How do you date someone who is seeing other people?

Let’s say you meet someone for a date, doesn’t matter how you met, just that you met recently, and you’ve started dating. You’re a few dates into dating, but you haven’t gotten serious yet, and you find out that they’re also dating other people. They’re not seeing any of them seriously, but there is some overlap. Now you’re asking yourself, how do you date someone who is seeing other people?

In my experience, there is always going to be overlap in dating, whether people are honest about it or not. The degree which there is overlap may differ, but I think that most people who are single are rarely completely, 100% single. Maybe they’re still texting an ex that they hook up with from time to time. Maybe they’ve been on a couple dates with someone else and they’re still feeling them out. They might even be already planning to meet someone who they were in contact with before you met. I also tend to think that this overlap is, by and large, harmless on its own.

If you disagree, then the answer to the question is simple: You can’t date someone who is seeing other people. You can either tell the person you’re seeing how you feel, or just move on. I’d personally recommend not being so rigid when it comes to dating, but if you’re steadfast in your idea, at the very least give the person you’re dating the opportunity to decide whether to choose seeing you only, or seeing other people and risk losing you.

If you are okay with the idea, figure out your line in the sand. Is it sex? Is it committing to other people? Is it a set amount of dates? Whatever the line in the sand is for you is valid, as long as you tell your partner what it is. People have different opinions on what dating means. For some people, it means just going on dates. For others, much more. If you want to date someone who you know is seeing other people, you need to be clear about your expectations, and what is a non-negotiable for you.

It can be an awkward conversation to be sure, but if you want to successfully date someone who you know is dating other people, it’s one you need to have, Be clear to yourself about what you will or will not tolerate. Then talk about it. There’s nothing wrong with refusing to date someone because of who they may or may not be seeing. Alternatively, you don’t have to have a very hard-line in the sand if you don’t care if they’re seeing other people.

How you date someone who is seeing other people is the same way you date anyone else. Be upfront and honest about what you want, and don’t settle for “good enough”.

Good Luck Out There.

Also published on Medium.