Is He Looking For A Relationship Or Someone To Casually Date?

relationshipHere’s a great question from Carey about how to tell if a man is looking for a serious relationship, or if he just wants to casually date. I thought it would be helpful for everyone.

The Question:
Hi Helena, I seem to have a difficult time discerning which men are really looking for a serious relationship, and which men are just looking to casually date. What can you look for early on in dating to be able to tell so you don’t waste time? Thanks! – Carey
My Answer:
Carey – this is a fantastic question!
Some men are looking for life-long partnership, some men are born wanting that – and some men are born wanting freedom. Some men are just not cut out for long-term relationships – they’re just not willing to learn what they need to learn or do what it takes to “get the girl.”
Different men have different capacities and abilities at different moments in time, and there are all kinds of different matches for you.

Some people are cut out for domesticity, and some people are cut out for “freedom.”

The truth is, domesticity and a dangerous, “exciting” type of man don’t mix very well. Domesticity by nature might seem kind of boring – it’s “everyday” and it’s about familiarity, which some people say eventually kills sexual attraction.
I believe you have to work through that to build INTIMACY. Intimacy, in my opinion, is a way IN to sexual attraction.
Practically speaking, when it comes to dating, if a man isn’t 100% available for the kind of relationship you’re looking for – he doesn’t get one second of your time, energy, or attention. That’s a REQUIREMENT, because I know how easy it can be to get all wrapped up in these “exciting” men who just aren’t cut out for long-term partnership!

That’s why it’s so important to not invest in any ONE man until he’s offering you everything you want.

For example, if you’re looking to have kids within the next couple of years and that’s really important to you, you don’t want to invest your time and energy into someone who “might want kids someday” or someone who says he doesn’t want kids – and hope you’ll change his mind. That’s a recipe for disappointment and heartbreak.
For these bigger issues, a man has to be on the same page as you for him to even qualify – and his energy has to be coming TOWARDS you.
If a man’s energy isn’t coming towards you – or if you can’t feel relaxed and be yourself around him – just drop him! It’s not worth your time or energy to even THINK about a man who’s not totally crazy about you. If he’s not, just forget about him and move on to the type of men who would do anything to be with you!

The key is to let men do what they’re going to do, while you lean back and just WATCH them to see whether or not you’re on the same page, without getting hung up on any one of them until they decide to STAY – until they come across with what you’re looking for in a relationship.

Dating may seem like a full-time job – and yet if what you want is a meaningful, fulfilling relationship – I believe it’s totally WORTH the full-time job!
Love, Helena

6 thoughts on “Is He Looking For A Relationship Or Someone To Casually Date?”

  1. Again, I find myself nodding approvingly while reading. Thanks for putting it all in such a simple and clear way, Helena! It does make a *lot* of sense.
    A somewhat related issue might be: how do you find that out about *yourself*? Am *I* actually looking for a relationship? After the whole issue with the imaginary affair and managing to get over it (Helena covered the gist of my story in her two-part “How to get over a man who’s not stepping up” post), I did a lot of introspection and was somewhat surprised to see that I actually do not want a relationship for the moment. I just need to build my relationship with myself first… It was a good thing for me to realize at the time… And after that, I don’t know…
    Which brings me back to the issue at hand: what about not being sure what you want? One of the dating sites that I have a profile on has (in the “looking for” field) an option something like this: “dating that might evolve into a serious relationship”. I chose that option, and I also saw many men choosing it in their profiles. For a woman, I think, it’s a great position, and it goes well (please correct me if I’m wrong) with the whole philosophy behind Circular Dating: you are open to the possibilities, you date and engage and stay receptive and, if a man steps up and “claims” you, you are open to a serious relationship. I think this works especially if you don’t plan to have kids in two years, though. 🙂 Now, what about the man’s position? What is your opinion/intuition here, Helena? Does a man need to have “looking for a stable long-term relationship” in his profile from the very beginning? I also have a hunch that it’s an age-dependent thing (which brings me to the whole bigger issue of age-dependent dating advice… yes, I’m in a chatty mood today, I’ll stop ranting now). So any thoughts?

    1. Julia – these are great questions! I think it’s fantastic that you’ve been doing some self-reflection and getting more clear about what you really want right now. In terms of what to put on your online dating profile, this seems to reflect what you’re looking for at the moment: “dating that might evolve into a serious relationship.” I also think it’s fine if the men you communicate with have chosen that option as well, since you’re not looking to get into a serious relationship right now.
      Where women can get into trouble is when they get involved with and hung up on a man who isn’t looking for a serious relationship, and then they wait around for him or try to change his mind – which weakens his attraction for her and pushes him further away. As long as you’re really clear about what you want and you don’t get pulled into a situation where you really want a relationship with a man who’s only looking to casually date, you’ll be fine!
      Love, Helena

  2. I absolutely agree! Great advice Helena! After my last breakup, I said yes to dates with over 50 men before saying ‘yes’ to being the girlfriend of one of them… He made it VERY clear that he wanted to be with me by pursuing me in really romantic ways. And I said yes because he was the one I felt the best with, the most special, the most seen, and them most adored. Other men felt exciting for a time. but with this man the excitement and love just keeps growing.
    Kisses girl!

  3. Hi Helena
    I find what you wrote about expectations very interesting, as we have a saying that:
    women marry men and think they will change, but men never change
    and men marry women and think they will not change, but they do change.
    I think if you can enrich us on how to stick to being ourselves even after getting their attraction and attention is crucial. because ladies tend to think: “oh he likes us, them we MUST TRANSFORM ourselves to excatly what he wants” were what he wants is actually them JUST THE WAY THEY ARE.
    waiting for a new wonder of yours lovely Helena.
    Reem 🙂

    1. Reem – this is so true! The right man for you will love you because of WHO you are, not WHAT you do.
      Often men fall in love with us BECAUSE of what we perceive as our “flaws” – not in spite of them.
      Love, Helena

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