Amber Grubenmann

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The Case For Dating One Person At A Time

Uncategorized Jan 11, 2024

For a long time, I followed the advice of dating multiple people at once before becoming exclusive.

There are many reasons people believe it’s good to follow that path: you don't get too attached to any one person too early, you are less anxious, it speeds up the process when you can go through more people more quickly, and it gives you an energy of being in demand, which is an attractive energy to have in dating.

Although I don't think there's anything wrong with this advice, I want to make the case for dating one person at a time, even before you’re exclusive. Then, you can decide for yourself which path is best for you.

My thoughts about dating one person at a time came from noticing the difference in my own dating experience when I slowed down and really paid attention to each person that I was connecting with.

I started to question why I was dating multiple people and I actually realized that the reasons didn't make sense.

For example, one reason for dating multiple people is that you don't want to get too attached too quickly.

In my experience, we're really not in control of who we get attached to.

When you go on a date and it's great, you're automatically going to want that to work out and continue.  

It doesn't really matter if you go on dates with five other people that week. If you have a special connection with someone, you're going to feel more invested in that connection.

Even when we are dating multiple people, there tends to be one person who we feel slightly more invested in, interested in, and excited about. But doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re the right person.

You might be extra invested or interested in someone because they're slightly unavailable, and as a result, you might be less attuned to the subtler qualities of connection and attraction that are growing more slowly with someone else.

Another argument that's really widely promoted is that dating multiple people helps us feel less anxious during the dating process.

Like with the first point, we think dating multiple people will stop us from overthinking about one person in particular.

But you know just as well as I do that it doesn't matter how busy you are. When you're overthinking about something your mind will find the cracks in every moment to stuff with overthinking, right?

Filling your calendar with more things and people to prevent that anxiety isn't going to work.

I had an experience where I really hit it off with someone. We went on two dates and I noticed that feeling of, wow, this is a really great connection. I really like this person. I can't wait until the next time I see them.

I got a little bit anxious about how they were showing up in communication and the potential negative outcome of rejection.

I thought, it's just been two dates. I need to connect with someone else. I need to get my mind off of this person. I’m getting attached too quickly.

So I planned another date with someone else. And unfortunately, it was one of the worst dates that I've had. There was zero connection.

I hate to admit it, but on that date I was comparing it to the other connection, and I was wondering if that other person would have texted me by the time the date ended.

Afterward, my anxiety worsened so much because it increased the feeling of scarcity that I had around the first connection.

After that experience, I made a conscious decision to only date one person at a time and to move forward based on how that connection feels by itself, instead in comparison to another connection.

I decided to date one person at a time as long it feels like the connection that I'm looking for, and if it veers away from that it really doesn't make sense to date that person anymore.

And with that, I started to notice that dating just one person at a time had some really positive effects.

I felt like I had a lot more energy in life. I went from feeling a little bit rushed and a little bit pressured to feeling relaxed and enjoying the process more.

I also noticed when I shifted into this very intentional energy, the other person could feel that energy too.

They feel like, this is my chance. This is my opportunity. This is the window in this person's life where we get to see what this connection is made of.

If we have the standard of only continuing to date people who are meeting the five elements, dating one person at a time can really help us speed up the process because we avoid red herrings that catch our attention and prevent us from noticing some of these really good connections that feel a little bit different in comparison.

And with that shift, you become really attuned to what the connection truly feels like.


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This content was originally published on the Women's Dating and Confidence Podcast. Listen on Apple Podcasts or Spotify


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