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Parallax - Advice

February 16, 2004

One and only?

Dear Conversely,

Ask us a Question! My New Year's resolution is to date more women this year. I tend to meet a woman, date her for a long time and get stuck in a long relationship. I need to be choosy or at least meet several girls before deciding on one. How do I prevent myself from doing what I've done in the past? I know I should just not do it, but I can't seem to stop myself? Can you help me? Email to a Friend

Her view:

Dear Lonely-boy,

You're right: it's not the cleverest move. Why continue to mindlessly date someone with whom you know you have no future? You have created quite a silly conundrum for yourself.

How about setting some boundaries? If you know after five or ten dates that you would never marry the person, just ditch her—nicely of course. You will do both of you a huge service, as you are also wasting her time (I'm sure you're well aware). So move on, and move on swiftly.

This isn't to say you need to date ten women simultaneously to get things sorted out. That scenario presents a nuisance as well. But as soon as that blinding glimpse of the obvious presents itself, just bail.

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His view:

Dear Lonely-boy,

You probably suffer from a combination of risk-averse personality and an inability to be alone...or stay alone for long. The latter is more important. You're so eager to be with someone—anyone—that you end up settling for the first remotely acceptable candidate that comes your way.

The first thing to do is figure out why you don't want to be alone. Is it because you think it reflects poorly on you? Or is it that you don't know what to do with yourself? Whatever the reason, figuring it out will give you something more specific to work on than just 'stop myself' and 'not do it.'

The second part, of course, is to become less of a chicken when it comes to dating. In other words, take a chance and let her (whomever she is) suffer a bit while you meet some other prospects. There's nothing wrong with dating around. Women know it; they do it themselves.

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