Monday, October 29, 2012

Volume Dating Versus Serial Dating

You have to read this article, Every Woman Needs a Gaggle of Men. I know it's just one article (I am reading a bunch right now and will post below), but it highlights something I have been feeling about this whole 'volume dating/date multiple men' thing. I had a suspicion that these multiple dating advocates tend to be okay with casual sex without monogamy and sex with more than one person at a time. This supposed 'sex counselor' (who knows what his training is) is okay with sex without monogamy, sex with multiple partners, and even says marriage is not for everyone! He's one of those who has thrown traditional dating, marriage, and life goals to the wind because he knows times have changed for everyone so we just have to accept the decline (i.e., everyone is doing it so you should too). He is advocating hook-up culture when many women (and men) say they don't actually like the culture but they conform because everyone else seems to be doing it. UPDATE: I just read the comments from the article and the majority of people reacted just as negatively as I did.

So how can someone like me, who only believes in sex with one person and wants marriage, listen to someone like that? This is one of those 'anything goes' radical liberal types that I am not. He says that it's a post-dating world but I beg to differ because this seems to be a Western, feminist, male fantasy sort of thing while traditional people (including many non-White people) don't believe in that. He makes it seem like what he advocates is the norm but it isn't. For many guys, if you told them you were sleeping with someone else they would no longer see you as girlfriend material. Others, as you know, get weird when they know you are dating someone else so it could actually ruin your chances with someone by dating other people. This expert is telling women to date and sleep around believing that eventually these women will date and sleep with enough guys and find their match. That assumes that the women don't get sick of it and end up settling just like women who dated and slept around less. It also assumes that one of these guys will actually want to settle down with a volume dater who has been around the block. It assumes that these women only stop this because they find their best match and that match also chooses them but I haven't read scientific proof this is the case. 

One problem I have with this multiple dating thing is what proof do they have that it actually works? I've read a few anecdotes where a woman says she dated multiple men, it helped her figure out what she wanted, then she was able to find her best match. But aren't there women who already know what they want based on long-term relationships or dating a few men? Also, how does the anecdotal person know that things would not have gone the same way if she was totally single when she met Mr. Right? Maybe, if she was more selective in her dates then every date would be with a potential Mr. Right instead of guys who obviously were not good matches from the beginning. The point is that there are no scientific studies proving this is a better method and their ideas are no more valid than those who advocate sex only with monogamy. Patti Stranger from Millionaire Matchmaker advocates dating 3 guys but no sex (at all) without monogamy. She knows that many women feel bad if they give up sex without monogamy so she advocates against it. Sex makes the relationship deeper so it's hard for the woman to date other guys. Only a study can determine if more women are happier after serial/traditional dating versus multiple dating and who feels they found their best match. 

I think that things can be looked at in different ways, maybe depending on if you are a positive or negative person. I tend to see the negatives so if I were to date 20 guys, three dates each, if none of them wanted me to be their girlfriend, and if none of them fell in love with me then my self-esteem would be way worse than if I was just rejected by 3 men! If I was at my best and most charming with 20 guys I would expect one of them to choose me! I don't want more chances to be rejected. I read another article about how women can just enjoy the experience of connecting with these people. I'm just not like that, I would rather have a conversation with someone I like rather than someone who I don't (I'd rather watch TV or blog instead). So when I'm on a date with a guy I'm not attracted (and there isn't enough chemistry to be friends) I feel like I would rather be doing something else. I just don't enjoy talking with people I don't want a relationship or friendship with. I consider these conversations to be investments and I'd rather not spend my best jokes, insights, and stories on someone I don't plan on seeing again. I'm just not that person who enjoys talking for the sake of it. I prefer having deep relationships rather than many superficial ones so I'd rather have a handful of close friends than 20 not so close ones. Dates with Mr. Wrongs is tedious but dating Mr. Right is not.

