"Utter chaos" is definitely a phrase I would use to describe the maddening world of online dating. Between managing your own virtual presence on several different dating apps, responding to hundreds of messages, and scouting out worthy suitors, it can feel like actively dating is your second full-time job. While tons of people (usually us younger folk) are down to clown with casual sex and short-term dating, there is still a large population of people on OkCupid who have one particular dating style: serial monogamy.
Obviously, there's nothing wrong with preferring to jump from relationship to relationship, but it's always nice to know in advance if someone tends to take things more seriously than the average dater. Serial monogamy isn't everyone's cup of tea, and it's definitely more likely that you'll find people looking for something more serious on OkCupid than on Tinder, the unofficial king of the casual hookup apps. Depending on what you're looking for in your next boo, you might need some help differentiating between those who want to hang-and-bang versus those who want to wine-and-dine.
Whether you want to avoid them or hunt them down and put a ring on it, here are seven quick ways to tell if someone you're interested in on OkCupid might be a relationship-hopper.
1. See If They Disappear and Reappear
If, like me, you've had your own OkCupid account for far longer than you care to admit, there's a chance that you've noticed a small pool of girls or guys who've been in your matches on and off over the years. If there seems to be a magic trick happening where they often delete and then reactivate their profile, it could be a sign that they're hopping from bae to bae. They "settle down" with one person and decide to call off the virtual search, only to re-enter the scene a few months later when things don't work out — rinse and repeat, and you may have found yourself a serial monogamist.
2. Comb Through Their Questions
Many of the site's personality questions fall into the "lust versus love" category. There's even one questions that specifically asks whether or not you're more interested in love or sex at the moment. If you browse through someone's questions and find that all signs point to hopeless romantic, there's a chance that they're used to only dating long-term, and might not be looking for any sort of casual dating situation. (Pro tip: there's also a question that asks how long their romantic relationships usually last, which is a good indicator, too.)
3. Reference Their "Looking For"
This is a fairly self-explanatory clue: If their profile says they're only looking for long-term dating, it would logically follow that they are accustomed to long stints of being with just one partner. This is probably your best bet for finding out their heart's true desires without doing too much Nancy Drew work.
4. Check For Suspicious Photos
Obviously, there's nothing wrong with platonic friendships with people of your preferred gender. And of course, there's no foolproof way to tell if someone is actually their sister, cousin, or BFF. But if there's an imbalance of "group of friends" photos and "me looking cozy with one particular girl/guy" photos, it could be a sign that he or she is usually in a serious relationship. Most people know it's an online dating no-no to upload pictures with the ex(es), but that doesn't mean that someone will pass up the opportunity to include a particularly good-looking picture of themselves, and simply lie by omission (it's not not my ex-boyfriend!). Again, this isn't damning evidence — just a potential clue as to their dating style.
5. Carefully Read Their Whole Profile
I know, I know — this can be a pain in the ass, especially if someone has written a rough draft of their memoir. But a lot of people drop subtle hints in the various sections of their profile as to what exactly they're used to, and what they're looking for now. For example, if a girl says in her "Typical Friday Night" section that she's usually cuddled up with someone special and a bottle of wine, it's a not-so-subtle way of saying that she wants something more serious and probably isn't looking for someone to go grind at the club and make out with.
6. Search By Keyword
This is a veritable goldmine for people wondering exactly what someone else is looking for. I've seen several dude's profiles that literally have a list of "keywords" at the bottom of their profile. Why, you may ask? So people who are searching for a specific term — foot fetish, polyamory, cuddling — can instantly find profiles that match their search preferences. While a lot of the time these are used for kink purposes, I've also noticed that some guys include things like "long-term" or "serious relationship." God bless these people for being upfront and honest, making it easier for the rest of us to know what they're into.
7. If All Else Fails...Ask
So maybe don't lead with an aggressive "SO WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING FOR ANYWAY?" But if you're having a nice chat with someone and want to find out their #RelationshipGoals, drop in some subtle questions about what kinds of dates they like to go on, why they decided to use the site, etc. No one wants to dive into ex-talk before even meeting someone, but there are still ways to find out about someone's dating preferences by having an honest, mature conversation. After all, better to know in advance rather than getting in too deep with someone who wants something totally different than you.
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