To me a serial dater is someone who dates and dates and dates, with no intention of ever developing a serious relationship with anyone. Your basic Peter Pan (or Petunia Pan – women can be commitment phobic too) if you will. The serial dater will most likely never move beyond the third or fourth date before needing to find someone new to share a meal, movie or a bed with. I’ve never questioned this and most of my friends, single or attached, have pretty much the same opinion.
So, I was taken aback at a conversation I recently had with a gentleman who informed me that anyone who was single or divorced for more than a few years was, in fact, a serial dater. Well no, I said, and proceeded to offer up the definition I’ve just shared with you. Well no, HE said. If you can’t find someone for a long-term relationship in a year or two, you never will and are then doomed to be a serial dater.
I didn’t agree with him then and I still don’t, but I did start to wonder about what the true definition of a serial dater is. I have been divorced for way longer than a year or two, have had many casual dates and at least three relationships that I’d categorize as serious, I mean considering-making-it-permanent-serious. So, does that make me a serial dater? Picky – maybe. Secure enough to know that I don’t Need to be married to be happy – yes. Glad those “almost” commitments didn’t pan out – hell yes, each would have been the wrong decision in the long run. Serial dater – no.
Sure, I sometimes date a lot, depending on how many guys show an interest online. Yes, I’m picky…but we all are in some way. The older we get, the more we realize what type of person didn’t work out for us in the past and are hesitant to make that mistake yet again. But that doesn’t make one a serial dater, just cautious and smart enough to know that you have to be in it to win it. You’ve got to date a lot of potential mates to find the one for you…he/she will not appear at the wave of our Fairy Godmother’s wand.
No, I think being a serial dater is more of an attitude than an experience. I think a serial dater, deep down, really doesn’t want to find someone to grow old with. A true serial dater is basically a loner who, whether they admit this to themselves or not, doesn’t want to have someone living in their space. They want to go out, have some fun, have dinner with someone, maybe have an occasional traveling companion, or a friend-with-benefits. What they don’t want is to share their life with someone…and that means the good as well as the bad. Because after all the getting to know you stuff is over with and you’ve made a promise to be there for one another…you’ve got to deal with the bad days, the boring days, the days of sickness as well as health, and that can be hard to handle..it takes work. And that is what separates the Serial Daters from the Hopeful Daters. The hopeful ones know that, even though it seems as if they’ve been looking forever, to stop looking would mean defeat and one thing that a hopeful dater is not is defeated. A hopeful dater is not afraid to roll up his or her sleeves and work at making that relationship strong and lasting.
I think that’s why so many of us hopefuls seem to take so long to find “the one”, we know just how serious we are about good relationships and we know there’s no time limit on finding the right lid for our pot. I’ve heard from so many older daters, through LifeBytes, Real Stories™, about finding their soul mates, that I know it’s not only possible but inevitable, as long as you stay hopeful.
So no, my misguided friend, I am not a serial dater I am a hopeful dater.