Online Dating

Serious or Serial Online Dater? How Many People You Should Date at Once

Julie Spira

Written by: Julie Spira

Julie Spira

Julie Spira is a leading online dating expert and founder of She’s the bestselling author of The Perils of Cyber-Dating and creates irresistible profiles for singles.

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Edited by: Lillian Castro

Lillian Castro

Lillian Guevara-Castro brings more than 30 years of journalism experience to ensure DatingAdvice articles have been edited for overall clarity, accuracy, and reader engagement. She has worked at The Atlanta Journal and Constitution, The Gwinnett Daily News, and The Gainesville Sun covering lifestyle topics.

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When you first join an online dating site, it’s exciting to see an overflowing inbox of men or women who are interested in communicating with you.

The majority of people create an online dating profile with the goal of retiring it and riding into the sunset together.

Some people get lucky and meet someone they connect with right away. Others can stay on the dating sites for months or even years.

The question you have to ask yourself is: Are you a serious dater, or are you a serial dater?

Let’s talk about the serious dater first.

This is the person who is looking for a meaningful connection and hopes online dating will be the solution to help them meet the right one.

In order to get there, it’s common to date multiple people at a time to find out exactly what you’re looking for. It’s a process and it’s worth devoting the time.

I do recommend singles date more than one person at a time. There’s no need to put all of your eggs in one digital basket with online dating.

Questions I get asked frequently are, “What’s the magic number? How many people should I be dating at once?”

While the answer may vary, typically I believe three is a manageable number. While you’re dating three people at a time, I don’t recommend sleeping with any of them.

There’s no contest to see how many dates you can add to your calendar. More isn’t always better.

It can become confusing and you don’t want to have the embarrassment of forgetting your date’s name or where you went on the past date.

While three makes a lot of sense, that doesn’t mean scheduling four or five dates a week is a bad idea if they are first dates.

Remember, you’re on a dating site. He’s on a dating site. Assume you both are scheduling dates until you have the conversation of becoming exclusive.


“For some, online dating makes them

feel like a kid in a candy store.”

When do you become a serial dater?

Online dating addiction isn’t uncommon.

For some, especially after the end of a long-term relationship or marriage, online dating makes them feel like a kid in a candy store. This often turns into a “shopping cart” mentality for daters who think there might be a prettier face in the next email.

If you feel like retiring your online dating profile is something you can’t live with and not receiving new emails every day from potential suitors or with your latest matches will become depressing to you, I have news for you: More is not better.

Logging on when you get home from an incredible date could send a bad message that you’re looking to fill the rest of your date card.

Unfortunately, it’s so easy to view his profile to see when he last logged on, and it can make you feel anxious or even depressed.

At the end of the digital day, dating can be an enjoyable process of learning more about yourself and others. If you’re looking for a serious relationship, don’t spend your entire time looking for a series of dates.

Readers, how many people have you dated at the same time?

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