Is it normal to ask if she’s seeing other guys?

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ThatsFuckingObvious asks:

Is it normal to ask if she’s seeing other guys? Like just nonchalantly I don’t wanna make a big deal of it or anything. I’ve been seeing her for a month or so.

Or is a question like this usually tied to the whole exclusivity talk?


Demetrius says:

Well, it really all depends, doesn’t it? I think that for most people, being asked whether or not they’re dating someone else usually comes up right around when they want things to start becoming more serious. It’s not always the case, but it’s become part of a routine we’re all familiar with. If someone said “we need to talk about us”, you already have an idea about what they’re likely to bring up. It’s like this, if someone asked if you were hungry, you’d expect that they were either going to offer you food, or ask if you wanted to go get food. I’m sure that some people ask “are you hungry?” just to ask, but normally, the question is asked as a lead up to another question. That’s just how language works, isn’t it? One question leads to another, and questions follow lines of questioning.

Even if asking someone if they’re dating other people is normally part of the build up to having an exclusivity talk, or a relationship defining talk, it doesn’t mean you have to make that your goal. That said, whatever your intentions, how someone responds to your question is wholly out of your control. You can say you mean one thing, but that doesn’t mean it will be perceived that way, nor does it mean that they wont take that question and run with it. And that something you have to be prepared for. If she says she is dating other men, how will you respond? If she says she isn’t and she thought you both were already exclusive, how will you respond? If she refuses to answer the question, how will you respond? If she then takes your question and uses it to bring up exclusivity, even if you clearly state that this wasn’t your intention, how will you respond?

I’ve always been of the mind that when it comes to dating and relationship questions, you should never ask a question unless you’re prepared for more than just one specific answer or reaction, and that you should never ask a question you don’t want to answer. Let’s say I asked someone if they were seeing other people, and I’d stick with them regardless of the answer, but knowing that they are seeing someone else would be the “wrong” answer, I just wouldn’t ask. I never ask someone how many people they’ve slept with, because I don’t want to answer that question. Try as you might to make the question seem nonchalant, if you only want the answer to be “No, I’m not seeing other men”, maybe now is not the right time to ask. If you don’t want to answer the question, don’t bring it up. If she brings it up on her own, you should be honest, but if you’re only looking for one answer to a question, or don’t want to answer that question, don’t ask it. Of course, if your intentions are really just based in curiosity, and you really don’t care what her answer will be either way, and you’ll be okay with potentially having an exclusivity talk, I say just ask.

All that said, does it matter if it’s a normal question? What’s “normal” or considered a social norm is good to know if you’re curious, but it shouldn’t stop you from asking questions if you really want an answer. It’s okay to know where the crowd is going, and it’s also okay to say “It’s cool that you guys do it this way, but I’m gonna do things my way”. Doing what everyone else is doing can occasionally be a good thing, but can often be detrimental to the individual. Herds might keep you safe, but can kill you if there’s a stampede. So while it might not be normal to ask “are you dating anyone else”  without the intention to make it part of a larger exclusivity discussion, if you want the answer, just ask.

Date the way you want to date.

Good Luck Out There.

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