AdviceHey, Bonita!

How Do I Convince Dates I Don’t Want to Get Serious?

Dear Bonita,

I got out of a long-term relationship last year. Once I did, I waited awhile to date to heal. Now that I have moved on from my ex, I decided to use a few dating apps. I put in my bio that I am not looking for a relationship and am just meeting new people. I am always open about not wanting anything serious and explain about my past relationship. I’ve been on a couple of dates and even a few hookups. But I have experienced the same situation. Match, chat, go on a date (maybe hook up), and then they confess that they want a relationship with me.

I am starting to lose my mind because I am generally not interested in getting serious with anyone. I try and explain that I am fine with a fling or casually dating, but they then come back with the “things could get serious later…” or “I only want to be with you…”. I’m not sure if I am just picking the wrong guys or if, due to me being emotionally detached from relationships, I make men want to be with me. Either way, I feel like I should just have a stamp on my forehead that says, “No relationship, please.”

How do I make it more clear?


Hoe Phase

Hello HP,

I don’t think this issue has anything to do with the person you are. I don’t think you’re choosing these guys poorly or that your emotions are such that you bring out the manipulation in people. Not that I think any of these guys are creeps or anything, but manipulating people in this way is such a huge part of the media presentation of heterosexual relationships. In the general sense, men are taught to pursue their interests fervently and not take no for an answer, whether you’re trying to get a job or make a girlfriend out of a fling. It’s an extension of our own cultural chauvinism that we’ve all internalized over the years, and modern conversations about consent are thankfully touching on this issue. Guys, it is not cute or endearing when you “chase” us or refuse to take no for an answer. It’s annoying, and depending on your methods, it can be downright scary sometimes. For instance, I had a neighbor knock on my door at 6:30 a.m. on a weekday once to entreat me to go on a date with him after I’d kicked him off of my property the day before. That’s an extreme example, but seriously?

You say that you’re being very clear about your intentions upfront, but you may want to start revisiting that conversation after the intimacy begins. Just a gentle, “I enjoy hanging with you and doing what we do, and I don’t want more than that.” Also adding a little, “Thanks for being my cutty buddy,” may also help by firmly defining the nature of your relationship.  Basically, thank them for being your casual sex friend and for not asking for more, because they totally already know that this is how you want things to be. Pouring on gratitude and praise may help them to accept that a casual thing is all you want before they go into “romantic comedy” mode and show up on your fire escape with flowers.

How long is your profile? Some people see a long and detailed dating app profile and assume the person is a marrying kind, so maybe making your bio shorter and less sweet will attract the ones who literally just want to cut and run. Tinder really is the best hetero app for casual hookups, but I’d also recommend trying FetLife. It’s a dating site for people with particular fetishes to find like-minded partners, but there’s also plenty of casual hookup culture going on there. Who knows, maybe you’d be better matched with a hetero bottom who likes to be told what to do. Worth a shot!

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