Just out of a marriage. That was about four months ago. Heartbroken, I started dating. New to the online dating thing and it’s been a whirlwind. Typically there’s little chemistry, so my date and I part ways, no problem. But there have been a handful of women I’ve connected with. During date 1 or 2 I tell them I’m recently divorced and all the major plot points. Then by date 3-6 we’re having a discussion about what we’re looking for. This has led to hurt feelings when I share that I’m not ready for something serious. The question, "Then why are you dating?", comes up a lot. Is there a type of legitimate dating that is looking to enjoy others company without wanting to build something together? Is the onus on me to say something different from Date 1? That feels unnecessarily defensive and presumptive. I don’t know what another other person wants. I just had this exact convo with a woman I like a lot and with whom I was having sex. She texted me she felt there was an imbalance growing between how she felt and how I felt. She asked if she should date other people. I said I wasn’t ready to build anything and if that’s what she wants she should date other people. I feel shitty. I want to have a serious relationship again but don’t feel ready for a while. Should I stop dating? I don’t want to keep finding myself here after 3-6 dates.

What's This For?

There's a pretty simple fix here, WTF: Move the "not ready for something serious" detail/disclosure up from Date 3-6 to Date 1-2.

You might think a person would assume you're not looking for something serious, seeing as you're only four months out from your divorce, and that means you can safely omit that detail until after you've had a lot of sex, e.g. until after Date 3-6. But that hasn't been your experience, has it? So either you're giving women the impression you're ready for something more serious despite being recently divorced—maybe your moves are kinda romancey?—or you're such a catch that every woman you've dated has come down with a bad case of clitful thinking. Whichever one it is, WTF, there's an easy way to avoid finding yourself in this place again after 3-6 dates: make it clear you aren't looking for anything serious after 1-2 dates.

Basically, WTF, I'm calling bullshit on the claim that you're disclosing "all the major plot points" during that Date 1-2 convo about your divorce. That's obviously not true. The fact that you aren't open to something serious at the moment is a major plot point—it's the majorist plot point of all. It might cost you some sex in the short run if you disclose that right away, WTF, which I'm guessing is why you haven't been disclosing it right away, but in the long run you'll wind up finding women who want what you want. Basically, if you want to feel less shitty, be less shitty.

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