Non-exclusive dating (general discussion)


#1

WARNING: The post below is argumentative and it may cause adverse emotions. It doesn't ask for advice or suggestions or information, so it's not withholding help from anybody if you would prefer not to take part in the thread. Nothing below should be potentially offensive, but anyway, no offence is intended.

[quote="flyingfish, post:22, topic:178828"]
Why? Haven't you ever been romantically attracted to several people at the same time? The most I've been attracted to at the same time is 3 guys, they all had their interesting points and spending time with all of them was exciting in its own way. If I was asked to choose I wouldn't have been able to.

[/quote]

Probably at least 3, but that means I need to choose. That means I get to *get my information and make my choice *but I don't get a test run with all three.

Doesn't the Church teach that that kind of kissing before marriage is immoral?

I mean the kind of kissing which is still moral but which is not the normal kissing with family and friends. This is basically any kissing on the lips, except for people who kiss non-romantic friends on the lips too (I've known a couple).

I don't know. Polygamy means being married to more than one person, it's quite different when you are looking for a spouse.

The -gamy part doesn't appear out of thin air. It develops from something. Natural marriages are not sacramental and it's still -gamy. Common law marriages can become valid natural law marriages (but let's not wonder what with dispensation from form). Basically, sharing a life with several people in concubinage instead of real marriage is also polygamy. If you restrict the -gamy thing to sexual relations anyway, then let's talk about polyamory. That's still wrong and still on the basis that one person cannot have several partners.

I don't know, I think you are treating dating relationships the same as "engaged to be married".

No, but any romantic relationship is meant for discernment of marriage.

Marriage discernment is all about finding the person you can have a successful marriage with. If you only exclusively date one person at a time, it drastically reduces your chances of finding the right person.

There is a number of other ways in which playing by the rules or being kind to people is inconvenient. Improving the flow that goes through our filter is not a good justification.

You can get lucky and find them in one of your few "serial polygamy" relationships, but your chances are much better if you date multiple people at the same time.

Nice try, but the so called "serial monogamy" is only correctly meant to designate relationships which people get out of, as in divorce. A bona fide attempt at discernment is not serial monogamy. By the same logic by which you call it serial monogamy (I'm assuming this is what you mean), then non-exclusive dating is indeed serial polygamy, which means basically a lot of people all the time.

And naturally those dating relationships are going to be romantic, that's why you're dating them after all. You're trying to find a lifelong romantic partner.

You're discerning and the good faith aspect of it is absent when you already know that you won't marry that person Dating someone who's an exchange student and will go away forever in half a year but is a nice fella/lass and a good kisser would be ruled out as immoral, same as dating someone with an impediment that can't be dispensed or removed or someone who clearly won't consent - or someone whom we know we wouldn't marry because we want something different in the long run. Why? Because we know it won't lead to marriage. And because out of any number of people we can marry only one, the n-1 rest of them we can't marry, therefore we knowingly harbour n-1 dead-end relationships.

Oh, I guess if you want to.

Done.

As for the fear of losing out on meeting the right person if we don't date more than one person at a time, here's the remedy: friendly meetings. No harbouring of a romantic relationship (or 5 of which 4 are guaranteed to have to go boom). No allowing romantic feelings to grow (in ourselves for 5 people at a time, of which 4 will have to go; for us in 5 people at a time of which 4 will have to be let go). No awakening of romantic feelings in others on purpose (this shouldn't even be subject to debate).

In plain, exemplary terms: no kissing, no snuggling, no love letters, no presenting oneselves as semi-partners or somewhat-partners.

The idea of one man strolling down the beach hand-in-hand with a different woman every day of the week is inconsistent with our civilisation. The idea of 25 hearts with initials carved into a tree by a total of 5 men and 5 women is inconsistent with our civilisation. It's a modern thing which is wrong. I don't say this to criticise anyone as a person, but I do take issue with the custom itself.


