The Telltale Signs of a Serial Dater
First of all, what’s a serial dater? Simply put, a serial dater is someone who goes around jumping headfirst into real relationships just to bail on them as soon as you’re invested. There’s a couple of different reasons why serial daters actually act the way they do, but they all stem from insecurity & a lack of self-worth. Is it possible to avoid them? Maybe. Let’s look a bit further into exactly what a serial dater is & the psychology behind their life choices.
The Real Serial Dater Meaning
If you’ve been on the internet long enough, you might have seen a serial dater meme. They all vary a bit, but the general premise is making fun of the serial dater for lack of commitment. This is definitely a generalization, but it gives us a good starting point when trying to explain serial dater psychology.
Most often, serial daters actually fall into one of two categories (although often they’re a mix of the two): they love being in control of the situation, or they’re afraid of being rejected. Regardless of where they fall on the spectrum, the end result for you is always the same. You’ll be newly in love, head-over-heels for a person who seems to be fully invested in you, then out of the blue, they’ll call it quits & be on their merry way, leaving you hurt & confused. Why do they do this? Unfortunately, for the same reason, most people do most other things: a sense of purpose & validation.
If they’re doing it primarily for control, then obviously, the ability to build someone up & then promptly tear them down is definitely appealing (if a bit heartless). If they’re always afraid of rejection, then it makes sense to reject the person first. After all, you generally feel much better off dumping someone first than having them beat you to the punch. Of course, both of these outlooks are really only relevant inside their heads. For you, having your dreams ripped to shreds will most likely be devastating, regardless of the actual reasoning behind this. We’re not saying that they’re all bad people, but always doing this to other people on a regular basis is extremely inconsiderate. For the sake of self-preservation, you should definitely try to avoid these people at all costs. Of course, sometimes that’s easier said than done, so here are a few things to look out for.
Over-the-top dates. If they definitely try to full-on romance you right out of the gate, that could be a sign that they’re a serial dater.
They’re the ones to end all their relationships. If they’ve broken up with a person or two, that’s normal, but if they’ve always ended all of their past relationships, then that could definitely be a warning sign.
They try to make you jealous. They’re probably just trying to gain your attention, but this should be a red flag as to whether they’re a serial dater or not. Your partner should be trying to get you closer through romance, not jealousy.
They’re all-in, then all-gone. If they continually make big romantic gestures one week, then ghost you the next, only to reappear the following week with some story of the giant tragedy that happened to them the previous week, that could be a sign that they’re a serial dater.
Dating a Serial Dater
Whether you’ve actively sought one out or unfortunately find yourself in a relationship with a serial dater woman purely by accident, you now are in an active relationship with a serial dater. Will they ever change? It’s definitely possible, but certainly not likely. True love can easily make someone give up on the games & dedicate their all to one person, but you shouldn’t bank on it. If a serious relationship is off the table, what should you do next? You have two options.
Option one you always have is to simply continue onwards as normal. Certainly, don’t let them know you know they’re a serial dater; simply hold out & hope they can change their ways. Most people will do this, hoping that true love will conquer their lovers’ bad habits. If you decide to do this, at least attempt to minimize the damage. There is a good chance that your lover will leave you, so it’s important that you are always mentally prepared for this. Of course, if you truly love them, then being abandoned will certainly hurt regardless, but if you’re prepared, you can at least minimize the damage.
Option number two is actually beating them to the punch: leave them first. This definitely has the obvious advantage of not getting randomly dumped, but be aware that this strategy may backfire on you. Especially if people know that you only dumped them because you thought they were going to dump you, people may view you as a bad person. Worse, dumping the serial dater will only enforce their preconceived notions about relationships not lasting, which is unlikely to cure their bad habits. On the plus side, you’ll no longer have that toxic person in your life to worry about.
Regardless of which option you choose, be prepared for the fallout. Unfortunately, for each action, there is a reaction, & these are often uncontrollable (especially when it comes to love). Consider all of your various options & go from there. You will be stuck with whatever option you choose, so it certainly may be worthwhile to get a second option before you proceed.
How to Deal With a Serial Online Dater
When you meet someone in real life, chances are you’ll already know a bit about them. If not, one of your friends will probably know something, which is often how you figure out that someone is a serial dater. Unfortunately, you have no way of knowing that type of information about someone you met randomly online, making it the perfect place for the serial dater game. This doesn’t mean you have to be wary that everyone you meet online is a serial dater. The fact is, most people you meet online are genuine singles looking for a serious relationship (or will make it plainly obvious that they want something quick). Very rarely will you run into a serial dater, but it’s definitely best to err on the side of caution & stay vigilant anyway.
So, what should you do if you meet someone online & suspect they might actually be a serial dater? Unfortunately, there’s not really much you can do. Even if you had met them in real life, your options would definitely be limited. Online there is actually even less you can do, but in a way, that’s a good thing.
If you’re only talking online, then there’s no need to worry. Fortunately, you haven’t seriously invested in this person yet, so you don’t have anything to lose. Always stay aware every time you communicate & compare their conduct to the warning signs above. Do they try to make you jealous? Do they message you non-stop one day, then ghost you the next? Did they break up with all of their exes? Keep track of these signs, & use them to make your best judgment. If everything seems to check out, then it’s probably OK to meet up with them in-person. But what if you’ve already gone on a couple of dates with them?
You definitely know a bit about them if you’ve gone on a few dates together. Did they take you out on over-the-top dates? If so, you might have a serial dater on your hands! If not, then compare their conduct to the list above. Multiple warning signs are definitely something to worry about, but if there aren’t any warning signs, then it’s certainly worth taking a chance. Love is a game involving risk. At the end of the day, not everyone can be a winner every time. If you do find yourself being dumped by a serial dater, remember: it’s not the end of the world. You probably weren’t the first, & you certainly won’t be the last. Take whatever you can from your short experience together, & always use that knowledge when trying to determine if someone’s a serial dater in the future.
Whether you’re just getting into the dating game or consider yourself a romance expert, serial daters are definitely a problem that everyone should watch out for. Of course, it’s always important to make sure you’re not a problem either. If you find yourself willing to jump right into a relationship but quickly abandoning the ship, you might be a serial dater! In that case, it might be a good idea to take a bit of time to yourself. Once you’ve worked through your issues, you’ll be able to start dating again. Treat others as you’d like to be treated, & happy dating!