When dating someone who is dating multiple people, how do you deal with the possibility of that person having sex with others?
So, say you’re only dating 1 person, and that 1 person tells you he/she’s been seeing other people, and that he/she had sex with them, how do you deal with that fact? that maybe after your date, he/she’s busy the next day because he/she might have another date and possibly sex as well?
Good question! I think that if the person is already being open and honest about how they are dating, and the fact that they have multiple sexual partners, they’d probably be open to having an open and honest conversation about sex. Which I would recommend of course.
Frankly, I recommend having an open and honest conversation about sex whether people lead with overt honesty or not. If you’re single and dating, assume that the person you’re going on a date with is dating and sleeping with multiple partners until they tell you otherwise, and then even then, until they commit to a monogamous relationship. I’m not saying that’s what all single people do, I’m just saying that when it comes to your sexual health, it’s always better to err on the side of caution than not. Assuming that you’re dating someone and it gets to the point where you’re considering sex, it’s better to risk offending them than to risk your sexual health. I’m not even coming from a moral place here, I’m coming from a purely pragmatic “consider your genitals” place.
If you’re sleeping with someone who tells you that they’re not sleeping with anyone else, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t use protection. Again, not a moral stance, more of a don’t risk your health stance. If they aren’t sleeping with any other partners right now, that doesn’t mean that they have a clean bill of health, just that there aren’t any current sexual partners that they’re sleeping with. I’d recommend, as I always do without fail, that condoms are a prerequisite for sex. It doesn’t matter if the person looks clean, or tells you they are clean, or is on birth control. Condoms should be non-negotiable.
The same goes for people who freely admit that they have multiple sexual partners. I would take things a bit further and ask about their STD testing history. Again, I want to continue stressing, that this isn’t a moral judgment, but something you’re doing to mitigate your own risks. You should ask in general, but you definitely should ask about someone’s testing history if multiple partners are involved. This isn’t to say that people with STDs are bad people, just that you should know your risks. In addition to asking about testing history, you should be getting regularly testing done as well. “But, what if I was monogamous for years and now I’m single and only had the one partner?” you might be wondering and to that I say, better to be 100% sure based on science than not. If you or your partner were never tested prior to getting together, it’s entirely possible that you or your partner could have an STD, be asymptomatic while you were dating, so you could be putting yourself and others at risk. Besides the life-or-death stakes of HIV or AIDS, some STDs cause infertility, sterility, blindness, ulcers, seizures, meningitis, increase risks of cancer, cirrhosis, and a few other serious conditions I may have missed. So you know, no judgment or anything, I’d just prefer if you didn’t go blind because you neglected to get tested. Or worse.
Enough grim stuff though! Dating, and talking about sex when dating, can be tough but if you’re open and honest it can also be a lot of fun once you get past the awkward conversations. Most people aren’t sleeping with multiple partners, most people don’t currently have a communicable disease (not that it would make them a bad person if they did), and most people are fairly comfortable discussing potential risk factors, in way less formal terms then I am right now. If you’re in a situation where you’re wondering if someone is dating multiple people, ask about it. If they confirm that they are, ask if they’re sleeping with other people in a non-judgmental way and they’re bound to open up. No matter their answer, always use protection. Period.
Protect yourself, have frank discussions about sexual history and the potential of multiple partners, and above all else, have fun. If you’re consenting adults who want to have sex, communicate about it, know your risks, and decide sex is on the table, might as well have fun while you do it.
Good Luck Out There.