How Do You Ignore The Fact That The Person You’re Dating Is Dating Other People?

Name: CityGalKEYBOARDDOLL
Comment: Hi Moxie,

I’ve been dating this guy who I met on an online dating website since the beginning of December. Things have been moving along fine – we see each other about 1-2 times per week and spent NYE together. I’m still casually dating others, but I really enjoy the time I spent with him the most (and hope that he’s starting to feel the same way). Not a lot to describe here, since it’s still in the beginning stages, but the chemistry I feel with him is great and I could definitely see him in my future.

However, we’re both still active on this online dating site, and when I logged on yesterday, I saw that his entire profile was revamped. (He doesn’t know when I’m clicking on his profile.) He put up new photos, new summary, everything. (it was fine before, btw) I still went out with him the day after I knew about his fancy new revised profile . But, while we were out on the town, I didn’t really know how to bring up what I had just observed online. Is it worth bringing up? My gut is saying he’s obviously on the prowl and instead of narrowing down his dating options after a month of seeing me, he’s trying to expand them by proactively promoting himself online. Thoughts?
Age: 35
City: Seattle
State: WA

 

You can bring it up, but my guess is you’ll hear something you don’t want to hear. Yes, I would agree that if he’s revamping his profile, he’s still out there looking for prospective partners.

Keep in mind what a gesture like that says. He knows you can see his profile at any time. He’s not even trying to hide the fact that he’s still actively on the market. What does that tell you about him? Mind you, it doesn’t make him a bad person as long as he’s not going out of his way to lead you to believe otherwise. But it does speak to his intentions and how he operates. He really doesn’t care what you know or find out. Some people might say that maybe he trusts her or maybe he’s just absent minded. Perhaps. But most people know the drill with online dating. They know profiles are public. They are aware of the fact that whomever they are dating can see their profile at any time. So either this person is trying to establish expectations in a passive aggressive way or has convinced themselves that they’re being honest and upfront. Neither bode well for the relationship.

But let’s also keep in mind that you were active on the site, too. For all you know, he was checking your profile as well and saw that you had logged on recently. So maybe he’s thinking what you’re thinking and that’s why he revamped his profile.

There’s really only one way to know if you and this guy are on the same page. You can’t sit back and cross your fingers and hope he’ll eventually bring it up. Yeah, it’s nice if the man initiates that stuff, it makes us feel pursued and all that good stuff. But,  as we wait for a man to declare his love for us, we ending surrendering all of our power and control in the process. The bottom line is that if you want something, you need to ask for it. You need to open the door to that conversation. It can be as simple as, “Hey, do you think we’re at a place where we should both take down our profiles or should we wait a bit longer?”

Either he’ll hem and haw, in which case you have your answer, or he’ll open up and tell you what he’s thinking and feeling. Which might not be exactly what you want to hear, but it’s progress. You’ve taken a proactive role in your love life, which is a whole lot more satisfying that hanging back and hoping things will magically go your way.

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21 Responses to “How Do You Ignore The Fact That The Person You’re Dating Is Dating Other People?”

  1. GI_JANE Says:

    1. It’s funny how we’re always the victims but never think about those who we victimize.

    2. What about that one guy your currently dating who seems really into you, but you drop him at a hat when this other guy calls?

    3. Sounds like wishful thinking to me. You are dating other people, so is he, you are browsing online, so is he. The only difference is he is putting in concrete effort on meeting more women. Try talking to him like Moxie suggests, if not take his lead, revamp your profile and meet more men.

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  2. Selena Says:

    “There’s really only one way to know if you and this guy are on the same page. You can’t sit back and cross your fingers and hope he’ll eventually bring it up. Yeah, it’s nice if the man initiates that stuff, it makes us feel pursued and all that good stuff. But, as we wait for a man to declare his love for us, we ending surrendering all of our power and control in the process. The bottom line is that if you want something, you need to ask for it. You need to open the door to that conversation. It can be as simple as, “Hey, do you think we’re at a place where we should both take down our profiles or should we wait a bit longer?”

