Modern Dating Woes: 20 Pitfalls of Being a Serial Dater

Do you date a lot of people to pass the time until your find your true love? Then you might just be a serial dater. Here’s why that’s not a good idea.

serial dater

Sometimes, love can hit us where it really hurts, and it can happen over and over again. When we start to get sick of all the failed attempts, we give up. But then, we eventually get back up and try to do things differently. For some, they take the “collect and select” route.

What is a serial dater?

A serial dater is someone who dates a lot of people in a short span of time in order to weed out the ones they don’t like and find the one who can reach their standards. Instead of casually waiting for serendipity to get off its ass and bring them their soulmates, some people end up using the trial-and-error method instead. This is when they start to become serial daters.

They start out by voluntarily searching for possible people to date. They frequent the singles watering holes like bars, clubs, pubs – basically anywhere that has alcohol. Many people are even using online dating as a means to this end. [Read: 30 effective tips to help you win at online dating]

Why do people become serial daters?

Serial daters are the ones who’ve experienced love and loss, and are now trying to hack the system by using quantity to justify their search for quality. They will date and date, until they find their soulmate… or die trying. They’ll get exhausted eventually, but that wouldn’t be enough to stop them from trying again.

Others are just in it for the security of having someone in their life, as opposed to the scary uncertainty of being single. These people have never seen the light of a phone that has no new messages, so it’s scary for them to stay single for too long – thus the serial dating.

Dating someone can be comforting for those who don’t know better. Serial dating, on the other hand, is a bigger issue that needs to be dealt with internally. Sometimes, the need to be a serial dater can stem from an underlying behavioral problem. People with abandonment issues are usually prime candidates.

Whatever their reasons are, serial dating that stems from negative motivations is not an ideal situation. You’re better off getting a matchmaker than play musical chairs with dozens of people in a short span of time. [Read: 8 obvious signs you’re a serial monogamist]

Is serial dating really that bad?

It depends on your motivations and reasons for engaging in serial dating. If you enjoy it and have no desire to settle down at all, then it’s probably okay to be a serial dater. If, however, you start to feel like serial dating is a lifeline, you need to re-evaluate your situation. Are you happy with or without your dates? Or are you using them as a crutch to avoid being away from your comfort zone?

More often than not, it turns out to be a bad idea, because you end up devaluing the idea of dating, and are, in effect, turning it into a game of chance with no prize in sight. The goal is to find the one that you want to settle down with, but people usually end up dating to the point of just settling for what’s available instead.

What are the most common pitfalls of being a serial dater?

In order to fully understand the risks of serial dating, here are some of the frequently encountered problems and disadvantages of every serial dater:

#1 Wasted time. Dating takes up time and resources. You’re better off focusing on more important matters while entertaining prospects during the weekends.

#2 Too many failed dates. Failing one too many times can take its toll on a person. You start to feel dejected, which will definitely affect your disposition about dating. [Read: 14 signs you’re ruining your first date]

#3 Too many rejections. Dating too many people opens you up to getting rejected frequently. The continuous slew of rejections might end up affecting the way you look at yourself. [Read: 9 reasons men get rejected by the women they want]

#4 Unnecessary sex. The only thing worse than bad sex is bad sex with someone you don’t care about. It feels empty, and can even leave a souvenir like the next two items below.

#5 STDs. The only way to avoid this completely is by being abstinent. Let’s face it. That’s not an option for majority of the population, especially serial daters.

#6 Unplanned pregnancies. Barring the option of a hysterectomy and a vasectomy, the chances of you getting knocked up by a random date is still 1-20% higher than 0.

#7 Cannot function without an SO. You’ll start to get used to the idea of dating at least one person all the time. You won’t know what to do with yourself when you run out of choices.

#8 Being too dependent on the situation. You start to feel incomplete without anyone’s attention. Being alone starts to become painful, and the only way to stop it is to go out with someone again.

#9 The need for validation. Going on more and more dates means you’re still hot. You’re still attractive, wanted and, in some weird delusional way, loved. [Read: 9 ways to stop being so needy and insecure]

#10 Dating people who know each other. This sucks when you have to explain how you know each other, and what exactly happened between the two of you. It gets worse when you end up working together.

#11 Dating someone your friend dated. You inadvertently broke the girl or guy code, and you’re going to have a hell of a time making up for it with your BFF’s. [Read: 6 reasons to never date your friend’s ex]

#12 Desensitizing. As you continue to see or sleep with other people, the excitement and awe starts to dwindle, until there’s nothing left but lazy indifference.

#13 Your standards get confused with comparisons. You start out with a clear set of standards in mind, but it ends up changing every time you find someone better or worse than the last person you dated.

#14 Perseverance turns into desperation. There’s a difference between being an optimist and being stubborn. When it’s clear that the system isn’t working in your favor, you’re supposed to change your strategy and regroup.

#15 Getting caught in various love traps. Love traps are expectations of relationships that never work out. They are clichéd versions of relationships that most people try to pass off as the real deal.

#16 Forgetting the joys of being single. Everyone has the capacity to be happy, especially single people. Some of the joys we find in loving ourselves can sometimes be better than the temporary gratification of unfulfilling relationships.

#17 Annoying your friends with your baseless relationships. Of course, you’re going to tell your friends about your failed date. And the last failed date. And the one before that. And so on, and so forth. It gets old when the same story keeps getting told in a short span of time. Seriously.

#18 Never staying too long to see a good thing through. When you reject a person before they’ve had a chance to prove themselves, you miss out on actually finding someone who’s perfect for you, because you chose to see only the bad, and you didn’t wait long enough for the good to come out. A-holes and d-bags don’t count. [Read: Why you should always consider a second date]

#19 Losing sight of what you really want. You get lost in the motions of dating, and then you start to forget the reason why you started. You start living date-to-date. You stop looking at the end goal, because you’re too focused on dreading the next date. [Read: 50 questions to ask if someone’s right for you]

#20 Not loving yourself enough to wait for the one who’ll love you more. One of the reasons why you date too many people too quickly is that you’re looking to fill a hole that necessitates the validation and attention of another human being. The truth is that you’re the only person who can fill that hole. Nobody else.

What are your options?

The number one option for you is to stop and take a beat. You don’t need to be a serial dater in order to find the person who can make your dreams come true. If it’s love that you want, you need to start with yourself.

Reflect on what made your past relationships fail. Learn from your mistakes. Pinpoint the red flags that you missed. Take some time alone to gather your thoughts. Even a month without any communication can open your eyes to a lot of truths as to why you constantly date people without finding one who matters.

Therapy also helps, so don’t be afraid to get professional advice. The best plan, however, is for you to take a breather and try to date yourself for a while. You might find out what you don’t like about yourself, but this will help you find out why you’re such an amazing person as well. [Read: 10 things you can do to bring your soulmate to you]

Being a serial dater can work for you, but it will only work up to a certain point. If you’re constantly on the lookout for a potential relationship in a sea of prospective candidates, take a step back, and consider how this can draw you further away from finding someone who’s actually worth your time.

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Danielle Anne
Those who can’t do, teach. I can neither do nor teach as well as others, but I can try. Aside from being a writer, I am also a physical therapist. My dream is...
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