I've been involved with a wonderful woman who loves me and wants to marry me but I do not feel ready to marry her. I want to keep my options open and meet other women and date them. I asked for advice from a woman who was sitting next to me at a singles brunch. She told me that she used to want to keep her options open as well. She said one time she dated one man and he was nice and then went on a date with another man and he too was nice. While on the date with the second one she asked herself a question. She asked herself if she would like it if the first guy was dating other women and the answer was no.
She said that while one is dating someone one should be exclusive. She said that one should give a person at least 3 dates because they might not be at their best on the first date. I asked her what if the woman one is dating is 80% of what one wants, shouldn't one keep one's options open till one meets Miss 100%? Her reply was "No one is 100%". She said she wasn't going to play the game of waiting for something better to come along than the man she's dating anymore.
I admire the morals of the woman who gave me this advice. I think she is more likely to develop a strong relationship with a man and less likely to hurt him, than a woman who is constantly looking for something better to come along and constantly dating other men. When you constantly look for something better to come along the relationship you have becomes worse. You may lose the beautiful relationship you have for an imaginary potential relationship which you may never have.
Another point is that if one is in a relationship it's very hard to keep one's options open. One's partner is likely to be very aware if one is on a secret date and is likely to wonder where one was last friday night. She is likely to be hurt that one was off with someone else and to feel betrayed. If one goes out together to singles events people are likely to recognize that one is part of a couple. The either cut it off or give it your all philosophy may be realistically the best approach.
Cutting it off is very hurtful to the other person as well. It means losing what one has for what one may never have so it is risky as well as hurtful. These problems are discussed further on the Better Than Nothing Relationships page.
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