    Both Thumbs up Moxie. :)

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 14 Thumb down 5

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  3. Selena Says:

    From Moxie- “You can bring it up, but my guess is you’ll hear something you don’t want to hear.”

    Reminds me of a quote from writer Erica Jong-
    “Advice is what we ask for when we know the answer, but wish we didn’t.”

    Better to know the answer after one month rather than 2,3,6?

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  4. BostonRobin Says:

    Why not take your profile down and see what happens.

    Unless of course you’re still hedging your bets by exploring your options… Do you like him enough to go all in now? My guess is no, or you would have done this already. Don’t ask him the tough questions till you ask yourself first!

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 14 Thumb down 5

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  5. A to the F Says:

    Let’s be honest, if either of these two, guy or girl, was worth anything they think they are worth, then they wouldn’t be dating online.

    But you are, and so is he, so suck it up, neither of you is the catch you think. Call him on being exclusive, or don’t, but stop acting like you’re something special.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 11 Thumb down 72

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    • Yvonne Says:

      Huh? Not seeing anything in the OP’s letter that makes it sound like she thinks she’s all that and a bag of chips. Plus, plenty of good catches date online, so why the snark?

      I think CityGal is still dating others, not so much because she’s on the fence about this guy, but because she’s waiting for him to step up and ask her to be exclusive. If he’d seen her logging onto the site and it actually bothered him, he’d be stepping up his efforts with her. I hate to say it, but revamping the entire profile is a sign that he’s looking for someone new. IMO, the current relationship is just a pit stop until he finds that new person.

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      • Selena Says:

        Spot on Yvonne.

        Re-doing a entire profile appears to be a concerted effort to attract new women. If that is so, then the question for the OP becomes how long do you want to continue to date someone who isn’t that into you?

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        • msM. Says:

          yup. To me it sounds like “good, but there’s more out there” there mentality. I feel like online dating creates a world of options that are sometimes difficult to close off on. I was having a back and forth with Howard on another thread and he said something like, as a guy, do you feel like “is this person is worth closing off all options from?”

          Maybe he likes her, but not enough to be completely exclusive. And this is true of him and her. Granted re-vamping a profile means 100% on the hunt mode.

          When I was doing online dating I realized how addictive it can be, especially if you are “popular”, it seems like there are so many options, why close off on them unless you have found “the one” right person for a committed relationship?

          The OP might want to try indirect questions first, not about “them” but about relationships in general. Like, “what do you look for in a partner” or “why would you commit to someone”, or “what are you looking for, right now”? This will give her an overall idea of where he is headed.

          But I agree that overall it is not appear that the guy is all that interested in her.

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        • noquay Says:

          Yep, he’s out trolling but then so is the OP. You don’t get to have your cake and eat it too, eh?

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    • C Says:

      These days, everyone and their hot, rich brother dates online. I’ve met amazing guys online including a tall adonis who started his career in television (because he was so hot) before getting his MBA from a top school and becoming a senior executive at a fortune 500 company. I also met a very athletic, tall, young hottie who dropped out of a PhD program because he was too busy running his company and racing bicycles on the side.

      The thing about men and women who are all that and a bag of chips as Yvonne put it is that they are a) very busy and b) may not want to date people they meet through work. While I hate online dating, admittedly, its a low time investment way to meet lots of singles.

      Secondly, since when does only a Hollywood A-lister deserve a good relationship?! This is just rediculous!

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  6. D. Says:

    There are a couple ways to handle this, but all of them first require that you be clear with yourself about how you feel and what you want.

    1. You can talk to the guy. As Moxie said, you may not get the response you want, but that’s always a risk when dating.

    or

    2. You can choose to ignore it and accept the risk that you may get ditched because he finds someone he likes better, or just decides he doesn’t want to date you.

