Dating Multiple People | Is It Okay? Plus DOs & DON’Ts

Dating someone is a great chance to get to know them. But dating multiple people carries social stigma and has always been frowned upon. Is it ok to date more than one person at the same time?

Dating multiple people is okay as long as you are honest and upfront about it with the people you are dating. Look at dating like an exercise for collecting data. It gives you data about different people out in the field. The more data you have, the better decisions you can make in choosing one.

Remember, as a single individual, you do not owe an explanation to anybody if you maintain transparency. You deserve to settle for nothing but the best.

Before We Begin

We cannot overlook the several advantages of dating multiple people as compared to dating just one person at a time.

The biggest one is the availability of so many options. In this article, we will discuss what is right and what is wrong along with how to approach the situation.

Let’s now move on to the critical DOs and DON’Ts to keep in mind.

Rules For Dating More Than One Person

1. Be Honest And Upfront About It

We are repeating this point because it is worth repeating and of paramount importance.

You would be saving yourself from a lot of headaches if and when the beans are spilled.

The other person might feel cheated or may not be comfortable with the idea of you dating someone else along with them.

If you are seeing other people, tell them clearly about you doing so. And do not try to mince or sugar coat your words.

If you are also sleeping around with some or all of them, be very upfront about it from the first date itself. Whatever you do, never hide anything.

Man and woman talking on a date over coffee

2. Eliminate People Who Aren’t Comfortable With The Idea

We are not telling you to kill them like a literal assassin. What we are asking you to do instead is asking you to stop seeing such people.

It is never going to be a smooth ride to date a person who isn’t comfortable with the idea of you dating multiple people.

There is no absolute right or wrong here. You aren’t right, or they aren’t wrong and vice-versa.

It is just a question of perspectives and what each individual wants from the people they date. This will help you get rid of a lot of emotional drama later on.

3. Know The Difference Between Dating And Relationship

Dating someone does not mean that you are in a relationship with them. Read that again if you need to. A lot of people confuse the two.

Dating is all about meeting people and getting to know them. A relationship, on the other hand, is exclusively committing to one person (if it is not an open relationship).

You need to know this clearly to explain it to a person who might object to you dating someone else other than them.

Even if you are dating just one person, until and unless you commit, you are always free to stop seeing them altogether.

know the difference between dating and a relationship

4. Carry No Guilt

If you are honest and upfront about it from the very first date, then there is no reason to have a guilty conscience.

You chose to tell the truth from the very beginning, and if other people want to continue seeing you, then it is their choice.

Nobody can point a finger on you later on that you did something morally wrong.

Something like “I am in a dating-only mindset right now, open to seeing other people and currently not interested in committing to anyone” is the best way to clear off any feelings of guilt or dishonesty.

5. ‘Playing’ The Field Is Not Equal To Being A ‘Player’

There is no harm in getting to know different people out there and take the next step with the person with whom you are comfortable.

TABLE: Common Outlook Towards Dating Multiple People

ApproachPercentage Of MenPercentage Of Women
Talk to several but date only one at a time52%62%
Talk to only person person at a time and date them37%23%
Talk to and date several at the same time11%15%
Source: A survey conducted by on a set of 910 singles between 18-65 years of age.

Again, hide nothing and you are fine to do as you please as long as you don’t hurt somebody through shady underhand tactics.

‘Playing’ the field doesn’t make you a player.

Players are known to manipulate the emotions of other people and then discard them once they get whatever they were after.

You, on the other hand, are doing nothing of that sort and just increasing your chances of finding the right person for you.

6. Practice Alienation

Alienation, in a broad sense, is the concept of detaching yourself from a person or a situation to the extent that the outcome doesn’t affect you in any way.

While dating multiple people (just like dating a single person), you might feel things going somewhere with some of them.

And one fine day you might find yourself in a situation where none of the dates amounts to anything significant with anyone.

Please understand that it is entirely normal. It might get you thinking that none of these people liked you enough or you are too fussy as you didn’t like them.

