Question: Dear Moxie,
I was wondering what you think about men who include the line “I’m looking for a serious relationship” in their profile. I met a guy on match.com last February and that is what he put in his profile. We’ve been dating for a year now, and the relationship doesn’t feel all that serious to me. He hasn’t told me he loves me, he hasn’t asked me if I want us to date exclusively, and doesn’t talk much about the future. My friends have joined us a few times for drinks, but I have yet to meet his friends. I met his parents once, but it was not intentional. They own his apartment building and were changing the locks on the door. I’m feeling ready to move on, and am contemplating how I can learn from my past mistakes. In the future, should I trust men who, right out of the gate, state that they are looking for a serious relationship? Thank you.
In general, I am leery of anyone who includes any kind of disclaimer in their profile. That kind of explicit instruction or detail conveys frustration, mistrust, and – often times – manipulation. However, as we’ve heard over and over again here, most dating sites and apps are widely considered to be about hooking-up and little else. Hence why many men feel the need to express their intentions so clearly. They don’t want to be lumped into the group of people (and there are many) that use those platforms just for quick sex or a free meal.
The problem, which I have stated many times now, is that most disclaimers are disregarded. They do not serve as the filter people think they do. I mean, at this point, users are lucky if potential matches make it through their whole profile. If someone has selfish intentions, they’re not going to care that you’re looking for something serious. They’ll play along until they get what they want. The main reason these disclaimers are pointless is because – wait for it – the people using them are likely still going to go out with people that give off all the signs that they’re not looking for anything serious. You know, out of curiosity.
As for your situation, I’m sorry to say this but this guy hasn’t technically done anything wrong. He very well might be looking for a serious relationship, just not with you. He’s passing the time, and frankly so are you. The signs are all there and appear to have existed for awhile, so why are you still with him? I assume you’re looking for a serious relationship, yet you’re settling for one that isn’t.
In the future, should I trust men who, right out of the gate, state that they are looking for a serious relationship?
I think, like everything else, this should be decided on a case by case basis. You have to understand that the good guys and the bad guys are going to say they’re looking for a serious relationship because they know that’s what women want to hear. That’s why it’s useless to ask a man this upfront or right away. Usually when men speak of commitment in this context they are speaking in the abstract. “I want a serious relationship…eventually.”
The only thing you can do when you see this sort of declaration in a profile is pay attention to the rest of the profile. Does he seem sincere? Do his other remarks or photos tell a different story? The only way to know if someone is on the up and up is to meet them. Trust me, you’ll know pretty quickly/within the first few dates what this guy can offer.