There are many different types of daters out there, and you’ve probably dated most of them.
Kidding…but maybe not?!
I know I’ve dated my share, and it can be exhausting. That’s why I decided to catalog the different types of people I consistently see out in the dating pool, so I’ve also included some advice to go along with them.
But this blog post is special, because I’ve also asked some of my team members their thoughts on the types of daters out there, and how they recommend to handle them.
So next time you’re out on the dating scene, ask yourself, does the person you’re dating fit into one of these categories?
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The “Catch and Release” Dater
This person is attentive, makes you feel great, comes across super interesting—a bit mysterious you think at first. That’s hot!
Here’s the problem, once they have piqued your interest, they become evasive, and that charm they once possessed, becomes a redundant tune of empty conversation. The interaction, while fun, doesn’t create an opportunity to get to know one another better. The more you try to connect, the more they seem to escape you. This type of dater likes a game of cat and mouse because the moment you pull back, here they come—excuses in hand—to get your attention.
This person likes the pursuit, but will never provide a partner with what they need until they get tired of the game and decide to settle down. In the meantime, any partner that takes them seriously will have a headache on their hands.
There are several reasons why this type of dater has this style. Perhaps they had a traumatic experience with a previous relationship, they still don’t know what they want, or maybe their insecurities run so deep this game is the only way to get a sense of worth. Whatever the reason, it is not your responsibility to fix them. The better question is, why you’re willing to deal with someone like that?
If you are honest with yourself about what you’re getting out of the relationship, you are going to have an easier time moving on from it. Ultimately, it is about fulfilling your own needs before entering a relationship. Otherwise, you will be attracted to people who can provide either a distraction from or fulfillment for what’s missing, but not the vision you want for yourself.
If you are not ready to give up on your “hunter” just yet, here are some strategies you can use.
The “Hide and Seek” Dater
Imagine how different your relationship would be if you treated them exactly the way they treat you. If they love chasing their partner, then you need to be unavailable while maintaining a flirtatious vibe. Start filling up your calendar with events that don’t involve them. You want to communicate that you have a life all of your own that makes you happy and that they should want to be a part of it. Nothing is going to thrill them more than having you just out of reach.
Once they start looking to get on your calendar, pay attention to their follow-through.
If you notice the same pattern of behavior, cut your losses, and move on.
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Be Willing to Walk Away
You’re not giving your partner an ultimatum. You’re not asking them to change or even compromise for the sake of the relationship. Instead, you’re letting them know that while you understand that they may not be ready for a serious relationship, you are not interested in continuing with your relationship as it stands. Self-respect triggers this type of dater because they see it as a boundary they haven’t quite cracked.
See Other People
Allow them to experience what it’s like to have you move on. However, I urge you to be careful. This type of dater does get jealous, but it has nothing to do with you. It’s all about winning the game, and the game is your attention, affection, and even love, not necessarily a relationship with you. Don’t sacrifice a relationship with real potential for this game.
Ultimately, this all boils down to the insecurities and immaturity of this type of dater. They will change when it’s the right time for them, and there’s very little that you can do to impact that—and that’s okay.
Spend your energy on someone that reciprocates consistently. You are worth that and so much more!
The “Fixer Upper” Dater
Much like the fixer-upper home project, a fixer-upper in a relationship is often more complicated and difficult than anticipated.
Things that start out seeming like a possibility and even a good idea, wind up causing more stress and pain than anything else. We spend hours watching these types of relationships play out in movies and have those happy endings.
For instance: Jamie Sullivan and Landon Carter in A Walk to Remember.
Jamie is able to unequivocally change the standard bad boy into a family man in only 90 minutes. If it can happen that quickly there, then what makes it so hard to “custom make” your man in real life?!
Well, apart from the obvious complexity, when in a “fixer upper” relationship, the desire to change and alter your partner leads to emptiness, resentment, and frustration. I think plenty of us can be drawn to bad boys for a number of reasons, there is a flattery about being the reason someone changes their life.
There are ways that you can recognize this type of dater, if you have thoughts like “well maybe it’ll change when we move in together” or “when he grows up, he’ll stop” or “if we get married, I’ll feel better.”
