By Natasha Burton
When it comes to dating, the truism that “honest is the best policy” couldn’t be more apt. Being upfront isn’t always easy, but it will save you headache — and heartache — in the long run — especially when it comes to how committed you want to be to one person.
The great thing about dating is that it allows you to meet a variety of new people and choose among them who might be a good fit for you. But, if you are currently seeing more than one person, you can’t assume that everyone you date is as well — you need to be honest about your situation and wants from dating from the get-go.
While it’s not necessary to tell a potential intro that you’re dating around in your very first message to him or her, you do want to be upfront about your situation and intentions sooner rather than later. If you’re able to, tell your intro before you meet-up that you are dating around. It’s as easy as explaining, “I’m really excited to meet you in person, but I think you should know that I am currently seeing other people as well. If you’re okay with this, I would really love to get to know you further.” This way, your intro can decide before you go out whether or not he or she feels comfortable with that arrangement and you both can avoid wasting your time if you indeed have different dating goals.
If such a conversation hasn’t happened before the meet-up (maybe there just wasn’t enough time or back-and-forth communication), it’s important to bring up that you are dating others early in the date. Sure, it may feel awkward to be like, “Hi, nice to meet you, I’m seeing other people,” before you even order a cocktail, but it’s worse to blindside your intro when the check comes — at that point, your intro has already sized you up based on the date and potentially formed expectations about where he or she would like your budding relationship to go.
After the two of you exchange some small talk, make a quick segue into clarifying your situation with something like, “I’m really excited you decided to meet with me today. I want to be upfront with you, though, and just let you know that right now I am also seeing other people.” Not only will your intro appreciate your honesty, such a statement might lead into the two of you discussing your goals for going on meet-ups and what you hope to get out of dating (just some fun, a relationship), which will really allow you both to see if you’re compatible in ways that count.
The bottom line is this: Always tell the truth about your dating life. That way, you can avoid feeling guilty, hurting feelings or putting yourself in a situation where you’ve led someone on. Dating isn’t always easy, but being honest will make the journey much smoother.