Are You Disclaimer Dating?

Name: Dan
State: LA
Age: 38
Comment: I have a question regarding women who tell you in the beginning of dating or on their online profile that they don’t want anything serious right now, want to take things slow, want to start off as friends/maybe more later, etc.

Most men view this type of woman as a total waste of time and figure if she was really interested she would not tell you this.  In fact, they believe she is telling you she is not really interested in womanese. Further, many men believe that she is only with you as entertainment and that as soon as she meets someone whom she is truly interested in she will leave you in the dust.

On a personal level, I tried this “once” and it did not work. I feel that if a woman is interested and wants to see where “it leads” she won’t tell you this. It just feels when things are progressing and she puts the “brakes” on, something is not right.

What do you guys and gals think of this and would you ever get involved with someone like this.  I know this scenario can apply to men too but I am seeking opinions on when a woman does this. However, of course, feel free to share any opinions.


Most men view this type of woman as a total waste of time and figure if she was really interested she would not tell you this.  In fact, they believe she is telling you she is not really interested in womanese.

I see the same sort of disclaimers in men’s profiles. You’d be right that they would be telling you that they aren’t terribly interested. Some of those people are aware of that fact when they say it. Others aren’t. Like I’ve said before, there are a lot of people on those sites who think they want a relationship, but don’t or aren’t capable of having one.

Anybody who states in their profile that they want to start things off slow and see where it goes, are “dipping their toe back in to the dating pool,” or looking for “friends first” are, in my opinion, a waste of time. They aren’t sure of what they want OR they’re telling you up front they can’t give much at all. I guess they think there is a big plate of cookies somewhere to reward them for their honesty. That’s one of those things that people reveal and don’t know just how revealing they are being.

I feel that if a woman is interested and wants to see where “it leads” she won’t tell you this.

I would agree with you. I once had a guy from OKCupid ask me out. He suggested we meet for coffee early in the afternoon “just in case” there wasn’t any chemistry. He may as well have said, “I’m going in to this expecting not to be attracted to you.”  I totally agreed with his sentiment and reasoning. But for him to take the extra step and tell me that’s what he was thinking made me think he was hesitant or suspicious of the whole process. In one sentence he revealed his skepticism, and that didn’t appeal to me at all. That wasn’t the type of person I wanted to meet. Too much work.

Any sort of wishy washiness or waivering or back and forth is rarely a good sign. Years ago I received a great bit of business advice. My friend said to try to be everything to one market segment than try to be everything to everybody. Trying to appeal to everyone will stretch a person too thin. It’s also a sign that they aren’t really sure of what they want.

If you want to be someone’s partner, then sell yourself that way. If you just want to be someone’s lover, then sell yourself that way. Saying you want to start things off slow or be friends first defeats the whole purpose of being on line. Most people aren’t there to make new friends. They either want to casually date, want sex or want a relationship.  Hanging out with someone for a drink or a movie with little to no physical interaction is not dating. It’s not even casual dating. That’s someone who just wants companionship and attention. Time waster. Move on.

The people who use online dating but don’t have a clear goal or intention are more likely to end up meeting people who don’t want anything serious or substantive. That risk is high with online dating overall. But more so if you sign on not terribly sure of what you want and, more importantly, what you can offer. It’s totally possible to be open to casual dating and a serious relationship. In fact I think many people on those sites are open to that possibility. But someone who tells you about their casual intentions is slapping a big disclaimer on their forehead. They’re setting up an exit strategy from the get go. Oh…and if they only select “looking for new friends” as their relationship option, they’re pretty much saying, flat out, I’m looking for casual sex only. No dates. Just sex. Few people actually choose the casual sex option any more because they think it will hurt their chances. They usually choose “short term dating” or “new friends” to say what they’re trying to say.

Ambivalence of any kind should be a red flag and be avoided.

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34 Responses to “Are You Disclaimer Dating?”

  1. Karen Says:

    Sometimes people do this because they are leery of others who want to rush things so quickly. I am one who likes to take things very slow. Too much too soon has never worked because down the road with these types of people revealed alot of issues I do not want.

