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I understand that in the time of Tinder, DMs, and ghosting, it’s taboo for me to suggest anyone limit themselves to only dating one person at a time. Aren’t we in a time of sexual awakening? Shouldn’t women be free to consider their options? Shouldn’t no man feel he has a claim over a woman? Yes, yes, and sort of—your husband has some claim over you, I would hope. That’s how fidelity exists. But just because we can do something (like date five guys at once) doesn’t mean we should do it. Part of being an adult is analyzing all the things you can do and deciding what’s best for you, personally. Just because all of your friends are dating more men than they can keep track of, and have a few on-again-off-again things in the rotation as well as casual hookups, doesn’t mean that’s the formula for you. To be honest, I don’t know if that’s the formula for anyone. Call me old fashioned, but these are reasons I believe dating multiple people ruins your chances at finding love.

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You’ll be too picky

Kind of like you can’t make a decision when online shopping because you’re aware of all the other options out there, when you date multiple men, you won’t be decisive, either. In fact, you’ll likely be very picky, and write a man off at the first sign he isn’t perfect, all because you think, “It’s okay. I have three other dudes to choose from.” But what happens when you write them all off for not being perfect?

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It’s best to analyze men in a vacuum

Rather than ask yourself, “Could there be someone better or might there be someone perfect” just ask yourself if the person in front of you makes you happy. And ask yourself how you’d like it if men wrote you off at the first sign you weren’t perfect.

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You’ll mix up details

If you’re dating several men, you’re bound to mix up names of family members, occupations, neighborhoods they live in, who went to Paris and who went to Mexico last year. You’ll confuse the details of one man for another, verbally.

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So you seem like a bad listener

The guy you confuse for another guy probably won’t pick up on the fact that you’re dating someone else. It’s worse—he’ll probably just think you’re a bad listener. It will seem like you don’t pay attention when he talks.

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You can’t emotionally invest

Truly opening your heart and emotionally investing in just one person takes energy—emotionally investing in several men is nearly impossible. It will exhaust you, so eventually, you’ll stop investing.

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Your dates feel that distance

When you stop emotionally investing in each of these guys, they’ll read that as a sign that you’re closed off. They don’t realize you can emotionally invest but only have so much emotional capital to go around. They’ll just think you’re uncomfortable being vulnerable.

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Sex complicates things further

If you’re sleeping with all of these guys, things just got a lot more complicated. You’ll compare your sexual experiences and your sexual chemistry. You’ll feel more attached to each one when you don’t really know them.

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Sex is already complicated

Sex already complicates things with one person. I’m no prude, but I believe in waiting a few weeks to sleep with someone, just so you don’t confuse an orgasm for compatibility. That can easily happen.

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You’ll get worn out

The mere act of dating—of getting dressed, doing your hair, doing your makeup, driving to a new spot, finding parking—will exhaust you. Dating is tiring. It’s time-consuming. It’s expensive. You’ll get over it quickly if you’re doing it with multiple guys.

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So then you’ll be lazy

So now that dating exhausts you, you’ll get lazy. You’ll insist every guy drive to your place to see you. You’ll make men bend over backwards to accommodate your schedule. You’ll try to make things easier on yourself, but you’ll come off as high maintenance.

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You start just looking at what’s on paper

You become overwhelmed, so you start to just consider how these men look on paper. What are their schedules like? Families? Education? Financial goals? Your heart is tired, so you try to solve this one with your brain.

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But it should be about your connection

Unfortunately, how a man looks on paper is only part of the challenge. Really you should be focusing on your connection. You can’t calculate that. You can’t run numbers on that. But it’s also hard to pick up on a connection when you’ve submitted to looking at the paper because you’re just so darn exhausted.

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You could insult a good one

This has sadly happened to many of my friends: they were dating several men, they truly liked one of them, but they were afraid to let the others go…and the one they really liked found out about the others. Then they lost the guy they really had a connection with.

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You can’t really explain yourself

If you have a special connection with someone, you know it and he knows it. No, he isn’t your boyfriend yet, but he feels betrayed. You can’t really explain yourself. There’s no excuse. He’s just hurt and that’s that.

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One at a time is just better

The heart is a fickle and complex thing. It can’t possibly be expected to tackle dating several people at once. In my experience, keeping your options open usually leads to winding up with no options.

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