With juggling, one or 2 doesn’t really count…it’s when the numbers increase to 3 or higher that it gets dicey. It can be complicated juggling a few men at a time, but it is possible. As a woman who averages 2-4 dates a week, I’m writing this for myself to keep the basics in mind.
You aren’t doing anything wrong by juggling; you are just spreading your wonderful presence in the dating pool, making yourself available to what you truly seek and getting lots of free food in the process. Juggling also helps you not to come on too strongly on one person and scare Mr. Right away.
In your mind, visualise your stove top. It has 4 burners, two in the front and two in the back. This is the basic concept of juggling, you rotate positions of the men, when they are in front, they get prime attention, and if for some reason they don’t engage you, they get put on the back burner. New guys get put on the back burner as well, until they work their way up to the front burner.
Organisation: First of all, you need to have a way of keeping the guys straight. Use a notebook, a little black book, your calendar, Outlook Express or your PDA. Yes, your brain can be an effective tool as well, but having somewhere else that has everything stored would even be better. You don’t want to be sitting at home in your knickers when Tom knocks on the door to pick you up do you? My personal favorite is Outlook Express calendar, because you can input all the information about the guys as well as notes on how your dates went.
I have a friend that keeps notecards of each guy. When she meets them, she creates a card with their name, age and important things to know. This helps her keep track of who is whom. She reads them before each date and updates them after. It’s good to have a notebook to write down thoughts on the guy while it’s still fresh on your mind after each date. That way you also have a hard copy of reasons why you don’t like him.
Honesty: This is essential to any juggling scenario. Let the guys know that they are not the only one you are talking to or seeing. I know that you might be scared to do this, thinking that it will scare them off, however, it has been my experience that you being upfront about it only increases your attractiveness. For some reason, guys love competition and they will try harder to be the one to win your affection. However, do not tell them how many guys that you are juggling (it’s none of their business) and research hasn’t proven what number is acceptable to tell them anyway.
Grooming: Even though you have a full wardrobe of clothes, it’s good to invest in a few ‘date tops’ before you start juggling. That way, if you have a date for every night of the week, you have clothes to wear. I tend to wear the same outfits for the first three dates with each guy, (which is how long he notices what you wear anyway). Having lots of date tops keeps you off worrying what to wear. Just iron the cleanest flirty top, throw on a pair of tight jeans and heels and you are good to go.
Disclosure: The rules of disclosure are simple. Listen more and talk less. You are trying to find out if he’s worthy enough to stay in your rotation, so ask him questions, keep him talking. Do not mention any of the other guys while on the date. Don’t relate charming anecdotes about them, talk about your previous date last week at the same restaurant or anything that will remind him that you are seeing other guys. Keep your mobile phone off or on vibrate. For the time he is with you, you have to give him all of your attention. Guys dig girls that give them loads of attention. You will be your most charming, scintillating and enchanting self.
Phone Calls: It’s hard to talk to 4 or more guys on the phone at the same time. However, since men don’t like being on the phone that much in the first place, this is a rule that you can get around pretty easily. Use the phone like they do, as a source of communication for planning dates and follow up calls.
If he does happen to catch you on the phone, let him know that you are in the middle of something, it’s not a good time to chat, you have an engagement that you are heading out the door for, or you have an early meeting the next day. Try not to talk too much on the phone because you might not be able to remember who said what. If you can’t gracefully get off the phone immediately, keep your conversation brief and mention the basic life story that you tell everyone else…sticking to the same disclosure patterns help you to stay focused and not wonder whether it was Jim that you told your bungee jumping story to or Ted.
Scheduling: For guys on the front burner, they have garnered your interest and you do want to see them as soon as possible. However, it’s essential to have your dates planned in advance. I always require a 48 hour notice before a date can even make it on my calendar and a pre-date phone call just to flesh out details. Back burner guys tend to have a longer wait period. That means that if he calls you on Wednesday for a Thursday date it’s not going to happen no matter how cute he is.
When declining be sure to say, “I would have liked to go with you but I made plans already.” Do not change your plans under any circumstances even if they happen to be an evening at home by yourself chilling in your boudoir knickers, another date, or a girls night out. Don’t tell him what you are up to, just let him know emphatically that you already have plans. DO NOT CHANGE YOUR PLANS. Be firm but nice, letting them know that your time books up quickly and they have to make plans ahead in advance. If they are smart, they will realise this and start asking you for dates ahead of time.
They will be left wondering who you are with and what you are doing.This also gives them more time to look forward to the meeting and increases your attractiveness. You are a girl in high demand. It further piques their interest because they figure that there has got to be something special about you (after all, all these guys are clamoring for your attention!)
Sex & Intimacies: While juggling, please bear in mind that under no circumstances are you supposed to sleep with any of the men. You are just dating, not training to be on the next season of the Bachelorette. However, I encourage kissing on the first date, that way, if he can’t kiss you guys don’t have chemistry, you will know early enough and not have to waste a spot on your burner on the guy that lies in your mouth like a dead fish.
If you do have chemistry with one (or 2!) of the guys, keep the intimacies light – first and 2nd-base stuff. Kissing, making out, holding hands, these are all acceptable while you are juggling. Be sure to communicate that you aren’t going to have sex with him and don’t lead him on physically. I tend not to have sex outside of an exclusive relationship, and articulate this early enough for clarification’s sake. Front burner guys are usually the ones I’m most interested in and the others get less physicalities. Just be sure to protect yourself at all times.
Breaking Up: Keeping guys in rotation is an involved process and time shouldn’t be wasted on guys that you don’t even like. If you decide that he’s not worthy of your attention, let him know that you are just not available anymore. You don’t have to go into any reasons, just be sure to firmly state that you are no longer available to date. Don’t give him a wishy-washy yellow light, some of these guys are obtuse and need a strong shove to get out of your hair. After you have given him the Unavailable speech, refuse all his calls and don’t return his messages thereafter. Eventually he will get it and leave you be.
Retiring: Ok, so you’ve juggled men for a few months and you have finally found one that you can imagine settling in with for a while. Before you drop the other guys out of your rotation, Mr. Right must articulate to you that he wants you two to be exclusive. When he does ask you, tell him that you will think about it and get back to him. During this ‘Thinking’ period, you gently cut the other guys out of rotation, just by telling them that you would like to “explore the depths of a relationship with this other guy you have been seeing.” Chances are, they will retreat gracefully and kick themselves for not being more aggressive in the pursuit of you. This also immortalises you in their mind as a cool chick. Eventually, if things with Mr. Right don’t work out, you can always contact your old rotation guys and let them know that you are available again.
Now tell Mr. Right that you would like to try to have a deeper relationship with him. You have to use the word try because you don’t want him to all of a sudden kick back and relax thinking that he has you on lockdown. Don’t let him know how long the trial period will last, just subtly slip it into the conversation. This way, he tries even harder to please you and make you happy.
Those are the basics ladies. Besides that make safety a prerequisite. Meet them in a neutral, public setting and use your common sense. Let a friend know where you are going and with whom…blah blah blah!
Remember to have fun on each of your dates. Fun begins from within and even if the date isn’t that fun, at least you will have a funny story to relate afterwards.
Vixen is author of The Bad Girls Guide