COLUMN: Player or serial dater? Know the difference
Published: Saturday, October 26, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, October 1, 2013 00:10
Single life is great; in fact, being single can be a lot of fun. One main reason is you get to date a lot of different people and have lots of options. I think it’s good to date and get to know all kinds of people. It teaches you important life and people skills like nothing else could. I like to call this “serial dating.”
But when we continue to date a lot of people, the line between serial dater and player can become blurred. When do you stop dating all of your “options” and narrow it down to one?
It’s not often you have a first date and come out of it knowing you want to be in a serious relationship with that person. Nope — as my grandma always says, “You have to try all the flavors of ice cream before you settle on vanilla.” Now I think she was referring to getting married, but it can apply to simple dating as well.
But how long until vanilla realizes you’re experimenting with other flavors and stops believing you have any interest whatsoever?
We’ve all been in that situation where there are two or more interests you just can’t seem to choose between. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could just combine them all and create your dream catch? That sure would save a lot of time and trouble, right? But outside of fantasy land, we do eventually have to narrow it down and stick with just one person. But how long can we go on dating all of them, and how far should we take the beginning stages of the relationship when we’re dating multiple people?
I have a friend who recently got out of a relationship and is back on the dating scene. She is back to being a serial dater and has a few guys she’s narrowed her interests down to. She likes different things about each one of them and continues to date all of them. Last weekend she started to feel some guilt after she went out with one of these guys on Friday, kissed him, and then went out with another on Saturday and kissed him as well.
After a long conversation with our other friends, we decided being a serial dater and a player are basically the same thing; both imply you can’t decide exactly what you want and aren’t ready to settle on just one person yet. We agreed the difference between the two is the intentions behind each.
A serial dater’s intentions are innocent, with no plans to deceive anyone involved. If a person you’re dating asks you if you’re seeing other people as well, it’s best to be honest and admit you are. Even once you go as far as kissing them, it’s still just in the beginning stages. A serial dater is someone who dates a lot of people, but doesn’t lead them to believe they are “special.” There is nothing wrong with dating someone and then deciding they aren’t the person for you; it just means you won’t settle until you find what you want.
On the other hand, a player is someone who lies to get what they want. They lead you on to believe you’re the “only one” when they are dating numerous people. If you are lying to someone to get what you want — whatever that may be — then there’s a good chance you’re a player.