By definition, the serial dater lines up many dates with multiple partners, choosing not to center on one person. Some see this style of dating as the mark of a player, while others look at this diffuse style as a healthy one that lessens the chance of obsession with one possibility. Serial dating is not bad, but in order to be respectful, you have to clearly define your terms to yourself and others.
Serial dating serves one main function: to experience romance and dating with several partners, rather than just one. It allows selectivity and variety while allowing a larger amount of control over the dating experience. Serial dating also lets the dater experience several levels of relationship at once. For instance, a serial dater might have a casual, fun hang-out partner, a sex buddy and a long-term prospect who participates in more serious dates. This decreases boredom while increasing the chances for amusement with a variety of interesting people.
Once a single has started dating more than one person, he may be loosely classified a serial dater. However, some use the term as more of a pejorative, saving the name for those who are perpetually commitment averse. Beyond Jane's Athena Goodnight writes about male serial daters that "these men are often the ones who have interesting careers and dynamic social lives. Thousands of them can be found in the major cities all over the world." Common traits of the serial dating single include a consistently packed social calendar, a fashionable or attractive appearance, in-depth knowledge of the local trendy hot spots, high expectations, intense behavior and quick loss of focus or attention on the mate at hand.
A serial dater can be male or female and young or old. Some serial daters are more of the player variety and avoid any commitment whatsoever. Others are simply dating multiple partners with a definite eye towards settling down. According to matchmaker Janis Spindler in a Beyond Jane interview, the player serial dater may be a bit older, live in a major metropolitan area and doesn't cultivate much psychological closeness. The more commitment-minded serial dater, on the other hand, will attempt to make choices that improve her chances of settling down. She'll be more open to more dates, will stay consistent in her habits and is more focused on character rather than external factors like appearance.
Serial daters like to go after the best, and that means hitting up locales that offer variety. Big cities are prime for serial daters, who then have their pick of sophisticated and educated possible partners. Places like Miami, New York City and L.A. offer such a large assortment of possible mates that a single can find it difficult to settle down. Therefore, serial dating becomes the norm, rather than the exception.
Although serial dating is exciting and fun, it can also come with a bunch of headaches. You may earn a public reputation as a player and user of others. Also, don't forget the possible angry ex-partners, missed Mr. or Ms. Right due to lack of focus and budgetary problems due to too many dates. Serial dating can be fun if it's done ethically and with a set end-goal. Be up front with the people you date and let them know where you stand in terms of romance and relationships.