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Dating More Than One Person: 10 Rules

By SYBIL SHIDDELL
December 07, 2022 15:34 IST
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Let your partners know what you are seeking from the relationship so everyone is clear and on the same page, suggests Sybil Shiddell, country manager India, Gleeden, a discreet extra marital dating Web site.

Kindly note the image -- a scene from the film Pati Patni Aur Woh that streams on Amazon Prime Video -- has been posted only for representational purposes.

Casual relationships have now become reality with more people being open to the idea of dating multiple partners at the same time.

While some may call it 'friend/s with benefits' being in an 'open relationship' or being involved with more than one romantic partner is quite common and in some cases even mutual.

Although there is no denying the fact that a healthy, positive and committed relationship is what humans crave and yearn for, it is common for humans to have phases in their life where they would prefer casual relationships over serious ones.

While this is completely okay, it is important to note that one has to be careful while dating multiple people at the same time, as at the end of the day we are all humans and have the tendency to get emotionally attached.

If you are someone who has been looking for a guide to maintaining multiple casual relationships, here are 10 important things to particularly avoid while doing so.

1. Ignoring self-awareness

The first and most important aspect to consider before entering casual and open relationships is to have a clear idea about yourself and what it is that you really need.

Are you doing this because you want to explore your options or is it a rebound from past relationships?

Carrying ahead trauma from the past and using open relationships as a coping or escape mechanism for it will not end up well for anyone involved.

Hence it is best to understand yourself better before stepping into any romantic dynamic and starting things only with crystal clear and honest intentions.

2. Not respecting other people and their feelings

Honesty is key in such cases.

There are plenty of people who are open to the idea of dating multiple people at the same time while there are also others who would prefer to stay loyal to one person.

It is unfair to not respect their choices just to satisfy yours.

This is why you need to ask the right questions early on and respect their decisions.

3. Getting competitive

When it is clear that the relationship is casual and open, the people involved will obviously have their attention divided.

It is here when jealousy kicks in and one partner or the other tends to get competitive or insecure.

This is the trickiest part of any casual relationship as no one is responsible or answerable to others.

Everything is clear and transparent right from the beginning, so competitiveness is not really going to keep these boundaries intact and negatively impact the relationship.

4. Not communicating your needs

One of the key aspects of dating multiple people is maintaining great communication.

Let your partners know what you are seeking from the relationship so everyone is clear and on the same page.

If there is something that you believe in, let them know so you’ll mutually take the right steps ahead.

5. Deal breakers

We attract people that are similar to us in many ways. Whether it is beliefs, choices or any other life aspect.

Often, even when we do like a lot of aspects about a person, there could be certain habits or particular cases that we are not comfortable with.

Red flags, toxic behaviour or unhealthy patterns can drain you out and invite trauma.

Hence, if there is a list of things that you would like to avoid, mention them to your partner as deal breakers.

This could be sexual encounters, emotional involvement or even your personal boundary.

Don’t keep them hidden. Voice it out and let your partner know that there are a few things that are absolute deal-breakers when it comes to being together.

6. Overlooking sexual etiquette

Naturally, sexual encounters are a part of every relationship. Always.

Always take consent before proceeding to any kind of sexual encounter.

Understand the sexual life of your partner and only then proceed ahead.

Remember that sexual health is equally important and practising safe sex will ensure everyone involved is healthy and free from STIs.

7. Going too fast

Casual relationships have the tendency to go very fast as everyone involved knows that this is short-term and not serious.

However, understand that you are only human and it can become too much to be constantly involved in so many situations.

Take things slow and let each relationship evolve even if they are casual.

8. Not giving them your attention

Just because it is a casual relationship does not mean you will ignore them and not give them your attention.

Don’t be mean and distant. Both of you are in this for a short period, so make that worth it and ensure they feel happy and appreciated around you.

9. Ignoring the green flags

While we see many conversations around red flags, toxicity etc, always remember that not everyone you meet may turn out to be bad.

We all encounter some of the nicest people in life and it is important to value them.

If during this journey, you come across someone who you feel is the right person for you and that you both value each other and if he/she is a green flag, then do not let them go.

As humans, we need strong relationships and as much as casual relationships are tempting, having a sustainable long-term partner is a human need.

10. Not knowing when to stop

There always comes a time when one may feel they are ready to take the next step ahead.

We all are different people and for a lot of us casual relationships will start to feel like a burden.

If you are not comfortable with it or have become attached to one specific person, know that you need to stop indulging in this pattern.

You deserve a happy and sustainable relationship and knowing when to move out of this is how you will be able to evolve further.

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SYBIL SHIDDELL