Photo: Susie Malbacias

In my mother’s youth, dating meant going on a series of public outings with someone to discover if you were compatible for the long haul (i.e., for that most daunting word of all words: “marriage”). And if you were popular, you dated more than one person at the same time. The difference between my mother’s generation and today’s so-called dating boils down to one thing–sex. We have sex more readily these days and with less emphasis on commitment. Usually a girl doesn’t need to be going “steady” with me–or wear my class ring chained around her neck–to go to bed with me.

But what if you find yourself wanting to date different people, keep it light, and see who’s the best fit? I suppose no one cares–if you aren’t sleeping with any of them. But let’s just say you are sleeping with all of them. Then, by today’s standards, you’re a player. And that, my friends, is not a reputation you want if you’re serious about being in a relationship.

One of the healthiest attempts at dating that I’ve seen involves a lesbian friend of mine who met a woman with whom she has fantastic chemistry. Neither one of them is really in the right place for a serious relationship but they dig each other’s mojo and conversation. And so they spend time together when it suits their schedules. They call it “Dating Lite.” My friend has no idea when her sweet adventure will end and she doesn’t care. She’s just having fun.

Dating should be about having fun and getting to know someone. Never, ever worry about anyone else’s opinion about what you’re doing and how you’re doing it. Are your friends really fairing that much better than you in the dating department? Ha! I thought not.