Someone told me the other day that they believed in dating several people at once for a while and taking lots of time to get to know each one, before deciding which one was compatible and suitable for an exclusive committed romantic relationship. Their thought was that it made more sense to know about compatibility, rather than spending 4 or 5 months in a relationship before splitting up because of incompatibility issues. They saw it as a waste of 4 or 5 months… jumping into a relationship so quickly after several dates just because sparks were flying.
I see it differently. I have been in several wonderful relationships over the years, and each one started exactly the same way…we met, liked each other, went on a few dates, sparks were flying, and we started a relationship, concentrating on just each other. We took the leap of faith and each time were rewarded by the depth and pleasure of learning about each other and how we were together as a couple. There’s nothing like being so INTO each other…and that’s almost impossible to achieve when one is dating more than one person. How is it possible to really get to know on a very deep level….several people at the same time?
Being in the dating world is like being in a large bookstore. We all have our own tastes and qualities that we are looking for…so you might be browsing the travel section and I might be in the Fiction section. But imagine being in the Fiction section…with all those titles to choose from…each one a very unique person to date. You grab 7 or 8 titles that look interesting and study the book jackets… and 4 really spark your interest. You scan the title page and read the first page of each one…but you can’t really juggle all 4 very easily. Do you skim here and there from each one? A page here, a paragraph there. Back and forth. One book to another book to another. Are you really getting to know any of these books in any great detail? Wouldn’t the other books be a constant distraction? How do you keep track which page is from which book? Do you keep on picking out more books?
Wouldn’t it be better to choose the most appealing book, and settle into that cozy leather chair for a delightful read? Savoring the beautifully written passages, charmed by the whimsical illustrations, smiling as you turn each page.Reading it cover to cover. It might even end up being a book you want to read forever, discovering new things every time you open it up. But the only way to know that is to set the other books aside for a time, while you explore the world of that one very special book in your hand, a world you never knew existed until that moment when you chose not to skim….but to truly read.