Should I date other people while involved in a long-distance relationship? December 13, 3: During those five years, M and I have gone back and forth between an open relationship, not a relationship, and a long-distance relationship. We've both dated other people, but never gotten serious about anyone else. I just started dating someone, "J. And should I even be dating other people? Asking a question for a friend filter M has recently finished school and has been talking about finding a job closer to me.
I am excited but also scared because it's going to change the relationship a lot. It'll make it real. This is the first time that living together could be in the immediate future instead of the distant future. We met in college, dated for a year, and then went our separate ways only to reconnect every few months.
We've been through a lot and I feel pretty serious about him. But the fact that we've allowed each other to date other people has led to a lot of jealousy and hurt feelings. I haven't gotten real serious about J, but am hesitant to break it off with him because M's plans are still tentative. In fact, until M said he would be moving nearby, I was ready to say that now would be a good time to end things with M.
M knows I am seeing someone right now but is fine with this as long as, if he were to move to my area, I would end that relationship. This all just seems like a messy recipe for heartbreak for all parties. I am tired of dating other people only casually but still feel strongly for M. So, what should I do? Should I continue dating other people? Tell J about M? On the one hand, it might be worth it to wait slightly longer for M to move closer to you, as long as he's making a good faith effort to do so.
On the other hand, it might not be worth it to wait any longer at all, and M's plans to move need to go from tentative to definite right now, or you will stop basing your future plans on him. You don't owe it to people you're casually dating to tell them about other people you're casually dating, but you owe it to anyone you date, casually or seriously, to tell them about an existing serious relationship you have, even if it's long-distance and complicated and sort of an open relationship.
It sounds like you are definitely willing to give the relationship a go, but he's the one still on the fence. I think you need to put the ball in his court, because you can't really make plans either way till he decides where he's going.
He may need time to think about that, but his response will definitely simply things. You are not going to be able to date anyone any other way than casually as long as M is in the picture.
So the mature thing to do would be to commit to seeing the thing through with M, so that you don't trivialize anyone else's feelings in the meantime. Or to be incredibly honest with new parties so they can judge for themselves. He may not be doing it intentionally, in fact he probably isn't but the idea that you aren't allowed to get serious about someone else in the off chance he might one day want to move near you is ridiculous.
So you're allowed to see another person but you have to dump them if and when he chooses to take things further with you? It's time for him - and you- to make a call as you're now potentially messing with a third person's heart who doesn't deserve to be treated as a filler relationship until M decides he wants to be serious about you.
I wouldn't date them both, I would choose one and stick with it. If you're happy to take the risk that M may or may not move near you, I would wait for him. Or alternately, tell M it's over and genuinely give the other guy a real go without thinking that M is there waiting in the wings but I wouldn't see them both and just be half hearted about it. That's one that is harder to answer, and of course if it works for your relationship, than that should be fine.
However, in your actual post, you ask if you should tell J about M. He should know that you're in a serious relationship with someone else. Everyone else has addressed the crux of the matter, so I'll just add that yes, when you put it that way, it does seem like you're playing a bit of a game of chicken.
Here's a possible order of operations: Just a data point. Then either pursue things with J, or go about on your own, this relationship you have with M is ultimately a drain on both of you. It sounds like you have had some openness in the relationship s to date It's only when you catch yourself lying about something, or hiding something from one of these people I'd want to know if I was backup-guy.
Whatever else you do, absolutely YES, you need to tell anyone you're dating now that "Oh yeah, I've been in an on-and-off long distance relationship for a while. We're not together now and it's no big deal, but we've traditionally had an open relationship and I thought you should know.
If he finds out now, he can decide whether or not he wants to deal with it. Absolutely, you have to tell him ASAP. This way he gave me the opportunity to decide whether I wanted to get involved given all the facts.
I really respected that because it meant I never felt mislead or deceived. It also meant I could take responsibility and own the situation instead of unwittingly finding myself in an emotional tangle. Eventually we did develop a deeper emotional connection and he broke up with "M", not so much so we could be together but because he felt it was unfair on her.
We are still together now and very happy. I'm sure that if I had found out a few weeks or months down the track that he had a girlfriend instead of at the start things would have ended very differently. I agree with those who say not telling J is very unfair. In terms of whether your friend should keep dating other people It seems to me it might be time to really commit to being with M and making plans to move closer together, or for both to cut their losses and start to move on.
There comes a point where you have to decide whether it is still worth the emotional energy. I nearly had the same experience as you. Had a 4 year bicoastal open LDR during college years, which I tried to follow up with a move to her town to make real what had been like "play" for so long.
It was an open thing, even though I never considered really getting involved with anyone else and visiting her was amazing can't count all the airmiles I racked up back then. But it was always a bitch to come clean when either of us felt the need to air whatever had been going on, like hookups etc. And I believe this marks the whole thing as very unhealthy and not a good molding agent for healthy relationships in the future.
I don't know a lot of people that have successful open things. It was a struggle in the beginning of my next serious relationship to understand what commitment meant, and I nearly fucked it up a few times.
I finally pulled the trigger to move out to really give it a go with her on the 4th year after school , because we really had love between us. But found as I was driving across country I had actually fallen for the person I was leaving behind, who I had told that I more or less had someone in another city and so I couldn't get close to her. I also realized I missed out on many different persons before the "love" one hit me when I was trying to remain true to the LDR woman.
Uggh, just writing about it seems messy and overly complicated. Turns out I flew back 30 days later and was with the love of my life for the last 5 years. My point is that if our experiences me and you, OP can be seen as similar, then I learned this: I loved the LDR I had with the woman, but it turned out to be mostly about the fact that it wasn't really real, always when I was on vacation visiting, or vice versa, never daily grind kind of stuff.
I missed out and looked like a jerk to a lot of incredible women when I had to say "hey, i'm emotionally not available, but if you wanna make out its cool! And when me and the LDR SO were actually sitting face to face when there was no time-limit of when the next flight home was going to be, it just didn't have the same punch, and the past garbage of all the dating other people in between seemed really uncool.
If you were about to break it off, then maybe thats a sign. Its scary as hell to know what might come of you and the current flame, but then again it might be worse if you look back and realize there was more to relate to with that person than with the one that you didn't feel compelled to completely be monogamous with. I dunno if that helps, but there ya have it.
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