Why You Would Rather Date Three People Than Be Happy With One

The first video I’ve ever posted on my blog is appropriate in a number of ways.

First of all, the subject matter is dating related.

Second of all, it has to do with the Paradox of Choice – and, in three and a half minutes, logically explains why we date multiple people simultaneously.

Finally, it’s a video by Dan Ariely, a professor from Duke University – my alma mater.

Enjoy and don’t forget to post your thoughts below.

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  1. 31

    I appreciate the spirit in which Karl and A-L make their remarks; I would commend Karl’s honesty. However, knowing that I’m merely an option being “settled for” because nothing better is available is only going to work if I had no interest whatsoever in the other person. I think I would be more likely to hang out with friends who spent time with me because they truly value me as a person.

  2. 32

    Very true and interesting video, and one that leaves you with a lot to ponder. This scenario holds true in all areas of life, not just dating. I’m going over to my pondering corner and think about this for awhile, and then head over to my blog to rely my perspective.

    Thanks for the short video packed full of a huge message.

    searchingwithin´s last blog post…How Will We Love?

  3. 33

    I really think that urge/desire to keep looking is because you really and truly are not happy with the one person. Sometimes you know why you aren’t happy and sometimes you don’t. But, from my personal experience, when you and your SO are really happy and fulfilled, the looking stops.

    I agree that this happens in other situations as well. For example, I’ve had many cars over my lifetime from dirt cheap ones to luxury ones. Until I got my Mini Cooper two years ago, I was never satisfied and was always looking for a shiner, faster, better car. The Mini Cooper isn’t the most expensive or fastest or even most stylish car I’ve owned. But it so perfectly fits me. When I’m in it, I feel like a million bucks and like I’m the best driver on the road.

    Similarly, when you find the person who really suits you best, you feel like a million bucks and like you’ve are the luckiest person in the world. When you’ve got that feeling, you don’t even notice the other doors!

  4. 34

    If she is dating someone else at that point, you still have an opportunity to date her in the future if that relationship doesn’t work out.
    Unless she gets married or pregnant.

  5. 35

    I agree with you, Kenley, but it’s the WHY we are not happy with one person that fascinates me. Is it because online dating offers too many choices and makes us feel there is always someone available? Is it a societal malaise that makes us think the grass is always greener (with everything, not just dating)? Is it biology–is monogamy really against our nature? Would men and women answer these questions differently? Do our answers change as we age?

    I can see wanting to keep my options open early in the dating process. That’s what dating is all about to me–like trying on shoes, until you find a pair that works. But at a certain point, as a few PPs have written, if you are looking for a monogamous relationship, you have to choose one person and cut the others loose. I don’t personally believe I can find love with a safety net, so if I think someone has potential for a long term relationship, I stop dating everyone else. Until then, it’s an open field.

    Does a blinking door about to shut entice me? No. It’s more likely to turn me away, because I’ve had too many experiences with men who blow hot and cold. For me, it goes to that adrenaline rush that Evan has written about. My experience tells me I’ll get a thrill from the tiny blinking door for a day or two, then it will slam shut and leave me wondering what happened, only to reappear the moment I’m contemplating another door.

    When do you decide to let the other doors shut? Ah, that’s the sticking point for a lot of people, isn’t it? Some folks, like Evan’s reader who wanted monogamy in the email stages of online dating, obviously want it right away. Some will only meet one person at a time. Some will go out with several people simultaneously but not sleep with any of them. And of course, there are those people who are comfortable sleeping with numerous people during the same time period, while continuing to meet new people. They might be considered promiscuous by one camp and normal daters by another. I’ve come to discover that a lot of being comfortable with dating is getting on the same page right away about how closely your philosophies mesh in that area. A great deal of heartache can be avoided by knowing how your dates view those blinking doors.

  6. 36

    If only people would be honest to each other ………. sigh..
    The problem is that many people aren’t even honest to themselves let alone to another person…and therefore are keeping searching and searching and ….and searching…….
    Being honest cause to much closing doors, so many people choose to be “strategic”.

  7. 37

    I’m always reading that I should be dating multiple people online. As good as this sounds in theory, as a woman on the other side of 45, do you know how hard I have to search to find just ONE guy I really click with? Sure, that might be doable for younger people, and in my younger days of dating, it wasn’t even THAT easy, but now? And at my age, how much dating do I really have to do? I’m looking for someone who doesn’t feel the need to continue “opening doors”. Sorry for the pop culture reference, but that didn’t work out so well in the song “Send in the Clowns”, now did it?

  8. 38

    Ava, see men that you have little interest in. Most women warm up on the third date.

  9. 39
    Dating Made Easy for Women

    I always like dating more than one man so I don’t allow my expectations to run away with me. Having more that one around helps you to be more objective about each man. You don’t have time to obsess over just one when you’re on a date with another.

    Lanay Stockstill
    Helping Women become Dating Divas!

    Dating Made Easy for Women´s last blog post…Millionaire Matchmaker’s Dishes on Dating Mistakes Women Make

  10. 40

    I commend Sam on his honesty…although I don’t personally agree with it. Karl R and JM great points….actually all the information above confirmed all the different scenarios I have dealt with and sat back just wondering why and what the heck? Online dating does seem to perpetuate the multiple dating situation. It’s like always having a spare….I personally…DO NOT want to be the spare tire for anyone. I don’t treat others that way…and never have been a multiple dater. I would rather give one person my full attention…it’s more respectful and shows how much that one person means to you. Carol mentioned not being able to give that one person the right attention….it’s so true. Personally, I see the multiple dater…as more of a “player”. And/or are they just really committment phobes? Depending on your age and what you want out of this relationship or give, do you have time to play games? I guess what I don’t like and don’t want to be apart of is being just one of many Barbie dolls to play with, no real intention of having a serious relationship. If you like that kind of dating lifestyle…fine..but find the like minded people . Otherwise you can really hurt and waste other peoples time. Paying attention to the signs I guess is the best we can do. Then make our own decisions how we want to respond… or not…I guess.

  11. 41

    I think that too many people get their hopes up too early on when meeting someone. I am not jaded I am just neutral until time passes and someone starts to really mean something to me. I think it is perfectly fine to date multiple people until you decide if any are potential mate material. How long that takes and what transpires between that time will vary by person. As a women over 45 myself, I do not see myself limited.

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