    Either way, you’ll note that these choices focus less on him, and more on you and what you want. You aren’t waiting for him to give you the “go” sign; you’re deciding you’re gonna go, and dealing with the consequences as they play out.

    In my experience, I find that actively choosing one path or the other feels a hell of a lot better than waiting to respond to the other person’s behavior. You can analyze the hell out of what this guy does or says. My guess is, even if he really likes you, he’s not ready to date you exclusively. Maybe he’ll realize he wants to later. I don’t know his backstory or his circumstances. Maybe he’s coming off of a divorce, and still in that “sow your wild oats” stage, or doesn’t trust himself to make the right cal as far as getting exclusive goes. Or, maybe he likes you well enough, but not enough to get exclusive. Who knows. How he feels is secondary, though, to how you feel and what you want.

    While we’re on the subject, I’d also say that it’s worth asking yourself what exactly you want. I find that, many times, people will get agitated about the other person’s behavior and activity when they aren’t even sure they want to be exclusive yet. In that situation, it’s less about wanting to be with the guy specifically, and more about wanting him to be available as an option, should you choose to exercise that option later.

    Are you really at a point where you know you only want to see him, or do you just want to make sure that the option to make that call down the road isn’t going to be foreclosed before you have a chance to make the choice yourself?

    If it’s the latter, then you need to do something that is EXTREMELY difficult in dating: learn to sit and ride out the uncertainty. However, if you’re enjoying yourself now, and aren’t yet at a point where you do want to have the exclusivity talk, then I’d say you just need to accept that he’s going to date around, at the same time that you’re dating around. There really isn’t a middle-ground between “dating around” and “just dating each other.” In other words, either you want exclusivity…or you don’t. If you want it, then it’s time to talk about it (assuming you accept either outcome). If you don’t want it yourself, then let things sit and play out until you do.

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    • jane Says:

      I agree with your two options. Ive been in this exact scenario and I went with 2, justifying that the fun I was having with him was worth playing out – even though I knew I didnt like the way it was going. I knew what I was setting myself up for but it still didnt hurt any less when things inevitably fell apart and the guy chose someone else. I would not make that choice again, I would simply walk away.

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      • D. Says:

        That’s fine, but again, that’s all your choice. That’s the point: make it YOUR choice and own it, instead of taking the passive approach.

        Consider the difference between just waiting and hoping he one day wakes up, while feeling “stuck” as you wait vs. actively choosing to play it out and just enjoy the ride, but ending up disappointed at the end. You’ll be disappointed either way (if it doesn’t work out), but at least in the more active approach, you’ve taken control of as much of the situation as you can, and aren’t at his mercy.

        Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 9 Thumb down 2

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  7. fuzzilla Says:

    If it were me, that would be totally eating away at me and I couldn’t help but bring it up.

    OP is doing the right thing by dating other people and keeping her options open, but it seems she may get hurt anyway if she really wants to be with this guy and he’s ambivalent/actively seeking out others. Does the hurt/doubt outweigh the good times with him?

    I was just thinking the other day that I’m really attached to an image of myself as the supercool girlfriend who never gets upset, but historically I’d throw my own needs under the bus in the service of this image, which isn’t cool, but really just a Stepford Wife in hipster/poor college student clothing. Doing so would make me hella resentful and decidedly uncool eventually, heh. It’s not like the only possible settings are “supercool” or “bitch,” there’s also “this doesn’t work for me” or “hmm, I might need to process that a bit.” If your needs aren’t being met and you feel uneasy with the situation, speak up. Don’t make demands of him, but maybe initiate a “so what’s going on, here?” talk.

    Speak up for yourself before the hurt/doubt snowballs, I guess is my point in a nutshell.

    Probably some people will tell you to wait it out and see if he comes around and wants commitment on his own. That may happen; or you may be waiting around forever while your feelings deepen for someone only lukewarm about you.

