Amit Wehle, in a recent essay written for Glamour, used a term we weren’t familiar with, and now we’re totally obsessed. Ready to make an addition to your dating dictionary?

Binge Dating: the act of overdating; indulging a behavior to excess.

In other words, going on a series of first dates, with practically anyone, all in a manic and urgent quest to find Mr. or Miss Right.

Wehle is of the mindset that a period of binge dating can be just as negative as binge eating or drinking.

“Co-workers and friends trudge out for a cocktail on a rainy Tuesday at 11p.m. knowing in every way that they are not about to meet their knight in shining armor, but some shiny faced asswipe. Pass and enjoy a quiet night in shining pajamas.”

Sounds a little like a dating version of FOMO. FOMOOL, if you will:

FOMOOL: Fear Of Missing Out On Love

Anyone who’s single has probably been regaled with meet-cute stories involving last-minute parties or tickets, or chance encounters at bars. (“It was raining…I wasn’t even supposed to be out that night but my friend dragged me, and there I met Tom…”)

Hearing stories like this is enough to make any singleton feel guilty about staying in — after all, it takes just one date you weren’t sure about, one random night at the bar, to change your single status forever. (Case in point: Matt Damon’s story of how he met his wife.)

Is this the wrong attitude to have? Would we be better served, as Wehle asserts, spending the night in shining pajamas rather than on another fruitless, and possibly disheartening quest for knights in shining armor?

Of course, not every date is going to lead to a lasting relationship. But what Wehle doesn’t take into account in his condemnation of binge dating is that while not every date will develop into something meaningful, every date will make you a better dater.

Every time you go on a bad date, or a mediocre date, or even a good date that just doesn’t work out, you’re practicing. You’re learning how to make small talk, you’re learning how to deal with curve balls, you’re learning what it is about yourself that the people find appealing. You’ll get more confident, you’ll get less nervous.

They’re just like rehearsals, all of them – -and hopefully by the time you’re on the first date that will put an end to your days of first dating, you’ll be ready for the main event.

Does this mean packing your schedule full and neglecting those all important nights of Netflix Instant and shut-eye? Of course not.

But the best thing about dating is that it’s the one vice you don’t have to worry about doing to excess.

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