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Three men and a lady

Posted by Meredith Goldstein  August 13, 2009 10:36 AM

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From marriage in suburbia to city dating ....

A: Dear Meredith -- I have been on the fence the past few days about writing in and asking for advice, but I love your column and usually there seems to be an awful lot of good advice, so here goes:

I am 27 and was single for about 10 months when I met 3 great guys in the span of 2 weeks in early June. It’s usually hard for me to meet men because I work a lot and am fairly new to Boston, and as we all know, dating is hard! So meeting 3 at once has been a bit overwhelming. I really like all 3 of these guys and have a lot of different things in common with each one. I see each one 1-2 times/week, depending on our schedules. This has made for a very busy summer to say the least, and I am certainly not complaining. I have reached a point with all 3 that it’s time to figure out where things stand because I realize this type of casual dating can’t go on forever. The last thing I want is to lead someone on and vice versa, I don’t want to get too attached to someone who isn’t that into me. I have not slept with any of them. Over the weekend I had a long talk with one guy, let’s call him “Chris,” and he told me that he would like to be exclusive in the sense that we are no longer seeing other people while we figure out if the relationship has any real long term potential. I am extremely excited about this and happy.

My specific question is: Can I be honest with the other two and tell them that I’ve met someone and want to see where things go, or should I just completely end it with each of them? I don’t want them to feel as though I’m putting them on the back burner, and I don’t want Chris to think that I am not fully committed to being exclusive, but my concern is that if things don’t work out with Chris, I will have burned the proverbial bridge with two other great guys. On the other hand, the two other guys have yet to mention anything about a serious relationship and it’s been two months. Is it too soon for me to become exclusive? Should I tell Chris I want to wait a little while longer and be honest with him about seeing others? If I did have to pick just one, it would be Chris, but this has all been so confusing and I don’t want to hurt any feelings.
I doubt my issue is unique, but it is a first for me and is way beyond my usual dating realm. I’m just curious as to how others have or may handle this type of situation and would appreciate any advice you may have as to how to gracefully handle this situation. I’m afraid I’ve bitten off more than I can chew.

-- When It Rains, It Pours, Boston

A: It’s raining and pouring, indeed, WIRIP.

I think your issue might be unique, at least on Love Letters. It’s not often that I get an e-mail that says “I’m balancing three guys.” Let me take this moment to say: way to multitask.

Your answer is in your letter. “If I did have to pick just one, it would be Chris.”

There you go. The bonus is that Chris has picked you, too. I know you want to keep the other two around as insurance, but life doesn’t work that way. You have to drop the extra suitors. Bummer, I know.

Don’t tell Chris to wait longer -- you’ll risk losing him. I think it’s OK to be exclusive after two months. You already know you like him best.

Readers? Jealous of WIRIP? Is there a way she can keep the other two around just in case? Share here. Twitter. Letters to right.

-- Meredith

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191 comments so far...
  1. Good Lord, lady - you're the envy of the town!

    Go with Chris. Be honest with the others. It will help them understand why they have been cut off after 2 months of investing time into you.

    Also, please share your multitasking secrets with the rest of the LL crowd, who probably could use the tried-and-true advice.

    Posted by Fievel August 13, 09 10:51 AM
  1. What a great problem - good for you!
    I agree with Merideth - if 'Chris' is your pick of the litter then it looks like you're all set. Let the other guys down easy - tell them you've decided to give it a go with another man you've been dating.

    My question - are you doing Match or some other online dating tool? My Match days are the only time in my history when I was juggling mutliple men. The scenario you laid out is pretty typical - you start of dating multiples, then get serious with the one you like best and drop the others (as nicely as possible).

    If things don't work out with Chris - sounds like there will be other fish in your sea so don't worry about trying to keep the other guys on the back burner - there's more where they came from.

    Posted by Monty August 13, 09 10:52 AM
  1. Hoss. Do the bit where you can't believe that this is a real letter. I love that one.

    Posted by gniyonna August 13, 09 10:53 AM
  1. I have been in this position. Your answer is simple. What did you want before meeting the three guys? A chance to meet someone and have it be serious? Well, you have met that guy in Chris. Go for it with Chris and try and maintain a casual friendship with the other two (once a grace period is reached). That can be obtained by just being honest with the other two; tell them you met three people at once and that you have had to make a decision, and out of respect you want to be honest with them and that you have made a choice for the other person. It will go a long way with all of them, I promise. Also, if for some reason it doesn't work out with Chris - you can "try" to reconnect with one of the other two if they are un-involved. They will at least know you are honest and upfront, and that will lead to integrity in any outcome that arises.

    Posted by spaceman August 13, 09 10:54 AM
  1. LW-
    Interesting how you worded your 'specific question'....CAN you be honest? If you can, then ask yourself how you would feel if a guy you were dating put you on the back burner- b/c he liked someone better, but wanted you as a spare just in case it didn't work out with the other girl. Or what about if the guy you really liked felt the same way about you but had 2 other girls waiting to take your place if you didn't measure up? Do you really not know the right answer? Or can you really not be honest?

    Posted by shorty August 13, 09 10:55 AM
  1. I would let the other two know you've met someone else and wants to see where it goes. It'll be hard, but I think you're much less likely to burn bridges if you're honest and respectful. Just ending it would be worse it seems, as would dropping off the planet. Plus, if everyone knew you were seeing other people, or at least knew you weren't exclusive then they should be OK. That's the way things go.

    Posted by OK Cupid Fan August 13, 09 11:00 AM
  1. I had a similar 'problem' recently. I took it slowly with the one I ultimately chose, but did let the others know that I was about to start seeing someone exclusively at that point. By doing that, I let the ball be in their court as to whether they wanted to continue a friendship. (For the most part, they did not; however, everyone bowed out gracefully and with tact.) I think you are to be commended for looking to handle this situation with tact and honesty, and men who are serious will respect this.

    After you will get accustomed to seeing Chris on a regular basis and exclusively, I bet you'll forget all about the others. If you're still keeping options B and C on the back burner, however, it is likely tht you are not ready to be exclusive with Option A.

    Posted by longtime reader August 13, 09 11:01 AM
  1. I wish I had your problem. I'm way too picky when it comes to guys. And no, don't tell the other guys that they're in second place. Would you want to hear that from a guy?

    Posted by Bee August 13, 09 11:02 AM
  1. What is it with LW's who have their own answer right in their own letter? Even as Meredith mentioned, "If I did have to pick just one, it would be Chris." Okay, there you go! As for not wanting to hurt the others' feelings, do you think this means that you must date all three for the rest of your life? C'mon, at SOME point you'd have to narrow it down to one. Well, NOW is "some point." Let the other two go, and have your new boyfriend (singular!)

    Posted by Bee Bee August 13, 09 11:02 AM
  1. the way you keep them around is byyyyy....
    cutting them off slowly but surely, however you do NOT tell them about Chris you tell them want to take a step back from dating and focus on your career.
    You will talk once in awhile on the phone and once they see that you arent showing them any love they will back off. Now if Chris sux at life, you can rekindle the flames...distance makes the heart grow fonder

    Posted by korriv August 13, 09 11:03 AM
  1. Honey - come a little closer so I can blow in your ear and give you a refill.

    Posted by bohica August 13, 09 11:04 AM
  1. LW you want your cake and eat it too.

    To make that work you have to do one of two things:
    1. Tell Chris, I need more time, if he is cool with that great, only you know if that is risky.
    2. Lie.... are you cool with that???

    It doesn't take much to choose number 2, but put yourself on the other side of the fence. What answer would you except, expect, or respect. If you were told by another person that they wanted more time before deciding on a question like that, would you pick up your cards and go play at a different table?

    The other guys... there just that. It seems Mere is right, you were looking for Chris and he was there waiting when you came around the corner. Tell the others there cool and can always share a beer, but dinner and the movies isn't part of the deal anymore. No one will like that, but at least they can get past it in time. But if they question it, tell them that it wasn't a "you snooze you lose" decision, but it was getting to the best decision for you. I wouldn't want to be left with hope! I would want to know that a beer was cool if I saw you hanging out at the Pour House!

    Posted by ShipInEveryPort! That is what my mom told me August 13, 09 11:06 AM
  1. Rico is here and feeling better...

    3 guys? Great job on the balancing act but it is time to drop two of them and put your circus career on hold (juggler). Sorry Rico loves a good pun once in a while :)

    Rico thinks Meredith has it right, Chris picked you and you would have picked him so you answered your own question. Great job.

    Rico suggests telling the other two that you met someone else and don't want to lead them on in any way. Just be honest and they will be fine. Rico had this happen to him and has done it in his past as well. It is not easy but it's a fact of life in the dating world. Tell them that if things change down the road you want to leave them on good terms since the future is not written and no one ever knows what might happen. Chris could be the wrong one and you bump into one of these other guys next summer and start back where you left off. Or even better you start dating 3 more guys and have to go through the process of picking once again.

    Rico is going to take a few days off but he'll try and check in if he has time. Rico will be here today so if you need him please just ask :)

    It's going to be a great weekend to get out so join Rico in enjoying the final weeks of summer. Get out and have fun.

    Love always,


    Gears not Gas...Juggling on a bike? That would be circus material.

    Posted by Rico August 13, 09 11:08 AM
  1. Woohoo, first!

    No, you may not keep the others around. You are lucky that Chris is your first choice and you are his. Go date each other and be happy!

    Good for you for not sleeping with all of them at once. I have done that in the past and it is a headache and a half.

    Posted by L August 13, 09 11:08 AM
  1. No you can't keep the other two around just in case. As Mere said, you answered your own question, you like Chris best. Even if things don't work out with Chris in a month or three or whenever, you still shouldn't go back to one of the other two because you already admitted that they are second or third best for you. At least right now they are. So don't settle, don't keep safety nets around in case your #1 draft pick doesn't work out, and be honest with the two guys when you cut them loose. They will appreciate your honesty and the fact that when you want to be exclusive with someone you really want to be exclusive, not stringing others along just in case. Dating is about taking risks and making choices. Not always easy choices, but grown up choices that are fair, honest, and true to your heart.

    Posted by Blake August 13, 09 11:08 AM
  1. Mere crushed this 80 MPH straight fastball over visitor’s bullpen and into the seats better than David Ortiz after he's careless with what he thinks are Flintstone vitamins and Nestle Quick drink mixes. Absolute home run advice from Mere.

    Chris was the only one who mentioned anything about a serious relationship. If you had to pick just one, it would be Chris. One plus one equals two. Simple enough.

