Post # 16
Hopefully someone who is looking for casual hookups would be open about that, but you never know. I think I would give it a few weeks of dating someone to see if I think we have good chemistry, align on values, like spending time together – and then ask for their general perspective on what they’re looking for in a relationship. No point in having that conversation with someone I end up not enjoying spending time with, and if you wait much longer than that to talk it over with someone you do like, you risk getting too attached and heartbroken if it turns out they actually want to date around.
My husband was the one who brought up being exclusive after we’d been dating for maybe six weeks. We had met each others’ friends at that point, and I already wasn’t seeing anyone else, so it was just making it official. The harder conversation we had was fairly soon after that when he said he was on the fence about having kids, which is something I was very sure I wanted. I was so upset, I thought I was going to have to break up with him and I liked him so much! Luckily he came around very quickly. Now we’re almost 3 years married and our first child is due in 3 months!
Post # 17
The thing is, whenever I would be dating a guy and I sensed his “light was on” it would make me pull away. That means I could sense he was ready for a relationship, but not nrccessarily with me. Like, he would talk about the future too early, call me his girlfriend, try and move too fast to soon. Most likely because I was decent catch. I checked all the boxes, but again it became less about me as an individual and more about being next on a checklist. I am not saying that this is what you are doing, but male or female, no one wants to be made to feel like they are just “good enough” in someone’s ultimate life plan.
So, my advice is to focus on you. Before you figure out if he likes you, figure out if you like him. Where YOU want things to go. Don’t just be into any guy who wants a future with you. Date a few guys at a time until you feel a connection. If it’s genuine, it’s a good chance he feels it too, and you can go from there. Actions will go much farther than words. I know you want to be reassured, but no one wants to feel like they are in a job interview on a date. So figure out how you feel first, observe his actions to see if they are mirrored, and then have a conversation about what you both want.
Post # 18
i agree with everyone else that stating upfront you are only looking for a serious relationship may just result in guys lying to you.
i think its all in the behavior. for example, guys who aren’t into commitment will be shady about plans, delay texting you back, start fading away after a few dates, etc. if you start dating a guy like that, just dump him. a guy who is looking for a committment will call, show up, and make plans. you won’t have to chase him.
Post # 20
I see what you’re saying, because I did the same thing – except it was only with guys who I wasn’t really crazy about anyway which was a big sign for me. When they started acting like they really wanted marriage and kids (I had one guy a couple of weeks into dating say “When we have kids…” and my first reaction was “ew”), I was immediately turned off. It was like this hint of desperation highlighted all the things I disliked about then anyway LOL. My husband, on the other hand, asked me to be exclusive 2 weeks after we met and because I was wild about him, I enthusiastically said yes.
OP, I started dating again at 30 and though I see why other bees have advised you to not be quite so blunt about your long term goals, I was the opposite and don’t regret it for a second. By being open, honest, and no BS about what I was looking for I was able to a) weed out guys who weren’t interested in that and b) tell when guys would say they also wanted that, but ultimately their actions showed the opposite. It’s not that hard to tell, really. A douchebag is gonna be a douchebag no matter what he says. A douche in the wild always shows his true colors.
I say that if it feels right to you to articulate exactly what you’re looking for, even on the first date, then do it. Don’t be scared! A real man will appreciate a strong woman who’s able to communicate what she wants. After all, you’re not saying you want to marry HIM, you’re saying you want to get married eventually. My husband told me after the fact that he really valued that I was able to unequivocally say to him early on, with no embarassment or waffling, that I wanted marriage and kids because he did too. If a guy doesn’t want that, cool, peace out and you haven’t wasted any more time.
Post # 20
I agree with krm1984. I think it’s obvious for most reasonable people that “I’m looking for something serious” is a general statement about life goals, not an attempt to lock that specific person down immediately.
I was blunt before finding my current boyfriend. Was it too “intense” for some people? Yes. But that’s fine, because I don’t want a long-term relationship with someone who is intimidated with straightforward, open honesty. I don’t play games or beat around the bush, and I don’t wait an arbitrary amount of time to talk about deal breakers. And dating is much easier this way, imo.
For what it’s worth, I also advocate being open about marriage fairly early on if it’s important to you. It keeps both parties from wasting their time. A good way to phrase it is “I don’t necessarily mean with you- neither of us can say at this point- but in general, how do you feel about marriage?”
Post # 22
I was exactly the same as you- I kept going for avoidant, unavailable men and I just couldn’t seem to stop falling for them. It was like an addiction. Then one day I sort of woke up and realised that I really, really wanted to start my own family, so something had to change.
I started dating on the apps with good intentions but then I found myself falling for the same types of people- I’d get hooked on someone and give everything away too early, then be left heartbroken. So after a lot of therapy and consuming many, many self-help books on this, I decided to take a much more cut-throat attitude and I’d make my intentions to men clear (i.e. i was looking to settle down) very early on. At that time, I would have considered any response like “Oh yeah me too, but I’m not looking to jump into anything” as a bit of a red flag. The key thing to remember is, avoidant men are most likely to respond in such a way- SECURE guys however aren’t scared off by that kind of chat, if they like you. I also dated more than one person at a time (not sleeping with them, just getting to know them over coffee etc)- I found this really helped to prevent me from getting too obsessed with one guy, and eased my anxiety over dating. I wouldn’t sleep with anyone until I’d received a clear sign that they wanted the same thing. After starting to do this I met someone amazing pretty quickly- he wasn’t scared away by my talk of commitment because he was 100% on the same page and was equally as excited by the prospect of us getting to know each other more.