    Women usually are typical of this – hurry up for a relationship, hurry up to be engaged, hurry up getting married. All for the sake of being in a relationship. Its interesting that women do this and it raises a red flag to men. Men usually are the one’s dragging their feet.

    To the OP, she may have got burned before by these type’s. I would say she probably still wants a relationship but isnt going to rush it.

    • dan Says:

      Karen, I see your point. However, in my situation, we had sex very early on. In fact, after our first meeting from meeting online. Afterwards, she acted like she wanted to pursue something, i.e. going to dinner w/ me and making out with me etc., but would give me the “let’s slow down” or ” I’m not looking to get serious” speech. ALL MIXED SIGNALS. It could have been she had regrets about the sex or that was all she was looking for. In any case, the way she acted about the sex, providing an excuse why it happened–due to coming off a relationship and how we “got out of hand”, and then completely “distancing” herself” w/o emotion painted a very negative picture of her to me. Maybe just a booty call. :)

      She would later claim she did not mislead me which I call b/s. She also tried to convince me by stating we only went out on a few dates–no mention of the sex. I can only conclude this chick was either crazy, not in a place to date or was just looking fo casual sex or all three. In retrospect, not someone I should be in a relationship with. In summary, this is why guys complain about women and call some of you “crazy.”

      • Andthatswhyyouresingle Says:

        Okay. So write her off as nuts and be done with it. When she reminded you that you and she had ony had 3 dates, she was telling you you were acting crazy. You seem to meet women who are nuts, you kknow they’re nuts, but you still get pissed off when they act nuts. Date women who aren’t nuts. Problem solved.

        Also if this letter was submitted just so you can use the comments to vent, I’m taking the post down.

        • Jaclyn Says:

          My rule was that if you are fighting before a relationship is even established, then you need to just break up. There’s no reason to be miserable and deal with problems with someone you have gone out on only 3 dates with. If you get too attached to a woman if you have slept with her during this time, you might want to consider holding off on sex until later. (and please note that wasn’t meant to criticize anyone who is having sex earlier. If you are capable of not getting too attached, it’s perfectly fine. But if you are like me and you tend to get clingy too early, then you need to wait until later.)

          And yes, as Moxie stated in the previous comment, if this is a pattern of you dating crazy women, then you need to look at yourself as the common denominator.

    • Andrew Says:

      It’s a lack of well developed social skills that leads to the disclaimer. When people do that, they are typically manifesting a behavior pattern that they themselves don’t like seeing in another person.

      When I was coming up we saw it in girls who were forewarned of the dangers of men. So we guys never thought much of it and ignored the behavior. Lately though we see it a lot in men too. I guess the pendulum have swung to the middle. I suppose people are internalizing the previous burns they have received.

  2. MLB Says:

    Well then… this just cleared up a whole lot of personal questions I had.. too bad, what a shame.. but in any case I should be focusing my time else where since I’m ready. Then when who ever comes around to their senses I’ll be still right here.

    p.s. some how I cant help but feel like I’ve been wasting my time, and wasted time, energy, efforts always makes me feel disapointed

  3. dimplz Says:

    This question seems like it can be easily solved by invoking common sense. If you are looking for something more, and the other party has already claimed they are on the fence, don’t waste your time. It sounds to me like Dan is doing the same thing most of the women do here. Write in when something doesn’t work out and all the signs are there. If you don’t seem to have shared goals from the start, that’s a sign that it’s a waste of time and you should move on. Someone who says “let’s see what develops” is not looking for anything permanent. They are testing the waters. Someone who really wants to have something lasting won’t be so noncommital in their profile. They will write things like, “I’d like to be married and have children” or “I’m looking to settle down.” I don’t know how someone sees a profile like “let’s see what happens” and goes, “oh yeah, this is the person I’ve been looking for!” It’s not that complicated. The OP is clearly going for looks and ignoring everything else.

