Just for the record, Smooch Boy asked me out for the same night I already had plans with Darky, and I told him I wasn't free. There, satisfied?
No, I joke, really. I get it. I get all your concerns about Darky, and about whether or not I'll wind up hurting him, because I'm worried about it too. So, as one does with things that worry her, I brought it up with Shrink.
"I just want to do the right thing," I told him.
Shrink: Let me get this straight. You're not sure how you feel about him. You're looking forward to seeing him. You enjoy spending time with him.
Me: Right. But I'm pretty sure I wouldn't want anything exclusive with him.
Shrink: Has he asked you to?
Shrink: Are you at the point where it's expected that you'll just spend your Saturday nights together?
Me: Oh, no.
Shrink: So why have a talk now? You're unsure, but if you tell him you don't want anything exclusive, then he might withdraw, and you won't get a chance to know him better. You won't be able to find out what you feel about it.
Me: So you don't think I have to tell him anything right now?
Shrink: No, I don't see why you would.
And, in fact, I get what he's saying. If I were in the reverse situation, I'd probably ask--hey, are you seeing other women? So then why is it my responsibility to bring it up?
So my pledge is to be honest with Darky. But as to my responsibility to inform him: "Hey, we've been on a few dates, but guess what? I go on dates with other dudes too"....well, I absolve myself of that. How do I even know that he's not dating other women? If I want to know that, then I should ask.