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Serial dater: 5 clear signs and how to handle them

Image credit: Shutterstock - By View Apart

With the many dating sites and apps that there are today, there’s something a bit more troubling than the normal dating problems: Serial daters.

In today’s world, it’s easier than ever to find someone to date. People are easily accessible thanks to sites like Match.com and more. And while the majority of people are on there to find a relationship, there are also others on there for all of the wrong reasons.

One of those types of people are called serial daters.

If you’ve never heard of a serial dater, you’re not alone. A serial dater is someone who dates many people in a short amount of time because they love the feeling of “the chase.” Basically, these people fall in love with love.

It’s almost like a high, and they chase this high often. The first date is their favorite thing—but they don’t stop there. Serial daters love second and third dates too, maybe even a fourth, but a true serial dater leaves as soon as they finish getting to know the person.

This doesn’t sound like the worst thing in the world. Serial daters are just getting to know a lot of different people. But, it’s not fun to be a serial dater’s prospect. 

Anyone involved with a serial dater ends up heartbroken and confused. The relationship seems promising. It seems like it is going to turn into something great. But then, everything changes for the worst.

Sometimes you’ll be ghosted. Other times, a real breakup occurs. But most times, you’re just left hurt. 

What’s even worse is that serial daters are often doing this to multiple people at a time. You’re not the only one they may go on two or three dates with. Often times, there are five or six others waiting and wondering too.

So, if you’re dating right now, how do you avoid a serial dater?

Well, it’s not as easy as you think. But in this article, you’ll find out everything you need to know.

How can you tell if someone is a serial dater?

Though serial daters are hard to figure out until after a few dates, it turns out there may be a few techniques to finding out.

1. They’re really casual

The first sign that your date may be a serial dater is that they are very casual. Still, this is a little hard to figure out.

First dates are supposed to be casual. A lot of people will act casual on a first date. But, serial daters are always casual.

They don’t want to get to know you because they’re really just chasing those “firsts.” After that first date, they get harder to find. They may not answer their phone or texts, they may agree to things and then not show up, or they may ghost people altogether.

Casual behavior isn’t a sure sign that someone is a serial dater. Like I said, not everyone who is casual on a first date is a serial dater. But all serial daters are casual.

2. They get physical

Because serial daters love getting the high of the chase, they want to get physical with you quickly. They love intimacy, and physical intimacy is the best.

But, regular people aren’t going to push you for physical intimacy on the first date.

Serial daters always will. Even before they’ve sat down and talked to you, you may feel like they want to pull you away for a kiss. And while this can seem like a regular thing for two people who are attracted to each other, it’s also a red flag because it’s too soon.

People should be able to control themselves and watch as the date continues. If before you’ve even uttered a word they want to kiss you, something is definitely up.

3. The dates are casual

Does it seem like every date you go on with this person is just so-so? Because serial daters are always looking for their next thing, they don’t like to put in too much effort for someone.

The dates are bound to be casual. There isn’t going to be a ton of thought behind what you’re doing, and you’ll be left wondering whether they even like you or not.

4. They don’t talk about life beyond the date

Serial daters don’t want to get to know you, but they also don’t really care if you get to know them. In fact, they’ll often choose locations they think have the best chance of not seeing anyone they know. 

If they do end up seeing someone they know, you’re not going to be introduced. In fact, you’ll probably just be sitting there awkwardly while they talk. Because the truth is, they don’t plan on keeping you around for much longer after the date.

5. It’s not going anywhere

Is the relationship at a standstill? Does it seem to be more physical than anything else? 

Serial daters don’t want things to get serious. There aren’t plans for you. After they are done experiencing their high, they move onto the next person. 

So, if you’re trying hard to make the relationship go somewhere, you’re not alone. Lots of people experience this and get stuck in serial dating. It’s not your fault, and no matter what you do, the relationship won’t go any further than what it is now.

Do serial daters never settle down?

Unfortunately, it’s pretty true that serial daters never settle down. Because they are chasing that emotional high, settling down doesn’t sound good to them.

It really doesn’t matter who you are or what you have to offer—serial daters aren’t worried about that. They spend their time looking for the next person to know.

They’re going to be on multiple dating apps, and there are probably multiple people that they are seeing. Serial daters aren’t in relationships, and they’re not dating to get into a relationship.

The only reason they are dating is to serve themselves. So no, serial daters don’t settle down until they stop being a serial dater.

Serial daters are the way they are because they love the idea of love. As much as they claim to want to be in love, they really just like the feeling of lust. True love doesn’t interest them, which is why they are constantly looking for someone new.