    • Crotch Rocket Says:

      “Someone who really wants to have something lasting won’t be so noncommital in their profile. They will write things like, ‘I’d like to be married and have children’ or ‘I’m looking to settle down.'” Many women who are looking for those things think admitting it will drive off men who are “scared of commitment” but might be interested in the same once they got to know them, so they say things like “‘let’s see what happens'”.

      • dimplz Says:

        I would urge any women who really wants to get married to write it in her profile. She’ll probably get way less hits, but at least it won’t be by men who are scared off by her admission. I’m sure she will still meet some man who doesn’t even go far enough to read into it, because Dan seems to have ignored the opposite comment, so it may not make a difference at all, and she may get the same amount of attention. People don’t really bother reading profiles anymore.

  4. trouble Says:

    My favorite kind of “disclaimer” dating is when people write “High maintenance people need not apply” or something similar in their ad. I would wager money that 90% of the time, the person writing that disclaimer is high maintenance or difficult to deal with, or at the minimum, has all kinds of unresolved issues from their last relationship.

    Instead of being angry, Dan, why not be grateful that some people so openly advertise their red flags so you can avoid them.

  5. P. Says:

    I think there’s a difference between saying this in your profile and saying it to someone you’re dating. Saying it in your profile is silly — yeah, it’s a disclaimer, but not one that needs to be issued. It’s a perfectly acceptable way to build a relationship — especially one that starts online where you’re strangers to one another — to take your time to get to know someone rather than jumping in with both feet and not developing any kind of friendship first. So when it’s included, I agree with Moxie that it’s revealing more than the person saying it intends about their relative lack of unavailability.

    But, when someone says it to you after you’ve dated a few times, it can mean a number of different things. It can mean “I’m not interested in you and hope you’ll quietly fade away when I say this.” It can mean “I’m not interested in a relationship with you but I’m fine with something casual in the meantime.” It can mean “I like you, but I’m a mess right now and in no shape to commit.” It can mean “you’re going much faster than I would like to go and I’d like to put the brakes on things.”

    My view of this is similar to DMN’s view on “there’s no chemistry.” It’s something you say that has no meaning and is really about something else. However, I don’t think you can reach any kind of consensus on what that something else is, because I’ve seen people use to mean all the things I listed above.

    • Andrew Says:

      I agree with P here. Putting up some type disclaimer on a profile is standard these days. It’s most likely to be there than not there in someone’s profile. There are soft disclaimers which are generally aaccepted and hard disclaimers which can be confrontational. The reality though, is that they have not met the person as yet, so anyone reading the profile would be getting ahead of themselves to see it just directed at him or her, or to assume that the person is also high maintenance as in the example.

      And by the way Saj, I am sure I saw a disclaimer on your online profile, lol.

      • Andrew Says:

        My apologies Saj, your were not the one that made the comment about High Maintenance. These phone browser things gets us screwed sometimes.

      • Saj Says:

        Lol nope no disclaimer when I did online dating. It was hey this is me, this is what my hobbies are and if you are interested contact. No Nazi list of requirements.

        However I did meet 3-4 guys there that ended up being friends for years rather then romantic prospects but that happens on it’s own without having to say anything.

    • Dan Says:

      Look, she pursued me online–not me. She wanted to meet me and when we did I mentioned that I normally don’t date people in her area. Her response was, ” not even me?” Yeah, and we then had sex the night of our first meeting.

      She was the first to text me after we had sex. Ok. Then I thought the “green light” had been given and I started pursuing her. We reconnected and she asked me if i would ever come see her at her place. She also invited me to a college football game (asked if I could get a ticket) and a party her boss was holding that day. She aslo suggested we go together to a college football game at my alma mater. However, she did mention she wanted to take it slow. Fine, wtf, you invite me to a personal event but let’s take it slow. I’m game.

