How do I get asked on dates, instead of hookups?

batata12 asks:

Every time I go out, say I meet a cute guy and we start flirting and I really like him. Eventually all this flirting always leads to the guy trying to go home with me. Why don’t guys ever ask me out on dates? I can’t even remember the last time I was asked out on a real date. It’s not that I’m dying to have a boyfriend but after so many years of being treated like this over and over again, it makes me feel like no guy would ever be interested in me other than for casual sex. My other friends, I see guys going the distance for them in every way, but for me it’s always a sex thing. Sometimes I start to feel like maybe something is wrong with me and I am not worthy of love. I like to look good when I go out, but I don’t think I dress provocatively so I don’t know why this is happening.

Demetrius says:

If I told you that there isn’t one real reason why you’re being asked for hookups instead of meeting people who want to date, will you think I’m copping-out? Most advice I’ve read about this sort of situation invaraibly blames the woman and tells her to do things that they’d never, ever, tell a man to do. Imagine me telling you that this is somehow your fault and if you want a man to think of you seriously, you shouldn’t sleep with him until 90 days has passed. I won’t be doing that because I have more respect for you than that. A man can wait 90 days, sleep with you, and then say he doesn’t want a relationship the same way that a man can sleep with you on date #1 OR date #3 and want to date you seriously. My point is, there is rarely if ever one simple reason or fix to get guys to want to date you seriously. Here are some reasons why you might be attracting more hookup minded guys:

  • The men you’re meeting don’t want to date seriously
  • You’re low-maintenance, which people confuse with “down for whatever
  • You’re open-minded, which people also confuse with “down for whatever
  • You’re at an age or point in your life where your peers don’t want to settle down
  • You’re meeting guys at places where people go to hookup
  • You’re meeting guys through apps/dating sites where people go to hookup
  • You’re like most daters who keep finding the opposite of what they want

That last point is the one that cannot be fixed or changed but is also the one that people encounter the most. When you’re looking to just hookup, you meet relationship minded people. When you’re looking to date, you meet people who only want to hookup. Most daters find the exact opposite of what they’re looking for, even if they keep searching the right way, and a lot of that is limited by your available dating pool and also, blindluck. With that said, here’s some ways to increase the odds of meeting people who want to date seriously. Remember, none of these are a guarantee, just a way to increase your odds.

First, be sure that you never, ever, go on a date with someone who doesn’t want a relationship. This might sound obvious but a lot of people try to change people, or worse, assume that someone will change when they mature or get to know you better. Next, you want to avoid meeting men at places where hooking up is the norm. I think meeting people at bars is a completely viable dating option, but it’s not the best option. It can happen, but the odds aren’t in your favor. Instead of meeting people at bars, you can tell friends to set you up, specifically with guys who want relationships or are relationship minded. Friends of friends are generally more honest about what they’re looking for and a better bet than meeting random bros at bars. If you’re dating online, try to use dating sites that pull from a pool of friends of friends versus sites that are location based. The dating app Hinge pulls from friends of friends and your daily match number is limited whereas Tinder is an app that matches based on proximity. The difference in how someone approaches a stranger nearby who is on a site known for being used to hookup versus a site where you match with friends of friends vastly different.

Try to avoid discussing your dating or sex life with anyone unless you plan on having sex with them sometime soon. I don’t want you to think I’m telling you this because you’re a woman either. This goes for the men out there too. If you talk about your sex life or dating life and are open about it, people will assume you only want to sleep with them. It’s a very difficult balancing act to figure out, between being open and honest and coming off as sex-seeking. Avoid these discussion as much as possible, or until the point where you need to have the sex and dating people discussion i.e. you’re about to sleep with them and want to know they’re status.

If you want to come off as more relationship minded, try to avoid doing “dates” in people’s apartments, or at their neighborhood bar. Yes it’s cool when someone is a regular at a bar, but it also means they don’t have to put in too much effort if they take you on a date there. The same goes for the “Netflix at my place” date. The goal is to set the expectation that to date you requires a certain level of effort. People who are less likely to want a relationship will often balk at anything requiring a modicum of effort on their part.

It’s not fool-proof, but try to date men who are a little older than you and avoid men who are younger than you. You can make exceptions in specific cases, but for the most part, the majority of men are usually about 2 years behind when it comes to what they want out of life versus women of their age. It’s not a rule and not true for all men (so spare me the #NotallMen nonsense, please) but it’s a good rule of thumb.

Finally, keep in mind that you really cannot control the wants and desires of other people. You can influence them, and present yourself as someone who they’d want a long-term commitment with, but in the end it comes down to the preferences of the people available to you. Dating requires a lot of hard work, but most dating success comes down to right place, right time, and right person. That’s the reason I always wish everyone good luck out there. Because you’ll need it.

Good Luck Out There.

Demetrius Figueroa

Demetrius is a sex, dating, and relationship writer based in Brooklyn.

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