Modern dating can seem like a minefield sometimes.
First there’s just meeting someone you actually like. Then there’s the matter of figuring out if they’re interested in you, too, and whether a relationship is possible.
There’s nothing quite like the disappointment of falling for somebody only to discover they aren’t as invested as you and don’t want a relationship.
That’s why I want to take a look at early signs that the person you’re dating is actually trying to avoid monogamy and doesn’t want to get serious.
Let’s take a look.
1) They don’t want to discuss being exclusive
If and when you go on enough dates to start discussing the future, this person isn’t interested.
They downplay the subject, avoid it or just defer and say you can discuss it later.
Even if they don’t come right out and say they don’t want anything serious or exclusive, they certainly aren’t jumping to talk about it.
This may leave you feeling pretty confused, especially if you’re used to dating more direct people.
2) They mention past trauma from a breakup
The next key sign that you’re dating someone who wants to avoid monogamy is that they mention trauma from a past breakup.
They may still be cut up over an ex who hurt them or the drama that went down with a former partner in a monogamous relationship.
They let you know about that, or at least the general subject, because they want to preface the fact that they’re not looking for something exclusive (and usually not for something very serious, either).
By mentioning their past pain they are essentially warning you off and saying “been there, done that, not doing it again.”
3) They tend to be the one arranging meetups
This is something to watch for:
Who’s setting up your dates?
When it’s the other person, it’s often a sign that they’re more or less wanting to “run” things with you.
They’re the one deciding how much they want to see you and they’re the one with the power. You’re the recipient of their time and energy, but they aren’t necessarily available when you ask them out.
Not a good basis for a committed monogamous relationship!
4) They mention other people they find attractive
This kind of thing can just be a fun game, of course, but it’s also a way that some people can signal they aren’t into anything serious with you.
By mentioning other hunks or hotties, they create an emotional distance between the two of you.
They make it clear that while they may like your company, they’re not planning on hearing wedding bells with you anytime soon.
They’re just here for some good times.
5) They don’t introduce you to family or friends
This is definitely a sign that you’re not on the roster for a serious, long-term monogamous relationship:
You don’t get introduced to family and friends.
No matter how committed you may feel you are getting after a few weeks or months of dating, it’s not showing up in these kinds of ways.
You don’t know who their best friends are, and you aren’t included in many social events that seem like they should be standard fare for two people beginning to go out.
6) They do introduce you to family or friends, but say you’re a friend
In situations where you are introduced to family and friends, watch out for this warning sign:
They introduce you as a friend.
You’re not a girlfriend or boyfriend, you’re not somebody they’ve “been seeing,” you’re just…
Some guy, or some girl. A “cool” friend. Or whatever.
Very flattering, right?
7) They focus mainly on your physical connection
Physical intimacy can be a way to get closer to the person you’re dating, but in some cases it can also be an attempted replacement or blockage to monogamy and getting serious.
You have actual feelings for this person, but then you start realizing you’re just some side action (from their perspective).
This means essentially booty calls with a bit of chit chat in between and nice interactions.
But any attempt by you to take things deeper is met with them laughing it off or emotionally withdrawing.
That side of things just seems to be off limits.
8) They focus mainly on your intellectual connection
Another thing that can happen is you slowly slide into the friend zone and your dates begin to be more about great conversations or shared interests.
There’s nothing wrong with that, of course, except that if you’re truly into this person then it can be disappointing to be relegated to this position.
In both cases where things turn more friendly or more physical, there’s something missing from what would constitute the potential core of a rewarding long-term relationship.
What’s missing in the focus on the physical or the intellectual?
The emotional: the realm of the heart where relationships are decided on and committed to in a long-lasting way.
9) They emphasize areas where you’re not compatible
Like a lawyer making their case, the person who wants to avoid a monogamous or serious connection will emphasize areas where you just don’t match.
He’s a Gemini and you’re a Capricorn!
She’s spiritual and you’re not into it at all!
He’s active and loves jogging and you’re more of a homebody!
In such a way, this person is “building a case” against a monogamous, committed relationship and letting you know that they’re not into it in as polite a way as possible.
10) They talk about being burnt out from relationships and love
This relates to the second point I mentioned near the beginning about trauma from past relationships.
Somebody who’s trying to avoid monogamy will talk a lot about how they’re tired of relationships and love.
They may even say they’ve “given up” on it or are “done” with it.
This can sound a bit over-dramatic and be hard to believe when you hear it, and to be fair usually people who are done with love don’t talk about being done with it (they just retreat and stop trying for real).
But nonetheless, it is a way for this person to signal to you that they don’t want something serious right now, or at least not something monogamous. s
11) They bring up their belief in open relationships and ENM
“Open Relationships” and “Ethical Non Monogamy” are concepts I’ve seen mentioned more and more the past few years. The basic idea is that people in committed relationships and marriages date and sleep with other individuals.
If somebody is talking about how they are into this, they are letting you know that monogamy is not for them.
If they claim to still want something serious and (semi) committed with you, then it’s your call about whether ENM is for you.
Personally, I’d advise against it…
12) They pull away when you get too affectionate
When you become highly affectionate or start talking about your feelings, this person you’ve been going out with starts to withdraw.
They give you less attention, less time and become noticeably closed off.
Even conversationally, they stop saying as much and their reaction to humorous situations and jokes is more muted.
It’s like your feelings for them make them uncomfortable and they don’t want you to get attached.
13) They start reducing how much they see you
If you are getting serious feelings for somebody and want to commit, it’s understandable you want to spend more time around them.
But if they don’t want to be exclusive, they want the opposite.
This is why somebody who’s not interested in monogamy with you will begin reducing how much they see you if you start getting too serious.
They’re just not looking for the same thing as you, at least not with you.
It hurts to hear, but it’s best to accept and move on if possible, before the disappointment becomes even worse further down the road.