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aviona's avatar

What's with the "whoever dates again first, wins" thing?

Asked by aviona (3240points) April 18th, 2009

After a breakup why does it seem (I’m speaking generally here) that whoever dates someone new first “wins?” Is this a societal thing? Is it showing the other party that “HA! I am more desirable than you?” It’s some fucked up feeling of superiority?

I mean, I’ve definitely felt it, I just can’t quite get into the psychology of it all. Anyone? Discussion?

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19 Answers

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

nothing, it’s dumb
i dated first, never felt like I’ve won (well I felt like I’ve won because of who I was dating but not because I was dating first) and he started soon after and is also incredibly happy so I’m thinking we’re just both with better suited for us people

filmfann's avatar

Usually with me, it’s the opposite. You dated first, which means I was more hurt, or the other way around.

ru2bz46's avatar

Never heard of it.

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

People do this?
I suppose this might be due to some feelings of insecurity or vulnerability immediately following a breakup. It sounds like a “I don’t need you!” sort of vibe.

augustlan's avatar

I don’t think I’ve ever known anyone that felt “I am dating first, so I win”, but I have known people who felt “He’s dating already?!? Did I mean so little to him? How come he’s over me, when I’m not over him?”. I don’t think this is a ‘winner’s’ phenomenon, but a ‘loser’s’ phenomenon (I don’t mean that literally, just using your terminology). If you’re on the ‘losing’ end of this situation, try to remember that the other party is probably not gloating. I’m sure sometimes they are just being cruel, which certainly does not make them the winner. Most often though, they are just quicker to recover. (Which also does not make them the winner.)

La_chica_gomela's avatar

I know what you’re talking about Aviona. I’ve definitely had conversations with ex’s about it. They’d say something like “Well, you dated first anyway, I don’t know what you’re complaining about” or the other way around.

I think it’s part “I’m more desirable” and part “I got over you faster. You didn’t mean that much to me, anyway”.

fundevogel's avatar

I’m with Augustian on this, it’s much more about trying to recover while knowing that so-and-so was already good to go. It hurts, but I think if you prioritize your needs those feelings of getting beat aren’t as important anymore.

hungryhungryhortence's avatar

Never heard of it. I do remember with my ex husband and a few ex partners it was more trying to convince the other to “go first” and a battle of wills not to be the one to give up first.

ru2bz46's avatar

@hungryhungryhortence Heh heh, my wife already lost that game between us. ;-) It’s a joke people! No, we don’t play games like that!

hungryhungryhortence's avatar

@ru2bz46: insert burning flesh sound here <___>

casheroo's avatar

I think I did this once, when I was 15, and immediately started dating this other guy, because I wanted to make my ex jealous. It didn’t work. Lesson learned.

I was usually too hurt and low to actually want to get back at the person. I tended to just sleep with new men, to make me forget about the ex. That never heals anything either.

aprilsimnel's avatar

I used to feel my exes “won” when they did that, but usually, they were simply on the rebound and they hadn’t healed or learned anything from the relationship we had. It took me seeing that repeatedly until I understood that the ex dating as soon as we broke up didn’t mean they were better than me, more mature or better at handling their emotions, and there really was nothing for me to take personally about what they were doing.

Before that, I thought that I was a weak and immature person for not going out there and jumping on the first attractive man I saw ASAP.

jessicar's avatar

I think some people might not outwardly think this sometimes but deep down inside it doesnt hurt as much if you start dating someone first. If your ex finds someone first sometimes it makes you feel like maybe they didnt care at all or you less somehow because of it. I think a lot of people just want to prove that they werent hurt by the break up and want to show they can move on.

kayysamm's avatar

I understand what your talking about and I think it’s more of a way for the person to say you didn’t mean that much to me, or im over you. Regardless whether they truly are or not, they do this generally just to throw it in our faces.

Like @La_chica_gomela said, her ex threw in her face that she dated first. Just because she dated someone first doesn’t mean the love and compassion she had for him was never there. It ended somehow, she just learned to live with it and life goes on.

It’s a childish game that I (and most of the world) hate but it’s how things will always be.

wundayatta's avatar

I think people here have pretty much explained it. It’s a way of showing how strong you are that you got over them so fast, and are able to move on. It says you weren’t really all that attached in the first place, and you aren’t mooning over the other person, or thinking you made a mistake in breaking up.

I think we like to torture ourselves by keeping tabs on exes. Especially if we didn’t want to break up. We’re hoping the ex will see the error of their choice, and want to come crawling back, tail between legs.

Mostly, that’s a wishful fantasy. It’s you trying to deal with the breakup.

Breaking up sucks. It’s hard to let go of the person. I was stuck on my first love for two years afterwards, and the relationship was only a year and a half long. I would torture myself by finding out what she was doing. It really hurt to find out that she was sleeping with half the campus (so friends told me). I was so jealous because I wasn’t sleeping with anyone, and I wasn’t even one of her lovers.

I know it’s hard, but the sooner you can stop watching him, the better. If he comes back, he’ll let you know. Don’t count on it, though. You’ve got to work on healing yourself, and part of that healing is about minimizing the amount of mental time you give him. You might be able to help yourself by reminding yourself daily that it’s over. You can be rational about why it’ll never come back. You need to rehearse these things for yourself.

I’m not saying to deny that it hurts. Just to focus on helping yourself move on. The breakup does not mean you are damaged goods in any way (other than what mental illness does to us, anyway). You are a wonderful person, @aviona. You’re smart, beautiful, you write well, and you think deeply. I think it would be a privilege to have a relationship with you. Plenty of other good guys will think the same. If you can come to believe that about yourself, I think it’ll be easier to stop watching him.

BBSDTfamily's avatar

I think dating first is mistaken for moving on first, so that may be the cause.

trickynicky's avatar

people with this mind-set have a child-like philosophy on relationships. And if that is you you may need to re-think why your previous relationship ended in the first place!

bright_eyes00's avatar

One time I was the one who started dating first but it wasnt for several months after. Another time, he started dating someone not even four days after leaving me. It wasn’t a he won kind of thing, it was more or less a feeling like “ok, he doesnt care so I guess I can move on too.” I would rather have the pain of the guy finding someone new quick that way its easier for me to move on instead of hoping for another chance and being miserable.

kerryyylynn's avatar

This is seriously ridiculous. People who have a low enough level of self confidence to the point that they have to rush into fake feelings for another person just to prove to their ex that theyre still desirable need to get over themselves and take into consideration theirs and their partners feelings. FAHREAL.

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