Opinion: Single Ladies Need A Gaggle of Men

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(CNN) — If you’re a single woman and you’re looking for love, forget about “The Rules” and stop worrying that “He’s just not that into you.”

That was then, this is now – it’s a post-dating world you’re living in, and that means you have to shed your one-to-one mind-set and start thinking in terms of one to many.

In other words? Stop searching for Mr. Right and look around at all the Mr Right(s).

That’s the premise of “The Gaggle,” a new book from Jessica Massa, who, along with Rebecca Wiegand, runs the website “WTF Is Up With My Love Life?!”

According to Massa and Wiegand, every woman – single or not – should have her own gaggle, a group of guys that occupy different roles in her life.

“You probably have a gaggle of friends, who all play different roles and fulfill different needs for you,” explains Massa. “You might call one friend to go shopping versus another friend when you’re upset versus another friend when you need a serious professional opinion. Your romantic gaggle is just another piece of the much larger, long-term puzzle of how you structure the relationships in your life to feel full, happy and loved.”

The men in this gaggle can include anyone from the barista you flirt with, to the ex-boyfriend you Skype, to the work buddy you commiserate with over lunch. Whether you end up dating one or more of them is just an added bonus.

“As a woman, having a gaggle provides you with a love life full of possibility: you have many men in your life, in many ambiguous but enriching ways, who are all teaching you about yourself and your needs and desires and leading you closer to the guy and relationship you want,” say Massa and Wiegand.

Terri Trespicio, a New York-based dating and relationship coach who is single herself, exuberantly extols the “uncoupled state” and takes things a step further: If you’re happily single but enjoy dating, she recommends seeing three different men regularly.

“When you date just one guy, you might feel pressured to commit, even if you’re not ready,” she says. “If you see two men, there’s often this unspoken need to choose between them. But three guys tend to balance each other out, like a tripod.”

Like the “Gaggle,” these three men can fulfill different needs – maybe you like to see movies with one, travel with another and cuddle with a third – which removes the burden of one man to fill all those slots.

“This can also help you worry less about whether or not someone is your ‘match’,” says Trespicio, “and shifts your focus to the sheer joy of connecting with other people.”

By Ian Kerner- Special to CNN

Ian Kerner, a sexuality counselor and New York Times best-selling author, blogs about sex weekly on The Chart. Read more from him on his website, GoodInBed.

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