Dater XY: How Many Women Is Too Many To Date At Once?

It has been a few weeks since I called things off with The Teacher. Things just weren’t going in the direction I wanted, so I began my search again. Since then, I’ve been on a several dates with a couple of different women.

I define dating is the time before two individuals make their relationship exclusive. That time period is usually five or six dates for me; for other people, it may be a lot more. Since I go out with some women only one or two times, this means I end up dating several ladies simultaneously. Recently,  I’ve started to wonder how many women is too many to date at the same time.

This subject came up a few days ago while I was getting drinks with friends. I talked about how things had ended with Red and the two other woman I had gone on dates with, The Marathoner and Old Bay. I don’t see anything wrong with dating two other women soon after ending things with a third; I am usually only dating one woman at a time, but occasionally will date two before I decide on which to pursue. My friends, however, both male and female, strongly suggested that I was “slutting it up.”

Normally I’d think my friends were joshing around with me, but this wasn’t the first time that dating multiple women has been brought up. Back when I first started dating The Teacher, I was also seeing another teacher at the time. Again, it was only two women and I hadn’t been on more than three dates with one when I started seeing the other. Somehow, my friends think this makes me a playboy.

Last week, a commenter suggested that Dater X maintain a “five guy rotation,” clarifying that three men are kept on back burners with the other two on the front burner. That’s basically what I’ve been doing, although I haven’t labeled the “burners” as such: I communicate with several and plan dates with one or two at a time. As soon as one drops to the way side, another one is brought up.

Ideally, I would only like to date one woman at a time. That’s not just because I want to be in a relationship — it’s because I’m horrible with names. And what could be worse than calling the woman you’re dating the wrong name? Not a lot. From a less strategic perspective, I also just feel like you can’t learn much about the person you’re seeing if you mix in more than two individuals. (This is why I can never understand “The Bachelor.”)

So, the question that bears asking is how many potential partners is too many to date and/or communicate with at once? Could I do four first dates with four different women and be okay or is that just balderashery? I’m curious what you think.

[Image via Pacific Coast News]