“When a man is endeavoring to seduce one woman, he should not attempt to seduce any other at the same time. But after he has succeeded with the first, and enjoyed her for a considerable time, he can keep her affections by giving her presents that she likes, and then commence making up to another woman.” – Kama Sutra, Part V, Chapter II, “About Making Acquaintance with the Woman, and of the Efforts to Gain Her Over”
The above advice is actually threefold, a trifecta of tried-and-true teachings, if you will:
1) Don’t juggle serious sexual partners. While this is always an intriguing proposition, one of those have-your-cake-and-eat-it-too type scenarios, it almost always ends poorly for at least one party but probably more. For one thing, it assumes that you assume that one or both women are stupid, which is, among other things, not in the nature of the modern gentleman. Secondly, it is taxing. All the lies and slinking around; all the dates and dinners, the constant paranoia, plausible deniability and problems that arise in one relationship, let alone two. It’s exhausting.
2) Not all relationships have to end in cataclysmic disaster. It’s often easier said than done, but as the Kama Sutra notes, it is possible to remain friendly with a woman after the relationship ends, and perhaps presents can help. That’s probably a simplistic (and materialistic) way of looking at things, but at least Vatsyayana is bringing something to the table.
3) Finally, tied into both of these thoughts is the idea of getting while the getting is good or, as the Kama Sutra puts it, after you have “enjoyed her for a considerable time.” We’re not sure which version would sound better in the presence of polite company, but the point is: if you see an end to the relationship coming, better to just make a clean break than let it drag on and descend into inevitable madness.