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Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Hide And Seek

Dear Mistress Maeve,

I'm divorced after a 15-year relationship and have recently started dating again, thus I am a little vague on the rules.

I've met a few men through online personals. After a few nice dates with a guy, I'm not interested in meeting anyone else until I see what happens with the guy I'm seeing. At what point do I "temporarily hide" my profile? I don't want to prematurely and publicly declare myself off the market, especially because it might scare off the guy I'm dating.

However, keeping my profile active, I find myself ignoring other inquiries that could potentially be missed opportunities. I'm not into dating more than one guy at a time, so when do I hide my profile from public view? If the thing to do is leave my profile up, how do I politely respond to inquiries that come in while I'm dating someone else?

Thanks for the help,

Experienced at Life, Novice at Dating


Dear Experienced Novice,

Sure, life would be easier if you could date one guy at a time — but you're dating online, where everyone is entertaining the idea of dating other people. With all the winking, profile creeping and emails, it's almost ridiculous to think you could focus your energies on just one courtship at a time. Anyway, why should you? It's possible to date one guy while emailing back and forth with another. In fact, it's probably prudent to do so. Dating is a crapshoot, and you're right — you don't want to miss opportunities.

Keep your profile public until you are in a secure, monogamous relationship (if that's what you're going for). Until then, you don't have to pursue other singles actively, but you can most certainly entertain the advances of other gentleman callers. If it makes you feel better, be honest with the other guys. Tell them you've been on a couple dates with someone else, and you're interested to see where it goes; however, in the meantime, you can get to know each other via email.

One more thing. You're just out of a 15-year relationship, so what's the rush? Instead of working on landing another long-term relationship, perhaps you should focus on meeting as many new people as possible, thereby creating options for yourself rather than limiting your choices.



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