Don’t let these thoughts affect you. All you need to do is find other people to date. Did anybody guarantee that multiple dating leads to sure-shot success?

practice alienation

7. Find Equal Time For Everybody

To make the most of the experience, it is essential that you spend an equal amount of quality time with all your dates to know them better.

Some people might seem more worthy or fun but remember this is the dating phase.

The sole reason you are into multiple dating is due to the several advantages it has over dating just one person, i.e. you come across more potential partners.

So it would be best if you gave them your time equally. Don’t make yourself too available to a select few.

It is the same as swimming against the tide and contrary to what you want to achieve.

8. Balance Multiple Dating With Other Areas Of Your Life

Dating multiple people consumes a lot more of your time.

Had you been seeing just one person, you would be devoting all the extra time to areas that are equally or much more important than your dating life.

In the scenario of dating multiple people, it is easy to lose track of your friends, family, work, career, and other essential things.

Do not let this happen because you don’t want to have a good love life at the cost of your work and family life.

If there is an imbalance, good love life becomes a hypothetical thing, and your illusion would come down crashing pretty soon.

9. Communicate Your Expectations Clearly

Maybe you are the type that is open to dating multiple people but don’t involve yourself physically with somebody until you commit to them.

Or perhaps you are somebody who sees intimacy and commitment as separate things and doesn’t ever mingle the two.

You would be much better off with a date who practices the same, and therefore it is crucial to communicate your expectations.

If you and your dates have different expectations, then either of you, more often than not, will do things that will make the other person uncomfortable.

There are high chances that both of you may overstep the boundaries set by the other.

communicate your expectations clearly

10. Work On Your Flirting, Social And Dating Skills

This is the best time to work on your flirting, social and dating skills. You would be meeting a variety of people.

Go all out and shun the fear of rejection or being judged. Please make the most of this time as it will help you immensely when you would be with the right person later down the line.

If nothing, these dates would only add on to your experience. You cannot be a good swimmer by sitting at home.

You need to get in the water, tire yourself, face days of frustration and then maybe one day you’d be able to complete a small lap in the pool.

The same goes for dating multiple people. Don’t expect to hit the bull’s eye on the first attempt. We are not competing in the Olympics!

What NOT To Do When Dating Multiple People?

1. Don’t Do It Because Others Are Doing/Suggesting It

Maybe your friends and family are doing it. Perhaps they say that you should go out and meet more people.

They might also want you to do things a certain way, wear certain kinds of clothes to your dates or whatnot.

Dating itself and not only multiple dating should be done if and only if you feel like doing it. Otherwise, you would be wasting your time and the time of the people you date.

It might be right for the people around you, but you need to do what is right for you.

By blindly following those around, you would only be inviting problems and unpleasant experiences right to your doorstep.

2. Don’t Do It If You Can’t Handle It

A lot of us cannot juggle between multiple people, handle so many phone calls, constant texts, frequent outings and might feel overwhelmed.

You might feel you are not able to get to know any of them properly. If you are not someone who can multitask then, please don’t get into what you can’t maintain.

Multiple dating requires multiple times the effort as you have so much going around you. So do try it once, but if at any point you feel uncomfortable, do not keep going.

Your chances of finding someone good are much higher when you are comfortable in your skin.

If you seem miserable, how do you expect somebody to be attracted to you?

don't do it if you can't handle it

3. Don’t Date More Than 3-4 People At One Time

If you were dating only one person, then you would have been able to eliminate them quickly if for whatever reason you felt that they were not good enough for you.

Now consider the scenario of you seeing maybe nine or ten people at the same time. The risk of you dragging a person along more than you should is exceptionally high.

You won’t be able to focus your time and energy on them to quickly figure out if this person is worth more than a few days of your time.

A couple of dates which would have taken only a few days would now take a few weeks to happen since you would be giving your time to a lot of people.

This delays the elimination. So keep the cap at three to four.

4. Don’t Have Unprotected Adventures

This one is because of medical reasons, of course. Do you need a refresher course on the dangers of unprotected physical relations with people whom you barely even know?

