I am newly single again and I remember from 20 years ago what my process was for dating. As soon as I met someone that I liked, I saw them exclusively and just worked through things. And ultimately, never identified what I needed. Been there, done that!
Now I’m older and wiser, and I want to date around until I’m absolutely sure that the person is someone who has long-term potential (and after 20 years of marriage, I am in no great rush!). That being said, when and how does the “we are just casual” conversation come up? Or it doesn’t have to?
I’m a month into dating this guy and as much as I enjoy him, it’s way too early to know if he has good long-term potential. My thought was to just enjoy our time together, continue to see other people, and not bring up the fact that we are casual and seeing other people at this point. I think it would actually crush his unspoken, but obvious, a fantasy of him being the only apple of my eye. If he asks me if I am seeing other people, which I can’t see this guy doing, then I will be upfront with him. But otherwise, until he brings it up, I wasn’t going to bring it up. I realize I am possibly sending mixed signals because there are a lot of sleepovers and I always find time to see him, so why would he think I’m still seeing others? Is that his bad for assuming or my bad for not spelling things out for him?
Ella P. – San Diego, CA
Thanks for this question. Thousands of daters find themselves in this situation. This oh-so-common conundrum is caused by the framework our society has built around dating, and it’s a bit, well, fucked up, to be blunt. So, let’s reframe this problem, okay?