How to date (and sleep with) multiple people at the same time…

By: Amy Estes |

It’s true: you can’t have just one. Partner, that is. Sometimes, in the throes of casual dating, it’s easy to get caught up in more than one relationship at the same time. No need to feel guilty! Here’s how to date a few people at the same time, without hurting them (or yourself).

Be honest! If it’s just sex, this should be no big deal. Don’t pull the whole “we need to talk” thing or make it a big issue. Simply wait for an opportune time to say, “Hey, I really like you, but I wanted you to know that I’m also dating other people. I assume you are, too, but I just wanted to be clear with you.” Most people are fine with it if you haven’t expressed a commitment, and it’s been made clear the relationship is mostly sex. If they’re finding they have feelings for you beyond the bedroom, that’s a different conversation entirely.

Be quiet. Don’t blab on and on about the other people in your life. You don’t have to lie, but be discreet and keep details to an absolute minimum, or better yet, keep them non-existent. Again, if this is just sex than they don’t really need to know what you’re doing when you’re not between the sheets, right? Don’t play people against one another, and remember: no one likes to feel like they’re in second place.

Be safe. Use protection, with every partner, every single time. Better yet, use birth control of some sort and double up with a condom. Not only do you not want diseases, you don’t want to end up on an episode of Maury Povich, unsure who your baby’s father is. Be careful.

Be respectful. No showing up late to one date after being with the other. No double booking. No accidental meetings in the hallways when one person is leaving your place and the other is arriving. No constant texting one when you’re hanging out with the other. While it may be no big thing to you, you don’t want to pit your partners against one another or make it awkward.

Be aware of your own feelings. If it’s starting to feel overwhelming or you know you’re developing an attachment to one person, than don’t be afraid to let the others fly free. It’s no fair to keep people around as a backup plan, or because you “feel bad.” If you’re over it, really be over it, end of story.