    The question really only is with regards to how you handle this with Bachelor #2 and Bachelor #3. My advice would be to tell them the truth: that you’ve been casually dating others this summer, and that you’ve decided to start seeing another guy exclusively to see where it goes. Tell each that you really enjoyed the time with them but you feel like you needed to be honest with them about your decision and where you go from here. Do not tell them that you still want to be friends. Do not tell them that you’ll call them if things don’t work out. Just tell them the truth and that you’ll probably see them around. It’s a small world.

    - Hoss

    (hate me or love me as you wish, just continue to read me)


    Posted by Hoss August 13, 09 11:08 AM
  1. Choose Chris. Dump the other two.

    The End...

    (This was a fake letter, right?)

    Posted by Amazed August 13, 09 11:08 AM
  1. Send some of your luck my way!! :) I think Meredith is right, your answer is in your letter. Chris it is. Tell the other guys that you have met someone and you wish to pursue that. Assure them that they are both wonderful, but you have more in common with Chris. No hard feelings. I don't think you will necessarily be "burning any bridges". And definitely don't keep the other two on the backburner-- that's not fair.

    I suggest talking to the other two guys as soon as possible, and then get the show on the road with Chris. It sounds like you two are happy with eachother. Good luck!!

    Posted by Kristen August 13, 09 11:09 AM
  1. Can I call dibs on the leftovers?

    Posted by Becky August 13, 09 11:09 AM
  1. Meredith is absolutely right. Go for the Chris and give it your best shot. Just don't go running out buying a house and adopting a cat just yet. What a nice problem to have!

    Posted by Kimball'sMom August 13, 09 11:11 AM
  1. Definitely jealous. But back in the day, I had this problem a couple of times in my teens and twenties. And everytime I tried to keep more than one stringing along for insurance, it backfired. No one likes to be insurance. And yeah, at least once I wished I could have gone back to one of the guys that I didn't ultimately choose, but guess what - he was too pissed to ever talk to me again.
    So agree with Meredith.

    Posted by JB August 13, 09 11:12 AM
  1. How exactly do you imagine this sort of situation works out? I mean, if you see something going in the right direction with someone, why would you even consider breaking it off with him just because you don't want to spare someone else's feelings?

    You like Chris the most. He asked you to be exclusive. You can't keep three guys all to yourself, go with your instinct.

    Posted by I'll be guy #4 August 13, 09 11:12 AM
  1. I am jealous! End it with the other two, be grateful for the gift of a wonderful guy!

    Posted by M August 13, 09 11:12 AM
  1. Beedle deedle dee, Two Ladies,
    Beedle deedle dee, Two Ladies,
    Beedle deedle dee, and I'm the only man, Ja!

    Posted by anonymous August 13, 09 11:12 AM
  1. That's part of the risk in life. There are no guarantees. You owe it to Chris to give him 100% of yourself and to hold nothing back. Tell the other 2 guys goodbye.

    Posted by Julie August 13, 09 11:14 AM
  1. First of all, don't insult the LL community's intelligence by claiming to not have slept with these men. We did not fall off the turnip truck yesterday.

    As for your question, you can absolutely tell these men that you've recently met someone else and you would like try out being in a relationship again. The two other guys will appreciate your honesty and undoubtedly, take you back with open arms if things with Chris go to poot.

    Posted by trueluv4eva August 13, 09 11:14 AM
  1. Go with Chris, and let the other gentlemen go.

    Posted by AG August 13, 09 11:15 AM
  1. Women who hang onto guys as "insurance" have lots of dates, but they are also perpetually single.

    As Meredith said, you and Chris want each other. Go for it.

    Besides, unlike women, guys don't have hangups should a woman he once dated comes back to him. If you've dated the guy you already have the "insurance" ;-)

    Posted by Sigh August 13, 09 11:15 AM
  1. Keep Chris, and sneak off to fluff the other two when the romance gets boring. That's obviously all they want from you anyways.

    Posted by Fake letters deserve phony responses August 13, 09 11:16 AM
  1. Wow what a revelant question as I am going through a similar situation. I have never dated more than one person at a time before and now find myself dating two. I feel that men do this ALL the time, but it's new to a lot of women.

    BUT Meredith, you didn't answer the question as to how to break it off with the other guys. Do you tell them you want to get serious with another person?

    Posted by Sarah B. August 13, 09 11:17 AM
  1. Meredith is right on today. I don't think you need to have a "talk" with the other two. Just be unavailable and they'll take the hint. If they flat out ask, then tell them you've started seeing someone else, and it's going really well, so you don't think it's fair to either of them to continue casually dating. There is no guarantee that they'll still be around if things don't work out w/ "Chris," but there won't be anything to stop you from looking them up again somewhere down the road. Keep it simple - no drama - and if it was mean to be at a later date w/ one of the other two, then he will fondly remember you as the one he let get away.

    Just be glad that the one who wants to be exclusive is the one you like the best.

    Posted by RealityChic August 13, 09 11:17 AM
  1. i would definately sleep with all three before making the decision. making videos of the action will give you something to review later before you make the final cuts.

    Posted by jimbojones August 13, 09 11:18 AM
  1. definitely go for Chris. One of the mantras of "He's Just Not That Into You" (my personal dating bible) is a guy will let you know when he's into you and wants to be exclusive. Chris has done just that and the other two have not. And you like Chris too... go for it and good luck!

    Posted by LLReader August 13, 09 11:18 AM
  1. Meredith is right! You picked him, he's picked you. What else do you need? Break it off nicely with the other two and focus on your new exciting relationship. This guy wants to be exclusive with you - that's a huge sign that HE'S IN TO YOU. It doesnt look like he's going any where!

    Have fun! :-)

    Posted by Chloe August 13, 09 11:20 AM
  1. Two Months, and you haven't slept with any of them? And they are still actually interested in you? Are you sure all of these guys aren't actually GAY??? I think that is the bigger question here!!! One month has always been my limit, how many Hamburger do you have to throw at a woman, before she gives up the goods, sheesh...

    Posted by DudeGuyKidDudeGuy666 August 13, 09 11:20 AM
  1. If chris is the one YOU are most interested in & he wants to make it exclusive - go for it!!! Just be sure you're not selecting him b/c he selected you, know what i mean? your opinion matters here too & you have the right to be picky. Be totally honest w/ the other guys, tell them you met someone, blah blah blah. if you're worried about burning bridges, there is no surer way to do it then by ignoring them. i bet they'd appreciate your honesty as it seems to be something that is lacking in the dating world today. i firmly believe if you're honest, they can't get angry - they may not like it / may be dissapointed, but they shouldn’t be mad. somethin’ gotta give.... ya can't continue 3 relationships simultaneously (although that sounds like fun too :-)

    good luck & enjoy!!!!!

    Posted by polly August 13, 09 11:20 AM
  1. First of all, don't insult the LL community's intelligence by claiming to not have slept with these men. We did not fall off the turnip truck yesterday.

    As for your question, you can absolutely tell these men that you've recently met someone else and you would like try out being in a relationship again. The two other guys will appreciate your honesty and undoubtedly, take you back with open arms if things with Chris go to poot.

    Posted by trueluv4eva August 13, 09 11:21 AM
  1. I had a similar situation in my early 20s and I would love to be in that 'tough' situation again! Meredith's advice is right on, I struggled with the same thoughts of not wanting the lose the other guys even though there was one I clearly liked more than the others. In my case the selection was not the right one, but who is to say the others would have been too - that is the game of love I guess. In the end, love is about taking risks and if you are not ready to take that risk then you really are not ready for true love. I wish you all the best of luck with your selection because you are absolutely right - dating is hard!

    Posted by ready for love August 13, 09 11:22 AM
  1. Come on. Do you really expect us to believe you haven't slept with ANY of them? it's frustrating to me when the letter writers change details to try and not look as bad to the people replying. You people are already anonymous! Just tell the truth!

    Posted by Quit Lying August 13, 09 11:22 AM
  1. If you see yourself possibly having a great exclusive relationship with "Chris" then DO NOT let the opportunity pass you by. If you tell him you want to continue seeing other people you run the risk of losing him and from the sound of your letter you don't want that to happen. You were single for 10 months...you know its hard - but you have to take the chance with him or you might end up losing all three in the long run anyway... Believe me - I'm 34 and newly single - if you found someone normal....RUN WITH IT!!!

    Posted by Not a tough choice... August 13, 09 11:23 AM
  1. Meredith is right on. Chris has offered a commitment to you, and you like him the best too. You are so smart to not have slept with any of these guys - good for you. Since all three apparently know that you are multi-tasking, the other two probably won't be surprised to hear that you have decided to be serious with someone. They will be disappointed that you are ending things, but it really seems like your only choices are 1) to commit to Chris and stop seeing the others, or 2) keep seeing everyone, knowing that Chris will probably drop you since you will have rejected his offer of exclusivity.

    Posted by J Bar August 13, 09 11:23 AM
  1. First of all, congratulations for not sleeping with any (or all!) of them before figuring out who you like best. Second -- if men do it, we think they are lining up girls... same with women right? If you would pick Chris anyway, why not pick him now? If you met three great guys in two weeks, maybe there will be more if Chris doesn't work out. How will you know whether he is right nor not unless you decide to pick him first? There will always be choices lined up. But you have to pick one first to see whether it works or not. how long are you going to date three guys to find out?
    [by the way, you 'work a lot', but can date three guys 1-2 times a week EACH? how do you do that?

    Posted by chins August 13, 09 11:24 AM
  1. You are going to get SLAMMED for even having the thought that makes you a "liner-upper." Try not to take it too personally.

    Be honest with the other two if it makes you feel better; but you do have to cut them loose and realize there's no going back. Be true with trying to see if it works out with Chris. If it doesn't; sure, dating is hard...but if you managed to meet 3 guys at once and date all three for 2 months, well then, my dear....you won't have a problem meeting other guys when the time comes (if it comes at all...Chris just might be the one? right?)

    Posted by Mac August 13, 09 11:24 AM
  1. 2 months into it, you're 27 (and I assume the guys are roughly the same age) and you haven't slept with him? No wonder Chris wants to be exclusive...he wants to get laid!

    Posted by GP August 13, 09 11:25 AM
  1. There is no way she dated 3 guys for 2 months and didnt have sex with any. She def banged all 3.