Dating can be brutal, so it’s your job to look after yourself, communicate your needs and don’t let anyone give you anything less than you’re worth (aka a lot!!!)
Post # 22
My now-fiance was actually the one who brought marriage up almost immediately! We were both pretty smitten with each other to the point we started calling ourselves boyfriend and girlfriend the moment he asked me out not realizing how weird it was.
I think honesty is important and I think you should talk about marriage early on if that is what you want, I don’t agree with bringing it up like it is an interview question. I would probably say make sure to bring it up in a more natural way if that makes sense and weave it into your conversation. I know with me, on a date, I want to hopefully have fun and job interviews are the antithesis of fun.
Post # 23
I’d rather be straightforward and filter.
To me, it’s simply a goal, and if someone does not share that goal, why waste time. It’s not a proposition. But that you are looking for a relationship that naturally progresses to marriage as a goal.
It’s like saying you’d like to own a house someday. If that person is intimidated or against homeownership… pass.
Post # 24
Thanks for the responses!
I’m looking for my next relationship to be a serious one that leads to marriage, but with someone I really like and treats me well, not just anyone. I was hoping mentioning this would kinda of weed out guys who were not looking for anything serious. I do get what some of you are saying – obviously if I was on a date with a guy and he was being super intense about wanting marriage and kids immediately I would feel like he’s just looking for anyone to check a box. A lot of you mentioned looking at actions, which I try to do, but I’m not always good at it. If I’m not that into someone it’s easy for me to identify poor behavior and end it, but if I’ve decided I like them, I tend to make excuses for poor which needs to stop.
I just read the book “Attached” and I’m trying to use some advice I read in there about being open and upfront about things. Unfortunately, I have an anxious attachment style and occasionally get attached (in my head) too early to people I don’t even know that well. I never act crazy to the guys face, it’s all behind the scenes lol, but I feel it and I hate it. Even when I’m seeing a few people at the same time, I’m still thinking about the one I like the best and checking my phone for texts. Seeing a few people helps curb the level of anxiety there for sure, but it’s still there. I always find myself with Avoidant types bc it’s some weird self fulfilling prophecy about me expecting to be disappointed. I don’t know where I became to be Anxious. My childhood was okay. I have a very kind, loving mother but I don’t have a relationship with my father. They are still married but he has a lot of mental issues (OCD, A bad temper, social anxiety, etc.) and while it’s gotten slightly better, he was not a good father. My mother has basically told me she’s only still with my dad because she doesn’t want to be alone and she’s too old to look for someone else. I’ve also been let down by a lot of guys I’ve dated which has made me more bitter/guarded about dating in general. I don’t know where it came from and if those things contributed but I’m finally realizing that it’s a problem for me and I want to fix it.
Maybe I should have worded my original question better: I have an anxious attachment style and I want to attract a secure man, not an avoidant one. How can I weed out the avoidants right away? I always end up getting involved with them and don’t figure out they are that way until I’m already attached.
Post # 25
I feel so seen! Lol. Thank you for this
Post # 26
love your point on asking “generally speaking” about marriage. That’s not something I usually think of as I just tend to assume everyone eventually wants marriage, but that’s not really true is it!
Post # 27
You can be direct, you can be indirect, you can be coy, you can be blunt. None of it matters until you are able to look at a man’s actions and determine if he’s into you or not. Example: He doessnt call or text for 5 days, says he was busy with work. Recognize that this is bullshit and cross him off the list, dont date him again, don’t talk to him. Dont make excuses in your head for him behaving in a disappointing way. Recognize that he’s a disappointment and dont waste any more time with him. Be ruthless, you’re only protecting yourself.
Post # 28
I guess that rather than judging their words on what they say they are looking for, I would assess their actions. Are they on top of being in touch? co-partners in making plans? Do they not only say but DO affirming things (take you to meet their friends and family after appropriate intervals, expect to meet your important people, talk you up to the important people in their life). Do they make and stick to long term plans? Do they have a healthy way of talking about and processing relationships that haven’t worked out in the past? Do they have close, attached, affectionate, long-term healthy relationships with friends or family? Do they spontaneously bring up their concrete plans for the future (I would like to move in with you next year, I’d like to know how you feel about children etc?) are they comfortable with other people treating them as committed to you?
Post # 29
I completely respect the women who bring up with a guy early on that their goal is to settle down and get married, and I don’t think it’s a bad plan, as it goes, but it’s not foolproof. For those women who haven’t dated the bullshitters, God bless you, but I can promise you there are a lot of them out there. There are a lot of people out there who are very good at exploiting the fact that someone likes them and is willing to believe what they say and make excuses for them (like the OP – and I sympathise, because I’ve been there too).
There is simply no substitute for having a laser-sharp focus on a man’s actions rather than his words. A man who is truly secure, relationship-oriented and a good partner will be consistent, respectful, communicative, available… and he will do these things easily. You won’t have to make excuses for him or analyze his behaviour too much.
Like I mentioned before, a lot of guys will tell you that they’re looking for something serious and be all eager in the beginning. Then, after a while, they start cancelling plans, becoming distant or moody, etc. It’s important to pay attention to this behaviour early on and cut that guy off. People who are inconsistent will waste a lot of your time.
In fact, OP, I think it would be a good idea for you to make a list of the qualities and behaviours you’d like to see in your ideal partner. And I don’t mean superficial things like how much money he earns or what kind of dates he takes you on. I mean character traits like respect, kindness, affection, stability and what those qualities look like in someone’s behaviour, and then don’t settle for anything less than that.