#2

Probably at least 3, but that means I need to choose. That means I get to *get my information and make my choice *but I don’t get a test run with all three.

If you find three women (if you’re a guy) or men (if you’re a woman) equally attractive and couldn’t decide which to persue, I’d likely say thats a sign of immaturty. Immaturity in your friendship with them to not be able to distingusih them enough, immaturity in yourself to entertain the thought that you entertain 3 men/woman at once.

I mean the kind of kissing which is still moral but which is not the normal kissing with family and friends. This is basically any kissing on the lips, except for people who kiss non-romantic friends on the lips too (I’ve known a couple).

Basic kissing? I can’t see why that would be immoral. As long as it’s a sign of affection not a temptation to jump the other’s pants.

The -gamy part doesn’t appear out of thin air. It develops from something. Natural marriages are not sacramental and it’s still -gamy. Common law marriages can become valid natural law marriages (but let’s not wonder what with dispensation from form). Basically, sharing a life with several people in concubinage instead of real marriage is also polygamy. If you restrict the -gamy thing to sexual relations anyway, then let’s talk about polyamory. That’s still wrong and still on the basis that one person cannot have several partners.

Yep.:thumbsup: And if you look in the Bible you can see how well pologyamy worked for all of them.:rolleyes:

No, but any romantic relationship is meant for discernment of marriage.

Yep again. Romantic relationships create unitive feelings. Meant to bond.

There is a number of other ways in which playing by the rules or being kind to people is inconvenient. Improving the flow that goes through our filter is not a good justification.

We’re more than just people trying despriatly to find “the one”. I don’t believe that there is “the one” but we choose to love and someone becomes “the one” though love and hormones in our brain.

The idea of 25 hearts with initials carved into a tree by a total of 5 men and 5 women is inconsistent with our civilisation. It’s a modern thing which is wrong.

Well the isarlites wouldn’t of carved initials into trees but they had alot of pologimay. And again, it didn’t turn out well.


#3

[quote="purplesunshine, post:2, topic:179106"]
If you find three women (if you're a guy) or men (if you're a woman) equally attractive and couldn't decide which to persue, I'd likely say thats a sign of immaturty. Immaturity in your friendship with them to not be able to distingusih them enough, immaturity in yourself to entertain the thought that you entertain 3 men/woman at once.

[/quote]

I agree and that's another reason why those attractions should not be actively pursued. Please note it's romantic attraction, so it's more than just being attracted to someone but less than being in love with someone. You could call it residual feelings (leftovers from relationships, disappointments one can't seem to get over fully, feelings developing over time). Those cases should be addressed by thinking, not by trying in action. Most likely none of the 3 people is the right one given the conflict and the lack of certainty associated with it.

Being in love with 3 people at once is kinda impossible in my opinion.

Basic kissing? I can't see why that would be immoral. As long as it's a sign of affection not a temptation to jump the other's pants.

Depends which affection. Friendship? Well, I've seen that. Romantic love? Only one person at a time. Cheek or hand doesn't count.

Yep.:thumbsup: And if you look in the Bible you can see how well pologyamy worked for all of them.:rolleyes:

I can't pull off a Biblical proof, this must be said clearly. I do believe it follows logically from polygamy being from and from using people to fulfill our needs being wrong.

Yep again. Romantic relationships create unitive feelings. Meant to bond.

And having unitive feelings and a unitive bond with more than one person at a time is unnatural. Maybe not merely having them, but acting on them and/or allowing/making them grow.

We're more than just people trying despriatly to find "the one". I don't believe that there is "the one" but we choose to love and someone becomes "the one" though love and hormones in our brain.

I tend to agree and I believe we are better prepared to make choices when we aren't high on hormones, don't have plenty of love hormones in our system (they create a high like amphetamine or they give a snuggly feeling like endorphins or they simply bring a serotonin gain). I can't see how snuggling or kissing with 3 people interchangeably throughout an extended period of time can do any good.

