Q I met a guy online last year. While we seemed to have little in common, he expressed interest and I responded. After communicating via email and phone for a couple weeks, we met in person. While meeting him didn’t change my initial impression regarding having little in common, it was an enjoyable evening and I did feel attracted to him.

During the next several months, we continued seeing each other, but the intensity of my reservations about the potential of a long-term relationship with him increased, the more our differences were revealed. At this point I decided to resume my dating efforts.

Is it okay for me to continue seeing my online friend(I do enjoy his company) while seeking out other potential partners?

A Generally speaking, in the very early stages of getting acquainted—prior to both people agreeing to be in an exclusive relationship—I see no harm in dating multiple people at the same time. In fact, I believe doing so may be beneficial in that it lessens the pressure of the relationship needing to work out and allows one to figure out what is most important and compatible in a relationship/life partner.

That said, it appears that, in this case, you believe that no long-term potential exists with this guy you’ve dated for several months. Since you enjoy his company, it is worth taking some time to consider whether your belief of “no long-term potential” is well-founded. Are the differences between the two of you fundamental, i.e. incompatible worldviews, life goals, values, priorities, emotional make-ups, ways of thinking and being?

If so, I do see some trouble looming.

Continuing to see a guy whose company you enjoy, but who you’ve determined has no real long-term potential for you can be a convenient source of comfort, BUT, and this is a big but, that convenience and comfort often come at an extremely high cost.

The greatest cost which comes to mind is a debilitating distraction from developing intimacy with a prospective partner with long-term potential.

Staying in a convenient but casual relationship might result in missing opportunities with a possible Mr Right. After all, your time and energy are finite resources.

Ask yourself: while you’re investing these valuable resources on a guy with no long-term potential, who, and what, might you be missing out on? Perhaps searching for and corresponding with promising prospective matches online? Attending events where you might meet new people? Self-nurturing, be it via physical activity, spending time with family and friends, and/or pursuing an interest which feeds your soul?

Jasbina is the founder and president of Intersections Match, the only personalized matchmaking and dating coaching firm serving singles of South Asian descent in the United States. She is also the host of  Intersections Talk Radio,  a monthly lifestyle show featuring conversations with published authors/experts on relationships, health and wellness.www.IntersectionsMatch.com  Jasbina@intersectionsmatch.com

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