Is Playing the Field the Game for You?

Maybe you're frustrated with the idea of having a "one and only," or perhaps you think the fastest way to find The One is to date more than one person at a time. No matter your particular motive, there are plenty of reasons to give up total monogamy in favor of juggling several hotties at once.

Playing the field isn't for all of us, but it certainly can be fun. Just be sure you've developed a game plan before stepping up to bat. Some simple strategies:

Set the Rules. By "dating" do you mean dinner, a movie and a chaste good night kiss? Or does sex factor into the equation? How forthcoming will you be with your dates if they ask if you're seeing anyone? Know what you want and stick to it; don't make up the rules as you go along.

Take Notes. An immediate challenge will simply be keeping track of your conversations and who you told what. Open dating requires a good memory and attention to detail. You have to remember which date has the parakeet, which hates seafood and which one you already told your funniest stories to. Invest in a calendar with wide margins for your notes on your favorite players.

Prepare for the Physical Challenges of the Game. When passion heats up, how will you deal with the issue of sex? In addition to the obvious safety issues that arise when you have more than one sexual partner, you should also consider jealousy, both yours and theirs. If you're sleeping with one date and not another, expect some envy and hurt if he finds out. And how about you? Are you okay with your date bed-hopping, too?

Handling Strike-Outs and Home Runs. Ideally, in the bottom of the ninth, one player will become a clear stand-out. Do your victory dance, but be sure to shake hands and nicely say goodbye to the losing team. But be prepared if you don't come out a winner. What if you want to date exclusively, but the feeling isn't reciprocated? Can you also handle your date dumping you in favor of someone else they've been seeing? Sometimes, even the hottest player strikes out. Dust yourself off and take to the field again. Remember, it's all part of the game.

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