Well the isarlites wouldn't of carved initials into trees but they had alot of pologimay. And again, it didn't turn out well.

And only the men were allowed multiple wives at the same time. And as far as I know, they weren't getting them in packs but one by one, same with courtship.


#4

The “children of men” that are mentioned in the Bible are likely Cain’s descendants, while “children of God” were Seth’s. Things got pretty ugly when Seth’s people (who followed God) got mixed up in Cain (Canninite) ways. Often taking on multiple wives…sometimes, I immagine, at once.

One story is clear in the Bible Jacob had many partners. He went and wanted Rachael and got Leah insted, after he was tricked he got Rachel. Then he took Bilhah and Zilpah to have children with within a short amount of time. So, not in one fell swoop, but fairly close together. It did make an astounding mess, though.

Ham, son of Noah, had an grandson Nimrod (son of Cush) who conquered many cities and took on harems all at once. Again. It wasn’t pretty.


#5

When I was a young 'en we had a name for people who practiced non-exclusive dating. :rolleyes:


#6

As I understand it your position is that it’s immoral to date multiple people at the same time because it means you knowingly date n-1 people you know you won’t marry, whereas when you only date one at a time you do so only while you think you might marry that person?

I don’t agree with this position because I don’t think that there’s anything wrong with dating people you know you will never marry. It is still a life experience and a learning experience. There’s nothing sinful about being in love and spending time with that person as long as you don’t venture into sexual sin.

The idea of one man strolling down the beach hand-in-hand with a different woman every day of the week is inconsistent with our civilisation. The idea of 25 hearts with initials carved into a tree by a total of 5 men and 5 women is inconsistent with our civilisation. It’s a modern thing which is wrong. I don’t say this to criticise anyone as a person, but I do take issue with the custom itself.

There is a lot of variety in our species. Many places in the world allow polygamy, some favor it. The Bible itself is filled with examples of polygamy. People of European origin in particular are comparatively very monogamous, but I don’t think you can speak for the entire human species.


#7

... Though I don't even think you need to go as far as to say that it's okay to date someone you know you'll never marry, since the situation with dating multiple people at the same time is that you're unsure about each individual person. :shrug:


#8

When I was young our parents warned us against “steady dating” with only one person. That was called “going steady,” and it was considered much to serious for teens to engage in. Casual dating with many people was much preferred, and also gave one a more rounded experience of different types of people. But that was back in the dark ages.

I suppose my question is, are teens now supposed to go steady with only one person from their very first date? Is that the new normal?


#9

I can not even imagine going out on romantic dates that involve kissing, when excusivity is a definite no. I think it is fine to go out on some getting to know you dates to give you an idea of the possibilities, but I don't think that those should involve physical affection. I went out with one perfectly nice guy who didn't seem to get that and was wanting to hold hands and kiss. Needless to say, I turned him down for a second date.


#10

I am not sure what the norm is, but I think those against ‘non-exclusive’ dating feel you should only see one person at a time. For instance - If a guy asks out Girl#1, they should go on as many dates necessary to determine if they want to move to a serious relationship prior to him asking out Girl#2 even if Girl#2 seems like a desirable person.

On the contrary, ‘non-exclusive’ would mean the guy asks out Girl#1 and Girl#2, sees them both at the same time to pick the one he one he likes best (or the one doesn’t end it with him).


#11

I don't really see a problem with it, depending on age. When I was younger, I was open in the fact that I "dated" a few women at once. Some women said it was fine, some didn't.

I think part of dating is simply having fun. Not the physical kind, but the way you laugh at private jokes together, spend time at museums and baseball games, all that stuff. Yes, it's also about finding what you want in a spouse, but you can have a great time without violating any morals.

As long as you say, "I'm not looking for something serious at this point. Let's just have some fun." And your open about it, what's the problem? If your hiding something, or if he wants to commit and your still dating several other people, that's when it could be an issue.
This is a GREAT topic. Very controversial, yet very interesting.


