One suggestion most singles have heard is the idea to “date multiple people at the same time” to keep your options open and give the most opportunities for relationship success. And as relationships are brand new, dating more than 1 person at a time is common, understandable, perhaps desirable (depending on your preferences). However, it doesn’t take very long for a pressure and an urgency to kick in to choose the one main person to date, while letting the other(s) go. It soon becomes increasingly difficult to juggle multiple relationships. There is only so much time and money you have to apply to new relationships. Plus, the multiple people you are dating would like you to be the only one they are going out with, versus having to compete with others. So, how do you decide?
Suggestions for Deciding Who To Keep Dating:
As you get to know someone, consider all of these factors when deciding on if you will continue to date a particular person (in no particular order of importance):
*Physical Attraction—who are you the most physically attracted to? Physical attraction matters in relationships, don’t kid yourself. Emotional and physical affection tend to be more easily given and received when physical attraction is mutually strong and evident—both in the beginning of the relationship and over time.
*Finances—what income and debt levels does the other person have, presently and into the future? How responsible have they shown to be with money? The practicalities of money will go a long way to determine how couples manages to make a relationship work over time. So please pay special attention to this factor.
*Communication Style—how well do you talk and listen to each other? Do you and the other person have an aggressive, assertive, or avoidant style of communication together when there is a disagreement, problem, or challenge? Communication and conflict resolution styles matter a great deal.
*Emotions and Emotional Control—how does the other person control difficult, unpleasant emotions such as stress, anxiety, loneliness, boredom, anger, or depression? Do they show any notable jealousy or insecurity issues? Do they have any notable unresolved relationships scars or trauma that would impact you together? Do they show any concerning control issues? When you see how they handle they challenging moments, you are previewing what a life with them would be like.
*Spirituality—how big of a role does the gospel play in their life? How strong does their testimony seem to be, independent of other people? Do they regularly read scriptures/church talks, pray, and attend church? Are they temple worthy (or at least working towards becoming so)? Do they have a calling and if so, do they fulfill that calling? How well are they with upholding the word of wisdom and law of chastity?
*Previous Family Relationships—have they been married before and if so, what would life be like dealing with his/her ex, either directly or indirectly? Do they have kids and if so, how would they blend in with your life? What is their child discipline style? How would his/her previous family obligations correlate with their ability to spend time with you and prioritize you?
*The Intangibles—in general, how do you feel when you are with them? How do you feel when you are away from them? How much do you think about them and desire to be with/around them? Do they give you butterflies? How smitten and infatuated are you with them? How drawn to them are you?
As you consider a balance of all of these relevant factors, you can either choose to date just 1 of them or none of them (if no one really show themselves to have good future potential). Make a decision you will most likely be happy and proud of in 5, 10 and 20 years from now. Do the future you a favor and make a good choice.
Suggestions for Letting the Other Person/People Know You Won’t Be Dating Them Anymore:
For the other person or people you will be no longer dating, it is important to break up as soon as you determine they do not possess long-term potential. How do you let them down? That depends on your personality and theirs. The more they can handle tough truths, the more honest discussion of the true factors you can discuss in your decision. Conversely, the worse they handle unpleasant truths, you may wish to let them down softly with a time-tested breakup cliché. Examples could include the following:
--I just didn’t feel a connection.
--I just didn’t think we had the needed chemistry.
--I just didn’t feel enough of a romantic spark.
--I just think we make better friends.
--I just don’t think we are a match.
For more ideas on breaking up, refer to my previous article on the subject: https://www.ldsdimension.com/articles/breaking-up-is-hard-to-do-52/.
The sooner you can condense your dating pool to 1 promising person, the better. Or, the sooner you eliminate your entire unpromising dating pool, the better (when no one you are dating has permanent commitment potential). Your time, energy, attention, and money are valuable resources. Therefore, it is best that you waste as little time as possible dating those you know you won’t be marrying. And ideally, marriage is the ultimate goal because man and woman were meant to be together. Because “…neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord.”—1 Corinthians 11:11.”
P.S. If you can questions, comments, or a future article request for me, feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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About the author
Hello, my name is Dr. Randy Gilchrist (aka "Dr. G"). I am a licensed clinical psychologist, a licensed marriage & family therapist, and a certified hypnotherapist in private practice in Roseville, CA (www.dr-rg.com), practicing since 1997. Also, I am happily married in the temple (Manti) since 1996 and have 4 sons. I am a volunteer writer and contributor to LDS Dimension. I use my training, education, and experience to share insights with LDS Dimension on all things of interest to the LDS dating community. Please read my articles and columns on this site to assist you in your online dating journey. Also, to be considered for an answer in a future Q and A column, please email me your dating/relationship oriented questions to email@example.com. Finally, I also offer a powerful, effective worldwide custom hypnosis recording service just for LDS Dimension members for weight loss, pornography, and many other issues of concern to those in the LDS dating community (please learn more now at www.dr-rg.com/lds; email me questions to firstname.lastname@example.org).