Marriage doesn’t fix a broken relationship.
And sometimes, it magnifies those cracks. I think that if you are in a relationship that you may view as a “fixer upper” it’s important to think about your core values. The things that are absolutes. If your core values do not match with your partner, there is a good chance that they may never line up.
The “Narcissist” Dater
The narcissist is someone who at the surface checks ALLLLL the boxes. Friendly, confident, has a huge group of friends, seems important and accomplished, has “the SAUCE”… people are drawn to them.
ESPECIALLY empaths. IF YOU ARE AN EMPATH, BE CAREFUL.
This pair connects like magnets. Although the narcissist comes across as someone you would be lucky to have in your life, at the core, they are actually really insecure. Due to these deep rooted insecurities, they overcompensate with having a deep need for excessive attention and admiration.
They have an inflated sense of importance and most definitely a lack of empathy for others. This can be REALLY tricky when dating a narcissist, as they usually have troubled relationships. You can expect lots of uncertainty and lack of predictability.
If you’re an empath, like me, you can get caught in this really toxic feedback loop where you stay in a relationship with the narcissist because you can see the good and you feel like maybe you could help or maybe even “fix” them.
But sister – let me give it to you straight, YOU CANNOT and I repeat CANNOT fix someone else, they have to do that work on their own.
Approach dating a narcissist with caution because you usually don’t get deeper to the core until you’re very much invested in the relationship or person.
The “Non-Monogamist” Dater
Simply put: this type of dater is one who wants an open relationship.
But, there’s a catch. Just because someone wants an open relationship, does not mean they shouldn’t proceed. The question becomes, is that what you want?
I recently connected with someone who was in a very happy and successful open relationship and I WAS INTRIGUED. So I dig some digging and found the best tips for dating/starting a relationship with a non-monogamist!
What I learned is that this type of relationship can look different for everyone. Some open relationships involve two people who are in a partnership together, but also are free to talk and be intimate with other people as well. There are also people in open relationships who can have partnerships with multiple people.
When you are starting to date someone, make sure you have a clear understanding of what they are looking for.
Established expectations can avoid a lot of hurt later down the line.
The KEY to a successful open relationship is… drum roll pleaseeeee…
You MUST, and I mean it is absolutely CRUCIAL, to have mutually agreed upon rules to make this work.
There should be intimacy boundaries, emotional boundaries, and open communication. Consider it a contractual agreement. Before going into business with someone, you both sign a contract detailing the terms of your agreement to avoid any tension or conflict.
SAME GOES WITH OPEN RELATIONSHIPS. The less gray area, the better!!! So if you are looking for something that is completely exclusive – be honest about it, and keep searching for a better fit.
The “Brick Wall” Dater
Well, what do we know about walls? They’re sturdy, predictable (you know, because they aren’t going anywhere), and sometimes downright beautiful. But the problem with someone you’re dating being a brick wall is just that – they aren’t growing or moving forward in any capacity.
They aren’t progressing forward in some aspect of their life, or –*gulp* — any of them.
Now in a dating relationship, this can be problematic in a couple different ways. Maybe this person is struggling with growing up PERIOD. Do they have trouble advancing their career or education? Are they still living at home with their parents? Are they lacking a desire for personal, internal growth?
We don’t need to judge anyone for any of these situations, but it’s definitely worth observing where they are at and potentially understand that they just aren’t ready for the kind of adulting that you’re already doing.
Maybe you’re casually dating and they have no interest in the relationship advancing or deepening. Unless that is exactly the kind of no-pressure, no-expectations situation you are looking for, it’s a dead end for you.
If your brick wall only seems to be stagnant in the relationship department, but the rest of their life shows forward progression, then you should be hearing warning bells. They could be hung up on someone else and not ready to move on, they could be struggling with the idea of commitment, or maybe they just aren’t feeling compelled by their feelings for you.
But that means it’s time to acknowledge that, despite how much you like this person, they are just not ready for a real relationship that grows and evolves, and if that’s what you’re ready for, it’s time to let them go.
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