#12

So if a 16 year old guy asks a new girl out to see a movie one Saturday, he’s stuck with her until he formally breaks up? He can’t just ask girl #2 for a date the following Saturday? Does just asking a girl out one time now have the effect that asking her to “go steady” used to have?

As for determining whether they want to move on to a “serious” relationship, the answer is, at this age, they shouldn’t even be considering it. At a later age, yes.


#13

[quote="JimG, post:12, topic:179106"]
So if a 16 year old guy asks a new girl out to see a movie one Saturday, he's stuck with her until he formally breaks up? He can't just ask girl #2 for a date the following Saturday? Does just asking a girl out one time now have the effect that asking her to "go steady" used to have?

As for determining whether they want to move on to a "serious" relationship, the answer is, at this age, they shouldn't even be considering it. At a later age, yes.

[/quote]

I was merely trying to further explain what I interpret as the differences between the two schools of thought. Not necessarily which approach I prefer.

Anyway, yes I suppose that you wouldn't go on dates with more than one person at the same time. But I was only looking at it from the perspective of adults, not teens. I would think as a teen if you are casually seeing a couple people it would cause lots of drama. News flys around a high school in the matter of hours.


#14

[quote="JimG, post:12, topic:179106"]
So if a 16 year old guy asks a new girl out to see a movie one Saturday, he's stuck with her until he formally breaks up? He can't just ask girl #2 for a date the following Saturday? Does just asking a girl out one time now have the effect that asking her to "go steady" used to have?

[/quote]

My last high school relationship unfolded something like this:

I asked a girl, who happened to be a sophomore, to my senior prom. She said yes. In between my asking her to go to the prom with me and the actual date of the prom, we started hanging out together more, but we never held hands or kissed or anything like that - until, one night, in a fleet of emotion, I asked her to be my girlfriend. Her response was, "Of course!" as if she had been from the moment I asked her to the prom.

My only college relationship was weird and dramatic and probably doesn't fit the mold at all - but I remember having to work out something of a "deal" for me and her to give going steady a try.


#15

16yo’s shouldn’t be dating exclusivly. If they want to “hang out” with a girl at a movie thats ok but it shouldn’t be considered a date


#16

[quote="purplesunshine, post:15, topic:179106"]
16yo's shouldn't be dating exclusivly. If they want to "hang out" with a girl at a movie thats ok but it shouldn't be considered a date

[/quote]

I guess that was pretty much my point. Exclusive dating is only for those who are older. Yet there does seem to be a trend among the young to want to latch on to an exclusive type of relationship, which in my view is a danger. Exclusivity leads to liberties.


#17

When you date one person - and you shouldn’t date someone you already know you won’t marry - the possibility exists. It may fail, and you may have to try again, once again thinking it might be that person. When you tackle several people at once, you already know that you won’t marry any of them but one. Therefore you knowingly start several dead-end relationships. You just don’t know which one of them is possibly not dead-end, but it’s only one.

I don’t agree with this position because I don’t think that there’s anything wrong with dating people you know you will never marry. It is still a life experience and a learning experience.

Our sexual faculties in the broader sense, that is what includes romantic relationships, are ordered towards marriage, not towards life experience and learning experience. Our learning experience does not justify someone else’s hurt feelings or improper use of our faculties.

There’s nothing sinful about being in love and spending time with that person as long as you don’t venture into sexual sin.

One person, not five. And not true anyway. If what you say were true, then it would be allowed to priests, the religious and the celibataries as long as they didn’t have sex.

There is a lot of variety in our species. Many places in the world allow polygamy, some favor it. The Bible itself is filled with examples of polygamy. People of European origin in particular are comparatively very monogamous, but I don’t think you can speak for the entire human species.

Except polygamy is contrary to natural law, which is what the Catechism says.

Which doesn’t justify trying with each. Why would friendship not be enough?


