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Mitchell Rosen: What does it mean to be ‘dating someone’?

By in Press Enterprise on September 16, 2017

By Mitchell Rosen

It seems men and women don’t really date anymore.

Originally, I was going to say young people don’t date, but after thinking about it, the whole concept of dating multiple people at the same time seems to have gone the way of the 60-minute photo and landlines for all age groups. As a relationship counselor, this seems to me, limiting.

Sure, men and women get jealous and proprietary, but do you really want to be with someone who doesn’t feel the same?

There was a time when finding a partner involved dating; meaning seeing more than one person and deciding which person you’re most compatible with. Now, seeing more than one person simultaneously is characterized as being a “player,” duplicitous or worse. Even if the dating individual were up front about it, it doesn’t seem to matter; their character is deemed to be lacking.

Marriage counselors have a term for men and women who have relationships that are monogamous but frequent: serial monogamy. This would encompass those who either get married multiple times or live with several partners but always in a committed fashion. Experts argue whether the concept of marriage is outdated, yet most people agree having companionship is a plus. How to get a partner and keep them seems to be the hard part.

My best guess is individuals who balk at the idea of dating a person who is dating others is uncomfortable with uncertainty. I get that, not too many of us are comfortable not knowing what might happen with important parts of our lives. Problem is, as I see it, you may succeed in getting another to agree not to see other people in the preliminary stages of getting to know them but it would be nice if this was a mutual decision.

Deciding commitment in the beginning of a relationship […]    

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