As a single woman who is quickly approaching 30 and who would like to have a family one day, dating is a common topic of discussion for me. I dedicated much of my last 10 years to education and not love so my friends and I often discuss the best way to approach dating. Through these conversations, I have come to appreciate two types of daters: the serial daters and the isolated daters.
THE SERIAL DATERS
We all know at least one serial dater. The person who never mentions the name of the woman/guy they are going on a date with because they will be out with another one this weekend. These people, who are generally extroverts, look for love using the principle of quantity, have self-proclaimed hard to meet standards, and are chronically unhappy with the dating pool. But nevertheless, they persist in their dating escapades.
Serial dating is for people who know what they are looking for and can easily identify who they are attracted to. This type of dating involves being attentive in spurts and is composed of a series of deep but remote interactions with people. One should be successful in finding a mate through serial dating just based off of the principle of sheer quantity alone. This is for the “love at first sight” people!
1. Explore the gambit of types of people and their interests
2. Less commitment and emotional energy required
3. More opportunities to shape your understanding of who you are and what you like
1. Can feel like a constant pursuit of looking for someone better
2. May fall in love with the process and not the people
3. Requires a lot of physical energy communicating and scheduling with multiple people
THE ISOLATED DATERS
These are the people who take it one person at a time, often over-investing with much hope and expectation. They long for love and are often self-proclaimed hopeless romantics. They are generally introverts, so their baseline of energy to give is already low. However, they carve out energy to hang out with their love interest and make room in their heart to get prematurely attached and hope for the best.
Dating in isolation is for people who do not mind commitment and prefer having someone’s undivided attention. This type of dating is best suited for people who look forward to growing and getting to know a person before deciding on their potential. It is composed of one meaningful, deep connection at a time, over time. This is for the “I just keep falling more and more in love” people.
1. Often get to know a person at a faster pace
2. Make deeper connections
3. Practice building and growing with an individual
1. Greater chance of getting your feelings hurt if not on the same page
2. Requires a lot of emotional energy
3. May lose hope if 2 or 3 people you poured a lot of energy into don’t work out
To my Serial Daters:
Serial dating is a preface to real dating that your isolated dating counterparts do not require. Once your interest is peeked, you evolve into an isolated dater. Maybe you are serial dating because you do not actually want to be committed to one person. So before you commit to someone, make sure it is what you want and that you are ready for the commitment.
To my Isolated Daters:
The thought of being in a relationship arises much earlier for you than for your serial dating counterparts. You actually perceive dating as more of a preface to a relationship than a weed out phase. So before you fall in love, make sure that they are worthy. It is ok to do a little more screening and be a little less accepting if their principles do not line up with yours.
Our professions are important, but so is balance and home life. Many of us have additional goals outside of our jobs that include a spouse and family, and the first step toward marriage is a date. Don’t think of dating as a trivial gesture or a daunting task, but as the first step to your goal.
1. So now my questions for you:
2. What kind of dater are you?
3. How’s your dating life going?
4. Is there another dating category that I am missing?
5. Which type of dating is better?
6. Should you ask on the first date what type of dater the other person is?
7. Tips for dating you’d like to share with everyone?
If there is a spectrum of daters, my above descriptions of course represent the extremes. Honestly I feel like I cycle through both serial dating and isolated dating so I am looking forward to hearing your responses in the comments below!
Sharis Steib, a native of Vacherie, LA, graduates from LSU School of Medicine in New Orleans in May. She will complete her residency training in PM&R at the University of Michigan after her internship at the LSU Baton Rouge Medicine Residency program. She received a B.S. in Biological Engineering from LSU.