On the issue of only "talking to" one person.

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Post by Ron Ritzman on Sun Apr 12, 2015 1:18 am

There's a meme going around that basically says..

When I'm single I'm single as fuck, when I'm "talking to someone" I'm talking to that person only and when I'm taken I'm not available.

My question is about the second part. It sounds as if it's saying that you're expected to be "monogamous" with someone who you are not actually in a relationship with yet. Now I'm not doing monogamy right now but back when I was I had no expectation that a woman I was interested in shouldn't have other men in her life. However, it would explain a few things such as a woman I had only met in person once hanging up on me when I said I was visiting a female platonic friend and another who I later was in a relationship with get mad at me when she thought I was flirting with a group of other women before we were in a relationship.

So is there a general expectation that if you're considering someone for an exclusive relationship that you shouldn't be talking to, flirting with, dating, or shagging anybody else?
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Post by rj3 on Sun Apr 12, 2015 4:26 am

1. I'm pretty sure that's not a thing.

2. Closely related, however, is the generally good idea that you should not rub it in or make mention of all your other romantic prospects to the person you are "talking to." You don't want to signal that you're distracted or that it's probably a dead end for the other person.

Good luck!

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Post by eselle28 on Sun Apr 12, 2015 12:18 pm

I'd say that the general expectation is the opposite - that people who hasn't agreed to exclusivity and who's in the early stages of dating is probably seeing or open to seeing other people. But as with anything, there are going to be people who want something other than the norm, and some people will want someone who's imterested in them and only them right away. It's probably why someone bothered to make a meme for it.

As for the specific examples, the first woman sounds unreasonable to not even clarify who the woman was. I can kind of understand where the second was coming from, though. I don't expect men I'm casually seeing to date only me, but I do expect that they won't flirt with other women in front of me or talk about their other dates. I don't need to know who the competition is.
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Post by Conreezy on Sun Apr 12, 2015 2:57 pm

1. I'm pretty sure that's not a thing.

I've known quite a few people for whom it is a thing. Mostly women, in my experience, but not always. (When guys act this way, though, it seems to be because they think that's what women are expecting.)

I'm not sure how widespread it is, though. Not very, as most other friends of mine, men or women, are pretty quick to point out how ridiculous of an expectation it is.

Closely related, however, is the generally good idea that you should not rub it in or make mention of all your other romantic prospects to the person you are "talking to." You don't want to signal that you're distracted or that it's probably a dead end for the other person.

I would agree here that it's rude. Dating multiple people at once doesn't mean that it's a dead end for one person in particular, though.

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Post by litterature on Sun Apr 12, 2015 5:16 pm

On a loosely related note, I find DNL's advice on how dating other people can help you get together with the one you want a bit baffling. I mean, I sort of get it - you get practice, you get more confident and you get a backup plan just in case (which I suspect is the actual reason he mentions it.) But I just don't see how letting your crush know is a good idea. Maybe it can work if it's a close friend and they're going to notice anyway, because then they can realise you have a romantic/sexual/whatever side too, but it looks like it could backfire too. Plus it doesn't seem terribly ethical to me - I think it's hard not to use the other people you're dating as tools when you're doing it just because you like someone else (!?).

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Post by The Wisp on Sun Apr 12, 2015 6:10 pm

litterature wrote:On a loosely related note, I find DNL's advice on how dating other people can help you get together with the one you want a bit baffling. I mean, I sort of get it - you get practice, you get more confident and you get a backup plan just in case (which I suspect is the actual reason he mentions it.) But I just don't see how letting your crush know is a good idea. Maybe it can work if it's a close friend and they're going to notice anyway, because then they can realise you have a romantic/sexual/whatever side too, but it looks like it could backfire too. Plus it doesn't seem terribly ethical to me - I think it's hard not to use the other people you're dating as tools when you're doing it just because you like someone else (!?).

Wait, where did DNL say that? Can you provide a link? That doesn't sound like him to me.
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Post by litterature on Sun Apr 12, 2015 6:35 pm

The Wisp wrote:
litterature wrote:On a loosely related note, I find DNL's advice on how dating other people can help you get together with the one you want a bit baffling. I mean, I sort of get it - you get practice, you get more confident and you get a backup plan just in case (which I suspect is the actual reason he mentions it.) But I just don't see how letting your crush know is a good idea. Maybe it can work if it's a close friend and they're going to notice anyway, because then they can realise you have a romantic/sexual/whatever side too, but it looks like it could backfire too. Plus it doesn't seem terribly ethical to me - I think it's hard not to use the other people you're dating as tools when you're doing it just because you like someone else (!?).

Wait, where did DNL say that? Can you provide a link? That doesn't sound like him to me.

I think he's mentioned it a few times, but off the top of my head, there was a post about escaping the friend zone (I think that was the actual title) where he talked about it. I read it a while ago, though, so maybe I'm wrong, or maybe I'm just misunderstanding what he meant.

