Should I go on a date with someone if I don't even want a relationship?
August 27, 2014 1:54 PM   Subscribe

Is this a stupid question? Idk. I just got out of a 5 year relationship in May. I feel moved on from him but I'm still trying to put my life back together. And I don't want a relationship right now, bBut two guys have recently asked me out on dates. Idk what to say! I don't know very much about dating. I am 21.

The first guy I met at the mall last week. He was trying to sell me a product at a kiosk. We had a conversation and both felt a connection and he asked for my number. We've been texting. He wants to take me out on a date on Friday, not sure what we would be doing yet.
I said yes to the date but now I'm not sure because I don't even want a relationship. And he actually is from a different country, Israel actually, and he doesn't speak the best English and I couldn't see myself really going out with him. But he's very charming and nice.

The second guy I first talked to on okcupid. We have been texting for a few weeks. He just texted me today asking if I would be interested in grabbing a drink with him this weekend. It would be the first time we've met, probably just a get to know you type thing. I read something on my profile that made me think he didn't really want a relationship either.

I don't know what I'm doing. What should I do? Should I go?
posted by anon1129 to Human Relations (15 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
A date is not a relationship. Go ahead and go. This will be a good chance for you to practice all the skills you'll need going forward and later, when you are ready for a relationship. Just be honest with the guys that you are not looking for something exclusive or long-term. Don't do anything you don't feel comfortable doing.
posted by agatha_magatha at 2:01 PM on August 27, 2014 [2 favorites]

Do it! Why not? A date is not a promise to have a relationship. Two things could happen: you wind up really into one of these guys despite yourself, or you go out with them and then decide "eh, that wasn't fun."
posted by showbiz_liz at 2:01 PM on August 27, 2014 [1 favorite]

You don't have any obligation to date or to date these guys. If you don't want to go, don't go!
posted by fiercecupcake at 2:01 PM on August 27, 2014 [2 favorites]

You're 21 and you just got out of a relationship you've been in since you were 16. Be smart, be safe and do whatever the hell you want. I don't think I knew anyone at 21 who could answer the question "do you want to be in a relationship" with anything but a prolonged series of vowel noises and uncomfortable fidgeting. A date doesn't have to be anything more than a fun night out.

Also I've worked retail with a lot of young Israeli dudes and there's a 95% chance that a) he'll soon be going back to Israel (or otherwise permanently departing) and b) he's handing out his phone number left and right.
posted by griphus at 2:03 PM on August 27, 2014 [5 favorites]

Best answer: Dating can be just dating! It doesn't have to be A Thing right away.

The key in all dating/relationships is to be honest and up front. If you don't want to get into a committed relationship right now, say so! It's ok!

Go on your date with kiosk dude, get dinner, see a movie, whatever it is you're going to do, and just try to relax and have fun. Ask to split the bill with him. If you like him enough to hang out again, just tell him straight up, "Hey, I like you and would like to see you again, but just got out of a long relationship and am not looking for anything long-term right now. Are you ok with that?" Then proceed.

Online dating makes this even easier since you can say so explicitly right there in your profile before you even meet the guy.

Here's a secret, though: no one knows what they're doing! The best you can do is be honest, kind, and respectful, and be open with your feelings. The more you date the easier this will get and the more natural it'll seem.

Bottom line: dating doesn't have to have a long-term relationship as an endgame. You can date just for fun/entertainment/meeting people/sex. Get at it.
posted by phunniemee at 2:07 PM on August 27, 2014 [7 favorites]

Taking you at your word that you don't want a relationship. Sure, as long as you tell the person before you accept. He may want to just hang out as well. He also might be asking you out with the intent of forming a relationship. Clear it up beforehand.
posted by vapidave at 4:16 PM on August 27, 2014 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Go on the dates if you want to go on a date with these guys.

Lone voice of dissent: I actually don't think you should say "I don't want to get into a long-term thing/relationship right now" right up front or not. Sure, it's honest, but to me it sounds... somewhat presumptuous before or after a first date. [I'm a woman, though, and not in your target audience or age group so YMMV.]

