Not too long ago a brother from Texas called me out in one of his comments on this site. He accused me of being another brother selling out guys to “make a buck” off of women. The comment didn’t offend me because it couldn’t be further from the truth, or my mission. I think the crux of his frustration is that I often call out the double standards for women in relationship to men. One of those double standards is the ability to date multiple people at once.

A recently divorced sister-friend and I were talking about how excited she was to finally jump back into the dating scene. She survived a very long separation and subsequent divorce. During which time she was focused on healing and dealing with the emotional strain of that drama. She wanted her spirit to be clear before entering into a new relationship and I supported her in that decision. Now, she is ready to get her groove back and I completely support that one too.

Being the fly girl she is, it didn’t take my sister-friend long to go on her first few dates. Actually, she had four dates in one week. She was in overdrive and loving it. At first, she was concerned about being rusty, but in her words it was “like riding a bike.” She fell back into the swing of things despite a ten-year hiatus. I congratulated her because that is rare for most people.

Then, my sister-friend said, “But, I have a major problem.”  I asked her what could be the problem since she was having so much success. “I like them all,” she replied. I fell out laughing because who would ever think that a perfect batting average could be a problem. She went onto explain that she had never dated multiple guys at once before. “I don’t want people thinking I’m [loose]!”

Her comment led to a discussion about the double standard for men and women in dating. Men can date as many girls as they want and are viewed as playboys or players. Women on the other hand are viewed less favorably and given not so nice titles. It’s a long talked about issue, but even in this day my sister-friend was concerned about it, which means the double standard still exists.

“Well, if you like them all then, date them all. Be upfront with them that you’re not looking for anything serious or even monogamous, if that’s the case. And, if they can’t deal, that’ll make room for another one,” I encouraged her. The last thing she needed was to jump back into a serious relationship with someone before she determined what was out there swimming around in the sea.

With that said, I knew the reality was that many guys weren’t going to be able to deal with a woman being so candid about dating other guys although men do it all the time. But, she couldn’t be worried about what the guys thought or anyone else for that matter. It’s a different time so I further encouraged her to enjoy it and focus only on what she wanted. It was time she started living for herself by her standards.

We all are challenged by society’s concept of what is right or wrong. It can handcuff your life if you live by someone else’s standards, especially in dating. If you have it like that, why not date multiple men?  I say, play on “Playette!”

Wishing you love and ceaseless joy! Follow @NathanHWilliams on Twitter.

Nathan’s book INSPIRATION: Profiles of Black Women Changing Our World is available now.

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