How To Tell Someone You're Not Into Casual Hookups, According To Experts
There are lots of reasons that dating apps are the best invention ever, the main one being how convenient it is to meet so many new people with so little effort. The flip side of that is, with all those options just sitting there in your phone at the swipe of finger, it feels like it's harder than ever to find someone who wants to get real. Part of the problem could just be that you don't know how to tell someone you’re not into casual hookups.
If you are serious about finding a relationship, Connell Barrett, Dating Transformation founder and executive dating coach tells Elite Daily that speaking up right from the start about what you are looking for is the best way to achieve it. By saying what you want from the start, it weeds out people who just want to hook up and helps to highlight the folks who are on the page as you. “Dating is time-consuming, takes a lot of energy, and involves some intense emotions — so if the two of you want different things, it’s better to know after date two, not date 12. You’re doing both of you a favor by being upfront at the start," he tells Elite Daily.
It's one thing to know it's a good idea to tell people what you want from the start, but another thing to understand how to actually do it. To help with that, I reached out to the experts to ask for their best advice on how to actually put your truth out there without things getting awkward. Here is how they say to let people know you're looking for something real.
Know What You Want And Send The Right Message
First things first, Laurel House, celebrity dating and relationship coach and host of the Man Whisperer podcast tells Elite Daily that you need to have clarity around what it is that you actually want right now. “There are three dating purposes: Fun, self-exploration, and relationship,” House explains. Once you know what it is that you are looking for, House says it's essential to make it clear to others from the start. “Oftentimes, new daters date in the style of fun for fear of appearing too serious, scaring someone away, or coming across as needy," she explains. "But as a fun dater, you aren’t taken seriously.” Not being honest is actually really counterproductive. “You want to disqualify out the wrong people and attract in the right people,” says House.
Once you’ve clarified what you want with yourself, you can then cater your approach accordingly, says House. “If your purpose is fun, you will make your profile light, mentioning how you are fun and outgoing, you like to be around friends, go out for drinks, you’re always smiling, and all about spontaneity. If your purpose is exploration, you might focus on travel, the importance of personal growth, or that you are currently constantly on the go because there is never enough time to see and do and experience all that life has to offer,” she suggests. However, if your purpose for dating is to look for something more serious, she says to be open about that as well. “If your purpose is a relationship, you might talk about the fact that you have found your work life balance and you are truly happy, you love to travel but home is where your heart is,” she suggests.
Put Your Intentions In Your Bio
If you are using a dating app to meet people, the experts agree that you should use your bio to set the tone for what it is you are looking to achieve. “Dating apps are great because they turn you into an online marketer, which helps you find better potential partners. Just as marketers talk to their ideal customers, dating apps let you talk directly to the kind of person you want to meet, while weeding out the hook-up artists,” explains Barrett. “On your profile bio, include a sentence or two that clearly conveys who you’re looking for while disqualifying people who just want a fling. Do it with charm and humor. Something like, 'Heads up, hook-up artists! I’m looking for a great relationship with a wonderful person, so if you want to ‘Netflix & chill,’ I’m not the droid you’re looking for. Keep swiping!'" he suggests.
Let's be honest, not everyone takes the time to read the bio, which is why Erica Gordon, dating expert, founder of The Babe Report, and author of Aren't You Glad You Read This? tells Elite Daily you need to take it step farther to be completely clear. “Gauge each conversation that you have with your matches on dating apps. If, based on the conversation style, it seems as though they're treating you like a potential casual hookup, that's when you should explain your case. On the other hand, if some of your matches are gentlemanly and have asked you out for dinner, it might not be necessary because they are treating this more seriously,” she explains.
Say What You Are Looking For Right From The Beginning
What if you don't have the benefit of a app bio to lay the groundwork because you’re meeting someone in pers Barrett says it's still important to let people know you intentions early. “During the first or second date, if you feel there’s chemistry between the two of you, use clear, simple language to tell your date what you’re looking for—and also ask them what they want. You could say, 'Just so you know, I’m looking for a great relationship with the right person, not something casual. What about you? What are you looking for?'" he suggests. “This gives them the gift of honesty, of putting your cards on the table, which is all too rare. Also, by asking the other person what they want, you can listen to their reply and get a handle on whether or not the two of you are on the same page.”
Alessandra Conti, celebrity matchmaker at Matchmakers In The City, agrees that letting people know what you are looking for as early as possible is the best policy. “Timing is important here because there is a big spectrum of what people are looking for in their dating lives, but the good news is that usually when a person isn’t looking for anything serious, they say it,” she tells Elite Daily. Conti says oftentimes your date may actually take the lead in talking about what they want, taking someone of the pressure off of you, but in this situation you need to listen to what they have to say and believe them. “If you feel the need to get to the bottom of their motives, you can ask them,” she adds
The ultimate takeaway here is that if you want something more serious than a casual relationship, you can feel confident saying so — in fact, it's the best way to actually get what you want. However, Gordon does have one last bit of advice, and that's to back up your words with action. “If you let someone push your boundaries and treat you like a casual hookup, you're enabling them and doing yourself a disservice," she says. "That's why it's crucial to set the bar early on, and ensure that you indicate your standards the very first time someone tries to treat you like a casual hookup. Otherwise, they'll keep treating you like one.” In other words, once you know what you want, say what you want, and refuse to accept anything less than that — and anyone who wants to give you less gets swiped left on (figuratively and literally).