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  8. DrivingMeNutes Says:

    If the person you’re dating is updating their online profile, it means they are interested in meeting other people for dating. Period. Full stop. There’s no need to raise the issue with the guy since you already have your answer.

    I do think its interesting that you would enter into some silly quid pro quo where you’re both “allowed” to date other people. But then to be surprised that he would be doing that as effectively as possible. This is my experience with women too – similar to what Fuzilla wrote – women, regardless of what they say, are in this holding pattern waiting for the guy they like to come around and make an exclusivity promise. During that time, they may accept dates from their endless supply of less desirable suitors. But they don’t really “want” to be dating multiple people. Guys, with a few exceptions, generally don’t have a trove of female suitors upon whom they can call while they “wait” for the woman they really like to “come around”. This just isn’t how the world works. Men, for the most part, have to take initiative to date multiple people which includes updating or otherwise making ones profile as attractive as possible.

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    • C Says:

      There are no garuantees in life, but if I were a betting woman, I’d put my money on your premise.

      I’m thinking this guy is lukewarm and passing the time too. Generally, if a guy wants a woman not to be snatched up by the other 1,000,000 guys on the dating site, he moves the relationship forward. He wouldnt be polishing his profile and trying to meet hotter women.

      I also agree that those other guys the OP are dating likely dont stand a chance and will eventually get chucked regardless of what Guy #1 does. This is the multi-dating dilema for folks seeking a serious relationship. 3 times out of 4, multi-daters arent taking you seriously.

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      • Nicole Says:

        “Generally, if a guy wants a woman not to be snatched up by the other 1,000,000 guys on the dating site, he moves the relationship forward. He wouldnt be polishing his profile and trying to meet hotter women.”

        I agree with this, although I do wonder if there’s something to what Moxie said about the guy noticing the OPs activity online. Or picking up on other signals that she’s still seeing other guys. I know the one time I tried to date multiple people (which I will never do again, juggling sucked for me!) I behaved really differently than I do when I’m only seeing one guy. I was less likely to keep in contact between dates, I was too busy to see any of the guys more than once a week, and I avoided any situations that might lead to sex.

        So, this guy might have lost interest (or never been that interested in the first place). But he might have realized that the OP is still playing the field, and figured she’s not that into him, or that she’s not serious about a relationship right now.

        Only way to know is to bring it up… Although I wouldn’t have very high hopes at this point, either.

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        • C Says:

          Thats true. Maybe he was more interested and then down graded her when he gauged her level of interest as not very high. Thats certainly possible.

          I would suspect he wasnt checking up on her online activities though. I’ve never heard of men being fans of online stalking. I’ve always thought of OKC, phones, or facebook snooping as female stalking methods rather then male…but I might be wrong. I would put my money on the OPs lover having never checked up on her online activity.

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  9. jane Says:

    I really agree that you’re part of both of the problems here. You dont think some of the guys you’ve been dating might be feeling the same way you are right now? First you have to realize you cant go both ways – you cant date lots of guys concurrently AND be upset when any of those guys do the same to you.

    The takeaway: if you have a favorite guy you’re dating, stop dating the others. Its obvious that even if #1 fell through, you’d just be settling for any of the others as backups, so do the right thing and let them all go. On the other end, the object of your affection just isnt that into you. If you’ve had a few dates and the guy is still putting a lot of effort into seeking out new women you just arent ranking that highly with him. He’s keeping you around as an option, and who wants that?? If you keep seeing him you’re accepting a casual dating future and/or being a replacement if and when his other choices eventually fall through.

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  10. Betty Boop Says:

    She sounds desperate and snobby, so what if he updates his online profile your “dating” he has no obligation to share his flings with you or you to him. Sure you feel funky because you’d rather him be all over you but he’s talking to other women. Some advice for you hun, get over yourself your not in a relationship with this man

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  11. L Says:

    Didn’t get the impression she was desperate or snobby at all. No need for the snark

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