Keeping the man-funnel full

People often ask why I continue to communicate with new men after I’ve met one for coffee, or even accepted a second date. Why, they ask, don’t I just stop communicating with others and stay focused on one at a time?

Dating is, to some degree, a numbers game.

Of course there are stories of people finding long-term happiness with the first person with whom they went out. Good for them! I’m even a tad envious of my divorced neighbor who met the sweetie she’s been dating for 2 years after going out with only 8 other men in the previous 6 months.

I, on the other hand, have recently had a date with my ninety-second man. (See Ambiva-date.) People ask me if I’m trying to get to number 100. I say, “No, I’m trying to get to number 93!” I’d be happy if the next man I met was The One. I have no need to try to reach some arbitrary number.

Knowing what I now know, I believe it’s important to keep the man-funnel full — even if just partially full. That means that I continue responding to inquiries from men who meet my basic criteria. Right now I’m juggling 8 men via email, phone and IM. Some are potentially viable matches. Some are age or geographically undesirable but have something compelling about them, so we stay in touch. We’ve become flirtatious pen pals, knowing the likelihood we’ll actually meet is pretty small.

Why keep your funnel full? If my numbers are any indication of the norm, only 10-20% of contacts will result in a face-to-face meeting. During the emailing or phoning stage one or both of you will decide there’s no interest, so will say so directly or just stop communicating.

Of those I met for coffee, twice as many were one-meeting encounters as those who warranted a second date.

So you keep your the man-stream flowing as so many drop out that if you only communicate with one at a time it will take a long time to find someone with enough mutual interest to see each other a second, let alone subsequent, time.

What if you find it difficult to get one man in your funnel, let alone multiples? If you’re online, you may need to rewrite your profile, post more flattering pictures or adjust your criteria. (See “The man-sieve.”)

And there’s always the question of “How do you keep them all straight?” It is easy with my Date-A-Base). One friend tracks those in his pipeline through a spreadsheet. Whatever you do, keep some notes, otherwise you’ll ask the same questions you just asked in the previous conversation — which is a turn off!

What’s your take on keeping the man-funnel full? Are you a one-at-a-time gal or do you embrace the funnel-full philosophy?


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9 responses to “Keeping the man-funnel full”

  1. Mike Avatar

    Good for you cause I can never do that. I’m such a focuser.

  2. Dating Goddess Avatar

    Hi Mike:

    The stereotype, which holds a lot of truth, is women are better multitaskers than men! Although there is plenty of evidence of men juggling more than one woman, so I’m not sure how they do it!

  3. nysharon Avatar

    Hi DG, Happy Holidays.
    I agree with your philosophy. And I do believe most men do the same. I have been on-line for 3 plus months now. I am still seeing the 3rd man I met in person 3 months ago but it has been a weekly dinner date with 3 and sometimes 4 days in between when I don’t hear from him. I think I hid my profile too soon so its been back up now. He has taken his off. He has never mentioned exclusivity and I haven’t met his children or been to his home–so I am continuing to meet new people and my profile is still up. He was in the process of moving this past month so I am giving it more leaway. We will see what happens over the holidays. Until then, I have 2 men I will meet. I am perplexed and am not sure what the deal is. Only time will tell. In the meantime, I enjoy his company and am still looking.

  4. Devon Avatar

    Having a few potential dates going at once is a good approach, and keeps morale up when the on-line dating world looks bleak. I found I was only able to keep track of 3-4 at a time.

  5. nysharon Avatar

    3 months dating him. Glad I still have others I am talking to on-line. One holiday over, no card, gift–just a phone call. Never made an effort to see me but good excuses after I invited him, no invite to join him either. He is in his new house now–never seen it or mention of it, and still no mention of New Years Eve. Last night we spoke and still no future date set–just nebulousness. Last words were “talk to you soon”. I think I have an emotionally unavailable on my hands. HMMMMM–this may be the deal breaker. What do you think?

  6. nysharon Avatar

    Next question? What do I say to him. Isn’t fair that I let him know that he doesn’t seem interested enough to keep my interest? Or do I just not return calls.

  7. Dating Goddess Avatar

    Hi Sharon;

    I think you have enough information to release him back into the dating pool.

    If it were me, I’d give him a message (your choice of the vehicle) of “It’s become clear to me that we want different things out of a relationship. So I’m going to continue my search for someone with similar goals and I wish you luck finding someone to meet yours.”

    He seems like a minimal-effort guy so he’s not on the same page as what you want. The message would be honest but not go into details. If he wants more info he can contact you. i’d bet he won’t. Next!

  8. nysharon Avatar

    Thanks for the words. I think I will wait to see how long it is before I hear from him again especially with the weekend approaching–just out of curiosity. I have been making way more effort than him–you are right. I am planning to enjoy a relaxing New Years at home for a change and starting fresh.

  9. Chelle Avatar

    I agree with the funnel approach, or as I say keeping the roster full. Maybe I’m taking a page from the man manual, but I feel I have to keep many options because most will end up being losers or cowards. Luckily, I’m able to keep options but the turnover is pretty high. So as the dating goddess said, dozens or maybe hundreds of men might have to be “tested” before
    finding the one and you will probably fail with 99% of the other men you deal with before finding your match(s).