperBunny Sat 03-Jan-09 05:57:48

Update:

Tonight's date was surprisingly nice & I am glad I went. It does complicate things somewhat because I didn't actually want to enjoy his company but who knows, he may want nothing more to do with me. But he made me laugh, we talked for ages. If nothing comes of it then it will make my life simpler but it was a really nice night out. Hooray.

NAB3lovelychildren Sat 03-Jan-09 08:05:50

Brilliant!

CatOfOneTail Sat 03-Jan-09 08:43:24

I'm so glad you went and had a good time! You could easily not have gone out with this guy because you felt out of your comfort zone but you did and it went well.
I am catching myself being attracted to the same sort of man all over again without realising it immediately - yes, the emotionally unavailable shagger! I've already been hurt by several versions over the years yet still find the initial attraction is there and I don't spot that I've done it again till it's too late.
I think I will try to date guys who just seem nice. Perhaps I should view a lack of initial attraction as a positive thing as I seem to be attracted for all the wrong reasons! I am so pleased you went, I'll try come back and read this thread when I'm about to cancel a date because I'm feeling we have nothing in common.
NAB - 'shag away but don't get hurt' - you hit the nail on the head there, I think I am getting hurt but trying to pretend I'm not

NAB3lovelychildren Sat 03-Jan-09 08:44:31

It is bloody hard isn't it? Sex and emotions can be so intwined.

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