Monday, January 18, 2010

Tangled Web of Love: Dating Overlap Problem

Written by Lauren K. of Love Kudos

I live in a city of approximately 1 million people according to the Austin Chamber of Commerce. However, it seems like I live in a tangled web of about 5000 people that I constantly see at bars, clubs, restaurants, grocery stores, the gym, and even on the street. It is appealing to be in a place where everyone knows your name, but this concept lacks some charm when your pool of single men is limited to about 200 people. As most of our Love Kudos readers already know, I am a member of both Jdate and Match in the pursuit to find one male to enhance my life. Well, lately I have found that this is becoming an increasing more difficult task due to a "dating overlap" problem.

About a month ago, coincidentally I discovered that I was dating the same guy as a pretty good friend of mine. We only dated briefly, but it turned into a very awkward situation. Ryan* had even met some of my friends at a birthday party, so I had publicly exposed him to part of my world. At the time, I felt confident that we would date for awhile, so I was not weirded out by having him meet some of my friends. Since it was so new, I had a hunch that he was dating other people, but I never would have suspected that he was dating someone in my inner circle. You are probably wondering, "How did you find out he was dating someone else and how did you connect the dots?"

After vacationing in Atlanta, the male in question, Ryan, called me to let me know that he met someone else in Austin and wanted to see where things went with this other woman. He did not want to share too many details. I was disappointed, but I accepted his choice and thanked him for being a good guy. Many times men avoid confronting the situation altogether or continue to date both women for an extended period of time. "Bravo" to Ryan.

I called my usual small group of friends to share my disappointment in Ryan's choice, one of which was to the woman he chose, Wendy*. I knew that I would get past the "minor upset," but I wanted my cheering squad to lift me up. All of my friends called back except Wendy. I did not think much of it at the time, but about a week later I saw that Wendy was not only friends with Ryan, but had posted a picture with him on Facebook. I thought, "Wow, I can't believe how small Austin is." My ego was definitely bruised. I admit that I did not contact Wendy a second time to let her know that she was "the other woman." I was hoping that she would eventually call me back after she found out through a mutual friend of our "dating overlap" situation. I guess she made the conclusion that our friendship was not all that important or perhaps, she was afraid of how I would react. I not only lost a potential man from the situation, but a friend through it.

I recently found out that Wendy went on a couple of dates with someone else who was interested in me. We never went out, but Adam* had asked me out several times. Adam lives out of town and comes into Austin occasionally for work. We are facebook friends and he noticed that I was also friends with Wendy. He sent me a message, "How do you know Wendy? She broke my heart, sort of, not really." He got my attention, so I asked him to clarify what he meant by his comment. He said that he went out with Wendy the last time he was in Austin and thought they hit it off, only to find out later that she met someone else that she liked better. Clearly, it was Ryan. "What are the chances that Wendy and I would have overlap on two separate occasions?" In addition to my crossover with Wendy, Lindsay K. and I were discussing that several men have emailed me that she has corresponded with. Luckily, Lindsay and I always discuss who we are going on dates with, even if it is a first one, partly to avoid unnecessary competition with each other.

In Austin, it is not uncommon for there to be friends of mine that have gone on dates with former flings, but it was not until recently, that I realized how frequent "dating overlap" occurs, particularly with online dating.

Is there a best practice guide to handling the "dating overlap" problem?

I believe there is. Stay tuned to Love Kudos' follow up blog on how to keep your friends and still be true to your own needs in the dating process.

By: Lauren K. of Love Kudos

*All names have been changed to respect the anonymity of the people we date and all parties involved.

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JG said...

"Though I don't always follow this advice, my general rule of thumb is to not date anyone in your existing social circle. And unless you live in NYC or Israel, then your local JDaters are also in your social circle due to the size of the community.
One of the *many* reasons I don't use JDate. "

Thad said...

I've got a lot of Jewish friends here in NYC, and some have overlapped, and one even ended up going out with the same girl a few years after a failed dating experience (which led us all to give him a hard time for the next month).

Anonymous said...

Do you think she knew that you were dating the same guy? She obviously does not know girl code.

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