Also, how do these multiple daters know that the man they married was their "best match"? It could be that compared to the other 20 men the anecdotal woman dated, Mr. Right was just the best of the bunch and got along with her the best. How is that any different from a woman dating 3 guys serially and then picking #4 because he was the best one? You don't have to actually date every type of guy to figure out what you want. You can learn from other women's stories, friendships and working relationships, family members, films, books, etc. I'm sure that women with few dating experiences still have an idea of what they want. Furthermore, there is so much advice about how to feel happy and satisfied with what you have instead of thinking that what you have isn't good enough. Maybe women who serial date are able to do this with their Mr. Right but it is very difficult to do this when you are dating multiple, different men over a long period of time. The multiple dater is always expecting that they can find someone better but what is the guarantee that there is someone better? I'm not talking about someone who dates jerks, I mean someone who has dated maybe 10 employed, nice, attractive, and great guys who any woman would want.

Here's a quote, ""When you date just one guy, you might feel pressured to commit, even if you’re not ready,” she says. “If you see two men, there’s often this unspoken need to choose between them. But three guys tend to balance each other out, like a tripod.” I think the most important thing is that it's THE MAN who decides whether to commit or not! I have not read anywhere that these anecdotal women were asked for commitment from more than one man and they chose to say yes to the best one. For all we know these women dated 20 men, they didn't want 10 of them and 9 did not want to commit, so they said yes to the 20th one, the only one who actually wanted them! Since this is a new phenomenon there are no long-term studies showing that these volume daters have better or longer marriages either. This is really another example of people advocating for something that theoretically seems better but there is no real proof that it is! No I am not saying that it is good for women to settle for the first man they date or for whoever chooses them. I think that nowadays it is fine to date more than one man before you get married. But I will not believe that women who date more before marriage end up with better matches than those who don't without proof of this. Also, I won't believe that women with many sexual partners don't suffer negative consequences because of it, or that it doesn't interfere with their relationship and marriage prospects. 

So in terms of volume dating my stance is that I will only continue to see men who I like because I won't go through the motions of more than one date with men I am not attracted to just for the sake of having dates (why continue unsatisfying relationships?). I will not pursue men and when I find one I like I will make myself less available (e.g., won't go on dating sites as much) but I won't cut the other men off until I discuss that with the potential Mr. Right.  If he has a problem with it he will have to put up with it, commit to me, or move on. If he is worth it I won't have a problem giving up the other guys but a discussion must be had. I will also follow Patti Stranger's advice of no sex without monogamy because that is more consistent with my values. 

It's hard to get more than one man interested in you that you actually want, and these volume dating articles make it seem like it's easy and we are purposefully avoiding it! Like the article above said, these women are dating men who don't have what they want but they are keeping them around to fulfill specific needs...they are dating men they know are not good enough! I ONLY go on second dates with men who I would actually want to have a relationship with who have everything I want. Furthermore, these men have feelings too and they can tell if you aren't into them and it makes me wonder why they stick around. Some may just want to be friends, especially friends with benefits and this article encourages that! I mean these articles act like the men don't have feelings! Are these men paying for dates and spending time with women who KNOW they don't want them? I think that is just as unethical as men saying they love and will commit to women in order to sleep with them. Unless these women let the men know that they don't think a relationship will happen then they are using these men. This is why some guys are mad a women for leading them on. I have no problem with being friends and seeing what happens (with nothing physical) but both parties should know what's going on. Just imagine your're a guy, going on dates for 2 months (him paying) and when you ask for commitment the woman says no...why in the world was she dating you if she didn't want you??? If you are sure you don't want someone you should let them go instead of leading them on. 

For me I have NEVER been able to date two or more quality men, who I have chemistry with, at the same time. I find most of my dates on online dating sites and recently in a networking group. I ONLY go on dates with men who I am attracted to physically, have a degree, live nearby and plan to stay here, are looking for a relationship, not too young or old, and seem nice. I don't get approached by tons of men who meet this criteria. Out of the last 6 dates I've gone on recently I was only physically attracted to 1 (four did not look as good as they did in photos). There was no chemistry with 4 because I was not attracted to them and there wasn't enough friendship chemistry for me to want to stay in touch with them (they were a bit awkward or dull in my opinion. I have met 2 men recently who aren't even straight, or close to my age, but they were so fun and we got on so well I want to keep them as friends. So it's not that I wasn't friendly). I was not attracted to 1/6 but I would like to be his friend. I have gone on multiple dates with another 1/6 but he takes things slow and does not want to commit. I have an upcoming date with a guy I had amazing chemistry with but who went away and has now returned. I have never had so much chemistry with a man and he says and does exactly what I need. There are also two very attractive men who have my number but I don't know if they want dates, to be friends, or if they are even single so I can't even count them yet. So that leaves me with 2 potentials, 1 who hasn't chosen me and 1 just starting up again out of 11 men I have recently met (including the two friends) and that was a lot of time spent! I only met these men online or networking and not at work, school, clubs, bars, or just randomly on the street. If I end up dating 3 men I actually like at the same time I will be very surprised!

