Dealing With The Dating-Two-Women Dilemma

In roughly every sitcom ever made, there is inevitably a scene where the leading man gets stuck at a restaurant with two different women that he's either dating, sleeping with, or both. It's a classic storyline because the stakes are real and it's easily relatable. Is it accurate in real life, though? Well, yes. Kind of.

Since my breakup at the beginning of the year, I've been "dating" — whatever the hell that means. Most of the time, I'll go out with somebody once or twice and then decide it's not what I'm looking for and I'll move on. Recently, though, I ran into some trouble of the sitcom variety. I didn't wind up hopping from booth to booth at a local diner, but I did find myself dating two girls at the same time and I wasn't ready to write off either of them. So what's a guy to do?

This was uncharted territory for me. I was most concerned with the ethics of the situation. Did I have a responsibility to tell them about each other? Even if I was allowed to date multiple people at once, what are the rules about physical contact? The last thing I wanted was to feel like I was keeping secrets from these great girls, but ultimately that's what it felt like. How in the world does anyone handle this smoothly?

A ton of questions kept popping up and I perpetually felt like I was smuggling secret documents out of East Germany. Eventually, I told them both. The first girl was totally cool about it. She's totally cool about pretty much everything, so that didn't come as a surprise. The second girl, however, was not okay with the situation. "I don't like to share," she said. Understandable. Things ended quickly after that. The worst part was that I felt like I had done something wrong — even though I was sure I hadn't.

The interesting thing that came out of the situation is that it made me realize how much I liked the first girl (despite the fact that she lives thousands of miles away). Now, I don't want to date anyone else. I guess that's how it's supposed to work. The whole thing makes me think about ice cream (bringing it back to food, y'all!). You walk into an ice cream parlor and there's all these flavors in front of you. It's impossible to know which one you want on first glance, so ask for a few samples.

Once you figure out your favorite, you commit and get a whole scoop (or three if you're fat and/or a swinger). That's dating. You sample some flavors and when you're ready, you pick the one that you like best. Just be careful around butter pecan — she doesn't like to share.