I came up with the “Golden Triangle” principle in my early 20s. I was single for the first time after college and was finally able to experience “adult dating.” The Golden Triangle basically means that you have one main person you see, then an alternative, and a wild card. The middle of the triangle is a free space for new dates or chatting on apps. Obviously, this plan doesn’t match every dating scenario, although if you are at a place where you want to see what’s out there, then it’s a good guideline. I am a huge advocate for dating abundantly. Yet, it’s good to have strategy and not go overboard on who you are seeing. It also helps with maintaining a full life and not getting invested too soon….
The Main Guy….
The main guy (maintenance guy) is who you see the most. He lives in your town and is convenient. Your bread and butter, so to speak. As a warning, you have to be careful that you don’t make him your main priority. Location is important because it’s pointless to travel a far distance to see him. He has said he is looking for casual and you have an understanding that you are friends with benefits. Don’t get mad if he forgets your birthday.
You might be just in the going-on-dates phase with him, nothing physical. You probably like this guy the most, but don’t want to blow it by moving too fast. He is the guy you connect with on an emotional level. You have great conversations, have a lot in common, and enjoy hanging in public.
The Wild Card….
This guy lives out-of-town or even in another state. He might come in and out of your life at random. Hearing from him is a total surprise and you catch up when he is in town.
You will probably feel like a bobber in the water, just chilling until a fish grabs you. However, it’s good practice to be the receiver rather than pursuer. You can try your hand at reaching out and inviting him, but the probability is not in your favor that he will show up. Just because it is casual does not mean there is no structure or boundaries. It is really about having options. There will be times when no one texts you. Be prepared for that.
Who is the most important….
Get some data on who is pursuing you. Outside of the main guy see who is actually making an effort. Obviously, you are going to be responding and sparingly reaching out, but sit back a little bit more.
You don’t have to sleep with everyone….
The main guy is probably filling that void. Don’t feel pressure from every date to feel you have to go all the way. The main guy is your anchor and makes you feel you don’t need to take whatever comes your way. It is up to you who you want to hook up with or not.
Avoid being a rebound….
It might seem like a good idea since it’s just going to be casual. The downside is it might be full of drama and you have to play therapist. It sort of puts the power in his hands if he is using you for his agenda.
Don’t talk about other dates….
As far as new dates and “The Alternative” it’s best to keep a little mystery. (Your main guy and wild card should be aware you are dating other guys. Be sexually safe and get tested regularly ). Some guys love the competition and some don’t. You never know who you are dealing with. There is no reason to make him jealous or rub in his face that you are dating others. Until there is an exclusivity chat then assume he is also dating.
Keep seeing people….
It’s not over until it’s over. Never assume that’s it’s headed to an exclusive relationship. I have made the mistake of thinking it was going towards a relationship and then I didn’t hear from him in a week with no new dates on the books. The change in the wind can happen abruptly. You shouldn’t delete your apps and clear your calendar for a guy you have been on three dates with.
If you just got out of a huge break up or want to move things slowly, the “Golden Triangle” might work best for you. It may help break a pattern of you lily-padding to the next relationship so quickly. This is a great time to work on boundaries and collect data on the type of guy you like. The main thing to keep in mind is to put yourself first and understand abundance, not scarcity. There is no pressure to have sex with anyone unless you want to. There will be moments that no one is reaching out, which is why it is important to keep up with friends, family, work, and hobbies. Have a full life before you bring dating into it.