Post # 1
Random, semi-hypothetical dating question that I’m looking for some feedback on. I’ve been doing a lot of reflecting and realizing that a lot of my problem with men is that I tend to date guys with an Avoidant attachment style or with commitment issues. Going forward, I’d like to do better about recognizing these type of guys and not getting involved with them much earlier than I have in the past. My new approach will be to tell guys right off the bat that I’m only looking for a serious relationship. However, I’ve found that the times I’ve done this most guys respond with something like “I’m looking for that too, but I’m not looking to go full throttle with anyone right away” OR “I’m looking for that too, but it has to be with the right person, I don’t want to jump into anything.” I’m not looking to just marry any random man either, but I’m wondering if these sound like answers that are kind of skirting around the issue since no guy is going to say “I’m open to a relationship but I’m also open to just stringing you along until I’m bored or find someone better.” I guess my question is, what is the right response to me saying I’m looking for a relationship? Do those answers sound genuine? I’m looking for honest feedback just so I can be better going forward about identifying guys who just want to yank me around. Please don’t make fun of me because I’m really just trying to learn!
Post # 2
Don’t go to bed with them right away. I’m not saying stay a virgin till you’re married, but don’t go all in on the third date either. Make them really get to know you. Sex will keep people coming back even if they know the connection isn’t all the way there. The guys not willing to invest in you before getting physical were never going to go anywhere with you anyway.
Post # 3
Wouldn’t dream of making fun ! It seems totally reasonable to me to want to know where you are going and not waste time with committment phobes. I don’t know l’d want to bring it up first date, but early certainly. I’d ask him what he/they wanted and listen to the reply before l said anything about my own plans l think .
eta just saw pp above comment re sex, yes she’s right. Nothing to do with ‘morality’ just commonsense really.
Post # 4
I don’t! Honestly, after 30 my libido has gone way down so it hasn’t been that hard for me in recent years to abstain from sex for a few dates. Haha. So that part isn’t an issue for me.
Post # 5
I would date around, not be exclusive until you’re serious.
I’d also keep your questions open ended, at least initially, so they can’t tell you what they think you want to hear.
“What are you looking for? Where do you see yourself in 5 years?”
Post # 6
Completely agree with this. Even if a guy is looking for the same thing, he may interpret that being married is your goal rather than really getting to know him.
Post # 7
When I was online dating I specifically tailored my behavior to avoid this.
– I dated several guys at at time. No sex on the first date unless I was ok never hearing from him again (just in case).
– I met them right away for a coffee date and I didn’t talk on the phone beforehand, not interested in forming connections before knowing if there was an attraction on either side
– If the date went well, I gave the guy my number. Afterward I did not message or call first, however I was very responsive when contacted. I did this because I knew a fair amount of girls who would realize their dates never messaged or made plans with them on their own. It was a way for me to gauge interest.
– I paid a lot of attention to the way conversations were going, both in person and online. If a guy didn’t ask me anything about myself, if he didn’t tell me more about himself, if we didn’t eventually have deeper conversations and everything was all small talk then I knew he wasn’t interested enough. There should be progression.
– I would not invite him to meet my friends or family unless he had already invited me out to meet people in his life.
You can never really know someone’s intentions, but by paying attention it should be fairly easy to see who is interested in you and who is just looking for attention/a good time/not fully invested. When this happens I mentally check it and I focus more on other people I might be dating. There have been times when a guy dropped the ball because there were work pressures or family issues, and I was understanding…but honestly someone who is excited and focused on you would communicate what was going on and make an effort to talk or see you when they can…someone who drops the ball without consideration for you is likely to drop it later down the line too.
Post # 8
I think if you tell a guy what you’re interested in, he’ll likely respond with something similar to impress you, keep you interested, etc. It’s not fair play, but it happens.
I agree with PP. Ask the man what he’s looking for. Make sure he can articulate it and explain it well. Do it face to face, not over text or the phone. That way you can read his body language and ensure he’s confident in what he’s told you.
I can understand a man wanting to caveat “I’m looking for marriage” by adding “with the right person”. It’s reasonable. Just make sure there’s no “not really sure, just seeing what happens” responses. If you get one of those, I would politely tell him that you’re looking for a serious relationship leading to marriage, and it doesn’t seem like you’re on the same page.
Post # 9
Agree with PPs, and I wouldn’t waste time with a man if he’s not talking marriage 1 year-1.5 years in my 30s. At the 1 year point i would just let him know that I’m looking to marry, and that i wouldnt stay longer than 6 months without an engagement and plans for marriage and children soon after, but that it’s nothing against him, he’s GREAT, but we have different life plans and going out separate ways is for the best at that point. It’s not to “pressure” anyone into marriage but knowing what you WANT and DESERVE.
