You likely do this.

Roaching is a word I’ve been hearing more and more of as of late, but its meaning isn’t quite the one you’re likely familiar with. Prepare to educate yourself.

What is roaching? Roaching is what happens when someone you recently started dating doesn’t disclose the fact that they’re hooking up with other people. This, before you have The Talk.

Why it happens: When you meet someone you connect with, you start messaging each other all the time, spend a lot of your free time together, and since they give you their undivided and seemingly constant attention and time, you make the assumption that you’re the only one in their romantic life. But we all know what happens when you make assumptions.

When I first heard and read about this new dating trend, I laughed out loud to myself because this is something I was totally “guilty” of when I was single. I put guilty in quotes because – contrary to popular opinion – I didn’t feel guilty at the time, and still don’t. In fact, I don’t think that roaching someone is a bad thing. In fact, it could be really rather healthy.

Hear me out.

The label roaching comes from the idea of roaches, where you may find one in your apartment and ignorantly assume there aren’t any others. But there always are.

Based on other essays, think pieces and the like, people seem to take the stance that roaching is something deceptive. Lying out of omission. But when you start dating someone in this dating-app ridden day and age, I think it’s presumptuous to assume you’re the only one dating someone.

The Talk is called The Talk for a reason. It allows you to openly share your thoughts and feelings on where your current situation stands and to see if the person your dating is on the same page as you are. If so, you can determine the specifics of your relationship such as whether you want to be monogamous or if you’re “not in the right place to settle down but yes I’d still like to sleep with you.”

Before having The Talk, it’s not necessary for someone to share who else they’re with romantically or emotionally. They – like you – are trying to navigate the dating field and they’re just doing their best to date around and sleep around and just do them.

If you find yourself falling for someone, I suggest having The Talk and asking them point blank where they stand and how they feel. If they share that they’re dating other people, it’s unfair for you to write them off or take it personally, because you never had a conversation vowing to be exclusive in the first place. They aren’t a bad person for keeping their options open. In fact, it’s kind of a smart thing to do.

I mean, I have a heart and I totally get that it’s hurtful to find out that someone you’ve invested time, energy, emotion (and the cost of monthly waxes), isn’t solely seeing you. But at the same time, they don’t necessarily owe you that. And if they treat you well and with respect, make you happy, and you have great chemistry and are safe sexually, then I don’t think it’s relationship breaking to find out you’re not the only one in their rolodex.

I’ve definitely dated around and have overlapped forming relationships and it’s not because I’m selfish or careless, in fact it’s the opposite. I love hard and fall fast and I want to make sure that the person I ultimately commit to is one that I connected with on many levels. One whose views and livelihood, goals and the like were similar to mine. One I would be loyal to and will grow with in a monogamous relationship.

Those pieces that criticize roaching are I think missing the point. And I don’t like the tone that it’s shameful to date multiple people at once, when you’re not even monogamous in the first place!

At the end of the day, if you don’t know where you stand and want to, or if your spidey senses are working over-time and you want to alleviate that I have two simple words for you: Just ask.

Categories: CULTURE