Help me navigate "casual dating," or stop deluding myself that what I want is possible.
posted by violetk to human relations (13 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
(asking for a friend)
I've very recently (ambivalently) ventured back into the dating arena after a devasting break-up about a year and a half ago (that I had initiated due to my fiancé's dishonesty). My main motivation was that Holy shit! it's been a year and a half—I need to get laid but good! My ideal situation would be to meet someone interesting—one person—enough with whom I can have fun doing things and have lots of awesome sex on a regular basis. I'm not interested in random hook-ups and I just don't want to deal with either dating/sleeping with multiple people or any of the emotional heavy-lifting needed to sustain a serious relationship, or one that is headed that way—if that makes sense. Just the idea of it is exhausting to me and completely unappealing. And the idea of opening up and allowing myself to be emotionally vulnerable with someone again frankly scares the shit out of me and until it doesn't again, I'm not interested.
Last weekend I went on a date with a guy who contacted me from an online site. Our profiles could have actually been written by the same person in terms of our interests, personalities, what we were looking for, and bonus—he's totally hot so it was a no-brainer (up until then, I hadn't replied to anyone). But due to us both having full plates, we had to set our date for three weeks out. In the interim, we started texting each other every few days (revealing that he seemed nice, smart, and had a similar sense of humor to mine) and he texted me for hours the day before (and drunk-texted me that whole night while he was out drinking with his buddies, mostly flirty, some very forward—the first time his texts have taken this turn) so I believe we both had an idea we'd enjoy ourselves on the date when it finally happened. The date actually went great (yay)! He ended up taking me to a bar for drinks, dinner at a really nice new resto we'd both been wanting to try, and then a cozier bar/lounge afterward for dessert and more drinks, and then back to his place where we had pretty great sex—considering it was first-time sex with someone new. He asked if I wanted to stay over and was snuggling me for most of the night and more lovin' ensued, which was great because I'm a very affectionate person (cue: wow, it really hit me how much I missed physical affection). Drops me off the next morning with a kiss. I text him later to thank him for a great date to which he enthusiastically replied that "Yup, it was really fun!" We've been texting briefly nearly every day since, but he has yet to suggest another date. When I asked on Wednesday if he was busy this weekend, he stated that he had his kid (3 yrs old, from a brief casual relationship) the whole weekend and then he confirmed that he was going to be out of town the following weekend visiting friends when I asked about that. So when I did the mental math and figured out that Well, I guess we won't see each other again for another month! he replied, Oh I'm sure we'll see each other before the end of the month! ;) I then told him my upcoming schedule which, in conjunction with his would literally take us into mid-October. His reply: "Damn." And that was it. Though we've texted since, there hasn't been any other suggestion of meeting up any time soon. To be fair, he's an admitted fly-by-the-seat-of-his pants guy when it came to social things and even on our first date, he hadn't thought about what to do until a couple hours before hand when he texted me for ideas.
So my questions, because I was never great at "dating", are:
1. Does this guy sound like he really is interested in going out again? I am obviously interested (although in the meantime, I do have another date with someone else this Friday, but I get the feeling that this other guy and I have less in common—and physically, while he is also really attractive, not my typical "type") enough to want to see him regularly, but I'm not sure (at least as it stands now) that he's someone with whom I'd want a serious relationship. He'd told me before that the handful of other dates he'd been on from the dating site a couple months before were so terrible and/or boring that he ended up taking a break from it until he ran across my profile. He'd also mentioned that he trains for a few hours every day after work (he's an avid xterra triathlete) and likes having the routine (I also work out every day after work and am training for a race and like that routine so I totally get it), so he didn't do a lot of mid-week stuff (and also because he has his kid mid-week ever other week as well as every other weekend). One of my male friends who I told about the date said that guys were generally terrible at making plans until they had to. It sounded to me as though he was looking for the same situation as I am, and that he wasn't dating anyone else either (at least presently). He also mentioned that it was nearly impossible for him to date anyone his age because he felt like all the women were putting a lot of pressure on themselves and the dates to find a husband and he wasn't interested in that at all right now (to which I agreed—because at that age and through my mid-30s, I did the exact same thing). FYI: I'm 39 straight female, he's 31 and straight.
2. What does it mean to be "casually dating"? Does this necessarily imply that one or both of the parties are dating/sleeping with other people? Or can it mean that both people are dating/sleeping with each other exclusively, just not as a means to leading to a serious relationship—or is that even possible? A couple of friends of mine are insisting that this is not possible, that eventually it will become a REAL RELATIONSHIP, and that I am deluding myself in that regard and also with regard to what I really want. But please believe me when I say that I know myself very well and getting into anything serious right now has zero appeal for me.