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I was just having a conversation with a single guy and a single girl.  They are both in their thirties.  An important question came up.  How long should you date someone before you become exclusive?

That was an easy question for me to answer.  You keep dating others as long as you can.  Never put all your eggs in one basket.  I become exclusive when the person I like most is in love with me and I don’t have to worry about getting dumped..  And even then, exclusive is relative.

You will probably judge me for this, but I’m never totally monogamous.  While I might not fool around with other guys while I’m in a relationship, I go on lots of platonic dates.  Often those dates are with guys that have boyfriend potential.  I’m not deceptive.  Everyone (boyfriend and platonic guys) knows my situation.

Paradoxically, this keeps my relationship with my boyfriend strong.  Here is why.  The chase spurs attraction.  If the guy never feels like the chase is over, I remain very attractive to him.  Also, a quote comes to mind that is relevant here.  It is from Groucho Marx.  He said, “I don’t want to belong to any club that would accept me as a member.”  That applies here because to some extent, people don’t want what they have.  So if someone gets you, they have a tendency to value you less.  But if someone never totally has you, you are someone they have to keep working to win.  It is totally messed up, but you can’t fight human nature.

Never giving up those platonic dates also keeps my relationships filled with lust.  It has been scientifically proven that married guys have less potent sperm and lower testosterone levels.  That is because on a subconscious level their bodies don’t feel the need to compete.  The science is fascinating and I’ll go in more detail on that in another post.  But for now all you need to understand is that when a guy knows you are exclusive, his testosterone levels go down.  That is not good for sex.  If he thinks he has competition, his testosterone levels stay high.  That is good for sex.

Lastly, if you have other potential partners in your life, you never feel the need to stay in a bad relationship because you are afraid to be alone.  Having potential partners in your world also boosts your confidence.  Plus, I can honestly say that while my last boyfriend is history, the guys I dated as friends while I was with him are still my close friends.

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