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Multidating: Is It for You?

It's okay to do, but you need to be a good juggler

Set limits. You can email, telephone and coffee-date three or four prospects simultaneously. I don't know about you, but after a few weeks of that pace I need a break. So I take down my online profile to rest and regroup. I hang out with friends or spend time alone — and make it a practice not to even think about dating.

No bed-hopping. Having sex with multiple partners doesn't work — not for me, at any rate, because I prefer not to be sexual with someone until there's enough mutual juice for a monogamous relationship. Sex is entirely about investing my heart these days. I'm not willing to do that casually.

Avoid KICSS (Kid in the Candy Store Syndrome). When I first sampled multidating online, I felt like a child with a sweet tooth facing a mountain of chocolate: I had to teach myself not to overindulge. Perhaps the best way to maintain focus and "date smart" is to limit your profile surfing to about half an hour each evening; beyond that time, quite frankly, photos and profiles start to blur.

Try not to panic. I once found myself dating two women who were both named Terry. They lived in the same town and had similar-sounding voices, which made for some terrifying moments — and awkward pauses — whenever I picked up the phone and heard "Hi, Ken — it's Terry!" Finally Terry No. 2 bowed out, fed up with what she took to be my perpetual bewilderment. I have to say I was relieved to see her go.

Dating multiple partners is a great way to meet a lot of women, but it's not for the faint of heart. Nor is it for men whose organizing skills tend toward the casual. If you decide to play the digital field, keep careful notes — and don't forget to take a breather from the romance race every once in a while.

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