In The Meantime: The Problem With Dating More Than One Man At A Time


One night, last summer, all of my friends’ unsolicited advice came crashing down.

I was all for not fully investing myself into a union, until I knew it was serious. However, my friends were advocating for the dating of multiple people. They were annoyed that I insisted on dating one guy at a time. It wasn’t fathomable that writing, work, and family also consumed my life. I truly didn’t really have the time to do so. They urged me to make time or I’d be in for some serious disappointment.

I found myself running around in six-inch wedges, trying to control the situation unfolding, in front of my eyes. (& all of my co-workers’ eyes.)

I’d thrown an after work shindig, for my staff, and accidentally invited an ex. He happened to call, while I was preparing, and I was half-listening to him.

“Hey, I called to see if we could talk.”

I threw more empanadas, into the oven, “It’s not a good time, and I’m preparing for a party.”

“Oh really? Is it the one you usually have for your staff?”

“Yeah. It’s happening in an hour and I’m nowhere near finished.”

I heard his smile, through the phone, “Typical Erica. I miss you.”

I grimaced, “Listen, this thing is going down soon. I have to go.”

“Sure. I can just come by, if you want me to.”

I burned my hand, trying to take something off of the stove, “Ouch! Yeah, whatever. Bye.”

I didn’t hear what he said, before my farewell.

In addition to that ex, I’d also invited a new guy that caught my eye at a music concert. In the middle of Kendrick Lamar’s verses, his continuous smile brought on a severe blush. After the concert, he hopped over several chairs and found himself in my section. I was with my best friend and she elbowed me, when he said hello. This was gal pal for “girlll you better talk to him.”

We’d been chit chatting for three weeks and I wanted to see how he’d do, around my friends. His name was O’neil. He was a bit shorter, Guyanese, slim, and a serious Hip-Hop head. He qualified for a few dates, based off this alone. (Listen, it’s getting slight out here.)

All of my staff arrived on time and O’neil arrived an hour afterwards. We were immersed in cocktails and games, when he sauntered through the front door. One of the girls, that’d gone to the bathroom, let him in. He was out of place, considering we didn’t work with him, but the all the girls wore approval across their eyes. Swoon.

He made himself comfortable, in a chair next to me, and was a part of the laughter and conversation, in no time.

After another thirty minutes, my most recent ex appeared at my front door. When I looked out of the window, I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. I quickly revisited our telephone conversation and tried to remember if I’d invited him over. Furthermore, did I tell him that he could spend the night? He had his overnight bag in his hand and I couldn’t understand why.

I walked through the foyer, wondering how I could get him to leave. When I opened the door, he pulled me into an embrace and smiled.

“It’s so good to see you.”

I smiled nervously, “Hey. Did I invite you?”

He looked shocked, “Of course you did.”

“I guess it slipped my mind. Why do you have your overnight bag?”

“I’m going to spend the night at my boy’s nearby. The trip back would be too much, this late. Unless, I can crash your couch.”

I snickered, “Absolutely not.”

He shrugged and walked past me, inside. When he walked in, I signaled my best friend immediately. My nod was code for RED ALERT. She immediately sprung into action and began to talk up my ex, while I diverted my attention to my new guy. All night, while they made their rounds talking to different folks, my best friend and I grasped their attention, hoping they wouldn’t find time to talk to one another. Just as I headed to my room, because I heard my cellphone go off, they’d begun to make each other’s acquaintance, with a few other gentlemen at the party.

Text Message: From D.C.:


I’m here.


Here? What did he mean ‘here’? He didn’t even live in New York anymore.


Text Message: From D.C.:


I’m in front of your spot. I’m in NYC, for the weekend, and I wanted to surprise you.


Whoa. I left my party discreetly and went outside to explain to D.C. that I couldn’t go with him. He sat in the car, with his beautiful, confused face and grit his teeth. I’d missed him.

(We decided that our relationship wouldn’t work, after he’d been shipped out to Japan. He visited home every now and then and I’d take him up on hanging out, but he always called first.)

I also explained, that I couldn’t let him in.


He rolled his eyes, gripping his steering wheel, “What? You got someone in there?”

“Um…I mean…I’m having a party, with my coworkers.”

“I hear you. I don’t understand why I can’t hang, too.”

“It’s complicated.”

“Alright Erica, have a good night.”

I walked back into the house, suddenly really sad. If I could’ve chosen anyone to hang with, it would’ve been D.C. Instead, I had to give him the cold shoulder and run damage control inside.

I headed back in, where my best friend had successfully ended the conversation between the former men, with a dance competition. I was suddenly too tired to partake. I stepped to my ex first.

I yelled over the music, into his ear, “I just don’t think it’s the best idea that you’re here this late.”

He smiled drunkenly, “Nothing is going to happen between us. I swear.”

I hissed my teeth, “That’s not it. I just don’t want you here.”

He was suddenly sobered, “Oh. Well, I’m out then.”

I sighed and moved on to the new guy and told him the same thing. Shortly after, I ended the party. My closest friends sat on my couch and laughed about all that took place. They found the situation quite hilarious and I was sure I’d look back and laugh at it. However, in that moment, I was exhausted as hell.

After much thought, I decided that I didn’t mind chitchatting with a few guys. However, dating, the physical act of going out and romancing would be reserved for one brother, at a time. Although men are awkward creatures when it comes to finalizing a union, they’re quite the entitled bunch when you begin to date them. Keeping up with making each of them feel special, turned what should have been a night of fun into a sitcom.

Kudos, to the ladies that do it. One word of advice: Don’t invite them all to the same party. Lol.


Join us for the next episode of “In the Meantime”, next Tuesday! Wanna read the whole series? Go here.


“RivaFlowz” is an educator and professional writer living in New York City. You can follow her on Twitter: @rivaflowz or read more of her work on her blog.

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