    Posted by Franky Cuckle August 13, 09 11:25 AM
  1. Keeping the other two around "just in case" seems very insecure if she truly is looking for a long-term relationship. If she attracted so many so quickly I am sure that there will be abundance. I think the advice is sound.

    Posted by sanity123 August 13, 09 11:26 AM
  1. My advice is to get them all in a room, and have a dating olympics. You know, important things like "How far can you throw a football?" and "How much money do you make?" The result of the olympics should make things significantly more clear for you.

    And if it doesn't, you can always sleep with all of them to decide.

    Posted by Special Olympix August 13, 09 11:27 AM
  1. I agree with Meredith that you are not allowed to keep other guys lined up once you've chosen to commit to someone. It's rude and terribly selfish. You're only two viable choices are:

    1. Agree to exclusivity with Chris and dump the other two guys.
    2. Tell Chris that you really like him but you're simply not ready to become his girlfriend just yet.

    My only advice is to be completely honest with yourself while evaluating these two options. It sounds like you're really into Chris and can see a lot of potential there. That's wonderful, but don't make the mistake of jumping into an exclusive relationship if deep down, you still want to see what's out there and aren't 100% emotionally 'there'. Don't fall into the trap of thinking you're on some sort of fasttrack commitment highway and that you're obligated to make a decision right here and now about Chris after only 2 months. In the grand scheme of things, that's not a lot of time. 2 months is only enough time if YOU feel that it is.

    If you're not ready to commit, I do think it's fair to assure Chris that you are NOT sleeping with other guys. He deserves to know that this isn't about you sowing your oats or anything like that.

    Posted by Rae August 13, 09 11:29 AM
  1. First of all, good for you for playing the field like a pro!

    Second, I don't think you need to tell the other two suitors anything... Just stop responding to their phone calls/txts. If they confront you about it, simply say that you're busy. They'll eventually get the picture. It's none of their business that you were dating other people while you were dating them, and you don't owe them an explanation. This way, you don't ever "burn" a bridge and if things don't work out with Chris in the future, and you can always look them up again. Sounds a bit mean, but at least it will spare their feelings to find out that you were two-timing them with two other guys.

    What a position to be in!

    Cats not Dogs

    Posted by Rica August 13, 09 11:32 AM
  1. First, let me commend you for not jumping into bed with these guys. Too many letter writers lately seem to have that problem.
    Second, yours is a nice problem to have, but if you really like Chris the best out of all three, and he likes you, then tell the other two the truth - that you really like them too, but want to give Chris a chance.
    Third, if it doesn't work out, you have backup!

    Good Luck,

    Posted by DrK August 13, 09 11:32 AM
  1. I think you are insensitive and greedy to want to keep the other two on the hook "just in case". You make women look bad. I don't think you deserve any of them quite honestly....get over yourself, you seem a selfish person who thinks of nothing but themselves. Break if off with all of them and do them ALL a favor!

    Posted by She's just too into herself! August 13, 09 11:33 AM
  1. LW
    Interesting how you worded your 'specific' question....CAN you be honest with them? If you can, then ask yourself how you'd feel if you were told by a guy he was seeing someone he liked better than you, but wanted to keep you on the back burner, in case it didn't work out with the girl? Or, how about if the guy told you he really liked you, but had two other girls waiting on the side, just in case. Do you really not know what to do or do you just not want to?

    Posted by Shorty August 13, 09 11:34 AM
  1. You should sleep with all three then take the one who is the best in the sack... Serisouly, if you REALLY needed help with this problem, maybe you shouldn't be allowed in to the dating realm...

    Posted by clortho August 13, 09 11:35 AM
  1. Meredith is absolutely right.

    Were you serious when you said "If I did have to pick just one, it would be Chris..."?Because if so I'm confused about why we're having this conversation? This is simple. If you want Chris, then yes, you DO have to pick just ONE. If you are not ready to pick just one then you need to explain your situation to Chris and risk losing him. Those are your only two options. Telling Chris you want to date him exclusively while maintaining ties with the others in case things don't work out with you and Chris is not an option.

    So I say nicely tell the other guys they have been great but you've met someone that you think could be special and that you want to give it a fair chance. The guys will be able to handle it...really.

    Posted by Kathleen August 13, 09 11:36 AM
  1. This girls got some self-esteem issues.

    Posted by NotAndysGirl August 13, 09 11:36 AM
  1. Wow, wish I had that problem when I was 27!! It seems like you and Chris are really connecting, and he wants a relationship with you. Go for it. Be honest with the other two, and tell them that you have met someone, and you want to see where it will go. Have fun, and if it doesn't work out, there will be more men out there....you don't seem to have any problems in meeting men!

    Posted by CandyGirl August 13, 09 11:38 AM
  1. You have slept with NONE of them yet?

    You are no Shero in my book...

    Posted by toodleskitty August 13, 09 11:39 AM
  1. LW is a guy.

    Posted by Chris August 13, 09 11:41 AM
  1. I hope that I am not # 2 or 3. That would be a bit sad, but at least I would not have to lose in golf anymore.

    Oh well. If I am about to be "scaled back," do it easy like..."hey, it's been great, but I am seeing a great guy...not that you are not great, but we click...and he is a better golfer." That, actually, may be harsh.

    Posted by Tom August 13, 09 11:43 AM
  1. I think its horrible calling the LW a liar about not shagging any of them, or telling her to treat the other two badly (just ignore them), or making other severe judgement calls. There's no need to sht on the LW or her life just for fun. Just saying....

    Posted by appalledatbadbehaviorandmiserableattitudes August 13, 09 11:44 AM
  1. I know you like the other guys but you have to be honest. If you want to hang on to them, you will lose Chris now that he has made his intentions known. Which is more important? If you are as excited about Chris as you say, you'd be a fool to try to hang on to all three at stage. Two months is not too early to be exclusive if it feels right. Yes, you just tell them you've had a great time with them but that you have decided to "see where it goes" with someone else you have been dating and wish them all the best. If you are honest and brief, it should be no big deal.

    Posted by move on August 13, 09 11:45 AM
  1. I CANT BELIEVE YOU'D CHEAT ON ME WITH TWO OTHER GUYS! I thought we had something special :(

    Posted by Chris August 13, 09 11:45 AM
  1. You and me... and he, simultaneousy
    You and me... and you and you,
    Simultaneous lovin' baby, two or three...
    Simultaneous ooh, come on

    Posted by Chef August 13, 09 11:46 AM
  1. I think "dating" 3 people is NOT admirable and I'm sad most of you--especially the women here--are drooling over the thought. She has not chosen whether to look for a clearly good match and is too chicken to have fun. 3 guys, once or twice a week (ice cream dates?) is having fun or ignorance. I'd guess the later based on the letter. Girls: you can easily date 3--7 guys a week. Easily, with little drop in looks or quality.

    Posted by Luvee August 13, 09 11:48 AM
  1. Ladies and Gentelmen - The New Bachelorette!

    Posted by Lakeboy August 13, 09 11:49 AM
  1. Good stuff Goldstein. I like where your head is at, BUT...I would offer some contrarian advice to our rainy day woman. Summer time in Boston is maybe the greatest time/location to meet people on earth, as we have been couped up all nine months of winter and people just want to get out and "stretch their legs." So to really test the strength of this Chris option, you really need to wait until you get a taste of cold weather/snow/seasonal depression and its effects on the relationship. Not to be sour here, but what I have found is that in Boston everyone is friendly, outgoing, and just generally positive during the few days of sunshine, which makes it easy to meet 3 great guys and once the weather turns so do the tides. Its almost Fall, I would say drag out the other relationships until summer is over completely and then make a decision, you may be surprised in your suitors mood shifts and how their personalities change with the seasons. You may have what I like to refer to as the Timberlake syndrome: "this just can't be summer love," gunning through your mind when trying to decide the best course of action. In summation, when it rains it pours, very true, but when it snows its very cold. And the cold is coming....

    Sidenote: Not sure if any of this makes any sense to anyone other than me, but you could always hit plan B...ditch all 3 of them, im single, you're kinda single...lets hang out....

    Posted by Preachin-the-truth August 13, 09 11:52 AM
  1. Jeesh - we were all playing nicely in the sandbox until post 51 had to come along and harsh out the LW. I don't think the LW is insensitive and greedy - she is asking out to respectfully handle a situation. Dear LW, please ignore the rantings of "she's just too into herself" and consider why the poster took that pen name.

    I would like to get Sally's angle on this, and I miss Valentino's haikus. Sally and Val, please weigh in!

    Posted by J Bar August 13, 09 11:53 AM
  1. Pleasant dilemma. Good luck. Agree with Mere and Hoss.

    Posted by Anonymous August 13, 09 11:53 AM
  1. LW...DO NOT listen to #49. That's such an a**hole move! Ignoring phone calls and texts from people you have been dating for two months? What great advice. Those guys deserve to know the truth-- she's met someone else. That's life. The other two never asked to be in an exclusive relationship anyway..and by 2 months I think its time.

    Dont be a rude...just be honest. End of story.

    Posted by Kristen August 13, 09 11:54 AM
  1. wait for the other two guys to contact you.Once they do send them a nice text saying that you met someone else and hopefully you guys can remain friends.they will take the hint.if things don't work out with chris you can always get back in touch with the other two!!

    Posted by Lee August 13, 09 11:55 AM
  1. Part I is easy. Go with Chris. Given that he is the only one that expressed an interest in taking your relationship to a new level and you concur, the decision is easy. Of course.....you say you have not "slept" with any of them, including Chris. So when Chris says he wants to take the relationship to a new level, could he only be seeking.......hmmmmm.....

    Putting that possibility aside, what about the "other guys". You could let them down gently, massage their egos: "Gee, you are great, I've really enjoyed our time together but I have found someone". Instead of that, why not just say "HEY, YOU I FOUND SOMEONE WHO IS BETTER THAN YOU SO GET LOST".

    Is this any better than Rica's approach....dont call them, dont return their calls, ignore their letters and emails. That certainly going to make them feel really good too.

    Either way, you are going to destroy two people, so it makes no difference what you do

    So no matter


    Posted by neversaynever August 13, 09 11:55 AM
  1. WIRIP, there is a very easy whay for you to decide. Invite all three men over to your apartment this Saturday afternoon. Have plenty of steak tips and burgers to cook on the grill and plenty of beer. Explain to them that they will all be taking you on and whoever can pleasure you the most will win.

    Posted by agnh August 13, 09 11:58 AM
  1. LW -Where did you meet all 3 of these guys?

    I'm jealous!!

