By Zoe Bradbury
The dating world can be a minefield of nerves, mixed communication and signals, and competition.
And with dating apps becoming more popular than ever before (12 million matches occur on Tinder every day), knowing what to look out for when searching for a new partner is more confusing than ever.
Dating apps such as Tinder, Bumble and Hinge mean that in the palm of your hand, you can access a variety of people from all different walks of life. More first dates are available out there than ever before, but this isn’t always a good thing.
Enter the serial dater: a “one and done” type of person, who moves from first date to the next, never committing to the real deal.
According to eHarmony, a serial dater is someone “who refuses to play by the rules that we’ve all silently laid down as good conduct while dating”
“The serial dater loves the thrill of the chase; they love the first couple of dates; they relish that new date feeling”
Often, they leave nothing behind but a string of unanswered messages and embarrassment.
A fear of commitment, perhaps, or an odd power-dynamic in having the upper hand in calling a breakup, a serial dater can be hard to spot, because they usually give off every impression they’re into you.
The first date and even the second or third are good, the chemistry flows, butterflies in the stomach flutter. It all seems well and good, but it comes from the serial dater’s experience in knowing exactly what makes those first few dates great, simply, well, because they’ve been on so many.
Here’s exactly how to spot a serial dater.
A serial dater will likely pursue you adamantly and want to set up a date as soon as possible. There’s no time to mess around for these people – organising a quick date turn-around is an imperative, because soon enough they’ll need to move on to the next person.
A serial dater also may push for physical intimacy early on. If they’re nuzzling your neck and whispering sweet nothings into your ear when you’ve barely finished your first drink, you’re likely just to be a one-time fling.
Physical intimacy should never be rushed but rather developed over time, as the chemistry and connection builds. Sex also shouldn’t be the be all, end all of a date.
In fact, a 2010 study conducted by the Brigham Young Unversity’s School of Family Life found that delaying that first sexual encounter can actually improve a relationship.
Doing so helps build communication, develop and express empathy towards the partner and can improve feelings of stability.
A first date should be full of intriguing questions about your life, your back story, your hobbies, as your potential new-partner tries to unravel what makes you so great.
A serial dater won’t be interested in getting into the nitty-gritty of who you are; they’ll just want to get into the nitty-gritty of your pants.
Going on so many first dates, there’s no point in them forming a connection, having a meaningful, deep conversation or trying to understand who you are as a person, because once they’ve got what they want, they’ll move to the next.
You’ve had an amazing first date and you’re excited for the next. The serial dater will also seem excited at first, making grand plans to meet up again and reignite the spark you “both” initially felt.
But when it comes down to actually meeting the next arrangement, they’ll be full of excuses.
“I’ve got a really big day of work tomorrow, so sorry to cancel”
“I sprained my ankle at cross-fit, so sorry to cancel”
“My mum’s best friend’s uncle’s son is in town today, so sorry to cancel.”
Excuses, excuses, excuses. If they really wanted to meet up with you; where there is a will, there’s a way.
A sure sign of a serial dater is a person who transitions from being a constant messenger to… nothing.
A ghost of a texter, they’ll go M.I.A. and stop responding to your messages after they’ve got what they’ve wanted.
It can be frustrating and downright embarrassing to put your heart on the line and be the first person to message the other, only for them to ignore you.
Often, it’s not a reflection on yourself; but a reflection of their fear of commitment.
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