Related Articles:
*The biggest mistake women make when dating (this is way less objectionable than the one posted above)
*Volume dating (pretty good and has responses to some of my doubts)
*Volume dating?
*How to date multiple guys without being shady
*Is it okay to date more than one man at once? (lol she uses the marketing metaphor that I have used in previous posts). This advice also disagrees with the first article and says don't have sex too easily. Here's a quote:
The principles of the game:
1. You are a company.
2. You are the company’s only salesman, marketer and advertiser.
3. Men are your company’s customers and they make their buying decisions based upon the goods you produce (i.e. yourself); in other words, you have to present the best product with not only the best structural quality, but also the best packaging, and advertising possible. (You must have the best possible inner and outer selves.)
4. Your personal style differentiates your company from all the others. If you’re going to compete in the Fortune 500, you’d better know how to generate the best revenue.
5. The world’s best salesmen don’t have a 100% sales rate, or a 75% sales rate; nor do they have a 50% sales rate, or even a 25% sales rate. The world’s best salesmen are lucky to maintain a 10% sales rate. A 10% sales rate = one in every 10.
 If you’re not catching my drift yet, think of it this way: To win this game, you have to be the best company you can be, making the best product and selling the best services. Moreover, you have to keep trying to improve every aspect of your corporation, no matter what hurdles you face. (For example, the GAP went through a slow sales period for some years, but the company has started posting increases in their quarterly sales.)
*It's not just sex (EXCELLENT!!!) "By participating in the hook-up culture, we reinforce the idea that the emotional energy required for sex is no different from that required for self-pleasure or pornography, we reinforce the belief that genuine relationships come second to an orgasm, we reinforce the notion that sex is just an emotionless, mindless, physical act. But sex is so much more than that. Sex becomes a deep, romantic, beautiful thing when combined with love and trust."
*Finally someone says it: Hook up culture is good for women (feminist barf). Here's a quote that the author disagrees with but I agree with, "The central argument holds that women have effectively been duped by a sexual revolution that persuaded them to trade away the protections of (and from) young men. In return, they were left even more vulnerable and exploited than before. Sexual liberation, goes the argument, primarily liberated men-to act as cads, using women for their own pleasures and taking no responsibility for the emotional wreckage that their behavior created. The men hold all the cards, and the women put up with it because now it's too late to zip it back up, so they don't have a choice."
*The effect of hook up culture on men (basically saying that since men can get women so easily they don't feel the need to be successful or put in much effort to get women, including committing to them)
*Is hook up culture empowering? (VERY GOOD!!!)


  1. That article was horrible. I think he's manipulating women so HE can benefit and get all the sex he wants without the commitment! I was totally disgusted. If some women want to do that, fine. It's none of my business and I can careless, it's just weird to me. It's not even about being a 'hoe' or a 'whore'.

    It's like STDs are not a serious problem to him! Sleeping with multiple men at a time can put you in risk! I really cannot believe this.. I'm not the most traditional girl but this.. this is way too much.

  2. Hi Pearl,

    Yes that article was horrible! After I read that one I read some that were way more reasonable that say it's not a good idea to sleep with more than one person at a time. STDs can be transmitted and then all of your partners could have it. There is no such thing as totally safe sex so you are at risk every time. Plus, if a woman were to get pregnant while sleeping with multiple men then all of them could deny paternity.

    This is why I am so skeptical about a lot of dating and sex advice because many of these "experts" have totally different values from me and see no problem with multiple partners or having relationship after relationship without marriage.