I once dated a man for almost five months before realizing he didn’t want anything more than friends with benefits. It came as a harsh blow because from my viewpoint I thought we were one conversation away from being boyfriend and girlfriend. Let’s just say that conversation didn’t go as I expected. He wants to maintain a friendship and because he really is a wonderful person, I did too.
When we first met, I gathered he had commitment issues from his lack of long-term relationships and his never having lived with a woman. But I had my own intimacy issues and no desire for a living arrangement, so I didn’t pay too much attention. I thought we were on the same page. Alas, I was wrong. He says that he never said he wanted a girlfriend which was true, but it was that lack of omission that was the problem. And the fact that I spent an entire day with his parents! To me that was a big deal, to him it was just something to do.
I don’t think there’s anything wrong with dating with no intention of committing to another person, but unless you act responsibly, someone is going to get hurt and you will likely feel guilt. Here are a few tips to avoid these emotional pitfalls.
Tips for Dating without Commitment
1. Be clear in your dating profile. You may not want to, because you’re afraid you won’t attract very many women, but isn’t it better to attract the right women in fewer numbers than mass numbers of ladies who want to tie you down. If all you want is casual sex, just put it out there. Don’t worry, lots of women want just that too!
2. Talk about what you want (and don’t). Most women really do need to be told in words. Even then some gals may think that she will be the one to make you change your ways or settle down. Talk about this on the first date and be very clear, this way she can’t say she wasn’t told. She may still be hurt if she ends up wanting something more, but you won’t have to feel like a schmuck for leading her on.
3. Keep your arrangement casual. Even if you have been clear in your profile and in conversation, you still need to match actions to your intentions (or lack thereof). If you make romantic gestures, she will get the wrong idea. If you introduce her to your family, she will get the wrong idea. You still need to be a gentleman, and treat her like a lady… that’s non-negotiable.
There are plenty of women who are looking for no-strings relationships, but even some of those will fall for you… so take my advice, and keep things crystal clear… unless of course, you also fall in love. That’s the thing, even if you think you don’t want something, it can still happen. That’s what makes dating such an adventure.