In the article, the author describes a text she received from a man she’d met at the dog park – before they’d even gone on their first date.
“Paul let me know that he was really excited to meet me, but that he didn’t really know what he was looking for right now. He wasn’t sure he was open to a romantic relationship, but he still really wanted to meet me to see where things went,” she wrote.
Instead of meeting and taking it from there, the author suggests that this pre-date admission or warning, if you will, acts as a get out of jail free card.
Because, if the relationship progresses, then that is great. But if it crashes and burns, then you are free to fall back on the warning you gave at the start of a relationship.
However, the author did acknowledge that the text clearly “defines his expectations” – saving her from frantically trying to figure it out later on.
We asked people whether this pre-date transparency is a convenient dating trend or a deal-breaker – and whether we should be open with potential dates about what we are looking for before we meet them.
Carl*, a 30-year-old writer, told The Independent: “Dating – especially using apps in a big city – is inherently pretty shallow. So I don’t feel too bad about hedging my bets by saying ‘I don’t know what I’m looking for’ at the start. It’s hard to know whether a date will be a one-time thing or turn into a relationship – some people might call the technique cowardly, but I call it convenient.”
23-year-old Danielle* agreed. She told us: “If you are looking for a relationship, run. But if you are just looking for fun, it doesn’t matter.
“The text says he is not looking for anything serious, and he is letting you know in a not-so-blunt way,” she said.
And while she agreed that “if a guy is not looking for a relationship, he should say he is not looking for anything serious,” she also admits that the admission puts a lot of “pressure” on a first date.
“A first date could just be a first date and nothing more so why think about the future like that?” she asked. “But, if you definitely don’t want a relationship, maybe it is not a bad thing to give a heads-up.”
According to relationship expert and founder of SpoonmeetSpoon, Meredith Golden, who spoke to Elite Daily, “It’s okay not to know.”
Golden said: “Dating someone and seeing how you feel about them can help you determine which way you want something to develop. Even those who ‘know’ what they want can change their minds.”
So, it is perfectly okay to be honest with someone about what you are looking for before the first date – but be prepared for the possibility that your feelings will change