by Carson Griffith
Ever hear the old adage, “date three to find the one”? If not, you’ve clearly never met my grandma.
1. The simple premise—date three men at once to increase your chances of finding the man you’ll marry—was something my grandmother swore by (funny, considering I doubt she dated anyone besides my grandfather. Ever. But there may be wisdom in these wise, old words. Grandma’s concern was about weighting your options instead of driving yourself nuts and obsessing over just one man. Not investing all your time, energy, and emotions into any single man, no matter how much he’s convinced you he’s Mr. Fabulous can have its benefits. You simply don’t have time to fret about how much time he’s fretting about you if you’re simultaneously dating Mr. Semi-Fabulous and Mr. Just-Okay, too.
2. “If you are looking for a serious relationship, then you should absolutely be dating more than one man at once… you need quantity to find quality,” says “dateologist” and flirting expert Tracey Steinberg. Even if you’re looking to keep it casual, “then by all means, also try out the variety and the spice of life.” Steinberg does not suggest sleeping with more than one man at once because of added drama andSTDs, but she advises all of her clients to go out on dates with multiple people—until they find someone that becomes particularly sparkly and special to them. Emily, 28, who was my grandmother’s worst nightmare—a woman who became fixated on each new flavor of the month without keeping perspective. So she decided to try a little man-juggling. “I would date a guy and if I liked him, start picturing our wedding within the first three dates,” she admits. “Everything I did became about him. Every invite I got would become, ‘Oh, I can invite him to this.’ Every dress I bought would be, ‘Oh, I can wear this in front of him.’ And this would go on and on for three month cycles or so.”
She consciously tried to break this habit by dating more than one person at a time. “My friend suggested I date more than one person at a time for my own good, and I met Adam and I started seeing the pattern happening again, but I forced myself to break it. I started seeing another guy, and even a few other dates here and there with some losers, but the whole time, it really just helped distract me,” she says. “I was forced not to put my life on hold for him.”
3. Perfect, right?
But dating coach David Wygant says dating three to find the one isn’t always the best mantra, and can even be emotionally “dangerous.” “You can date as many people as you handle,” he says. “But some people date around because they are needy.” Instead of worrying about how many dates you have and it being a balancing act, Wygant suggests women “date from feelings. Know what you want ahead of time so you aren’t getting too invested. Do a reality check. You should have a personal list.”
4. Ladies love lists, but Wygant says he’s talking about a different kind. “Most women make a list of what they want the guy to be, not how they (personally) want to feel.” Somewhere between her wedding fantasies and serial dating, Emily was able to do some soul-searching. “I was getting such a severe rush of feelings for these guys, almost like I was scared of losing an opportunity to date them, that I never really took the time to think if I really liked them or not,” she says. “When I was dating more people I could take a step back and think: ‘Do I really like them? Do I want to be with them?’ It felt good.”
5. Apparently the answer was yes. Dating around led to the ultimate happy ending: Emily is nowengaged to Adam. Do you think dating three to find the one is a good idea? And besides that, do you have the time, energy, and stamina, to date a trio of guys at once?
Read this article in Cosmopolitan
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