      We did go out again–Wednesday. In fact, she introduced me to one of her clients she was finishing with when I met her. Again, after dinner, she mentioned she did not want to get serious with anyone at this time and that, when we had sex, it “got out of hand” and blamed it on a recent relationship that did not work out. Fine. We then make out and on the way to my car, she wants to hold my hand–not me. I bring her back to her hotel and we kiss again and she tells me she will be in for next week. I did not ask.

      Now, if she did not want to see me again or wanted me to chill, I feel she would not have kissed me or, more importantly, told me she would be in town next week and basically, insinuated, she is available. I could be wrong.

      So, you know what, I stupidly text her on Monday (5 days later) to ask if she will still be available the latter half of this week. She said she would find out. I then thought, well I have not called her or talked to ehr in almost a week, so let me call her. Why did I did this? Well, because in my past relationships with women they have complained that I disappear and don’t call enough. So, let me do this so I don’t screw up again. So, I call and leave a message just saying “hey” and nothing about showing up the latter half of this week. Well, I get a curt text back, stating, “dan, I won’t be able to make it…you are a great guy but I am too busy to be serious at this time… I don’t think I misled you and I told you…talk later..exhausted…”

      Should she have just said, “Can’t make it…talk later?” Yeah, she could have. Should, I have left it alone, at this point and just said, “ok?” Fuck yeah. But, I didn’t. Common sense went out the window b/c I liked her. I panicked and emailed her to try to fix it and see what was going on. The reply I got was, “Dan…you are a nice guy..but you need to move on…I am off of and have to concentrate on blah blah…”

      I let it go then.

      Honestly, I was confused what this woman was trying to tell me. I felt she was giving me mixed signals. More than likely, because I liked her and it was clouding my judgment. Maybe you guys can enlighten me what she was trying to tell me. Right now, I’m hurt and disappointed. At one point, I though that I probably screwed this up with my worrisome and maybe “obsessive” behavior. Maybe so.

      However, I’m a big boy and the reason I post stuff here is so I can learn from others and their experiences so I don’t make the same mistakes.

      And, no, I’m not angry. Like I said. trying to learn and own up to my behaviour.

      • Andthatswhyyouresingle Says:

        She was already ambivalent, but you chased her, making her run. That’s what happened. So next time just don’t chase her. You’re pissed because you know that you pushed the issue when you should have just walked away and because you got needy. Just deal with your part of the issue and move the eff on.

      • dimplz Says:

        You didn’t text after 5 days because you didn’t want to make a mistake of not being communicative – you did it because you were horny. For someone who seems to have no problem being blunt with others, you seem to have an awful hard time (pun intended) being honest with yourself.

      • D Says:

        It seems to me she may also have met someone else, which would explain why she’s off

        • dimplz Says:

          I thought that, but that was her “get out of jail free” card and she didn’t play it. Instead, she really made it clear she didn’t want anything with him and he should move on. This is a dream in many people’s eyes. I really don’t see how he could be so hurt after only a few dates and absolutely no promises.

      • Karen Says:

        Sounds like sex gone bad.

      • Saj Says:

        Women can be weird emotional creatures. Maybe she did have sex with you based on whatever weird emotions and motivations she was feeling at the time but regretted later.

        Perhaps it had nothing to do with you and more of a oh wow I am NOT ready to be moving this fast and I did anyway ugh ugh ugh. Thus the mixed signals. I’d try not to take it too personally.

        I remember getting somewhat intimate with a guy who I liked ok but not enough for usually going that far but I didn’t want to hurt his feelings by rejecting him flat out. I was pissed at myself afterwords and avoided the guy even though honestly he did noting wrong.

  6. DrivingMeNutes Says:

    There is a huge difference between a disclaimer in a profile and what happened to Dan.

    In Dan’s story, the woman regretted sleeping with him. We can make guesses as to why, but we don’t know why. Rather than saying the reason, she gave an excuse which sent Dan on a mission to figure out what it means and why women do this. She may be nuts, but it sounds like she tried to tell him several times in several different ways that he should chill and he decided to do the opposite. If anything, that is an indication that Dan doesn’t respect what people tell him, which he should work on. He does this in the guise of “confusion” but its not – its lack of respect.

