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When I first enrolled on J*Date, my dating life became very busy very quickly. So much so that I decided to start an experiment that I called "Dating Like a Guy." There wasn't anything scientific about this experiment... I simply continued to apply my Grandmother's theory of accepting all the dates I was being asked out on... all at the same time.
At one point, between the men I met on J*Date, at networking events or through friends, I was juggling seven men at once. Dating is hard work. Dating seven men at once is a full-time job, so I started a spreadsheet to keep myself organized. I know it probably sounds horrible that I had to use a computer program to keep my dates straight, but I was willing to bear it for the sake of the experiment.
The spreadsheet was pretty intricate and I'm pretty sure all the guys on there would have been petrified had they found out, but I didn't know what else to do - there were too many details I needed to keep track of. At the top of the spreadsheet was each man's name and photo, followed by how we met, his age, profession, hometown, family details, where we'd gone, what I wore (imagine showing up in the same outfit with the same man two dates in a row) and the details of his relationship history. I also had to remember which stories I told. Often, I made the mistake of assuming I had told one date a story when I hadn't and vice-versa, meaning I would end up referring to a story or a person and my date would have no idea what I was talking about. I'm sure I sounded like a nutcase on more than a few occasions when I slipped up.
Being that there are only seven days in a week, finding time to date seven men in between having a full-time job, working out every day and spending time with family and friends, meant I was very busy! It was hard to find time to spend with all of the men, especially when they wanted to start seeing me more than once a week. I would schedule lunch dates, dinner dates, coffee dates, drink dates, brunch dates and any other types of date you can think of. All that food meant I really had to make sure I got to the gym!
I had just one rule during this experiment: only kissing was allowed. Eventually, things got more serious with Joshua (spreadsheet cell 3A) and I had to break things off with the other six. With most of them it was easy - I just told them I had met someone and wanted to give it my full attention to see where it would go, and they were very understanding. But with a few, it got messy. Turns out that at the same time, Levi (cell 5A) was breaking it off with another girl to see where things were going with me. Unfortunately, he failed to tell me until it was too late. It was an awful and awkward conversation that ended with us being unable to remain friends.
They say hindsight is 20/20. When the relationship with Joshua ultimately ended, I of course had many doubts wondering if I had chosen the right guy. Had I let my possible beshert, Ronny (cell 2A), who lived a few hours away, get away because I wasn't into the idea of a long-distance relationship? Was there a chance for reconciliation with him? Had this experiment come back to haunt me in the end? It was worth a phone call, but people don't easily forgive and forget and Ronny couldn't get past the fact that I had picked someone else over him. Not my beshert after all.
What I realized during this experiment is that one of the best things about dating more than one guy at a time is you don't allow yourself to fall for any one guy too quickly. Guys seem to have an innate sense when a woman has fallen for them and they tend to pull away. I know I'm guilty of it. I like a guy... he likes me... I get excited and start telling people I'm dating someone. I start bringing him out with my friends and making plans for the future, and yes, I would even think about how my first name would sound with his last name (Mrs. Tamar Cohen, Mrs. Tamar Avishai, Mrs. Tamar Ben-Tzion, and so on) just to have the rug pulled out from beneath me when I least expected it. But when you're busy dating other guys - not sleeping around, just spending time together and getting to know them - you don't have time to think too much about one guy.
Dating multiple people isn't always fun. Although it may increase your odds of finding your beshert, it can also hinder your chances at giving one person a fair shake. After my foray into what I called "dating like a guy" I decided that seven possibilities were five or six too many, it was too confusing and too deceitful. Dating one or two guys or at least being open to casually dating more than one guy at a time is enough for me. The important thing is I learned to take it slow and just to let time tell where it will go.