The Rise Of The Multi-daters: When One Man Isn’t Enough

The love of your life? No thanks. Look in­ves­ti­gates why so many of us are per­ma­nently play­ing the field…

Look (UK) - - CONTENTS -

One part­ner just re­ally isn’t enough these days, is it? In fact, the new Hol­ly­wood trend is to have sev­eral men per­ma­nently on the go to en­sure you get ex­actly what you need from each. Ex­perts call it ‘multi-dat­ing’. Take Ken­dall Jen­ner, 20, for ex­am­ple, who’s re­port­edly not only dat­ing Harry Styles, 22 (swoon), but also bas­ket­ball player Jor­dan Clark­son, 23 (dou­ble swoon).

Ri­hanna’s do­ing the same. Not only is the singer, 28, hook­ing up with Leonardo Dicaprio – she was spot­ted with the 41-year-old ac­tor at last month’s Coachella festival and they’ve been ru­moured to be see­ing one another for over a year – she’s also been dat­ing rap­per Drake, 29, her on/ off ex. Ri’s pre­vi­ously ad­mit­ted the rea­son why she hasn’t set­tled with one bloke is be­cause they couldn’t han­dle her hec­tic sched­ule. Fair enough, re­ally.

But the celebs aren’t the only ones do­ing it. Oh no, it seems like we’re in on the act, too. Of course, in the real world it’s likely that the in­tro­duc­tion of dat­ing apps such as Tin­der, Bum­ble and Happn – where you can talk to more than one per­son at a time – have en­cour­aged us to test the dat­ing wa­ters a lit­tle more than our pre­de­ces­sors. Plus, with 51 per cent of the UK adult pop­u­la­tion be­ing sin­gle, it’s hardly sur­pris­ing we’re keep­ing our op­tions open.

Claire, 25, a nurse from Lon­don be­came a multi-dat­ing pro af­ter the end of her last long-term re­la­tion­ship ear­lier this year. Her rea­son was that she no longer wanted the pres­sure that comes with be­ing ‘The Girl­friend’. She says: ‘Af­ter lots of long-term boyfriends, I re­alised re­la­tion­ships are lot of work emo­tion­ally and some­times, no mat­ter how nice the guy, you just aren’t pre­pared to do that.’

She says she al­ways makes it clear she’s not look­ing for com­mit­ment right now, and adds that she loves the sit­u­a­tion be­cause: ‘There’s no ego mas­sag­ing to do, no need to meet (or pre­tend to like) the par­ents, and no ex­pec­ta­tions of what you should do or say. What­ever peo­ple say, men need a lot of look­ing af­ter, and I just de­cided to say no to that.’

Dat­ing ex­pert Caro­line Brealey, founder of Mu­tu­alat­trac­, says she en­cour­ages peo­ple to multi-date, not least be­cause it al­lows them to test the wa­ter be­fore mak­ing any big com­mit­ments. ‘Multi-dat­ing is an in­ter­est­ing con­cept and peo­ple are of­ten sur­prised that as a match­maker I en­cour­age it,’ she says. ‘Dat­ing isn’t the same as be­ing in a re­la­tion­ship with some­one, it’s what you do be­fore de­cid­ing to en­ter into a re­la­tion­ship.’

‘Let’s be hon­est,’ she con­tin­ues, ‘how many dates lead to a re­la­tion­ship? A very small num­ber. Most peo­ple will go on a lot of dates in their lives, some will go no fur­ther than one meet-up.’

Syd Har­gis, 29, a so­cial strate­gist, is now in her first re­la­tion­ship with a man, but used to date mul­ti­ple women si­mul­ta­ne­ously. She says: ‘When I’m sin­gle, I al­ways date sev­eral peo­ple at once – what’s the point of dat­ing if you don’t? You may as well be in a re­la­tion­ship. The last time I was sin­gle, I had about three peo­ple who I was more se­ri­ous about and would see fairly reg­u­larly, and then I’d also just go out with my mates and some­times pull,’ she adds. ‘Ev­ery­one I’m with knows the deal.’

Syd has been with her cur­rent boyfriend for more than a year, but it took a while to ad­just to a one-part­ner pol­icy. ‘My cur­rent re­la­tion­ship is the first monog­a­mous one I’ve ever had. It took some get­ting used to. Early on, we were out drink­ing and I started kiss­ing one of my girl­friends in front of him, and he was re­ally hurt. I didn’t re­ally get it til the next day and I haven’t done it since. He’s amaz­ing and I don’t want to lose him.’

Caro­line agrees that the only time multi-dat­ing is not OK is if you’re in a re­la­tion­ship: ‘Once the two of you de­cide to be an “of­fi­cial” cou­ple, they should be the only per­son you’re see­ing – that is, un­less you’ve both agreed to an open re­la­tion­ship. If they’re the right per­son for you, no­body else would get a look in any­way. Re­la­tion­ships are con­stantly evolv­ing and you should al­ways do what­ever works for you. The No 1 rule: Al­ways be hon­est and up front – don’t lead some­one on.’ We cer­tainly can’t ar­gue with that ad­vice!

There’s no need to meet (or pre­tend to like) the par­ents

Sin­gle ladies, cast that net wide!

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