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Parallax - Advice

April 29, 2002

Artful Dodger

Dear Conversely,

Ask us a Question!After almost nine months without a girlfriend, and almost no dates, I suddenly get very lucky. I met one girl at a bar who I really liked. She was quite aggressive and asked for my email. She began sending me messages and I've gone out with her a few times. We've spent some fantastic intimate time together. In the meantime, I was set up on a blind date with another girl who I really like. She's much more my type, and I see more future potential in her, but she's also giving me signs that she likes to play hard to get, and I'm not in the mood for that. Meanwhile, the first girl calls me and, even though we don't connect on every level, I am starting to get attached to her. I don't know if I can pursue both of them at the same time—at least until I can make a better decision about who I like best—but I'd like to. Any suggestions on how to get away with it? Email to a Friend

Her view:

Dear Dodger,

Yes, cheating and lying work. Besides, you have no commitment to either of them right now. Date both of them for as long as possible and then decide. Neither is your girlfriend, so take your time. If asked, tell them you are not ready for commitment—but don't introduce that point unless held at gunpoint.

Parry, skirt, dodge. People do it all the time; it's not so hard. Offer them alternate weekends. Make sure you dole out the time optimally or someone will notice. This is the time you've been waiting for: Enjoy it.

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His view:

Dear Dodger,

The reality is: There is nothing to 'get away' with, here. Lots of guys go on dates with different women—at the same time—without committing to any special one. My women friends do it too, quite well. In fact, both your first and second girls are dating other guys, as we speak.

Your issue will be one of allowing yourself the mental freedom to pursue the two of them, in parallel. If you continue to get attached to your barmaid, she'll sense it, probably pounce on it, and then, 'Les jeux sont faits.'

Instead you must do two things. First, maintain an air of nonchalance and hide any touchy-feely emotions (the latter should be deployed in small amounts and only to keep things warm if they begin to cool off). Second, ignore any advice proposed by my esteemed but misguided female colleague (unless it's the same as mine—occasionally, she does get things right). Many a fool has squandered a budding relationship on her ill-informed advice.

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