You want to weed out the ones who are dating just to "have fun."
By Lizz Morse
From my experience, there have been three subcategories of dating — sometimes they’re just phases; sometimes they’re exactly what you’re looking for. But here, I compare them to dating a man whose intention is to marry the woman.
1. “Just Friends”
You might want more, but ultimately, you come to a point when you realize it’s never going to be anything more than just friends.
I had a ‘thing,’ with this guy I met at a local Family Video store. He was smart, funny and extremely good-looking. I had applied for a job during the summer of 2012, which I ended up not getting. But what I received in return was better than any job–I became close friends with the store manager, Chris.
We talked about anything and everything. I shared a lot of my creative writing with him, and we liked to talk about movies. We had a very “flirty” friendship, and I felt that it could’ve sprouted into a relationship had I stayed in Michigan, but I told him from the very beginning that it was my dream to make it to the west coast — though another hard lesson learned: I actually hate the west coast.
I made a few attempts to ask him out, all of which he declined or deflected. Maybe I wasn’t blunt enough, or perhaps he just wasn’t interested in the way that I thought he was.
Long story short, we were “just friends.” We’re not close anymore, but I will admit that I still have a soft spot for him.
2. “Broken Promises: Friends With Benefits”
I have this knack for being asked out by men in random places. I used to frequent a 7-Eleven every morning for a cup of coffee before work. I noticed a Budweiser delivery man who was the most handsome man I had ever seen at the time. One day, he asked me out on a date.
We were hot for each other to say the least. One thing that I noticed as our “relationship” progressed was: he had a lot of children with a lot of different women. You’d think I was exaggerating, but I kid you not (no pun intended), he had three kids already! He had one when he was a teen — though he enlisted in the Army and the girlfriend ran off with the baby [and another man!].
Then, he had another child with a different woman whom he shared custody with (and paid child support). A couple of months into our relationship, he found out that the woman he was seeing before me — the one he told me he only slept with because she physically couldn’t have children (oh, and might I add, she was separated) — had a child… and he was the father.
Before we even began dated, he disclosed to me his one son (whom he shared custody with), which I was fine with. He also assured me that there was “no baby mama drama.” Let me just say this: if you have to disclose this to someone, it’s a 99% chance there IS baby mama drama.
3. “Priorities: You’re Not One of Them”
I dated this guy named Erin (yes, spelled exactly like that). He was this goofy, extremely sarcastic civil engineer I had met through an online dating website. We started out slow — and by slow, I mean, we didn’t kiss until like the 10th date (which, mind you, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that — just wanted to give you a frame of reference). We liked to talk A LOT.
After about four months together, and with the holidays coming up, it was apparent that he wasn’t serious or ready to commit to me. He’d have these spurts of “feeling overwhelmed,” and not talk to me for weeks at a time. We’d hangout, and things would be fine, and then he’d disappear again. He always had an excuse.
Finally, I was hopping on a plane to Michigan for Thanksgiving, and I said to myself, “If I don’t hear from him before I hop on this plane, I’m done.” Never heard from him, so I called it quits. However, he did contact me a few times after I started dating my [current] boyfriend and became fed up, so I was blunt with him in that he lost his opportunity because I was seeing someone else and had no interest in reconciling with him. He replied, “I’ve been so hesitant to delete your number, Lizz. You’re the coolest girl I’ve ever met, and I know I messed up.”
Yes, you did. But you also set me free.
4. “The One”
I met my current boyfriend on an online dating website. At the time that we started talking, I was interested in someone else. However, I felt there was a genuine connection between us and I truly loved talking to him.
Well, the other guy and I never worked out… he ended up falling somewhere between “just friends,” and “priorities.”
I deleted my profile because I was still talking to my [now] boyfriend and I liked him. He was someone I knew was “real” and wanted to truly get to know. I knew that if I kept going at the rate that I was going, I’d end up hurting him and myself.
Ultimately, I ended up “ghosting” him. A couple of weeks later, when I felt I had cleared my head enough, I joined the online dating website again. I stumbled upon my [now] boyfriend’s profile again, but I figured he’d be angry at me for ghosting him. Finally, he messaged me with, “Welcome back?” I felt a huge sigh of relief. I apologized for ghosting him and that I would explain why if he gave me the chance. A couple of days later, we were on our first date.
Now, we’re celebrating our one-year.
So how do I know he’s “the one”? I’m going to try and give you something you can make sense of rather than just saying, “When you know, you know.”
First and foremost, he tells me and shows me in little ways every day that he loves me.
Secondly, he’s very chivalrous–yes, sounds cliché and overrated, but it’s not. Chivalry goes a long way.
Third, I miss him every second he’s not around. Even though he does certain things that annoy me when he is around, I miss it.
Fourth, our future is a daily topic. There’s always a discussion of what we’ll do with our kids, our money, on our vacations… “I,” “you,” and “me” suddenly become “us,” “we,” and “our.” Those are just a few of the ways I know he’s “the one."
This article was originally published at The Good Men Project. Reprinted with permission from the author.