Post # 10
If someone started in with question like that “right off the bat”, I’d be hesitant, too, so it depends on what your definition of right off the bat is. First few dates? Heck, you barely know someone enough to say what their favorite color is, let alone whether you are interested in a serious relationship with them. Even someone looking for a serious relationship or marriage could be scared away by talk like that immediately.
I agree with strawberrysakura in the approach.
Post # 11
I’ve learnt that it’s not what they SAY it’s what they DO.
basically ignore anything that comes out of his mouth as he could be a lying little shit and just pay attention to his actions.
Does he rearrange his day to see you? Plan nice dates? Arrange to see you again before you’ve left the date you’re on? Keep in contact with you regularly?
This is the shit we need to be seeing, it’s so much less about what they say. I’ve been fooled many times by what they say when in fact I’m just filler and their actions have proven it, I’ve just chosen to ignore them.
As for telling him what you’re looking for: I’m looking to spend time with someone that’s fun, interesting etc. I’d like to go on daytrips eventually weekends away and I’m hoping for a relationship with the right person.
I’d probably also stress the point that your approach to dating is more tortoise than hare when it comes to physical intimacy. Hopefully then, this will weed out the players pretty quickly.
Post # 12
I agree with the PP that the problem with stating your intentions very bluntly early on is that a lot of emotionally unavailable guys will just tell you what you want to hear. (This happened to me several times in the past. I also took your approach of telling guys I was looking for a serious relationship early on, and they would say “Yes, I’m definitely over my ex/looking to settle down/not going anywhere”. Only to find 6 weeks to a couple of months in it was all getting too real for them and they backed off.)
It’s a guy’s actions that you need to look out for. Consistency, consideration, openness. Does he contact you every day or at least every second day? Does he respect your boundaries? Is he open and honest when you ask him questions? Is he consistent with his attention (doesn’t blow hot and cold)? When did his last serious relationship end? Does he seem to be over it? Does he speak about it and his ex respectfully? Does he arrange to see you regularly? Is he open to exclusivity and taking things to the next level after reasonable amount of time, eg. a month to 6 weeks?
In addition, telling a virtual stranger straight out on the first date (or even before then) that you’re looking for something serious can be intimidating. He doesn’t know you and might find this too intense. A relationship should progress naturally. Again, look for his actions (not words). Additionally, I would pay attention to where he is in his life:
* does he have a stable job/career?
* does he have his own place (ie. doesn’t live with parents)?
* is he responsible? eg. does he pay his bills? does he go out partying all the time?
* does he have a solid support network?
* does he have a stable personality (eg. no temper or addiction issues)?
* does he seem to have dealt with baggage from past relationships?
In my opinion, these things are far more an indicator of the longevity of your relationship than anything he might say early on. If you can get this info on the first few dates, I’d say you’re off to a good start. And try to keep your emotional investment in check for the first couple of months, if you can.
Post # 13
Honestly, I used to date multiple men at the same time and the conversation of wanting a relationship would never come out of my mouth until I decided that I actually wanted a relationship with that person. It normally takes me a couple of months to decide…but up until that point, I’m just getting to know the guy – his aspirations, morals, career, faith, politics, etc. I may be dating with the end goal of a serious relationship / marriage but it may not be with HIM, so I don’t see the point in divulging the path I want the relationship to take until I’m sure that I want to go down that path with him specifically.
Post # 14
I don’t think the answers you’re getting are at all shady or red flaggy. When I was dating (and very much hoping to find The One), I would have given the same answer.
The thing that’s hard is that it’s not enough for both people to hypothetically want a serious relationship wirh someone… there has to be that chemistry between the two of you, along with compatibility, trust, shared values etc, and you can’t suss all that out on a first (or second, third, fourth etc) date.
So yes ask the question early on and make sure the person is at least looking for what you’re looking for and not afraid to say so. But that will only tell you so much. after that, take things slow and really pay attention to the actions of the person you’re dating. Do they initiate contact and set up dates or mostly wait around for you to initiate? Are they flaky at all?
Pay attention to your own feelings and instincts too. Do you genuinely feel attracted to this person, or are you just trying to fit a square peg into a round hole cause you’re so eager to be in a serious relationship? And more than attraction, are there any red flags about their behavior? Things I wish I’d paid more attn to with exes include excessive drinking/weed use, flaking out on plans, no career aspirations, being verbally abusive to their parents, etc.
If someone isn’t checking all these boxes relatively early on then stop seeing them and move onto the next.
Post # 15
I don’t think you should put too much stock in how they answer that question, but moreso on their actions. Someone can tell you they’re invested but as soon as you see that they’re actions don’t match what they’re saying, you need to move on. It helps if you’re dating more than one person. Hopefully one will rise above all others as a mate with potential staying power.