We all dream about finding the perfect relationship and a partner who would understand us. The need for deep, emotional attachment to another human being is a part of who we are as socially evolved species.
But, while most of us date to find a loving and long-lasting relationship, others have completely different intentions. If you’ve been in the dating game long enough, you’ve probably come across some people who scarred you and disappointed you for life. But, if you’re just getting started, there are some things that you need to be on the lookout for.
With that being said, I believe it is finally time for you to find out what the word serial dater really means.
Serial dater is someone who enjoys the thrill of the exciting chase but fails to follow the rules that you’ve shared with them from the very start of your affair. The thing is, these people usually fit in the box marked as avoidant attachment style.
Avoidant people are usually people who have spent their whole lives being neglected and criticized. Deep down, they crave attachments, but at the same time, they fear abandonment, so as a result, they end up shutting down their emotions before getting their hearts broken.
Here are 8 signs that will help you recognize a serial dater:
THEY FEAR INTIMACY
All you want to do is spend some quality time together, but every time you suggest going out for a nice, intimate dinner and talk about everything that matters, they pull back. It seems like whatever you do, you are always surrounded by people.
Avoidants disparage intimacy. They warn you to not expect closeness, but most of the time it is only to avoid you making a big deal about it.
2. THEY PLAY HOT AND COLD
There are brief moments of subtle affection and lust, but somehow these moments never turn into a deep, emotional and meaningful bond. It’s not that these people have no emotions. The thing is, they are too afraid. They need connection as well, but the only way they can take it is in small doses.
3. THEY START TO OPEN UP, AND THEN COMPLETELY CLOSE DOWN AGAIN
As I said earlier, serial daters are usually people who are a combination of anxious and avoidant attachment style. These people struggle with a lot of insecurities, fears, and traumas that are often the result of being neglected their whole lives. They don’t expect anyone to meet their needs but themselves. That is why they are emotionally shut down. Instead of opening up and getting their heart broken, they prefer to bottle up their emotions and stay safe.
4. THEY MAKE YOU COMPETE FOR THEIR AFFECTION
They need to be reassured of your love, otherwise, they are gone. Their insecurities are making you feel as if you were in some kind of a contest, and their affection is the greatest prize. What’s even worse, they keep changing the rules. So, when it comes to love, when things get tough, they are out of the game.
5. THEY DON’T TREAT YOU BETTER ONCE THEY FALL IN LOVE FOR YOU
Considering that these people love the thrill of chasing you, but not pursuing you, it is easy to understand that once they have you, it’s over for them. When avoidant people, serial daters fall in love with you, they might even start to treat you even worse. Once the honeymoon phase is over you are no longer a goal. In fact, you become a threat.
6. THEY HAVE VERY STRICT BOUNDARIES
A partner who desperately needs space when you already respect their strict boundaries does not want you to get closer than you are. It’s the truth. If this is something, they’ve warned you about, it is clear. They are terrified that you might take that away from them.
7. THEY WANT TO DOMINATE IN A CONFLICT
Don’t get too attached to a person who likes to dominate in conflict and put the blame on you for being “too emotional”. Avoidant people usually do this in order to avoid facing their own demons or opening up to you. Beware. Disagreeing with someone is one thing, but emotion shaming is quite another.
8. THEY HAVE ROMANTIC EXPECTATIONS YOU CAN’T LIVE UP TO
It’s truly sad how everything these people have experienced in their lives will stay inside their hearts to haunt them forever.
Avoidant people, also known as insensitive, harsh, serial daters and players have certain romantic ideals that you will never live up to. It’s always an ex that they’ve never got over or a non-realistic, dreamy scenario of a relationship that no one could ever fulfill.
When you think about it, insisting on the impossible is the perfect way for them to reject every love request and shut down their feelings for someone real.
This article was inspired by the book Love: The Psychology of Attraction by Dr. Leslie Becker – Phelps, a licensed therapist, author, speaker, and a teacher.