Originally Posted by valancy
I have been very clear about keeping our issues separate from the dating issues. For example, too many late nights at work means not enough time together. I do NOT want to date someone else because I feel I get too little time with you. I don't want you to feel I am abandoning you for someone else. I also don't want to cut into the limited time we do have together right now. How do we negotiate this around our schedules and that of the person I am interested in? Etc.
I don't have much advice about most of this - but for that I schedule time with my live in partner first. We have set date nights. If either of us started dating somebody who for some reason was only available on our already scheduled date nights with each other, either we'd negotiate moving our date nights to other nights(s) if both were willing
, or we just wouldn't date that person.
It might also be helpful to set up a limit. Here we can out of the gate date somebody 2x a week. If that relationship gets serious/lasting, we are welcome to ask for more time, but we can't just start scheduling more than that without a discussion. We each have up to 4 nights a week that we can be off doing things a week if we want, (dates, friend activities, bowling) and will be at home for 3 nights.
One of those is a set date night with each other and one a set night a week to both be home together, so we know if we have a problem we want to discuss, that we can count on us both being home that day. It makes it possible to hold of on talking about an issue late at night when the other person gets home when emotions are more likely to get tense, if we know that we have a whole night we can talk about it in a couple of days. That third night is important for household chores and such, it sucks when your partner schedules themselves so heavily that you're stuck picking up the household slack while they're out having fun.
Just to be clear, neither of us takes advantage of all those, we are home more often than that. We have both noticed that if we get that busy it does take a toll on us, so although above is what we've negotiated, if we were both gone 4 nights a week for a few weeks and at least one of those nights a week wasn't a group activity where we were together, we'd probably quickly formally negotiate decreasing it in order to enable us to have more time to hang out together. I think our agreement is currently more liberal than it should be for both our comforts, so thanks for the reminder to check in with my husband and see what he thinks!
I tend to think 2 date nights a week max with a new person works well (lots of people are only comfortable with one a night too, so I'd really discuss that upfront with your partner. We usually only end up with one date night a week at first, since other people have schedules to juggle too - and its easier to check in on how your partner is doing with things if you start slow
), even if you were looking for a co-primary relationship (which you dont seem to be) it's not like it cant be ramped up later, but it is MUCH more traumatic to everybody involved if you start off with 3-4 nights a week and your partner has to say its a problem and ask you to date less. Deal with problems before they occur, I always say.
I will say - if you don't want to cut into your already limited time together, and she feels the same, I really would advise you NOT to date others, unless perhaps she'd be OK with being friends and hanging out with the person you were dating so you were still spending much of your "hanging out with your other partner time" with her too. Most of the time that's not so likely to be doable for all involved. But to reiterate - if you or she don't feel you have enough time together as your relationship is, or its just enough to keep you or her from feeling abandoned, starting another relationship is asking for trouble in my opinion.