    Posted by thereareNOgoodguysinboston August 13, 09 11:58 AM
  1. when the time is right, will you sleep with all three?

    Posted by Hung Wang August 13, 09 11:59 AM
  1. I think I need to sit this one out as I'm a firm believer that casual dating can go on forever.

    I'm still reeling over HWM's response that was recently posted on yesterday's comments. She's not actually from Framingham.

    Posted by Sally August 13, 09 11:59 AM
  1. Rico,
    You will be missed. Enjoy!

    Posted by M August 13, 09 11:59 AM
  1. Wow, you people think 3 guys for 2 months is good? I have a story for you. I was "banging" one chick regularly while I was dating as many as 3 others at the same time in addition to her. I slept with most of them, some just weren't worth the effort. The one I was banging regularly had no clue at all and actually thought I was "busy" with work and other things. Those other things were other chicks I was dating while I used the one I was banging. She had no idea she was a FWB's. I still remember going out with one on a friday night and having sex both that night and the next morning with her and then the "regular banger" came over as the other left the house. I had no time to even shower and thankfully she was so stupid she couldn't even smell the other girls perfume. Needless to say I banged her right after lunch and then sent her home only to go out with another girl that night. I showered and even shaved for that date. I did this for about 2 years or so till I got rid of the old banger broad and replaced her with something better. Wow, those were some good memories...I should post the video and photo's some time if Mer would let me.

    Posted by Thanks for the memories August 13, 09 12:00 PM
  1. 51- oh please.
    Mer's right. Be honest with the others. So I assume Chris knows you were dating other guys?
    And who is to say she hasn't been completely honest about sleeping with them? She knows this is anonymous. It could be true.

    Posted by summa! baby bumma! August 13, 09 12:00 PM
  1. Pleasant dilemma. Good luck. Agree with Mere and Hoss.

    Posted by Anonymous August 13, 09 12:00 PM
  1. Tell Chris you'd love an exclusive relationship with him but you have 2 other guys on the sidelines, so he has to prove himself within a month.
    Tell the first runner-up that you've got strep throat and can't talk to him or see him for a month, but you'll be thinking about him all the time.
    Tell the second runner-up that you have an STD and as soon as the outbreak dies down, in a month, you'll be happy to see him again.
    They should all understand......
    c'mon....if this letter IS real, it's an insult to the LL community and the LW should look in the mirror and decide if she's worthy of any one of them.

    Posted by californiadreamin August 13, 09 12:01 PM
  1. no 27 year old guys sticks around more than a month without getting laid...

    Posted by Hung Wang August 13, 09 12:02 PM
  1. You don't have to tell everyone everything about why you are doing what you are doing. You can tell those other the two guys that you are not interested in continuing dating at this point. If you tell them about the other guy, you will make them feel terrible because then it's like "hey, if it doesn't work out with him, I know I'll have you as second best choice." Then, you really will alienate them. Who wants to be the liner-upper?

    You don't have to become exclusive just because one guy asks. Sounds like you may want to keep your options open, because you are having fun. If you really want to be exclusive, say yes. If you are unsure, just be upfront and say that and give it some more time. Look, your gut knows--go with what it says to you.

    Posted by Anonymous August 13, 09 12:03 PM
  1. your a jerk for leading on 3 guys, i mean what do you think this is a store, if one doesnt pan out you can go return it and try another one....thats messed up...you should be ashamed.....and now more than ever since your most likely going to go with chris, what if the others wantd long term but was waiting for the right time, chris just did it first, how are you going to feel.

    man i wish the people who wrote the letter who comment on the comments made.

    Posted by stopabusing August 13, 09 12:05 PM
  1. Cut off the other two "backups". I was one of them in college, and it was on again, off again til I realized this would never change, that I was only #1 in between "something better". It took me years to regain self-confidence. Don't lead these guys on, let them go.

    Posted by BobL-FF August 13, 09 12:07 PM
  1. Hi
    Sometimes you just have to take chances in love / with relationships. You never have an guarantees anyhow, so even if you and chris did start dating exclusively who's to say that a few months from now he might not decide to walk away anyhow, you just have to jump in and hope for the best and try your hardest to make it work. Do not use people just so that you are not alone and you should be honest with the other 2, if you really do like and respect them then you would want to be honest with them right? Isn't that how you would want to be treated yourself anyhow? Good luck

    Posted by JW August 13, 09 12:12 PM
  1. You should checkout the goods before you make a commitment. Lets hope Chris does not have a small penis.

    Posted by bahhhoo August 13, 09 12:13 PM
  1. lets get this straight....you have three guys, honey, i can't get half a guy.

    Posted by cupcake August 13, 09 12:14 PM
  1. To: Thanks for the memories post:
    Dude, you are a tool.
    Time to get back to your shift at Subway. Oh, and your mom called, she wants you right home after work to clean up your room in the basement.

    Posted by rightfromwrong August 13, 09 12:17 PM
  1. You have to be completely honest with anyone you may end up in a long-term relationship with.

    This means you can only keep the other two guys on the back-burner if you want them as rebounds later on - but you'll never have them as long term loves. If you hide from them the fact that they were backups, you can't marry them down the road because your relationship will have been founded on deception! And if you tell them they're backups, they'll be through with you. So be honest and let them go, or lie and keep them for possible future hookups.

    Also, this means you need to be 100% hontest with Chris, regardless of when you are ready to be exclusive with him. If it's now, tell him about the other dates, and that you're letting them go. If you need more time but may want to be exclusive later, you have to tell him about the others and that you're not ready yet. Maybe you'll lose him if you're not ready and he is, which would stink. But you can't be less than fully honest with him now, because if your dishonesty allows you to get involved long-term with him, it's just going to end sometime farther down the road.

    Any relationship founded on half-truths is destined to end.

    Posted by liking1 August 13, 09 12:22 PM
  1. I agree with those who say, Chris stays, the others go.

    No guy would stick around anyway if you told them, 'I like you a lot. But right now, I like this other guy more. if it doesn't work out with this other guy, I'm willing to settle for you. Who knows, maybe I'll find something I like about you that I haven't seen yet. Maybe this other guy will dump me or maybe I figure out that what I want isn't really want I want anyway.'

    If the guys do stay around, you don't want 'em.

    Posted by Rich August 13, 09 12:23 PM
  1. WAaaaa, I want to have my cake and eat it, too...WAAAAAA

    Posted by Find some reason and accountability... August 13, 09 12:24 PM
  1. Hey #77
    You're a douche. And I bet you stink too.

    Posted by Laughing at you August 13, 09 12:24 PM
  1. "Can I be honest with the other two and tell them that I’ve met someone and want to see where things go, or should I just completely end it with each of them?"

    This isn't an either/or situation. You need to do both. Tell them the truth- you've been casually dating a number of men, and now you've decided to start exclusive dating one of them. You can't put them on hold, or expect them to be just friends. Don't keep a friendship going with them so that they are a back-up. It's not fair to Chris or them. If things don't work out with Chris, who knows, maybe you can look one of these guys up, again, but if you think about your relationship with Chris that way, you are in trouble.

    Posted by two sheds August 13, 09 12:25 PM
  1. As usual when it is about a woman who has a delightful dilemma, the men posting on here have to belittle females by being lewd and gross and talking about "banging chicks" and complaining about how many "hamburgers" have to be bought to "get laid", or calling respectful guys "gay".

    If I want to hear this, I'd listen to the usual cadre of idiot guys at events and parties when they are preening and strutting and making these comments thinking they are macho and appealing, and not understanding they come across as weak, stupid, and small men.

    Meredith, I wish you luck, and hope you can attract a classier and more intelligent group of men to respond. Unfortunately right now, this has become ignorant male central, with a strong leaning toward outlet for sexual offender types.

    Posted by yupokay August 13, 09 12:25 PM
  1. boring letter! who cares about this, everyone has to do it.

    Posted by trying to get my game back August 13, 09 12:27 PM
  1. As usual when it is about a woman who has a delightful dilemma, the men posting on here have to belittle females by being lewd and gross and talking about "banging chicks" and complaining about how many "hamburgers" have to be bought to "get laid", or calling respectful guys "gay".

    If I want to hear this, I'd listen to the usual cadre of idiot guys at events and parties when they are preening and strutting and making these comments thinking they are macho and appealing, and not understanding they come across as weak, stupid, and small men.

    Meredith, I wish you luck, and hope you can attract a classier and more intelligent group of men to respond. Unfortunately right now, this has become ignorant male central, with a strong leaning toward outlet for sexual offender types.

    Posted by yupokay August 13, 09 12:27 PM
  1. WIRIP,
    Two separate thoughts:

    1. You say you've been dating Chris 1-2 times a week for 2 months and haven't had sex with him. That's fine.

    But I suspect he said he wants to be exclusive with you because he thinks that's what you need to hear in order to have sex with him.

    That's a reasonable strategic move for him to make - I'd probably say the same thing to you if I were a man in his shoes. So he may feel a special connection with you - but you shouldn't assume so. He may just be trying to move the ball down the field in the relationship, so to speak.

    2. I would tell each of the other two guys this: "I met another guy before I met you, and know him better than I know you (a little white lie to spare his feelings). I've decided to date him exclusively for a while to see how it works out. I'm sorry I won't be able to date you, but I'd like to keep in touch by email from time to time."

    That lets him decide whether he wants to be on your back burner or not. He can drop you a line now and then to see if things have changed. Or he can do nothing and brush you off if you end things with Chris and contact him.

    Good luck with it.

    Posted by TallGirl August 13, 09 12:28 PM
  1. The big question is do you really want to commit? Let's do the math, 2 months, 3 guys, say twice a week, + "I work a lot", = max 12 hours each for 9 weeks? So you've spent the sum total of 4.5 days with each of these guys and you want to commit?? Exclusively? I'm sure they are all nice. I'm sure Chris is wonderful. If another month or two of getting to know him better is a deal breaker he strikes me as a little insecure. Just as there is risk in "losing' Chris, there is risk in being committed before you know what you are giving up or getting into.

    Posted by MathProf August 13, 09 12:28 PM
  1. By the time you end up sleeping with the one you finally choose it'll probably be closer to three months. My advice would be to tie a pillow to the top of your head.

    Posted by Joe August 13, 09 12:29 PM
  1. To: Thanks for the memories post:
    i did this same thing with three chicks! One was your mother, one was your grandmother, and the third was your dad.