    In contrast, a disclaimer on an online dating site could very well be a strategy – the woman wants something serious generally but thinks the best way to get there is to act like a reasonable-sounding person rather than a crazy person looking to fill her pre-determined husband role. I admit I’m probably not the right guy for that woman, but I’d take a woman that says “let’s see where it goes” any day over someone who’s already decided where I should fit into her life before meeting me. The former appear reasonable and latter come off as delusional.

  7. P. Says:

    I’m not saying this is a rational explanation for her mixed signals, as based upon what you’ve told us, it seems like there definitely were some….but do you know anything about her religious beliefs? Given you’re in the South, where things are more traditional and old-fashioned, it’s a possibility that she was beating herself up for sleeping with you on the first date — and maybe even enjoying it — but then some guilt and remorse kicked in and she had to really distance herself from you.

    And if you gave off a befuddled reaction on the Wednesday date, then she might have assumed that she was right, and that you were only interested in bedding her, which would have caused her to backtrack even more.

    I’m not sure that’s a better explanation than “she’s crazy” or “she changed her mind,” but it’s a possibility at least.

    I also find it interesting that this is almost exactly the profile of a pump and dump, except with the gender roles reversed. It could just be that she’s not ready for a relationship, and the sex wasn’t good enough to keep Dan around as a casual thing, given the distance between them and her schedule.

  8. Dan Says:

    First, let me say that I’m not trying to be disrespectful to women. I’m just going to give my perspective and to answer P’s question about remorse.

    P, she is from Mississipi, raised baptist, has a kid (11 yr old), right winger and still goes to church. She was a busy, professional, educated and high level executive woman. Just looking at her and with this info in mind, I would never have thought she would have jumped into bed, so easily. She was the stereotypical attractive southern blonde– tanned etc. Those kinds of girls get a lot of male attention down here and are not easy to attract etc.–so I thought. In fact, she told me she gets asked out all the time. Also, we had a few drinks but it wasn’t anything drastic. She was just into me and no protests once we got hot and heavy. I mean, I guess I got lucky and, actually, should not complain. Had a great night with a beautiful woman.

    However, I still liked the woman and I don’t think I did anything to make her feel ashamed, etc.

    • P. Says:

      Based upon this information, Dan, I think my assessment may have been right. Especially with a kid involved, I think she realized she was either going to jump into something hot and heavy with you (and there may have been some similarities to that with the relationship that just ended for her) or she had to push you away pretty strongly to remove the temptation.

      Based on this, I also don’t think it was a booty call. For her, things really did get out of hand, and she had to make very sure something like that didn’t happen again, by very firmly pushing you away and by taking down her Match profile. Women like her don’t like to be carried away, and don’t like to really take responsibility for it when they do.

  9. Andthatswhyyouresingle Says:

    Out of a desire to be servicey and to prevent this nonsense from going any further:

    Nothing got out of hand.
    Her religion had nothing to do with it.
    She didn’t take down her profile out of a fear of temptation.

    She’s a kook drama queen who likes to believe she’s “not that kind of girl” but is who was looking for a revenge fuck.

    She probably asked Dan to this football game/ work party because the guy who recently dumped her was going to be there and she was going to tyry and make him jealous and get him back.

    She felt Dan was getting all “creepo stalkery” because he dared pursue her after all the green lights she gave him.

    She was never interested in anything consistent in the first place.

    She blocked him on Match.

    You’re welcome.

    • DrivingMeNutes Says:

      You know, this interpretation, while speculative, is actually highly defensible. Thumbs up.

    • dimplz Says:

      All of these make more sense than the other theories, which seem to be trying to help the OP feel better about himself. I don’t think OP needs to be made to feel better about himself. It’s not about him. It’s been a few dates, the woman is not obligated to give more than what she has, and I actually think she was pretty gracious. Other commenters would have just flat out ignored him and have admitted to doing so.

    • P. Says:

      Moxie obviously didn’t grow up around Baptist women.

