if you want to be successful dating, it’s important to understand the 3 types of dating. The likelihood of success is greatly improved by when you know what type you want to do and making sure that you only date people doing the same type of dating as you.
1. Recreational Dating
Recreational dating is dating that is focused on casual sex and possibly sharing other recreational activities. It’s often called “no strings” meaning there is an intention to avoid any romantic entanglement.
More often that not when people are engaged in recreational dating they don’t introduce each other to their friends. There might be a restaurant dinner together or a trip to the grocery store or other errand, but it’s mostly time spent in private.
With recreational dating, there may not be any desire for a future meeting, or there may be a series of meetings over months and years. The so called friends with benefits arrangement often falls under this category.
2. Social Dating
Social dating is primarily oriented to social interaction and companionship. It might or might not include sex, depending on the person and hteir values.
People engaged in social dating might use labels like boyfriend and girlfriend, but for the most part have no intention to get into a long term relationship, at least not in the typical live-in marriage style.
They might end up in a long term relationship by accident. They might say they’re looking for one. But they’re not taking the practical steps that lead to a successfully finding a compatiable long term relationship partner or spouse.
Friends with benefits arrangments can fall under social dating if time is actually taken to socialize together, and introduce the person to each other’s friends. Often, however, friends with benefits is more about casual dating and the sexual “benefits.” In other words, it’s often a euphemism for casual sex.
3. Relationship Focused Dating
Relationship based dating is when someone has decided to purposefully look for that person (or people) who will be their long-term intimate partner. They’ve assessed their life, their situation and their skills to be sure they’re ready for a relationship.
They have the self-knowledge, relationship and dating skills, and have the time and energy to commit to the process of dating to find a partner.
They know that focus matters in reaching a goal. They don’t want to waste time with short term relationships that feel good yet have little prospect of meeting their needs long term.
Avoiding Dating Disasters
Many of the problems people have in dating would be avoided If they got clear on what type of dating they wanted to do, and only dated others in that same category.
Social dating can be a wonderful thing for people who have recently come out of a relationship, are inexperience or otherwise, are confused or have some ambivalence about the type of relationship they want or otherwise are not ready for a marriage-like relationship.
However, dating a social or recreational dater is a recipe for disappointment if you’re a serious relationship minded dater who knows what you want and you’re truly ready for a relationship. You’re putting your energy into something that has a low chance of success. However you’ll likely become fond of that person, making breaking up difficult at best.
Another problem is that people who are focused on social or recreational dating or who are not ready for a relationship let themselves become a couple or go steady with one person. This usually ends up being a short-lived relationship or if it goes only is only pseudo relationship because it usually lacks the relational groundwork, clarity, depth of intimate communication, shared values and commitment that are what sustains long term relationships. Without those fundamentals it may feel positive for a while but often leads to disappointment. It may not create drama or conflict, but could be the disappointment of that new pair of shoes that just doesn’t fit quite right, so you don’t wear them and they languish in your closet.
Of course if you can be really clear that it’s only likely a temporary thing, short-term relationships with social and recreational daters can be fun. The catch is that this is somewhere between extremely difficult and impossible to do. Both brain function (neuroscience) and hormones affect us in ways that make it difficult, Most people get attached and find it hard to end such an arrangement, leaving them focused on and distracted by something that’s not what they really want for the long-term. Thus, if you truly want a long-term relationship it’s best not to exclusively or steady date only one person who is a recreational or social dater.
Enjoy Dating More by Being Honest With Yourself
To avoid disappointment or heartbreak take a serious look at your life, your wishes, your relationship readiness, and your ability to take the time and energy to form a life long relationship, Identify what type of dating is best for you right now.
Then, be careful to avoid dating people who are doing, or should be doing, a different type of dating. Especially be cautious about becoming an instant couple with someone like that.
It may be useful to talk with them about the different types of dating. Be careful to see what their behavior says about them, not just their words.
If you and the other person are doing different types of dating, then it’s usually wise to break things off as early as you can – especially if you’re serious about settling down into a long term relationship.
Use the 3 Types of Dating to Help You Avoid Disappointment
Understanding the 3 types of dating is a helpful way to avoid disappointing dating relationships. Take the time and effort to know what type of dating is best for you at this point in your life.
Dating someone who is doing a different type of dating than you is a recipe for disappointment. Avoid it.