    Posted by mr.slave August 13, 09 12:34 PM
  1. Thanks for the memories:
    Women do that too. You are only shocking the sheltered... Grow up...

    Posted by toodleskitty August 13, 09 12:36 PM
  1. You will choose Chris and then go back to #2 or #3.

    However #3 will have found someone else by then so you will be stuck with #2...

    Who you actually liked the least of all of them.

    This is the state of our culture right now.

    And it is pathetic.

    Posted by Sally August 13, 09 12:40 PM
  1. You have to give all of these guys respect by telling the other two the truth and giving Chris a fair shot. You cant hold onto the other two guys for insurance, well you could, but its not a good recipe for a long term relationship with Chris and it could come back and bite you in the a$$ later on somehow. You should have sexy time with Chris first before you make the final decision though....... just in case he's hung like a chipmonk, a two pump chump, or both, ect, ect.

    Posted by sexual chocolate August 13, 09 12:41 PM
  1. #88 rightfromwrong......you're hysterical!! And completely on target about that guy.

    WIRIP, it's understandable that when you're in the middle of a situation you can't see the answer that is right in front of your face.....give it a go with 'Chris' and be honest with the other two...you really can't lose. However, I agree with the person who warned not to get too serious too fast with 'Chris'. If it's going to happen with him it won't matter if it's at a slower pace.

    Posted by shell24 August 13, 09 12:42 PM
  1. It's 2009 there is no need to have a conversation with anyone about anything in person anymore. Just change your facebook profile to read "in a relationship" and send out a Twitter message that you are dumping "Suitor #1" and "Suitor #2" in favor of "Chris". Done deal.
    The only other obstacle is that if you weren't going dutch with Suitors 1&2 for the past two months, you're going to need to mail them each a check for your half of the dating expenses (if there were no grilled cheeses changing hands at all)...again, its 2009....so don't lose their addresses just yet.

    Posted by Gordon Bombay August 13, 09 12:49 PM
  1. There is no issue here? LW admits she wants Chris. It's a small world so treat #s 2 and 3 with some respect, but honesty. Trying to back burner them in case it doesn't work out with Chris is disrespectful, and a guy posting here the same dilemna would get ripped apart. Tell them you've decided to date someone else exclusively and move on. Part of dating is hurt feelings - so stop worrying about hurt feelings. And for all you know, #2 and 3 are dating other women too. They may not be as hurt as you think/secretly hope.

    Let's have a real issue tomorrow please.

    Posted by Patty August 13, 09 12:52 PM
  1. Your situation is not unique, at least not to me.

    I found myself in a similar spot about a year ago. I found myself tangled up with four girls at once, and it was pretty crazy. The first girl I met was cute and nice, and we both liked each other. I could've easily been in a relationship with her, but I wanted to see what else was out there. I started dating another girl during this time, and she didn't want to rush into a relationship. I was still seeing these two girls and starting dating another girl, who wanted to get in a relationship with me(feelings were mutual) but I found out she was already in one (despite her telling me she was single). Then during all this I was seeing another girl who wanted to get in a relationship with me, but after all this I was way too confused and told her I couldn't at this time.

    I had four options in less than two months of very good looking and nice girls. After getting 20-60 texts a day I got overwhelmed and I never could choose any one of them. I had sex with only one of them. I'm still friends with all of them, but discontinued dating them.

    My advice is:Pick one and tell the others you're seeing someone else. You can't have your cake and eat it to. If you try to you're going to have a bad stomach ache and you're going to be alone in the end. Once you choose one, you're not going to get either of the other ones back (95% of the time). It becomes awkward and they start looking for someone else as well. Take it from me, because I've done the exact same thing as you.

    Posted by Been there August 13, 09 12:55 PM
  1. Cut the other 2 "BackUps" off ASAP. You keep leading them on, and you are setting up an emotionally damaged set of stalkers. Unless you are aroused by that sort of thing...

    Posted by DudeGuyKidDudeGuy666 August 13, 09 12:56 PM
  1. Lucky gal! You are still young; way too young to be committed.

    Here's what you do: invite all 3 for a special night at your place. Serve lots of wine. Then have your way with all 3 at once! If any of them balks or can't perform under the pressure, kick him to the curb (after humiliating him first). Then keep the rest for your personal pleasure, even if it's all 3. Enjoy! You'll be 30-something soon enough with a houseful of kiddies in boring suburbia. This is something you will recall fondly until your dying days.

    Posted by Lance Romance August 13, 09 12:57 PM
  1. “What’s a girl to do?” Haiku

    Our relationship, annulled
    Should have learned the flick

    Posted by valentino August 13, 09 12:57 PM
  1. #94, "YupOkay": I am sorry you lost your sense of humor. Apparently you don't understand the definition of SARCASM, do you have Asperger's Syndrome or something. Either that, or you are really Fugly.

    Posted by DudeGuyKidDudeGuy666 August 13, 09 12:59 PM
  1. OMG! Totally jealous!

    But life is risk. You're into Chris, he's into you, so you take the plunge into exclusivity and see where it goes. End things with the other two--it's cruel to just drop off or leave them on the back burner (you wouldn't like it if someone did that to you).

    Congratulations. :D

    Posted by PM August 13, 09 01:02 PM
  1. Lets play role reversal for a minute. If this were a guy saying this all the women who are jealous and envious of this girl would be ripping this guy for leading the 3 girls on ,not being a man and telling the other 2 the truth. If I were Chris, I'd take off right now. There is no way this girl is going to be exclusive. What happens when they get into an arguement? Chris will be left wondering if she is going to call one of the other 2 for a late night hookup. Way too selfish for me!!

    Posted by salspals August 13, 09 01:02 PM
  1. Letter writer here: First I would like to thank all of you for your advice! I'm only on comment #65 and will read the rest tonight. I was being 100% honest when I said I haven't slept with any of them. It's been 2 months (barely 8 full weeks) and some of the dates have been drinks after work, lunch, sox game, Sat. afternoon stuff, etc. So I don't know what that is so hard to believe. Not everyone sleeps around, especially so soon when things are casual and just because sex isn't involved doesn't mean we've only been holding hands and staring at each other!

    Also, after the first few dates with each we have either gone 50/50 on the bill or I've paid so that really isn't the issue. I think the consensus is to be honest with the other two which I will do ASAP. I guess in a way I was trying to hang on to them as insurance, which I now realize is not a good idea. I would be offended if someone did that to me too. Also, Chris is definitely getting some this weekend! Thank you LL readers!

    Posted by When it rains, It pours August 13, 09 01:04 PM
  1. Have you considered informing all three and making a movie?

    Posted by Bustoff August 13, 09 01:05 PM
  1. #77 I don't believe a word of your post. I bet you are impotent and what you wrote is a fantasy you love to dwell in. Felt like I needed to take a shower after reading your post. Filthy............

    Posted by Rose August 13, 09 01:06 PM
  1. #105, "Gordon": the funny thing about the "Breakup Via Facebook" comment, I know several people whom have been dumped that way. Weird because it always happened after having sexy-time for the first run, guess they didn't make the "cut" past "pre-season". The guy stopped calling them, wouldn't return any form of communication, and changed their FaceBook setting. So I guess she could handle it that way too, why not after all "what's good for the goose, is good for the gander" as they say...

    Posted by DudeGuyKidDudeGuy666 August 13, 09 01:06 PM
  1. Is this Chris guy really, "the one?" If he was, you would be totally find dumping the other two guys right away and declaring you monogomous intentions for Chris. However, despite being happy about Chris's proclamation, you're not jumping on that bandwagon. Something is holding you back.

    You need to have some hot sex with Chris before you tell him you're all about being exclusive. If it's awkward and you're still thinking about the other guys, then there is your answer. If its amazing and everything you could ever want, then there ya go. No man on earth (outside of those religious quacks who wait for marriage) would ever declare exclusivity with a girl with out rolling in the hay first. That would be dumb.

    Until the other two guys mention anything about wanting to be exclusive, you don't need to let them go. They're fooling around with other women, especially if you have not put out in two months.

    Have fun and be safe!

    Posted by anonymous August 13, 09 01:06 PM
  1. Been there, done that. Too much work. Stick with the one you really like (Chris?)
    It sounds to me like you are a giver rather than a taker. You seem insecure, because you don't wanna hurt anybody, you want to see which fish "bites" first and then if he likes you, you like him back, and if he does not, then you don't wanna be left alone and wanna move on to the other guy. Please don't take offense, but that's how i read you. Hey, i may be wrong!

    Posted by pumped August 13, 09 01:08 PM
  1. Ah, the talk. If you marry it will be the moment of happy recollection for decades to come. That place, that time, that spot where he asked you to love only him. It makes one smile to hear. There is a reason Jane Austen stories remain popular 200 years after their authorship.

    My Dear, you are doing something, a few things, very right. The first of which, was continuing to meet and date other men while dating someone non-exclusively and not committing, or wanting commitment, until they approach you first about it. I would not be the least bit surprised if what makes you attractive to men is your confidence, independence and the feeling they must make the first move toward something more serious, or else you will not be exclusively theirs.

    Will you will "lose him" if you ask him to wait. Such statements smack of desperation or insecurity. You didn't get this man to be interested in you by acting desperate, so no reason to start now. You choose him if you feel investing your time in him exclusively is a good investment of your time. If you need more time, take it. Children of divorce or disfuncational families especially tend to be shy about committing and when they are simply honest about this usually their partner is respectful. Men tend to find a women who is shy about committment much more attractive than a women who is needy and begging for one. What men have trouble with is sharing a women sexually. Something to keep in mind.

    Ah,what to do about the other two? Try to keep them as friends, perhaps, but I wouldn't hold my breath on it working. There are always gambles in life, my dear,and this is one.

    Is she being "greedy"? Oh, do be a bit more grown up. When one chooses a mate it is the biggest decision of your life ,and can be responsible for decades of happiness or misery. Of healthy happy children, or the burden of knowing your children carry pain in them that could have been avoided had you had a better head on your shoulders while you were young and choosing.

    Youth is wasted on the young? I think not. Youth is made for the young, but that doesn't mean you have to be stupid just because you are young. Yes, you are all filled with hormones and dreams of great sex, but do try to realize, the choices you make while you are young put you on paths in life that decades laters I have seen adults shake their heads in disbelief at what simpleton logic they used when making them and how they had control, at one time, to avoid the train wreck of a life they got themselves into.

