Friday, December 19, 2008

Should You Juggle?

Dr. Jenn-

So, I got back online and I have many guys interested just now. I’m definitely in the "juggling" phase!

Some guys are not so sure about me wanting to still see others. And I need to make it clear that if and when I feel a strong enough connection with them, that then, and only then, will I consider becoming exclusive.

This guy Danny who I have been talking with online and on phone with now for a week thinks we are a match made in heaven. And he is ready to take his profile off of Match.


What do I say to HIM?
How do I explain that I want to "juggle" and what that is??

It sounds so noble when a guy says he only dates one person at a time. And I somehow feel devious to want to be meeting several just now, even though I am very open with everyone about it.



Hey Lisa!

Glad to hear that things are moving ahead and there are some exciting prospects!

It’s interesting that the double standard seems alive and well: if a man only wants to date one person, we think he’s noble- but we EXPECT the woman to only date one person!!!

I think we can throw that baby out with the bathwater- because it just isn’t helpful.

As long as you are being forthright with your intentions- which you are- there is absolutely no reason to feel devious!!

So give yourself renewed permission to “juggle”. It is absolutely the ONLY way to date online.

Readers: If you are new to Dr. Jenn-speak, juggling is when you are getting to know more than one person at a time. Essentially, it’s dating more than one person until such a time that you decide you’d like to be exclusive with someone.

It’s the most effective and efficient way to date online because people you are interested in just up and disappear all the time, at all stages of the process online.

If you’re really serious about finding a great partner, it just doesn’t make sense to put all of your eggs in one very shaky basket!

So, yes, just reassure this new beau with something like this:
“The Juggling Talk”

“I like to have everything out on the table, so just so you know, I’m meeting lots of different folks from online these days. I’m really looking for that special person who sets my heart afire. And when I find him, I’ll be totally ready to see only him. But in the meantime, I think it makes sense to take it slow and get to know each other, and see how everything goes.”

That’s what I call Transparent Dating- making your clear intentions so that everyone knows what page you are on. That is also the best way to date!

About him wanting to take his profile offline before you have even met- well, let me say I’m glad you put that in bold- because I can tell you know that’s crazy talk!!!!

What he is saying is that he IS willing to put all of his eggs in a basket he hasn’t even met. Now, that’s just not prudent, right?!

Because as we all know, chemistry has a very common way of evaporating right in front of your eyes the moment you meet in person! Even if, you’ve totally delighted each other via email and the phone!

So, taking your profile done now is premature, and well, it would be foolish!

Of course you don’t have to tell HIM that- he has the right to do what he wants.

But that certainly does not mean you should feel pressured to do the same!

Instead, try a little something like this, always deliver news like this in a Sandwich fashion (positive-negative-positive):

“I’m really flattered that you like me enough to consider taking down your profile. I’m really enjoying you too. (positives)

“Of course, feel free to do what feels right to you, but I only take down my profile when a guy and I have decided to date each other exclusively. You know, when things are going really well and we’re ready to take the next step.” (negative)

“It would be great if that happens for us. I’m really looking forward to getting to know you some more and seeing how it goes!” (positive)

With these two types of statements on the tip of your tongue, you’ll get great at negotiating some of the tougher terrain of online dating, with grace!

Good luck taking them for a spin and let me know how it goes!

Dr. Jenn


Andrew Hymers said...

Well, if you choose to juggle, then prepare for a rough landing when you get dropped.

No self-respecting man would appreciate being juggled - any more than you would appreciate it yourself.

Remember that "Do unto others..." actually does apply to the dating world, just the same as it applies everwhere else.

Dr. Jenn said...

Thanks for stopping by Andrew.

Juggling is THE lay of the land these days, my friend.

Perhaps I wasn't clear- juggling is ONLY for the very beginning of any dating relationship.

Mind you- we're dealing with online dating here. Of course, you are meeting and talking with multiple people. There really isn't any other way. Its how it works.

If you don't juggle, it could take you a year to ever make it to a 3rd date- since it takes meeting so many folks to find one you genuinely want to pursue!

That would be a dreadful waste of time- time most folks don't have to waste!

And of course- you only juggle until you find someone you really are into.

You might stop juggling as early as the 4th date.

But to give your life over to just one person before you've proven even moderate, mutual interest, well, you'll be dating a very, very long time indeed!

Of course, you wouldn't keep juggling once you were really interested in someone- AND they agreed. I assume this is the situation you are referring to!

Then- to keep juggling would indeed be rude and a dumping flat on your backside may indeed be called for! Especially if it's done behind someone's back. Never any excuse for that!

And in my opinion- you should never be juggling once you move into being physical with someone- that's too intimate a situation to be sharing!

But of course, everyone has to make the decision they are most comfortable with.

Personally, I wouldn't consider asking someone to put their options on hold for me. Not in the beginning. Not before we both decided we wanted something more. There is too much at stake. To me, that IS respect.

Infinity said...

I am just too compelled to agree here. I've learned from first-hand experience. From someone who loves to take time to get to know people and figure out if it is going to work out, I will spend forever finding the one I want to be with.

I have spent a total of 9 years actually building a solid relationship with 4 women. Having left college, I still had no clue what I wanted in a woman. I had to make a change if I am going to be able to figure it out.

These days, I think it's important to date multiple women if you are still trying to figure out what you are looking for.

Once you find the one you want to settle with, then you can cut down. But you won't get a chance to realize what else is out there unless you allow yourself to actually get out there and see for yourself.

You'll be doing more waiting than actual looking if you work one at a time.

Does that make sense?

russruggles said...

Agreed, Dr. Jenn, juggling really is the only way to go. I guess so much of my dating has been with people I met online, I hadn't considered - this may be a characteristic of the online playing field.

As far as "[doing] unto others," I just expect to be juggled, just as I juggle. Maybe this double standard you're talking about comes from the fact that women generally have more prospects than men. If we men finally get a girl to date us, we may have a tendency to want her all to ourselves - not an appealing attitude to a woman you barely know.

As for the guy who wants to take his profile down before you even meet 1) always meet as soon as possible when dating online, and 2) run from this one!

Dr. Jenn said...

Dear Infinity-

You are so right on. You said it perfectly: You'll be doing more waiting than actual looking if you work one at a time!

Plus- you brought up a point I didn't really flesh out.

One of the benefits to juggling is that you really do get to see what's out there and learn what you need. You more quickly get to see what feels good, what doesn't feel good, and what's most important, for you.

So it's totally true that if you aren't sure what you need, then spend some time just dating, learning about yourself.

That can be especially helpul in your 20's, or when jumping back into the dating pool after a long relationship or divorce.

I wish you much luck finding a fantastic woman!

Dr. Jenn said...

Hey Russ- good to see you again.

That is such an interesting perspective on why a man might feel a bit like "Hey, I want her all to myself!" That makes total sense, because it can be harder for men to find dates online.

And I totally agree with your other 2 points.

You should always get to an in-person meeting as soon as possible-so you don't waste time and emotion building up all of this excitement- since it often evaporates upon meeting.

And 2) Well, yes, while she may not have to run right now- my radar, as well as hopefully Lisa's, is on high alert!! Someone who wants to rush right in always trips the Danger signal!