Serial dater symptoms

There are a few symptoms that all serial daters have. These are:

  • They progress things quickly and want to rush
  • Their eyes often wander to other people while on your date
  • They get bored easily and change the topic
  • They talk about other dates or dating online
  • They’re charming 
  • The dates are short

What does it mean to be a serial monogamist?

While serial daters are common, there’s also another form of serial dater that people aren’t as familiar with: serial monogamists. 

A serial monogamist is someone who actually wants to be in a relationship. And they keep chasing relationships for a very long time.

There are pros and cons to being a serial monogamist. While they do actually want to be in a relationship, they also seem to have relationships that don’t last long. Most of the time, this is because they get into relationships too quickly.

People who are serial monogamists probably hate dating but love having a significant other. They fall in love quickly and aren’t too picky as to who they choose to get into a relationship as well. 

Serial monogamists are never single. After they get out of a relationship, they quickly get into another one. 

It’s different than a serial dater because serial daters chase dates. Serial monogamists chase relationships.

How do you win a serial dater?

At some point or another, serial daters do settle down. Whether or not it’s going to be with you is something different altogether. Not everyone is a serial dater, and you’re better off trying to find someone else.

However, if you truly think this is the person you should be with, there are a few things you can try. 

1. Get to know them

Serial daters may not be interested in talking to you very much, but you can still try to get to know them.

When you do get to know them, focus on the things that you share. Maybe you both like a certain TV show or sport.

Figure out the shared interests and keep talking about it. This builds a friendship and rapport.

2. Put effort in

Sometimes, a serial dater needs more effort on your end. Keep the efforts up to get to know them. Because they are chasing a high, invite them to things that they’ll enjoy. Make sure you have fun with them and keep that getting to know each other feeling going.

3. Remember the little things

When they tell you something about them, make it count. If they say what their favorite candy is, get it for them. If they say they’ve always wanted to do a certain activity, try it with them. It’s those little things that keep a relationship going

Serial dater quotes

So, why are serial daters the way that they are? Thanks to the Whisper app, many people have anonymously shared their confessions as to why they are serial daters. Here are some of the most common reasons:

“I’m a serial dater because serious relationships scare the sh*t out of me.”

“I want so badly to actually be loved that I let myself fall for guys who are no good.”

“I have short attention span when it comes to people, so if I get bored I move on quickly to find someone new.”

“If I decide I don’t like you, it’s onto the next. Quickly.”

“I love that feeling of a first kiss, and it’s the only thing I want right now.”

“I like to meet new people. I just don’t like them staying.”

“Everyone hurts me. Being a serial dater is easier.”

“Free dinners and dates. What’s so bad about being a serial dater?”

“I don’t want anything serious, and dating is fun.”

“It’s not that I want to hurt people. But serial dating fits me right now.”

“There’s nothing wrong with serial dating. It’s how I’ll find the one.”

How to handle a serial dater

If you think that you’re dealing with a serial dater, what do you do? 

Do you drop them? Breakup with them? Or should you try and stick it out?

Really, it just depends on how you feel about the situation. Serial daters aren’t going to settle down until they are ready to be finished.

It’s not going to be some magical person that changes them. If you feel like the person you’re with is someone you want to pursue a relationship with, there’s no harm in trying it.

That being said, be aware of your own feelings. You should know that many times, people end up hurt and heartbroken. Even if you really like the person, it may not turn out how you hope. It’s something that you need to be aware of.

My biggest tip is to be open and honest with the person that you’re dating. Ask them about their dating history and find out what they’re looking for. 

At some point, serial daters will change. But as long as they’re a serial dater, they aren’t going to settle down.

In Conclusion

It’s your life, and no one can tell you whether what you’re doing is right or not. Serial daters chase highs. Chances are, once that high wears off, they’re going to jump ship.

As much as that hurts, you deserve better.

If you’re on dating apps or sites, don’t get discouraged. There are literally millions of people out there that you can point your attention to instead! While the best way to handle a serial dater is to avoid getting in too deep, that’s not always possible.

But remember, it’s not a problem with you. A serial dater isn’t dumping you because you’re not the greatest person in the world. They’re dumping you because they only want one thing: The new person high.

New video: He reveals the truth about chasing emotionally unavailable men (hint: don’t do it!)

Jess Carpenter

Written by Jess Carpenter

I studied at The University of Utah where I earned both my B.S. and M.S. and am a Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES certified). My favorite spot to write is wherever I can see my toddlers to ensure they aren’t jumping from the second story or coloring on the walls.

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