As a counselor I hear all sorts of things from clients.  Difficult and painful situations, excruciating decisions to make, and unfortunate outcomes.  It seems there is more mopping up to do than there is jumping up and down celebrating someone’s triumphs.  But the success stories keep me focused and motivated to walk with a client through just one more obstacle.  Their triumph might be right on the other side of that obstacle.

The same thing happens in dating too.  Obstacles and triumphs.  When Hawk finally said he was ready to meet in person I felt like we’d gotten through to a triumph.  As it turned out the obstacle was bigger than either he or I.  So here I am now with Lucky and Coach.  Two very nice, but very different men.  Both are interested in getting to know me better.  I was trying to be objective and logical about my options.  I decided that I didn’t have enough information from a meet & greet to make a single choice yet.  That’s when I remembered Tammy’s question.  Can I actually date more than one man at a time?

Summed up, Tammy’s input was that “well you’re not married, and you aren’t exclusive, heck you haven’t even dated yet.  So go for it.  Leave your options open.”  She said it was kind of like The Bachelor tv program.  I told her I’d go to the hobby store and get a case of fake roses, and I can hand them out or not, at the end of each date.  Tammy also reminded me not to be naive enough to think that I was the only girl who a particular guy was talking to or dating. She had a good point.

Michele on the other hand, was more of the opinion that you should date only one man at a time.  She reminded me that I wouldn’t want someone getting attached to me and then I’d choose someone else.    I had to agree that I wasn’t very keen on the idea of hurting someone’s feelings.

In the mornings when I go walking by the lake, I listen to music.  My feet get distracted by the music and they don’t realize just how far they’re going.  I’m sneaky huh?   One particular song, Exhale by Whitney Houston, seemed to be getting my attention lately.  The lyrics “Everyone falls in love sometimes – Sometimes it’s wrong, sometimes it’s right – For every win, someone must fail.”  As I thought about the words, I realized that it wasn’t any longer just a profile picture on a dating site.  Michele’s words made me think.  These are real people.  I certainly don’t want to lead anyone on, or hurt anyone’s feelings.  But I also needed to spend enough time with a person to see if there was anything to connect with.

Oops, hold on, I just got a ‘wink’ alert from one of the dating sites.  Be right back.

False alarm.  Well, I did get a wink alert, but it was from a guy in Florida.  I’m in Iowa.  I see a few issues here.  It seems some people’s motives are not necessarily to date in real life.  There are scammers on dating sites.  Men who seem too good to be true, usually are.  They are very eager and ask for you to email them or chat with them on a messenger site rather than through the privacy of the dating site.  They are looking for vulnerable women who are at the tail-end of a bad relationship.  There are also a lot of married men on single’s dating sites.  They either outright lie about their marital status or more frequently they openly admit to being married and are looking to make friends.  (Big sigh)

I began thinking about what my own motives are.  What is it I really want from this?  On the dating sites when you’re writing your profile it will ask you what you’re looking for.  Friends, hang out, casual dating, long-term relationship, marriage partner.  I knew I wasn’t interested right now in the options on either of the far ends of the spectrum.  I was just ending a marriage, I wasn’t eager to do that again.  I decided casual dating or a long-term relationship seemed to be the most comfortable goal for me at this point.

Then I thought about Lucky and Coach and wondered what their motives might be.  I knew that Lucky was wanting companionship because he shared that.  He’s relatively new to the community in south central Minnesota where he lives and hasn’t met very many people yet.  I’m in a similar situation recently moving to a new town as well.

Coach hadn’t really given me an idea yet what he might be interested in.  Like me, he was separated and waiting for his divorce to become final.   In guessing I’d say he was somewhere on the friends, hangout, casual dating side.  Where Lucky was wanting something more significant toward the long-term relationship/marriage end.

I think I’ll be finding out soon enough whether or not I can date more than one man at a time.  I have a lunch date with Lucky on Friday afternoon and Coach is on the roster for Sunday evening.  A two date weekend.  Not bad for a middle-aged single girl.


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