Piggyback Dating

In Dating on September 5, 2010 at 1:14 am

Dear Yenta,

Is it okay to date multiple people? I struggle with this question a
lot…Currently, I am dating more than one person and both
relationships are advancing on physical and emotional levels,
although, they are advancing at different rates. At what point do I
have to pick one? I am not stressed out by it, I have room in my life
and head to manage both relationship, but my friends think it is
emotionally immature and greedy… I dont feel unhealthy, and I would
be totally honest if they found out about each other.

Any thoughts?

-Needy and Greedy

Don't pull a Woody.

Dear Needy and Greedy,

The barometer test for situations like these has to do with who ends up getting hurt. If you can honestly say that no one involved will be devastated or destroyed by your dating habits, then what’s the problem? There are plenty of people who believe in open dating policies and succeed in this fashion. They succeed based on honesty, openness, and a clear understanding of what commitment means to them and how to get their own needs met. If you fall under this category of evolved dating, then so be it.

When it comes to love and sex the opinions of others can be poisonous. Every different human has a different set of needs and some are more proactive and more creative about meeting them than others. For all you know these friends judging your behavior are just jealous. Are they getting any? Maybe you getting more than your share is “greedy” in their eyes because somehow they feel you are dipping into their pool of possibilities. Date away, as long as no one gets hurt.

If, however, you secretly want a monogamous relationship and can’t quit all this piggybacking, then that’s a question to sort out within yourself and possibly with a therapist. This same answer applies if your chronic dating is chronic lying and cheating.

For help cultivating multiple healthy relationships at once check out: The Ethical Slut: A Practical Guide to Polyamory, Open Relationships & Other Adventures by Dossie Easton and Janet W. Hardy or Opening Up: A Guide to Creating and Sustaining Open Relationships by Tristan Taormino.

Merissa Nathan Gerson is a fan of
Ask Your Yenta
  1. merissa, this is good advice. Also, my partner jb and i recently heard Tristan speak at a conference. she’s amazing. and hilarious.

  2. […] couple, despite their commitment to one another for life, choose to open their beds to others (see PiggyBack Dating for more). If this is the case, continue to ride the bull […]

  3. […] You could be totally in love and totally scared and this fantasy is a lifeline to life beyond, keeping you grounded. Or, still, you could be curious and lusting for more, maybe even for an open relationship. (See PiggyBack Dating) […]

  4. […] Meditation could help, anything to assist you in turning inwards and finding your answers.  For more on dating multiple partners, click here. […]

  5. […] I don’t know very many women who like to be someone else’s emotional leftover. It is not crazy to expect that your significant other puts you first, top of their list, above other loves. In fact, it should be expected that your partner does not tie their heart to another love tree. (Unless you are You, in a monogamous American construct, are meant to be the one and only. But if you like love triangles, jump!  (Click here for more on safely dating multiple people at once.) […]

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