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From a date to a relationship

He wants to meet other women too

How many dates do you set up? Should you meet as many people as you can - and should they know about each other? Louise (47) wanted to know our thoughts on this matter.

He wants to meet other women too

Dear Parship

My first-ever date through Parship went really well until the man in question explained that he still wanted to meet lots of women through the service and assumed that I felt the same about meeting more men. Then he told me about some of the other women he was in touch with. The shed a rather different light on the enthusiasm he’d shown up till then. I know that I have the option of meeting as many men as I want, but when I’m on a date, that man’s the absolute focus of my attention ... It’s the time for deciding whether I’d be interested in taking things further. But this guy wanted us to see each other again and wanted me to agreeable to him seeing other women too. I don’t think that’s right - but what do you think about it? Louise (47), teacher

Dear Louise
You’ve heard phrases like “As you will appreciate, we are looking at other candidates too and we will let you know in due course”, but they tend to belong to the world of job applications. The man you talk about seems to have been trying to be honest and open with you, but he seems to have treated you a little as though you were an applicant rather than someone he was meeting on an equal footing. It’s understandable that you found it irritating. A survey carried out by Parship among 1,500 respondents in June 2006 showed that women in particular feel rejected when, after a great date, their prospective love interest continues to maintain contact with other women. 51% of women were of this opinion, while the corresponding figure for men was 38%. What’s more 14% of men were spurred on by having competition - compared to just 4% of women.

What’s behind it?
Did that man really mean what he was saying, or was it his way of saying “Thanks, but no thanks”? We really can’t say with any certaintly. He might simply have been displaying a lack of savoir faire in mentioning ‘the competition’, or perhaps he was trying to impress you. To tell the truth, other people you’ve met on Parship are not appropriate subject matter for a first date - even though you might want to discuss the overall Parship experience. If you get asked about them, you can be honest in your response - “Yes, I’m in contact with other people,” or “No, not at the moment”, but the emphasis has to be on how things are going with the person sitting opposite you. It’s certainly too early to start thinking about commitment - or about terminating contact with other members or deleting your Parship profile!

Lots of dates - but no results
Parship members are generally looking for a long-term partner, but - maybe having spent years in a relationship or as a single person - they might also like the idea of meeting lots of new people and of perhaps ‘playing the field’ a little. That’s all fine, but problems arise when it becomes a matter of checking out as many men or women as possible and of making yourself feel in demand. It is certainly not to be recommended if you have met someone who really seems to hold potential for the future. It just isn’t possible to do justice to more than a few serious prospects at a time. Parship isn’t some kind of relationship supermarket with a special offer for a perfect partner popping up every week.

Why are you telling me this?
A couple of tips for Louise. First of all, if someone has said something that bothers you, ask them why they said it - and express the response their behaviour has evoked in you. You can even tell a man that you are not sure whether you want to meet him again. You can also judge a man by his actions. If he’s really keen, he will follow up quickly after a date. And trust your judgement. You can’t really draw conclusions from a quick look at a profile or a few emails, but if, having met face to face, the two of you feel that there is real potential for something more, there is no real reason for fixing further dates with other people for the moment, though you might want to honour any appointments you’ve already made.

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