Dating Multiple People: The Pros, Cons, & Considerations


Last Updated: March 26, 2024

Dating Tips

Dating multiple people at once is a pretty common practice in today’s dating world. But is it right for you?

Let’s explore some of the benefits and drawbacks of casting out multiple lines at a time. And, we’ll share some ways that you can find a dating style that works for you!

Is everyone out here dating multiple people?

If the idea of dating more than one person at a time seems overwhelming or foreign to you, you’re not alone! Social media and dating apps may have given you the impression that everyone is keeping their options open as long as possible. But the reality is, there are plenty of people who would rather focus on dating one person at a time.

By the end of this article, we hope that you’ll see that either option can be beneficial. It’s all about choosing what works for you instead of going along with what you may think everyone else is doing.

Pros of dating more than one person at a time


Dating multiple people can be a fun, exciting experience. And there are a few tangible benefits, as well! Take a look at some of the most compelling pros of keeping your options open:

You’ll meet all kinds of different people

The most obvious benefit of dating multiple people at once is that you’ll be exposed to many different personalities. This is refreshing and fun, and can open up your world to new perspectives and ideas.

You’ll enjoy different kinds of dates

Because you’ll be dating different kinds of people, you’ll also go on many different kinds of dates! You may date someone who is active and invites you for a run. You may date someone who is a foodie and takes you to a wine and food tasting. As you expand your search, the opportunities are endless: concerts, scuba diving, painting, improv. You might just find your new favorite hobby.

You’ll find out what you like

Speaking of your new favorite hobby, another benefit of dating multiple people is that you’ll have more opportunities to reflect on what you like. What about someone’s personality and activities appeal to you? What are you going to avoid on future dates? The more experience you have, the more self-reflective you can be.

You’ll keep things in perspective

Sometimes, when we dive wholeheartedly into pursuing one person, it can put pressure on the dating experience. If it doesn’t work out, you may have invested weeks or months and plenty of emotional energy into this person. That can be emotionally difficult.

But, when you learn not to put your eggs in one basket, it can make things feel a little lighter. It can be empowering and liberating to know that you have options.

Red flags may become more glaring

When we allow ourselves to invest in one person, a funny thing can happen to our judgment: it goes out the window! We want so badly for things to work with this person that we may overlook red flags or justify unhealthy behavior.

But when you’re dating multiple people, it gives you something to compare the behavior to.

You may notice that you feel stressed out about upcoming dates with one person in particular whereas you feel excited about the others. This is a chance to take a critical look at patterns that may be troubling!

You’ll enjoy the confidence boost

Confidence looks good on everyone. And if you’re enjoying getting compliments and mood boosts from dating multiple people, well, it’s going to make you even more attractive! And hey, although your sense of worth and value should come from within, it doesn’t hurt to be reminded of your positive attributes!

Cons of dating multiple people at once


While there are a few compelling benefits of dating more than one person, it isn’t without its drawbacks! Here are some to keep in mind before jumping in:

It can be tiring

Dating in general is an emotionally and physically tiring experience. You might find yourself getting overwhelmed by keeping up with multiple dates, having similar conversations with different people, and the emotional highs and lows that come with dating someone new.

You might get details wrong

Unless you’ve got an excellent memory, it’s not unreasonable to expect that you might forget certain details or get things mixed up when dating multiple people.

This can be stressful and even disastrous if you say the wrong thing or miss a date because you didn’t write it down.

You might find yourself less willing to connect

Connecting on a deeper emotional level takes courage and vulnerability. And, when you date multiple people, it can sometimes be hard to decide with whom to take that next step. This can leave you in a perpetual getting-to-know-you phase with multiple people instead of allowing a relationship to deepen with one person.

You might be tempted to move on instead of working on solutions

Inevitably, you and a potential partner are going to hit a roadblock. You may have a difference of opinion or struggle with scheduling. But instead of working through these challenges, you might be tempted to simply refocus your energy and efforts on one of the other people you’re dating. This can mean that you miss out on developing a deeper connection with someone because of a lack of investment.

Things can sometimes get messy

Just because it’s called casual dating doesn’t mean it’s always casual! And the fact is, emotions may well get in the way. You might, for instance, find yourself developing strong feelings for multiple people. Or, you might run into problems if one person you’re seeing asks you to become exclusive before you’re ready. As humans, we have a tendency to get into some emotionally messy situations! And when you throw more people into the mix, it means there are even more emotions involved.

How to create a dating life that speaks to your needs

Given the pros and cons of dating multiple people, how can you choose a dating practice that is best for you? Here are a few considerations:

  • Be realistic about your time and energy. How much time do you have to invest in your dating life? If you already feel busy with your other commitments, adding multiple partners is probably not the best move.
  • Set boundaries for yourself. Having clear boundaries will help the dating experience feel more organized. For instance, how many dates can you go on per week? How many dates will you go on before deciding to become exclusive?
  • Be intentional about the physical component. If you’re someone who struggles to be casually intimate with new people, make sure to think carefully about when you’ll take this next step. Remember, just because you’re dating multiple people doesn’t mean you have to be physical with them (unless you want to!)
  • Stay connected to your feelings. The best thing you can do during the dating process is check in with how you’re feeling. Is one person making you feel more optimistic than others? Are you feeling uncomfortable with dating more than one person?
  • When you’re ready to become exclusive, say so! If you start dating someone that you’d like to take things to the next level with, be honest! Tell them you’d like to become exclusive. This is a difficult conversation, but a necessary one to avoid a situationship.
  • Give yourself a test run. You may feel curious about dating multiple people, but that doesn’t mean that you have to commit to it forever! Consider giving yourself a test run of a couple weeks or months. Then, think about the pros and cons for you. That way, you can decide whether opening up your dating life is a good option for you, or not.

Are you ready to start dating multiple people?

Now that you know that this dating style is optional and that you can do it on your own terms, how are you feeling about dating multiple people? Will you try out the benefits for yourself? Or are you going to stick with dating one person at a time? No matter what, the choice is yours!

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