Question: Hi! I’ve checked out your blog and see that you recommend not to include what you’re looking for on a dating profile. But I’m curious, what do you think is the best response when a date outright asks what you’re looking for? I get this question often and I find it difficult to answer.
Ultimately, I am looking for a long term relationship, but I’m fully aware that what I am looking for takes time to develop organically. So I guess I’m online looking to meet new people, with the hope that one of these dates may eventually lead to a relationship. But that sounds so complicated to explain to a man…
I don’t want to say “I’m looking for a relationship” and have him freak out thinking I’m trying to lock him down. But saying “I’m just looking to meet new people” seems so casual, and I don’t want to give off the impression that I’m just looking to hook up.
What do you think is the best response?
I happen to find the, “What are you looking for?” question to be bad form. If someone poses that question to me I think one of three things. Either they’re:
A. Just looking to get laid
B. On a mission to find a partner.
C. Suspicious or otherwise mistrustful and don’t want to waste their time unless this stranger they just met is on the exact same page as they are.
Now, none of these people sound appealing, do they? No, they don’t, which is why this questions shouldn’t be asked. If it is, take it as a red flag and politely recuse yourself. All you need to do is check off the respective boxes on your profile that cover what it is you’re looking for and that’s that. No need for further explanation. It’s a waste of valuable real estate.
You’re absolutely right that compatibility takes time to develop. An experienced well-adjusted person knows this, which is why those people never ask such questions. They know they’re putting someone on the defensive. If they don’t, they’re an uncouth idiot. Only someone with no situational awareness or social graces would ever think they are owed an answer to such an inquiry.
For the most part, I think the “what are you looking for” query is used by guys looking for a hook-up. They don’t want to come out and say that they’re not looking for anything serious. Instead, they broach the topic by asking the woman what her intentions are first in order to feel her out. That conversation opens the door for them to share what they’re looking for. It’s a trick, basically, and and old one at this point. People still employing this tactic are showing their respective asses. I don’t think I’ve ever heard an example where this line of questioning has resulted in a relationship.
The next time someone asks this question, turn it around on them. Ask them why they’re asking. If they’re rude enough to put you on the spot, then you’re well within your rights to do the same thing. See how they like it. This also goes for people who ask when your last relationship was, how long your longest relationship was, why you broke up with someone, why you are single, how many people have you slept with etc. The bottom line is that the answers to these questions are nobody’s business.
People take the “first dates are like an interview” thing far too literally, and questions like this are the end result. No, a first date isn’t like an interview. In an interview, the power dynamic is almost exclusively one sided and only one candidate is being vetted, not both. A date is a date; it’s an opportunity to get an idea of someone’s personality and interests. First dates are not the time to shove someone under the microscope or fire questions at them, they are for getting to know each other. It’s difficult to get someone to open up when they’re constantly trying to dodge hidden land mines. In their attempt to “get to know you”, people who assault dates with stupid questions are almost ensuring they’ll walk away from the date learning nothing that person.