A quick Google search will help you understand why it is a stupid decision to have unprotected relations with multiple partners.

Unprotected physical relations in an exclusive relationship significantly reduces the chances of any disease (unless your partner is cheating on you).

But in multiple dating, there are high chances that the people you are seeing might be indulging in such activities with other people they might be seeing.

So, it is always a good idea to tread wisely.

5. Don’t Get Attached To Anybody Too Quickly

The whole purpose of dating multiple people at the same time is to get to know different individuals before you commit to any of them.

You would be beating the whole purpose if you get attached to somebody after just a couple of dates and don’t want to see other people.

Instead, take your time. We recommend going on at least three to four more dates after you find ‘the one’.

This will help you ensure that what you feel right now is not just an error in judgment or a feeling that will vanish as quickly as it has appeared.

Don’t Get Attached To Anybody Too Quickly

6. Don’t Be A Hypocrite

If you are open to dating multiple people, then please do not be closed to the idea of your dates doing the same.

We cannot even count the number of people whom we have come across that want to date multiple people but throw a fit if their dates are doing the same.

They want the best of both worlds. On the one hand, they want numerous options, but on the other hand, their dates should have only them in mind.

This is nothing but a blatant hypocrisy, and if you too harbor a similar thought process, keep yourself in check. Period.

7. Don’t Expect Them To Commit Quickly If You Do Find ‘The One’

There are high chances that if you are dating multiple people, then your dates might be doing the same.

So, if one beautiful day you do feel like you have finally found the one and are ready to take the next step with them, then don’t expect your partner to feel the same way about you.

For you, they might be ‘the one’ but for them, you might not.

Instead, keep the dating routine on till they finally want to talk about where is this going and then let them know about your thoughts.

Keep seeing other people till you both are clear that it is high time to make it exclusive now. This derives from the whole point of not getting attached to anyone too fast.

8. Don’t Forget To Be Challenging

Not literally as in for some competition but rather you should be a person who seems like a challenge to the people dating you.

Predictable is dull and unattractive. Unpredictability, on the other hand, is intriguing, classy and fun.

Remember, there is a world of difference between ‘playing’ hard to get and ‘being’ hard to get. While the former is sneaky, shady, and childish, the latter is exciting and worth chasing.

You should have enough things going on in your own life to focus on rather than just sitting and thinking whether the dates would amount to something or not.

Don’t Forget To Be Challenging

9. Don’t Get Frustrated If The Dates Feel Repetitive

You might feel like you are repeating the same things about yourself to different people to the point that it gets frustrating and monotonous.

But don’t forget that for the person in front of you these are entirely new details and they will be treating it accordingly.

Thus if you choose to speak unenthusiastically about yourself, then it will give an impression that maybe you are not interested in them at all and dating them just for the sake of it.

Whereas the truth is that you’d be just wanting to skip over this part of introductions, likes, dislikes, etc.

10. Don’t Forget To Enjoy The Experience

Isn’t the whole point of dating somebody is to find someone who appreciates you for who you are? To find a loving person?

To feel good about yourself? And by analogy, isn’t dating multiple people supposed to magnify this experience?

So why do so many people attach themselves to the outcome and forget to enjoy the experience?

They are more focused on seeking validation from other people and trying to impress them rather than getting to know the other person and enjoy the time spent with them.

Later on down the line, you would be missing these years of your life and would regret if you don’t end up making great memories.


There are numerous examples where people stuck to the second or the third person that they started to date simultaneously.

This wouldn’t have been possible if they had just limited themselves to dating one person.

Dating multiple people isn’t better or worse than dating only one person at a time because each approach has its pros and cons.

However, it is a whole new experience and you should try it at least once in your life. What do you think? Share your thoughts in the comments!

Shashank Verma

A trained theatre actor and a STEM graduate who brings perspectives and methods from these worlds into dating and relationships. Also a big time Krav Maga enthusiast and practitioner.

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