Ask Em: Three Guys and No Lies

Is it OK to talk to multiple people at the same time? How can I stop feeling so guilty?



Is it OK to talk to three people at once? Em answers any relationship questions you might have.


Dear Em,

Is it OK to talk to multiple people at the same time? I’m talking to three people, and they all seem like great guys, but I’m not in a relationship with any of them. How can I stop feeling so guilty? 

-Triple Timer 

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Dear Triple Timer,

Dating in NYC is already a hellscape — it’s hard to find one person you connect with, let alone multiple. But whenever you do, it can be overwhelming to juggle conversations with several people. 

The thing to keep in mind is that you are not doing anything wrong. In fact, you’re in a pretty privileged position. You have options. Enjoy that, and don’t feel guilty! 

Unless you have made a commitment to one person or had a conversation about being exclusive, it is fair to assume that you are free to talk to other people. I’m not sure how long you have been talking to these respective people, but it can take time to find someone with whom you really click. I promise you that whoever you are talking to is most likely also talking to multiple people themselves. Take dating apps, for instance. They’re created with the express purpose of connecting single people with multiple prospective partners, and there is nothing wrong with talking to more than one at a time. 

Stay true to yourself, and make sure that you are not sabotaging something potentially great.

Don’t be afraid to go on dates and meet all of these people in person. Chemistry online is very different from chemistry in person. Share your location and meet somewhere public, but put yourself out there. As long as you take measures to keep yourself safe, meeting someone in person is a great way to figure out if you have a lasting connection. 

You might be feeling guilty for talking to multiple people because there is one person in particular that you know you like above the rest. If there is one person that stands out from the pack, pursue them. Stay true to yourself, and make sure that you are not sabotaging something potentially great. But the second that you reach a decision about wanting a future with that one person, let the other ones go. Trust your gut, and stay honest with everyone. You don’t want to lead anyone on or hurt anyone’s feelings, so as long as you are upfront with everyone that you are talking to, you are in a golden position to get to know multiple people. 

It’s also important to keep in mind that you are not obligated to enter into a relationship with any of them. If none of them feel right for you, that is fine. If you’re not looking to enter into a relationship right now, that’s fine as well. I recommend asking the people you’re talking to why they are putting themselves out there. It’s essential to make sure you are all on the same page. That might be a first step toward alleviating some of that guilt you’re feeling. 

Enjoy being young and single. Dating can cause anxiety, but it’s important to remember that you are a college student in New York City. You should be using this time to get to know yourself and build the future that you want. If one of these people fits into your five-year plan, then great. But you’ll be perfectly fine either way. 

All my love,


all my love, emily

Have any questions about love and relationships in NYC or Fordham? Ask Em! Submit your dilemma with a pseudonym to [email protected]. All questions will be anonymous, and any and all names will be changed, and submissions may be edited for grammatical errors and brevity.