Jewish Journal

Piggyback Dating

by  Merissa Nathan Gerson

February 11, 2010 | 5:33 pm

Dear Yenta,

Is it okay to date multiple people? I struggle with this question a
lot…Currently, I am dating more than one person and both
relationships are advancing on physical and emotional levels,
although, they are advancing at different rates. At what point do I
have to pick one? I am not stressed out by it, I have room in my life
and head to manage both relationship, but my friends think it is
emotionally immature and greedy… I dont feel unhealthy, and I would
be totally honest if they found out about each other.

Any thoughts?

Needy and Greedy

Dear Needy and Greedy,

The barometer test for situations like these has to do with who ends up getting hurt. If you can honestly say that no one involved will be devastated or destroyed by your dating habits, then what’s the problem? There are plenty of people who believe in open dating policies and succeed in this fashion. They succeed based on honesty, openness, and a clear understanding of what commitment means to them and how to get their own needs met. If you fall under this category of evolved dating, then so be it.

When it comes to love and sex the opinions of others can be poisonous. Every different human has a different set of needs and some are more proactive and more creative about meeting them than others. For all you know these friends judging your behavior are just jealous. Are they getting any? Maybe you getting more than your share is “greedy” in their eyes because somehow they feel you are dipping into their pool of possibilities. Date away, as long as no one gets hurt.

If, however, you secretly want a monogamous relationship and can’t quit all this piggybacking, then that’s a question to sort out within yourself and possibly with a therapist. This same answer applies if your chronic dating is chronic lying and cheating.

For help cultivating multiple healthy relationships at once check out: The Ethical Slut: A Practical Guide to Polyamory, Open Relationships & Other Adventures by Dossie Easton and Janet W. Hardy or Opening Up: A Guide to Creating and Sustaining Open Relationships by Tristan Taormino.

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With more than 10 years of talk therapy under her belt, Merissa has waded through life’s dilemmas with a constant reflective therapeutic bird on her shoulder. Add a few...

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