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Post by eselle28 on Sun Apr 12, 2015 8:24 pm

DNL's advice about oneitis assumes that there's not necessarily anything you can do to make your friend you have a crush on return your feelings. Because of that, he generally recommends both asking the person out clearly and making sure you have a life beyond them. That ensures you don't get too invested in something that will never happens and ensures you have a reasonably interesting life. To the extent the advice can make you more appealing to a crush, it's a secondary effect of the interesting life bit. Intentionally trying to make someone jealous can backfire if your crush is interested and look foolish if they aren't. I think it's assumed that pursuing dates besides the crush is not meant to be done while you're watching.
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Post by eselle28 on Sun Apr 12, 2015 8:29 pm

I've known quite a few people for whom it is a thing.  Mostly women, in my experience, but not always.  (When guys act this way, though, it seems to be because they think that's what women are expecting.)

I'm not sure how widespread it is, though.  Not very, as most other friends of mine, men or women, are pretty quick to point out how ridiculous of an expectation it is.

It's not the norm, but I know people who expect this, and they're not being ridiculous. These people don't use online dating to date or date relative strangers who don't know about their standard and who are unlikely to meet it. They date friends and friends of friends whose dating lives they know about, and they generally ask for exclusivity in explicit terms fairly soon. That means they rule out people who date frequently as partners, but from what I can tell, they find the people who do meet the standard they set more compatible. Nothing wrong with that, just as there's nothing wrong with diverging from the other direction and never wanting a relationship to be monogamous.
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Post by Conreezy on Sun Apr 12, 2015 10:43 pm

They date friends and friends of friends whose dating lives they know about, and they generally ask for exclusivity in explicit terms fairly soon.

I don't think it's ridiculous if they ask for exclusivity and get it. From that point on, it's quite reasonable to expect someone to follow their word.

But I've known people who get up in arms when they find out that someone they've gone on a few dates with goes out with someone else. That I don't understand.

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Post by eselle28 on Sun Apr 12, 2015 11:05 pm

Conreezy wrote:
They date friends and friends of friends whose dating lives they know about, and they generally ask for exclusivity in explicit terms fairly soon.

But I've known people who get up in arms when they find out that someone they've gone on a few dates with goes out with someone else.  That I don't understand.  

I think it's absolutely unreasonable to get angry at someone for not following an agreement they haven't even agreed to or not meeting an expectation that hasn't been made clear - that's both self-defeating and ridiculous. That's not what I'm thinking of, though. The people I have in mind pretty much only date people who they know well and know aren't actively going out on dates, and they turn down dates with or don't ask out people who don't meet those criteria. They just aren't interested in people who date others, even at the initial stages. That means they rule out a lot of partners, but I don't think it's being unfair.
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Post by Dan_Brodribb on Mon Apr 13, 2015 11:53 am

litterature wrote:

I think he's mentioned it a few times, but off the top of my head, there was a post about escaping the friend zone (I think that was the actual title) where he talked about it. I read it a while ago, though, so maybe I'm wrong, or maybe I'm just misunderstanding what he meant.

I don't remember DNL mentioning it specifically, but it was fairly common old-school PUA advice (of which DNL has been known to use), mostly for the reasons you mentioned.

1 - It encourages the person actively going out, building skills, and meeting new people instead of pining at home, believing they can't or won't find someone else.
2 - It lets the object of the person's affection see them as a sexual being.

If there's no attraction or interest at all on the part of the FriendZoner, I can't remember ever seeing it 'work' or having it work for me when used as a tactic in any kind of healthy way. I have seen--as you mentioned--it make an already fraught situation weirder.

I have had cases where someone who previously "Friended" myself or someone else has changed their mind after seeing them grow and change or how they are in a relationship with someone else, but that's typically over the course of months or more frequently years, and it's not guaranteed to happen.

Is there a specific situation going on for you, litterature, or were you asking out of curiosity?

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Post by Conreezy on Mon Apr 13, 2015 2:38 pm

eselle28 wrote:
Conreezy wrote:
They date friends and friends of friends whose dating lives they know about, and they generally ask for exclusivity in explicit terms fairly soon.

But I've known people who get up in arms when they find out that someone they've gone on a few dates with goes out with someone else.  That I don't understand.  

I think it's absolutely unreasonable to get angry at someone for not following an agreement they haven't even agreed to or not meeting an expectation that hasn't been made clear - that's both self-defeating and ridiculous. That's not what I'm thinking of, though. The people I have in mind pretty much only date people who they know well and know aren't actively going out on dates, and they turn down dates with or don't ask out people who don't meet those criteria. They just aren't interested in people who date others, even at the initial stages. That means they rule out a lot of partners, but I don't think it's being unfair.

Check. I think we are referring to different situations.

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