#18

Well i have a question...what's the point of dating??? really...

I dated many guys in my youth...many why because everyone was doing it...I even went out on dates with 3, 4 even 5 guys one after another...not because I was looking for a husband i don't even remember the real reasons now... I just wanted to have fun... and most of these guys were fun! Not because i wanted to get to know them on a deeper level I really didn't care...what's the point of dating for that?

As an adult, after my divorce dating was not an option, I didn't want to wasn't interested nor cared for...Met fiance, became friends, well things went from then...But I didn't want to date him, I didn't care for dating but we fell in love with each other...and not to play games with each other but for a serious life commitment...Shouldn't that be the purpose of dating??

My 11 year old had a boyfriend, her friend without me knowing about it till her girlfriend best friend told me even with her infront of her she denied it... I asked her if she was ready to marry this boy? She said no, I asked her then why are you dating him? She said she didn't know...Then I asked her "you complain about him always calling you names and saying you are fat because you are not skin and bones like him yet you are dating him? I wouldn't want to have a boyfriend that made me feel bad about myself?!" She just looked at me like "yeah that does make sense!" i told her she wasn't allowed to date esp boys that were mean, until she knew she was ready for something serious...

One of my friends dated a lot of guys trying to find the right one...long serious relationships which she ended up sleeping with them all...they all ended...she said she felt that it was right after so many years with them...:shrug:


#19

Don’t priests take vows to remain single?

If their only vow is to not have sexual activity, I don’t see any moral issue with them having romantic relationships that don’t include sexual contact (including kissing). But as far as I know their vows go beyond that.

Except polygamy is contrary to natural law, which is what the Catechism says.

Natural law or moral law? I don’t think you can say it’s contrary to natural law because of what’s observed in certain groups of people. In some places, polygamy is more common than monogamy, it is a natural choice made by the people. (I wouldn’t be surprised if certain subgroups of human beings naturally tended to polygamy because of genetics.)

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polygamy

Which doesn’t justify trying with each. Why would friendship not be enough?

I don’t know, it might be enough for some people and not enough for others. To be honest I don’t see that much difference between dating and friendships when Catholic teaching is followed.

You’re not permitted to have phone sex/cyber sex and the like, passionate kissing is not permitted, sex is obviously not permitted.

You might still fall in love, and tell the person that you love them and want to marry them, but friends might do that too. Friends might get emotional attachments.

I just don’t see the immorality in this that you do. (And by the way, I am not saying that you should have deep romantic relationships with multiple people at the same time. The average person wouldn’t be able to do this. Dating multiple people is something to do initially while you are trying to find one you want to be more serious with. Once you find that person you naturally stop casually dating the rest and focus on the one you think you might marry.)


#20

Don’t argue Natural Law if you have no idea what it is. By your logic, ritual human sacrifice isn’t in violation of Natural Law because some cultures in history practiced it. :rolleyes: Natural Law has nothing to do with observed behaviors, it has to do with the nature of things as God created them to be.

On topic, this thread is very disjointed because it doesn’t make distinctions about age and maturity. For teenagers or early college kids, there is absolutely nothing wrong with going to a movie with one person one night and to a dance the next night with somebody else. At that stage in life, the focus SHOULD be on learning about people and being exposed to lots of different kinds of them, not engaging in some form of ‘mini-marriage.’

The hard part is later college years and young adulthood. Sadly, there are a lot of people way too immature to settle down yet at that age. The reasons are a topic for another thread, but IMO it is our immature culture, not normal development rates to blame. There comes a time when you need to grow up and date with the intention of essentially seeing if someone could be a lifelong mate. Fun is surely part of it, but shouldn’t be driving the bus - it’s surely a crucial component, but is a lousy substitute for true compatibility.

I have no idea of the age of posters. But as a general rule, if YOU are mature enough to graduate to the ‘looking for a mate’ stage and the OTHER person on the date isn’t, move on and keep looking.


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