      • trouble Says:

        I grew up Southern Baptist and attended a Southern Baptist College. I think Moxie’s dead on. Nice try.

  10. Selena Says:

    Those first few dates are just a way of getting to know each other – you can’t know if you’re ‘into’ someone without spending time with them. Sex with a relative stranger isn’t an indication of anything other than they wanted to have sex with you – at the time. It’s not a mixed message – it’s called hormones. If you believe sex should mean more than that, don’t do it with someone you barely know.

    You liked her. She wasn’t into you after a few dates. Happens. Sucks, but it happens. Sorry Dan. :(

  11. dan Says:

    Thank you Selene–it does suck and a damn, hard lesson. And you are right.

    But, as Moxie said, I do need take responsibility for my acts. For example, I need to let stuff be and not come off as being desperate and/or needy. I don’t know if anything would have been different here but I should have texted her re: coming into town once and not called later–despite my reasons. Granted, I wish she just would have said no and left it at that w/o the “not wanting to get serious” part of it, but, even so, no need to respond back other than, “ok, no problem.” For all I know, she could have been having a very stressful day. Yet, I panicked and started thinking about it and the end result was I sent more texts and emails and fucked it up. Finally, she was like, “Enough. Stop! Move on Crazy!” At that point, there’s no coming back. I was that guy ffrom the movie, “Swingers.”

    Once a woman decides you are needy/desperate/crazy and moves on not even an apology will save your ass. Not even God, Jesus Christ, Budda, Mohammad, Mr. T, Brad Pitt showing up at her doorstep to argue on your behalf will change her mind or save your ass.

    Like I said, from what you guys have written there may have been other factors which may have made the above merely a contributing factor and not “the factor” why she moved on. However, I can’t be doing this with the next woman I meet. I start doing this and she’s going to run the other way, too. It’s something I will need to work on and hopefully, remember. Maybe I needed this to help me see the error of my ways. It’s a crappy way of finding out but if it stops me from ruining other potentials it may be worth it.

    On an ending note: The positive is that I met a beautiful woman who I had a great night with and who I believe I treated decently afterwards. Now if I can just get out of my own way. Thanks for the comments guys.

    • Selena Says:

      Dan, people who are very interested want to spend time together. They want to stay in contact via phone, text, email, whatever. You don’t get to know someone better by spending less time with them. Or by having less contact with them. Relationships set their own course – those who believe “taking it slow” means infrequent contact are either not that interested or juggling multiple other people – possibly both.

      From your posts I didn’t get the impression you were inundating this woman with multiple daily calls, texts, emails – that’s the kind of thing that comes across as clingy (and spooky) from a person you barely know. Rather, it sounded to me you were merely expressing interest and she did not reciprocate it. The first date sex was likely just hormones fueled by alcohol and she may have felt regretful about it the morning after. How would you know that in advance? Nothing you can do about it.

      Watch for mirroring in the future. Someone who is genuinely interested in you will usually mirror your effort: you call, they call back promptly. You email, they email back promptly. Etc. Someone who IS interested will be hoping you text, call, want to get together. Even “crazy busy” people manage to make time and effort for those they are into, so be wary of that excuse. Same with the “take it slow” folks. Put in a reasonable amount of effort and if it’s not reciprocated move on.

    • JS Says:

      honestly, i would much rather have the “I cant make it and I dont think we should date” text that you got rather than the “i cant make it sorry but another time” BS txt and then FADE that soooo many men do.

      Because with the latter you wind up waiting and waiting and thinking that they’re are still interested and you’re still dating and trying to decide how to schedule another date and you can be thinking this for a week or two before you realize that they’re not in it anymore b/c they ignore all texts/emails.

      I’d much rather the consideration of being told “hey, sorry, I cant do this.” Than be ignored like a non-entity. You got way more consideration from this woman than most women get from men who do the pump-n-dump / FADE without any reason, warning or attempt to inform the other person. (just my humble opinion)

      I know it still hurts and sucks to be rejected. And I do empathize

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