    The tables turn on couples after marriage, after kids and the women become more vulnerable. It is easier for men to stay good looking, healthy, strong, active in their careers. I know youth hate to hear this, but the old conventional norms start to show, long after women's lib, women bear the children, lose a good deal of their looks, become mothers, sacrafice their jobs for the care of their children. Not because they are forced to, as society expected them to years ago, but because they fall in love with their children, and they willingly sacrafice for love. As such, women as they age, as they become mothers, are seen as less attractive by the opposite sex, while the men mature, become wiser, more sensitive, less foolish and hence, more attractive.

    Be choosey while you date, ladies, because you are at your most powerful then. If he is not that interested in you while dating, fast forward a few years and imagine the worst. All too often, it happens.

    It's been two months and neither of the other two are concerned whether or not she's seeing anyone else. That says volumes. Have a healthy respect for the importance of what choosing exclusivity means. This young women does.

    Bravo! Enjoy your budding romance. Keep a diary. It will be a gifl you give to your older self.


    Posted by a few grey hairs and lots of life behind August 13, 09 01:10 PM
  1. MathProf's (#98) math got me wondering. What is the rush? I suspect the LWs engine is even more overheated than any of the guys (She's been romancing 3 guys daily for 2 months) and she doesn't want to wait any longer to "take the relationship to a new level". Can't blame her. Good luck.

    Posted by Math Prof's Student August 13, 09 01:10 PM
  1. I was i n this exact same situation. I had been in a committed relationship, very serious that ended. For almost a year I went out here and there and didn't really find a whole lot of options for anything more than a casual date. Then, I met 3 very nice men all within a 2 week period. I had commonalities with all of them. Enjoyed all of them, but one in particular I found myself getting more excited to see than the rest. I found that I would try harder to make time to make my schedule work for this one man. I didn't know where it would end up, as he had just gotten a divorce and wasn't looking for anything serious, but wanted an exclusive relationship. So, like you I had to make a decision. I cut the other guys loose. I was honest with htem and they appreciated that. I strongly suggest you do the same. If you are honest, things with Chris don't work out and down the road they contact you or you run into one of them, they will more likely want to "give it another go" if you show you have character vs. lying to them. Good luck. By the way, the man I stayed with: He and I have been married for 13 yrs. and have 2 kids.

    Posted by Jen D. August 13, 09 01:12 PM
  1. You absolutely need to keep dating all three and not because of the pathetic cheering squad of lonely losers cheering you on or otherwise proclaiming how jealous they are of you in these comments, but rather because:

    You obviously are afraid to be alone, so you work a lot and then go out on dates five or six times a week. If you date Chris exclusively, you will smother him within a month, tops.

    Each of these three guys is obviously dating other people as well. Keep on keepin' on with the party train.

    You are sleeping with all of them, but are familiar enough with this blog to know that you’d get spanked (no pun intended) for it, so you sanitized it and said you weren’t.

    Chris wants exclusivity because he knows you’re dating around. Don’t kid yourself by thinking he doesn’t know. You’re 27. You should know this by now.

    You do not see yourself with Chris long-term or else you would not have written this letter. You want us to convince you that it’s the right decision and that you are capable of being honest. Sorry, but that’s messed up.

    Okay, now you know. Do with it what you will, but do not come back tomorrow and pout about it or say how offended you are that anonymous bloggers figured you out so easily.

    yupokay, don't read this blog any more. In fact, why don't you go braid your leg hairs. Next week, you can start on your armpit hairs. Week after that, you can practice your replies for when people mistakenly call you "Sir" at the grocery store. Yup? Okay? Fine. Buh-bye, now.

    Posted by Hadie Nuff August 13, 09 01:13 PM
  1. Kristen (#69 - lucky you)

    I back-up my statement, because if this situation were reversed, and I was the one that was being "dumped" after a relationship of two months (even if it was just 'dating' here and there) ... I wouldn't want someone to call/txt me saying "oh sorry - I'm not interested in you. I've chosen option B, but I hope we can be friends!" I'd throw up, and certainly not want to be "friends". I'd feel like a completely loser, and the phone call/txt would make it so much worse. The polite thing for LW to do is to slowly stop answering calls/txts and then eventually cease contact all together... (So, perhaps a more "gradual" approach is preferable) That way, the other suitors will get the picture, and their feelings and dignity will be saved. Like I said before - it's none of their business anyway!

    I'm just going by what I'd want if I were one of the "losers" ... Golden Rule! :)

    Cats not Dogs

    Posted by Rica August 13, 09 01:13 PM
  1. Best advice I can offer is to be as kind and sensitive as possible when breaking it off with the other two. A friend of mine was dating online and had a similar situation. She stayed friends with someone she stopped seeing to be exclusive with someone else. Turned out the "friend" was the right guy in the long run and they're both happier for it :)

    Posted by Red Sox Rock August 13, 09 01:15 PM
  1. Regarding Rico, your advice is good (what little I could stand to read) but you sound like a moron speaking in the third person. Just sayin....

    Posted by ABC123 August 13, 09 01:16 PM
  1. Hard meeting people because she works a lot. Yet she can find time to date 3 guys? So let's analyse some more.

    The other guys haven't mentioned being exclusive? Which means -They aren't getting the attention your giving Chris so they don't feel secure enough yet to venture forward.

    If I had to chose it would be Chris. Which means - Chris is really no good for me but I'm attracted to him and I hope I can make him conform to what I want. If I'm correct and he's just a bad boy that I can't tame I don't want to mess things up with these really nice guys.

    So make your pick and go for it.

    Posted by Anonymous August 13, 09 01:17 PM
  1. Why does everyone call this a fake letter? Does anyone have proof? Keep up the good work, mere.

    Posted by confused August 13, 09 01:18 PM
  1. I think she should sleep with all three to see who makes the best grilled cheese sandwiches! Seriously, a good sex life is important too. Chris could be a dud! It is hard to believe she has not slept with any of them. Not necessarily a virtue in my book.

    Posted by JohnB August 13, 09 01:20 PM
  1. Meredith is right you need to take Chris up on his offer especially since you already know that he's the guy for you and tell the other two that you had been dating people and you've decided to become exclusive with one of them. Honesty is the best policy! Whatever you do don't pull the vanishing act that some of these people have suggested, it's just rude you've been dating these guys for two months already. Best of luck with Chris and good for you!

    Posted by HK824 August 13, 09 01:25 PM
  1. I too was dating 3 guys and then one said he didn't want to share. I took it that he wanted to be exclusive. I told the other 2 that I couldn't date them anymore. All was fine for about 4 years, then he started cheating. I guess he didn't want me to date others but he wanted to...

    Posted by Megan August 13, 09 01:25 PM
  1. #77, you need a reality check. the only thing you ever banged was your head on the toilet.

    Posted by realitybites August 13, 09 01:28 PM
  1. "Tell them you want to take a step back from dating and focus on your career"

    Are there really guys out there stupid enough to believe that line?

    Posted by screen_door August 13, 09 01:28 PM
  1. i was seeing 2 guys. i picked chris. it's ten years later, we've been married for 2. can't really advise against picking chris.

    Posted by lalacity August 13, 09 01:34 PM
  1. I'm with yupokay. Don't let the turkeys (DudeKidGuy, Hadie Nuff) get you down. The misogyny of some of these posters is beyond annoying, not to mention completely off topic.

    Posted by edie August 13, 09 01:38 PM
  1. #135, "Edie": Shut up, get back in the kitchen, and bake us a pie! (Disclaimer: *baking a pie* is not a euphemism for anything, sometimes baking a pie is just baking a pie...).

    Posted by DudeGuyKidDudeGuy666 August 13, 09 01:48 PM
  1. Yes....go ahead and be honest with the other two. Honesty is always the best policy and since this was casual dating with no sex or talk about exclusivity on their end, it's reasonable to expect this would be something that would occur eventually. If these two guys are decent and mature adults, they should appreciate that honesty. They should also admire the respect that you're able to show to another guy to be true to your word (of being exclusive). Honorable, respectful and committed people tend to admire (and value) the same trait in others, so while these guys may be a little disappointed that their dating days may have ended with you, if they're worth their salt, they should have nothing but best wishes for you, and maybe (depending on how they handle this), you can keep them as friends in your life, and if for some reason, the exclusivity with Chris doesn't work out, then you will also have a friendship (or more) with one of the others. The plus all around is that you'd have already set the bar that you are honest and sincere (and expect the same in those you deal with), and also obviously a committed type of woman. If these guys value that themselves, then it's a win-win for everyone. And if they don't value those characteristics and give you any grief, then you have more proof that these weren't the guys for you anyway.

    Good luck with "Chris" :-)
    with Chris.

    Posted by bklynmom August 13, 09 01:50 PM
  1. It sounds to me like you are having a good time dating all three guys and that you aren't totally sure if it's time to call it quits with #'s 2 & 3. If you were dying for Chris to want to be exclusive, then I doubt you would have a hard time cutting the other two loose.

    Men like a challenge. Obviously Chris knows you are dating others or he wouldn't have talked to you about being exclusive. I say you delicately ask for more time from Chris and then let on to the other two that you are dating others and see what happens. If anyone gets ticked and stops seeing you, then you know they weren't the right one. Alternatively, it is also very possible that one of them will step it up and show you how he feels.

    Give it another month and see what happens. Good luck!

    Posted by Jules August 13, 09 01:53 PM
  1. when I moved to Boston I dated four guys during the first summer (Boston is a great dating ground; they all knew about each other) and eventually two of them wanted to go exclusively...go for Chris; I went with the guy I wanted the most and we've been together for five years now. After we went exclusive I tried to stay friends with the other three and that ended up not working out to well although I am still friends with one of them, so be careful about that; I think more feelings were hurt than needed to be. In the end; just be honest to yourself and to the guys and it'll work out for the best. Good luck!

    Posted by Emily August 13, 09 01:54 PM
  1. #88 - BRAVO- Dude is so still "banging" in Mom's basement thinking he got sh*t to offer...#77 guy…your only claim to shame is in the memorable ‘parting gifts’ left to these silly females...unfortunately forever indebted to your STD ridden a@@...isn’t it painful when EVERYONE knows the incredible lack of game you have by a simple post??? Pathetic little boy.

    Posted by Rossia August 13, 09 01:54 PM
  1. Meredith, I thought you screened these comments, I don't know why you let these discussions deteriorate into some kind of preschool sandbox (see #136 and #111 for examples).

