The New Relationship Status – Single but Dating


The new relationship status

I hated those looks when someone would ask me if I was in a relationship and I would reply, “I’m single.” It was as though I had a disease or something was wrong with me. And the following looks would allow me to see exactly what was going through their mind. “What’s wrong with her, is she is being too needy, is she being too desperate, is she partying too much, is she scaring the men away somehow?” It was as though there was something wrong with me because I was single. But the irony was I was having a blast and there was no lack of men in my life unlike what the label might seem.  I was dating, seeing people, hooking up with others, but yet I wasn’t in a relationship of the stereotypical sense. But my only option was to say I was alone. Whilst some wish to reclaim the word “single” as a positive, I wanted a new label that was more of a representation of what actual women were doing in the dating world. It was a way to say, “we are not committed to one person, but having a lot of fun dating and seeing maybe multiple people,” something society seemed to struggle with. When do you hear people give permission to women to see multiple people, date without things leading to a relationship and hook-up with more than one man in a week?

Seeing multiple partners at a time

The problem with this new label is it encourages women to go against what society for many years had taught them. Good girls date a boy, get married and have babies. Slutty girls are the ones who take the time, sleep around, dating lots of men and then get blamed for their own actions for still being single as though it’s a curse for slutty behaviors.

The “Should do” curse

But being a former family mediator and assisting people through divorces, what I got to see was people not having enough time to work out what they really wanted for themselves and just follow with what I call the “should do” curse, living their life thinking what they were doing was what should be done. But the should do curse is often one based on backward outdated beliefs that society for some reason has kept around including shame put on women for acting outside of what is seen as the sexual norm.  Maybe when it comes to dating, relationships, and marriage we only have to look at the high divorce rate to realize we should be doing things a little different.

Single but dating

Single but dating became not just a new relationship status but a way to find love either within yourself or with another. After I have finished my first book tour, I found love unexpectedly, and one of the reasons I was able to see it was thanks to my years of dating, seeing multiple people and mucking around – my time being single but dating. I got to learn what it is I wanted myself and test and try things out. How are you supposed to know what you do and don’t like unless you have experienced those things before?   

After putting all my advice down in words, I finally realized the real power in those words in my own life. This is why the term single but dating is important to use. Not just as a new but honest relationship status but a way to give permission for women to explore and experiment with what they want.  

Nikki Goldstein
Sexologist, Author
Dr. Nikki Goldstein is the modern-day expert on all things relating to sex and relationships. She has a unique ability to normalize the subjects of sex and relationships, and her fresh, balanced and candid views make her instantly relatable and approachable. She holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology, a postgraduate diploma in counseling and a doctorate in human sexuality; she is a highly credible authority on the topics of love, sex, dating, romance and relationships. Coming from a background as a family mediator who assisted in the process of divorce, she has an understanding of what makes and breaks relationships. She appears across many media avenues, such as TV, radio, podcasts and magazines, both in the US and Australia. Twice voted Australia’s Best Sex Educator, she’s young, bright and honest and has lived many years of her life as a Single but Dating (SBD) woman.