Is 3 Dates a Relationship?
Is it a problem when -- after three or four dates -- you still find your new interest browsing Lavalife? Even more, is it acceptable to find him in the Intimate section? Just curious to know whether this is normal Internet dating etiquette or not.
Finding your newest fling still browsing Lavalife is only an issue if it feels wrong to you. If it was me, yeah, I'd be bothered, and I'd question his intentions, wondering whether he was just using me until he thought he found something better. But every person and partnership is different. I've always wanted to know where things are at, and I've taken steps to have that wassup conversation (no matter how awkward) as soon as it started to feel like we should be progressing to exclusivity. But other singles don't feel the need to take the girlfriend-boyfriend route until later in the relationship. If you need to know where you stand, the onus is on you to ask, and if you aren't comfortable with him surfing among the singles after four dates, you need to address that with him. As for discovering that your man is exploring the Intimate section of Lavalife, consider yourself lucky to have found someone in touch with their sensuality and eroticism (consider the alternative).
Online dating isn't really that different from offline dating. It only really increases the pool from which you draw. So, the real question you're asking is what is the dating etiquette in this situation? That's a matter of perspective. Ask yourself if, at this point in the relationship, you'd go out on a date with someone else? If the answer is yes, then you two aren't that serious. Judging from his behavior, that's what he thinks. He feels things are still casual and he's checking out all of his options. Still not clear? Ask yourself a few more questions. Do you have an assumed date on the weekend? Do you call him your boyfriend? Have you ever talked about being mutually exclusive? If you answer yes to any of these questions the relationship is moving into serious territory. Otherwise at three or four dates, all bets are off.
Singled Out by Daughter?
I'm 20 and a single mom, and I know it's going to be a lot harder for me to find a decent guy who's willing to accept the fact that I have a daughter. I've been half-heartedly looking, but I find that nobody really speaks volumes to me. Everybody my age is just out looking to get a piece, and that's not what I'm about. How hard do you think it's going to be for me to find somebody who's mature, smart and will accept my daughter? Any advice?
Harder, Kayla, but that's not necessarily a bad thing, is it? See, having a child forces you go through a lot of growing. You figure out what you want in life. You're a better person and you're looking for a better quality of person yourself. With higher standards comes less choice. Perhaps many of the guys who are turned off by a daughter wouldn't be a great fit with you in the first place. Maybe they're too shallow for kids, don't like kids, never want kids or anything resembling responsibility (at least right now). I'm assuming you love your daughter and wouldn't trade life with her for anything, so why would you want to be with someone who desires anything less? In the end, you'll find the guy who loves you and your daughter in equal measure.
You've taken on a big responsibility early on in life, but it sounds like you're working to get a grasp on the reality of your situation. You're right, Kayla, most guys and girls in their early 20s are looking to play the field, not play with Lego. If you feel ready to share yourself with someone and -- more importantly -- know that it is also in the best interests of your daughter at this time in her life, expand your search to men who are a little older and who may be ready for a bigger commitment. You may have the most luck finding someone compatible who's in the same phase of life as you (a young single parent), so treat every scenario -- pediatrician's office to park play to piano lessons -- as an opportunity to meet someone. It may be harder for you to find Mr. Right than it is for someone who doesn't have a wee one to care for, but that doesn't mean you're any less worthy of love.