    Posted by edie, again August 13, 09 01:57 PM
  1. 8-16 dates? I agree with Kristen, that deserves a 'break up' type conversation. I'd much rather know what happened and be kind of bummed about it, than wrack my brain for clues as to why someone that i enjoyed and liked stopped calling me after two months "for no apparent reason." You dont have to say, 'oh hey i met someone i liked better than you so scram', you can be honest and say that you met someone that has expressed interest in taking the relationship to the next level and you would like to pursue that. (or maybe something less cheesy) That way you arent down playing the time that you spent with the other two guys, but you ARE letting them know that your relationship status has changed.

    Posted by rw August 13, 09 02:03 PM
  1. We have to invent a new term for this. It's not a "liner-upper". It's more of a "put-asider". Or "insurance men". Other suggestions are welcome. (Then again not many people have this problem.) Congrats to the LW!

    Posted by Alvin (Mr. Sasha) August 13, 09 02:03 PM
  1. LOLOL!!! Never fails to make me laugh. Women who call dating "hard", and complain about "no good men out there", and so on. But, in reality have a plethora of quality options and are not satisfied with any of them. At least this gal actually admits that she has more than one good man on her hands.
    Ladies, it is time to grow up and actually embrace your liberation. If you can't find a good relationship it is time to look inward for the solution and not blame the guys. There are PLENTY of great guys out there. Maybe you are just unsatisfiable, or lesbian.. Not that there is anything wrong with that.

    Posted by him August 13, 09 02:04 PM
  1. Rico had a chance to wander outside at lunch and although it is a little cold for August it was still nice to be out.

    Rico thought about your dilemma a little further and has this to add. Rico feels badly for the other 2 guys and actually a little for the lucky guy "chris". You say you are giving it up to Chris this weekend which is so thoughtful of you and you actually feel remorse or so you make it seem that way in your follow up. The problem Rico has with this entire scenario is that you never really gave any of these three guys a REAL chance to get to know you or you them. You are busy with work, split bill's or paid the bill which leads Rico to wonder; What kind of dating was this??? Rico thinks maybe you need to take a step back from dating anyone at all and figure out what you want. Then date one guy at a time and give it a chance to develop or fall apart on its own.

    Rico is still pondering this scenario and will check back in a few with some more thoughts so hold on tight and don't do anything crazy. Rico will be right back...

    Love always,


    2 windmills going up in Boston? Rico hopes there will be even more. Rico doesn't share his bike but likes the bike sharing plan they have in Boston.

    Posted by Rico August 13, 09 02:04 PM
  1. yeah edie bake us a pie! DudeGuyKidDudeGuy666 would do it but he's too busy making a grilled cheese for himself

    Posted by eh eh eh August 13, 09 02:05 PM
  1. I can't believe a grown woman has to ask strangers the question "should I be honest?". Grow up.

    Reality, not Rico!

    Posted by Chloe-OBrien August 13, 09 02:16 PM
  1. Sounds like you need to have a Final Rose Ceremony!

    Posted by DavidDavidDavid August 13, 09 02:22 PM
  1. Ummm - I think I might be guy #2. WIRIP, call me tonight at 7:30pm.

    Posted by mainiac August 13, 09 02:29 PM
  1. okay burgers aside.. how about asking what you really want instead of us, do you want to be exclusive with chris?
    if you did then you wouldn't have wrote this letter..
    people who say they want exclusivity are into the person they want it with..

    chris may want exclusivity because he wants to have sex or because he doesn't want to share you with other guys or because he thinks you have potential.. he's checking to see if it's time for him to move on

    Posted by rick August 13, 09 02:31 PM
  1. As much as you'd like to, you can't hold onto backups in case the one you really want falls through. Tough decision, but it's the right thing to do and it's how you'd want to be treated. Just try to break up nicely.

    Posted by Todd Beaulieu August 13, 09 02:32 PM
  1. #67 she is trying to hash out a situation that is selfish and greedy....how hard is that to understand. She is making herself look like a trollop!

    And all the people before me who said she is lying about not sleeping with any of them - they were playing nice I suppose....hypocrite!

    Posted by She's just too into herself! August 13, 09 02:33 PM
  1. None of these guys have slept with her? After two months? And still stay with her? Does she have incriminating pictures or something, because if its taking that long, its understandably sayonara for any normal guy.

    Posted by Dave August 13, 09 02:46 PM
  1. why is it that when a woman has this so called problem ...it is a "delightful problem"??? You all know if this was a guy in this situation there would be many people calling him a scumbag loser using these people!!!! I know alot of people who would say this girl is a slut for doing this

    Posted by Lori August 13, 09 02:48 PM
  1. I still don't understand why you were compelled to write the letter. The responses here are hysterical and show lots of insight into why dating is hell. It's a wonder anyone finds anyone.

    Posted by Anonymous August 13, 09 03:01 PM
  1. Rico can't believe some of the comments on here. The bottom line is this girl has been dating three guys for 2 months and barely actually knows any of them but seems to think Chris is the one to be exclusive with.

    Something is missing? Why would 3 guys, never mind...why would even one guy date someone so randomly for 2 months and want to be exclusive suddenly and holding out on sex the entire time? Something just doesn't add up. Maybe Rico is being naive? Rico thinks it is time for you to pick one or none or just keep all three and let the cards fall where they may. Rico wouldn't date a girl that was so unavailable as you seem to be and he would be wondering why you are so unavailable. He would probably be dating or at least looking for someone else to date while he was dating you.

    Rico has dated more than one girl at a time but never let it go for 2 months, he has known people to do it for longer and the results were rarely ever good. The truth is that you seem to be happier with variety which is fine but you need to be honest with these guys so they don't become attached or feel they just wasted 2 months of their efforts dating a girl that is trolling the city for men.

    Rico is done for the day and hopes everyone has a wonderful weekend. Rico will be back next week, maybe Tuesday or maybe check in sooner. Until then, ride safely and be kind to thy neighbor ;)

    Love always,


    PS yesterdays reply from the LW was disturbing, childish, nonsense...she needs to be with her husband and stop acting like a 14 year old.

    Posted by Rico August 13, 09 03:13 PM
  1. Personally, I'd want to see the goods before making my final choice. I'd sleep with them all before deciding.

    Posted by mmennonno August 13, 09 03:17 PM
  1. I wouldn't give Chris anything this weekend.

    And how much do we really know about Chris...I know a Chris and he is a jerk. I would peruse his laptop before giving him your special gift. There might be a video. Also, as you have been paying for the dates, he could be a deadbeat (and only tips 10%). How many suits does he own?

    I am not too sure about Chris.

    Posted by Tom August 13, 09 03:20 PM
  1. G to the
    A to the
    N to the
    G to the
    B to the
    A to the
    N to the

    Let's you keep all 3, if you're lucky they'll make you airtight!!

    Posted by JT August 13, 09 03:21 PM
  1. I always say, if you can't choose between 2, or 3, then choose NONE. The "choice" should be totally obvious if it's love.

    Posted by Noah August 13, 09 03:21 PM
  1. can someone tell me what # was yesterday's LW's reply?

    Posted by anony-me August 13, 09 03:23 PM
  1. I think since its been 3 months of dating each that you really should know which one of the guys you have a connection with the most and especially since you haven't slept with any of them so you say, then lets cross our fingers and hope "Chris" is good in bed :)

    Posted by keepsitreal August 13, 09 03:25 PM
  1. Also, you want a guy that will still love you when you are old and sick. Here is the "For Better or Worse Test": STEP1 - go buy a dozen bean burrito at Taco Bell. STEP2 - go buy some ExLax and Depends at CVS. STEP3 - Put on the Depends, and eat as much of the Tacos and Laxative as possible. STEP4 - Invite Chris over and see if he can handle diaper duty. If he runs, he is neither suitable as a father or a geriatric mate. OTOH if he gets to aroused over it, you might have a whole different set of problems...

    Posted by DudeGuyKidDudeGuy666 August 13, 09 03:27 PM
  1. Hey Rico, look up the definition of "pun."

    Posted by Spy August 13, 09 03:32 PM
  1. Ahhh, dating when it's good. I've been there... only once!

    I was dating this one guy, "Seth," who had a lot of great qualities, but we were just dating. Along came "David," who just rocked my world. I knew he had the potential to be something special. I told Seth the truth, nicely. That I was seeing someone else and I really felt that I had to find out where it would go. Seth was very understanding. We remained friends. David and I had a great two months together, but realized it wasn't forever and got out before we got in deeper. But I don't regret my decision to see where it went. It was very important to me at the time.

    I didn't feel the need to get back together with Seth. He just didn't float my boat the way David did. I'm sure if I'd tried, he would have been interested in giving it another shot, but he deserves someone who is as into him as I was into David. Seth and I lost touch, but David and I are still good friends and we both are in happy relationships now, with people much better for us than we were for each other.

    What it comes down to, WIRIP, is I was looking for someone special. If that is what you are looking for, then go for it with Chris. If you just want to have fun... then be honest with everyone about it. Nothing wrong with either choice.

    Posted by sometimes August 13, 09 03:33 PM
  1. me thinks Rico likes hearing his own voice and reading his own words...

    Posted by Anonymous August 13, 09 03:44 PM
  1. I lived that scenario once - but it was only with two guys instead of three. I had a clear favorite that I was falling in love with - but wanted to keep the other one around as a fall back. I realized I had to stop when it occurred to me that I was being unfair to myself and to both guys. I took a chance and dumped 'bachelor #2'. I am now happily married to bachelor #1.

    Posted by Karmen August 13, 09 03:50 PM
  1. Alvin, I think "insurance men" is good. Clear - and distinct from "liner-upper" in our LL lexicon. Use it next week in the Chat to get Meredith's imprimitur. I, sadly, am unlikely to be able to join you in the Chat, but hey, somebody's gotta bring home the acorns.

    Posted by Sasha August 13, 09 03:55 PM
  1. You've been seeing each guy 1-2 times a week for 2 months and no sex yet??? How is that possible??

    Oh wait. You said you "haven't slept with them" yet.

    2 words: Grilled Cheese

    Posted by sean August 13, 09 04:06 PM
  1. This LW has a very good dilemma, and after two months, shouldnt have a problem deciding who is going to get lucky. Her update seems to confirm that Chris will be the lucky one. She is young and has the right to date multiple people until she meets the one she wants to become exclusive with. Most guys wont wait two months for her to decide. Chris is the one, time to deliver some grilled cheeze before he gets frustrated and moves on himself.

    Rico and Sally as most self absorbed people Ive ever read.

