I have not been on a date in a long time. I have been married for over 10 years, so the dating world may as well be Mars for me. I was single at one time though, and I sort of remember it being kind of fun, but filled with a lot of useless power grabbing and mind games. You get tired of that in married life about five or so years in to it, and things go smoother, the power grabbing is just more subtle... maybe you just get better at it, or you learn your partner's moves so that it is more of a dance than a fist fight... I digress.
I was out with a young guy from my gym last night, and we got to talking about his situation with the ladies. He had been seeing a girl for a month, dating here and there, really liked her and asked her to be his girlfriend. The girl says that he is great and all, but she is kind of seeing him and another guy at the same time, and she has feelings for both of them. She wants to keep things as they are right now and see how they play out with both of them. The guy was a little upset by this, but then thought that if he was the better man, she would eventually realize this and choose him.
Being the gentle soul that I am, I told him that he was an idiot, and needed to rid himself of this parasite as soon as humanly possible. As for my reasons... I like myself. I think that I am a good person, despite my many faults. I believe that I am deserving of good things in life, and I am willing to work for these good things. In other words, I am worth "it."
When dating someone, and you are looking for a relationship, you must hold yourself, and the one you are wishing to be with, to a higher standard. This is not to say that you or the other person must be perfect, but, because the relationship is for you, you, and the other person, must be willing to put the time and work in to make the relationship work. Given this example of a woman who has feelings with two guys, and wants to "see how things play out," she is unwilling to put any time or work in to either one of the guys. When things get a little rocky she wants a fallback guy. The question I posed to my young friend is thus: Do you want to be with someone who wants to be with you, or do you want to wait to be the fallback guy?
In my opinion, if you are a person looking for a monogamous relationship, you need to find someone else who is in to monogamous relationships. This will not include people who date lots of people at the same time. This does not mean that it is wrong to date lots of people. Quite the contrary. It is OK to date lots of people, however it is NOT OK to carry on multiple relationships at the same time. That is not someone who is looking to be monogamous, and will only lead you to heartbreak.
The person looking to be in a relationship is one that dates many, but will hold on to a single steady for while as they test what it would be like to be in a relationship. This person will have the opinion that it is far better to break up with someone first before cheating on them.
I had a very similar situation when I was in the dating world. After she said that she wanted to see how things played out, I wished her well, and said that I was sorry she felt that way. It hurt to walk away, but I did just that. I knew that because she was playing the game this way, she had a massive flaw in her character that I wanted no part of. It meant that she was indecisive about her life, that she had no empathy, and that she cared little for my company. I hold myself to a higher standard, and believe that my company is worth much more than she did.
In the end it was not the loss of her that hurt, it was the realization that there are those out there that simply don't care for you as much as you do for them, or for yourself. A good lesson.
I told my young friend that if he believed that he was worth "it." I needed to find someone else who also believed that they were worth "it." That was the good thing that he needed to wait for, not this person with such a gaping character flaw.
Will he take my advice? Probably not, and this chick will end up ripping his guts out. I will be there to buy him a beer or seven afterward. A bitter pill to swallow, but we all must, at one time, swallow it down in order to grow.