This one is for the boys. The following examples are real, so names have been omitted to protect the not-so-innocent.
I am often labeled as "commitment-phobic." Mostly by my girlfriends and men I won't go out with more than twice. Either way, the term bothers me. I get this accusation because I ENCOURAGE men to go out with other women, and am pleased to find out the man I'm seeing is dating (or has dated) women I respect and admire. I figure it says a lot about his character and his mature choice to be with quality women. Bonus.
That being said, I think INTENT is the real culprit. We SHOULD "date around" out of a respect for one another, and desire to know and appreciate and genuinely get to know value the people around you. Let's just keep the love you make equal to the love you take. ie: You don't need to call her day and night and dominate her week if your intent is not to be a serious part of her life. Don't IM her and text for 5-8 hours a day and then say that you want to "keep things light." Don't make out with someone you don't really intend to see the next day, and don't feel that you need to make promises you don't intend to keep. Most women are pretty happy just going out and having a good time and getting to know you- you need not worry that we become basketcases just because the last girl you dated was a Stage 3 Clinger.
Keep in mind that the reason most women behave inconsistantly is because the man they are with has begun treating them inconsistantly. She probably wouldn't pester you so much to define things if you had given her the reassurance that you do respect her, appreciate her, and genuinely care for her by treating her with a consistant message. Whether that message is, "I'm just not that into you" because you only go out once every few weeks, or "I am so intense on you that I'm not interested in anyone else" because you are texting, calling, IMing constantly and hanging around every night, or "I like you enough to keep seeing you, and let's get to know each other" by planning in advance and asking her out once a week or so- YOU are the one sending the message on what expectations we should have of you.
Now I will be the first to admit, I will always try the sample-cup before making a triple-combo with brownie mix-ins at the Golden Spoon. Literally and figuratively. But I know what I'm there for. Unfortunately, some people are just fat kids in a pastry shop, sticking their fingers willy-nilly in the frosting and sampling all the flavors with no intent to purchase anything.
And fat kids. Man, I really hate them.