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?
What questions do you have about dating several men simultaneously? Send your issue to Goddess@DatingGoddess.com.
The first of the 13 Adventures in Delicious Dating After 40 books will be released soon! So watch this blog for how to get your autographed copy!