At any rate, you simply don't have to be in a relationship until you actually want to be. Dating, even lots of dates with one person, does not automatically equal "relationship."
posted by sm1tten at 4:19 PM on August 27, 2014 [1 favorite]

I wanted to add: if it comes up organically, I'm all for disclosing what you do/don't want. I just probably wouldn't lead with it.
posted by sm1tten at 4:24 PM on August 27, 2014

If anyone on a first date said they were or were not looking for a relationship, I would bail.
That is ridiculous. It's a first
date. Maybe it's not even a date-date. Maybe you are just hanging out to find out if you want to maybe date.
posted by Lesser Shrew at 4:25 PM on August 27, 2014

Went on a couple of (I thought) promising dates with a guy from ok cupid who had just gotten out of a seven year relationship last year. We had a great connection, and he was really cute! However, it was a sucky experience! Why?? Because he was not up front with me that he was in a weird emotional spot and did not tell me that he had just gotten out of the relationship and didn't know if he was ready for a new one until after he had run hot and cold on me to the extent that it was obviously bothering me and he came clean. My point: just make sure you are up front with these people about where you are emotionally from the get-go so they can decide if they want to pursue something that is not going to go anywhere or may not go anywhere for some time. Respect is key.
posted by thesnowyslaps at 4:33 PM on August 27, 2014 [1 favorite]

Um.. at least one or both of them are probably looking for dates. I would only go on these if it's established before the date that you don't actually want to DATE date.

I say this because um...guys who think they're being led on can be difficult to deal with. And if I were a guy, I would not want to ask a girl out and then find out she's not interested in DATE-dating me.
posted by jenfullmoon at 5:43 PM on August 27, 2014 [2 favorites]

I would go and see how I felt afterwards; you might just be anxious. But if you're going to have this problem every time you are asked out, it might be best to stop using OKC! Also 'not wanting a relationship' will be taken by many as shorthand for 'looking for a one night stand' - fine if that's the case, could be awkward if it isn't.
posted by KateViolet at 7:58 PM on August 27, 2014 [1 favorite]

An addendum to my comment above; Some people date for fun, some people date only in order to find The One. Shy people are more likely to be dating to find The One and just asking a person out can be traumatic. Neither of the men described above sound like they are looking for The One.

It seems, to the extent that I can divine what you want to hear by the comments you marked that you want to go out but you don't want to feel obligated by going out. This is fine. Jump back in.

I don't see though how saying, "Sure, but I'm a little on the fence about future relationships so let's maybe see how it goes." is a bad thing.

A lot of the answers above seem, to this old man, ex-husband, stepfather, and brother to three sisters to be empathizing and encouraging you at the expense of being honest.

Being dishonest with yourself opens opportunities for other people to be dishonest with you.

And being single for a while isn't the worst thing. Good Luck.
posted by vapidave at 8:00 PM on August 27, 2014 [2 favorites]

Best answer: If you just want to have fun on dates without giving the idea you are interested in a relationship, say:

"I'm not looking to get into anything serious right away and just want to take things slowly."
(or something like that)

If you want to have naked fun on dates without giving the idea you are interested in a relationship, saying this will frequently get the idea across:

"I'm not interested in a relationship"
(not everyone will get that idea, but don't use that phrase if your desires run more along the lines of platonic conversation)
posted by yohko at 8:27 PM on August 27, 2014 [3 favorites]

Maybe it's an American thing but I don't ask women out if I don't want to have some kind of relationship with them. It sounds, to me, a bit of an odd thing to do.

In return, I'd rather a woman said "no" instead of stringing me along for a night, only to then announce that she's not interested in any kind of relationship. Now I've just wasted an evening of my life when I could have been having drinks with someone who was actually open to the idea.

If you really are going to go, then at the end of the night please just say you didn't think the chemistry was there.

Sure, it might be a lie, but it's better than coming out with something that essentially says "sorry bud, but you never had a chance before this date even started. Sucks to be you. "
posted by mr_silver at 9:29 AM on August 28, 2014 [1 favorite]

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