    Posted by billy13 August 13, 09 04:56 PM
  1. You gotta be cruel to be kind - in the right measure - You don't have to tell the other 2 guys your whole life situation - just say "I need to break off our dating relationship because I've decided to exclusively date someone". And good luck.

    Posted by Been around August 13, 09 05:33 PM
  1. Are people really this stupid? Or are they just looking for attention...negative or otherwise?

    Or is Meredith just a really creative writer yanking our chain?

    Whatever the answer it's pretty entertaining stuff in the slow days of August!

    Posted by Tommy August 13, 09 05:39 PM
  1. Talk about a packed social calendar... you were having up to 6 dates a week. You did well if you were able to keep the names straight. I think the other two will be disappointed that the grilled cheese buffet will be closing its doors. No soup for you! And yes given your hectic lifesttyle, it's probably time to focus on one guy... good luck with all that.

    Posted by JPeterman August 13, 09 05:40 PM
  1. What? My newly-found LL Mrs. is not going to be in the Chat? It just won't be the same. But never fear Sasha I will give you a full debrief.

    Posted by Alvin August 13, 09 07:24 PM
  1. option a is the correct option. tell the two you've decided to stop seeing that you really like them but need to stop seeing them because you've met someone and have decided to date him exclusively.

    These guys won't likely turn their noses up if for some reason you have motive to contact them in the future.

    However, before doing that and as a final note, I hope you're not picking guy #1 just because he offered. You might want to open up the "dating exlusivity" conversation w/ the other two and see where that goes before making a precipitous decision just because one guy got there first and opened up the subject. And the results of your broaching this with the others may also give you more info about a) the desirability of number one and b) whether nos 2 and 3 are a good fit for a more serious relationship.

    Posted by steve in w ma August 13, 09 08:08 PM
  1. You don't have to choose. You can be polyamorous - look it up. Or better yet, read this book - The Ethical Slut: a guide to infinite sexual possiblities by Dossie Easton and Catherine Liszt. Ethical is the key, you must always be honest.

    Posted by Sarah August 13, 09 08:40 PM
  1. #77--and then you woke up.

    LW--I have BTDT and there is no bridge. You don't really have a connection with those other 2 guys, or you wouldn't even be considering an exclusive relationship with Chris. Just let them down gently and see how things work with Chris.

    Posted by AMS August 13, 09 10:01 PM
  1. Cr!st, I haven't had a date in over a year. Can I have one of the losers?

    Posted by Lisa August 13, 09 10:05 PM
  1. I get the sense that the LW is settling; they want to be in a committed relationship, they like "Chris" enough, so he'll do since he was the first one to mention being exclusive. Questioning whether or not to let the other two go raises a red flag.

    (As an aside, it was difficult to maintain a straight face yesterday when ordering a grilled cheese sandwich for lunch.)

    Posted by lolita August 13, 09 10:25 PM
  1. Most normal guys DON'T want serious relationships unless they're in love and, believe me, two months is no barometer for discerning whether you're in love. Also, we don't date casually except to date casually; if we wanted a serious relationship, we'd pursue t as one. I dated plenty of women a couple of times a week, enjoyed their friendship and ardor, but when they too soon began to suggest more permanency, that was my signal to head for the hills. A guy eventually knows when he is ready for a serious committed relationship and, like I said, normal guys just don't view two months as a reasonable period in which to judge whether you want to spend the rest of your life with a specific woman. Sorry to bust your bubbles, ladies. But two months? Guaranteed any woman who thinks she has found Mr. Right after just two months is desperate and unrealistic. And what's this about not sleeping with any of these three men? Waking up to your lover in the morning, spending time putzing around, and seeing each other in stark reality --- no makeup, morning breath, a little stubble, pre-coffee, each one's normal mood --- is a far better indicator of compatibility than one's profession of wanting to be committed. My rule is simple: if they smile and laugh and talk in the morning, BEFORE they run to the bathroom to brush their teeth and dab on a little makeup, that's a woman I want to know.

    Posted by Eddie Bressoud August 13, 09 10:32 PM
  1. Go rent the movie "Whipped" with Amandat Peete immediately. There, you will find your answer. That is all.

    Posted by Beefstick August 13, 09 10:55 PM
  1. Balancing 3 guys on a pair of high heels, now that's some bragging right!
    You got to let the other two go. Chasing 3 birds at the same time will likely catch none. If you really feel bad for the other two and if "Chris" doesn't mind, offer them a threesome as a parting gift.

    Posted by LuckyGal August 14, 09 01:37 AM
  1. Sadly, a typical answer by Ms. Goldstein where she misses the underlying point of the question. At least this time she didn't hazard anyone's health by giving out blatant misinformation on herpes.

    The surface answer is easy. You want to date Chris exclusively, you date Chris exclusively. The underlying question - and implication - is a a lot more disturbing. "My concern is that if things don’t work out with Chris, I will have burned the proverbial bridge with two other great guys."

    Basically, despite your hemming and hawing about being concerned about "leading them on" (which is exactly what you did by extending this whole process for two months), and "not hurting feelings" your worry isn't for them. It's for you.

    Here's your underlying question, and it's not a pretty one: Is it ok to continue to be selfish and treat guys like attention-giving objects and keep them around as a backup plan?

    You've stated you realized that keeping them around isn't a good idea, but what you haven't stated is why that's the case. Allow me to answer: it's not a good idea because it's morally wrong.

    You've withheld sex from all of them as they have pursued you. That's also wrong - not because it's not ok to not have sex until you're exclusive (which is actually quite good), but because that withholding is what has kept them in pursuit for a ridiculous amount of time. You on the other hand have clearly enjoyed all the attention. It's perfectly fine not to sleep with them since you're not committed, but somehow in the process you are able to overlook that settling down with someone means that you aren't going to be the center of attention for 5 or 6 times a week. Funny how one is acceptable but the other isn't.

    As 179 puts it, it sounds a lot like you're settling for the best option you have. That's condescending to that guy and I feel badly for him in the relationship you're about to enter with him because it's an awful base, but not as condescending to think that guys you reject - yes, that's what you're doing - after investing as much time in you as they have. Yes, their feelings will be hurt. Yes, they're adults. Yes, this is how dating plays out. Yes, they may be angry - and you had best be ready for that, since you deserve it after playing them for that long until you finally had a guy that was ready to date exclusively, which seems to be your major concern. The guys were secondary to that.

    Who knows what will happen with Chris, but I do know that if you decide to get in touch with one of the other two after a while, understand this: you are going to have to do a lot of groveling to get back in their good graces. Dating's rough, but if you treat other people the way you expect to be treated it makes it a little easier. You haven't been fair to the other two, and don't expect them to treat you any fairer on the return serve if it ever happens again.

    Posted by observer12 August 14, 09 01:59 AM
  1. I'm not sure you're even "dating" these guys...you are "hanging out," as it were, paying for dates (sorry, but come on...) and/or splitting the bill, doing lots of daytime activities that pals tend to do...are you sure the other two are that into it that they'll be that disappointed if you fade away? Sounds like they're just losing free meals/dates and the (remote) possibility that after one of these so-called dates you'll buy yourself one too many Margaritas and they'll get lucky. In other words, you're on the back burner.
    Hate to be so cynical here, but (1) the other two, and maybe Chris, are dating other people and are more serious with them than with you, and (2) beware that poor Chris is probably just trying to find the magic words so that you'll sleep with him.

    Posted by Jetta August 14, 09 02:13 AM
  1. Why is everyone so against polyamory? Try it, you'll like it!

    Posted by Lance Romance August 14, 09 07:33 AM
  1. I used to go out with a girl that was dating a married guy. I thought it was cool because she was so easy to be with. I didn't care and wanted her for one thing, sex. It was good for her and me. When we were done I really didn't care what she did. We never even really broke up, I just stopped calling her. I still owe her 30 bucks. She is still single and living in public housing. I, well, have done a lot better. I think girls that do this get a reputation and guy's just, well, don't take them seriously.

    Posted by Paul August 14, 09 08:39 AM
  1. Seriously, 2 months and you haven't hooked up with any of the three? That's the astonishing part. You should hook up with all three and then decide.

    Posted by Trial and Error August 14, 09 09:15 AM
  1. I am late to the party on this one, but is strikes me as odd that you need to ask the question. Wouldn't you know if Chris was the "one" if not the one for life than the one out of these three for right now?
    If you are not looking for a serious relationship that let Chris go and continue having fun with the other two. If you want a relationship but Chris isn't the one you want the relationship with let him go. But is you get butterflies for Chris and would like to see him Friday and Saturday and Sunday...why is this a question?

    Posted by liz August 14, 09 09:35 AM
  1. You and Chris picked each other, so go with him.

    As for the other two, do they know you've been dating around? If they do, then it should be relatively easy to say you've met someone with whom you want to be exclusive. But if they don't know you've been dating around, then please consider the possibility that each might think he is the only one you're dating, and that each might have been dating only you. Dating is hard for guys, too, and any of the three might think you and he have been dating only each other for 2 months. So be honest, but gentle, maybe along the lines of , "I've had a really good time, and I like you as a person, but I'm just not feeling a deeper/long-term romantic connection." Normal people accept that no one can make you feel something that isn't there, and most people would want to cut their losses and move on from someone if there's no potential. As for continuing to be friends with other guys, I would take your cue from them. In my opinion the dumpee gets to be in charge of that.

    Posted by play nice August 14, 09 09:53 AM
  1. Chris is her pick because Chris picked her. Way to go! Way to avoid risk and take the safe bet.

    Have sex with all of them at least once for a few reasons:
    1. You probably spent lots of time and money
    2. You might have one ring your bell and make a real connection. Chris may be clingy and sob after sex (which is lame).
    3. You are curious and they are curious
    4. You will never have this chance again

    Posted by IamChachi August 14, 09 10:51 AM
  1. It's been two months. Sleep with Chris before making your final decision.

    Given you do like them, it would suck to have let the other two guys go only to find out that Chris just wanted to get you into bed rather than genuinely interested in a relationship or is a selfish, immature, deluded, or simply bad lover.

    Posted by Sa(h)ra August 14, 09 03:22 PM
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Meredith Goldstein is a Boston Globe columnist who follows relationship trends and entertainment. She offers daily advice on Love Letters — and welcomes your comments. Meredith is also the author of "The Singles," a novel about complicated relationships. Follow Meredith at www.meredithgoldstein.netand on Twitter. Love Letters can be found in the print edition of The Boston Globe every Saturday in the G section.

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