Years ago, a friend of mine said to me: “If you’re not engaged, you’re just dating.” She, of course, was engaged as she made this declaration (a few months later she married her man, and they are now separated), but at the time, I thought she was preeeaaacchhin’.

My girlfriend was basically saying that, until you’re engaged to someone, game on. Don’t play games, but date whomever you like, and date more than one guy at a time. She was not endorsing promiscuity or anything of that nature, but saying women should date and meet different guys until you meet a man worthy enough of your love who is ready (and you are ready, too, of course) to make that commitment.

Her point, as I understood, was that women shouldn’t shut off from society and our options—as we tend to do—once we find a guy who we like well enough and have been on a few dates with.

How many times have you—or say one of your girlfriends, wink, wink—been so strung out on a guy you (or they) met a month ago that you’re planning your life with him (where you’ll live, how many kids, fifth anniversary vacation) before you’ve even been to the movies together?

Granted, some women never want to get married, and for other women dating a few guys at once can get old. But if you’re the marrying kind of lady, are you throwing away time by playing house with a man who you may not end up ever reaching the pop-the-question zone?

Recently, a friend of mine was talking to her dad about this very subject, and his advice to her: Date until you get engaged. You get married to be with one person forever, so after age 30, no “boyfriends.”

This all seems kind of extreme, especially with how dating goes these days. It’s hard enough to get a man to take you on a real date! (We’ll talk more about this very important subject next week, Clutchettes)

Do you think serious boyfriends are a waste of time, or do you see committed relationships as a natural, obvious door to marriage?

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