How much do you need to reveal about what you expect from a relationship?

I’m 25, and I’ve never been in a relationship, but I’m hard at work trying to change that. I only forsee one problem: there seems to be an epidemic of people my age getting engaged and married.

My big fear is that the majority of women my age will be of the mindset that “Well, college was the time for me to play the field, and now that I’m finished, the next guy I’m in a relationship with had better be the one to put a ring on my finger.”

Since I didn’t even get to set foot on the playing field during high school and college, I have absolutely no intention on being “that guy”. I don’t even plan to consider getting engaged until I’m 30 at the earliest. My time for playing the field is still ahead of me.

So, when I’m meeting women, and attempting to forge relationships with them, do I have an obligation to inform them of the fact that I will - barring my falling madely in love with them - not even be considering marrying them, and that in all likelihood the relationship will be in the 4 to 6 month range before I decide it’s time to meet someone else?

Not if you want to see them more than the one time.

Dude, relax. Get out there, be mellow, hang out. You don’t have to meet this many girls or be single for that many years. And you certainly are under no obligation to disclose your life plans on the first or second date. Now, if you were seeing one girl for many months and she was dropping hints about wanting marriage and babies, you might need to talk. But drop the stereotypes about girls all wanting the same thing and just live your life. I mean, you’re not having to beat them off with a stick right now, are you?

Well, your mindset is a little difficult for me to understand, as a 26-year-old (married) female. I never planned on getting married until I was through with graduate school, but I fell in love at 19 and married at 23. I didn’t want a relationship. It fell in my lap. That’s usually the way love works. It doesn’t give a shit about your plans.

It seems to me like setting things up ahead of time’ might doom you to failure, because the only girls who will manage to stick around might be the ones you’re least likely to actually fall madly in love with. It’s okay to say, ‘‘I wanna take things slow, I’m not ready for a serious relationship,’’ etc, but to actually project a time limit for the relationship and predict at what age you’d consider marriage seems so contrary to the way life actually works that I’m not sure it’s wise.

I agree also that you shouldn’t assume all girls want the same thing. Sometimes we just want to get laid too, ya know.

I liked that last sentence better the other way.

Hey- it just occurred to me that maybe the perfect woman for you right now would be a cougar. Check it out, man- an older woman, perhaps 40 or so, would teach you a lot about sex and women without the pressure of a real relationship or pending marriage and biological clocks. In return, you worship her body and have lots of stamina and short refractory time. It’s a win-win situation!

I don’t really foresee problems with this, especially if you’re dating other 25 year olds (but cougar is an interesting way to go, too :slight_smile: ). At 25, a lot of people are still in “trying things out” mode. My thinking is that you’ll meet someone, you’ll hang out and get to know them and get closer to them, and it will work out or it won’t; if it doesn’t, on to bigger and better things, armed with more experience and knowledge. Well, if you’re getting closer to a lady and she’s making plans to have a baby with you after two dates, maybe cut that one loose sooner rather than later.

ETA: Forgot my point - I think you’re worrying about something you don’t need to worry about - if it does work out, then it doesn’t matter what you intended in the first place.

You need to stop trying to predict your future. You have no idea what will happen between now and 30 . . . or 40 . . . or 50. And you have no idea how you and your needs will change. You are overthinking this entire issue.

Soapbox Monkey, I think I’ve told you this before, but it is still true:

You’re thinking too much!

Seriously, just chill out and put yourself out there and grow as your own person and expand your horizons.

Also, you’re suffering from a confirmation bias. The majority of girls in their mid20s are definitely not off having kids and getting married or looking to do so soon.

So true.

It’s certainly a good idea to tell a woman that you’re not looking for a serious relationship right now, but the telling them that you plan for the relationship to last 4 to 6 months because you have a new relationship scheduled to begin then…well, that’s just so cute! I wanna pinch your cheek, and not in a cougar-ish way, either. And this, from a guy who’s never actually been in a relationship?

Before you set up your 5-year relationship rotation plan, I’d suggest that you at least make sure that you can get a second date wtih someone.

Thanks for the advice everyone who’s contributed so far.

On the one hand I feel I need to tell a girl I’m not looking for anything serious right off the bat, because if I don’t and then end up sleeping with her, I’m an asshole if I break things off. And if I end up hooking up with a girl I’ve been set up with through a friend, I also risk losing my friend.

But if I’m upfront about telling a girl I’m not looking for anything serious, I immediately cut my potential dating pool in half (assuming that half the girls my age ARE looking for something serious).

I’m really just in complete confusion about how things actually happen between people my age of the opposite sex. It seems like most people are fucking long before there’s an official label on their situation, but I just can’t comprehend how I could get into such a situation myself without it ending really, really horribly.

While green beans aren’t usually my type, I’ll make an exception just for you and let you pinch my cheeks in a cougar-ish manner. I’ll even move the bees just for you!

Silly boy! I was offering to pinch the OP’s cheeks, not yours. But I’m happy to pinch your cheeks, bees and all.

Except I’m not 40 yet, so I’m not sure if I’ve achieved full cougar-hood.

Bees and all? :dubious:

You might be a little too much of a freak for my tastes, cougar or not. Surely there is some sort of happy middle ground we can come to (heh).

I third the cougar dating idea. And there are lots of dating sites specialized in hooking you up.

Covered in Bees is right – you’re way up in your head too much. It’s great that you’re not looking for The One right now. It will keep you from coming on too strong, which over-thinking late-bloomers tend to have a problem with. Just relax and let what happens happen. Don’t start a relationship worrying about all the things the person could be mad at you for when it ends. Just date. If you end up in a conversation about expectations as things are getting started, here’s what you say: “Let’s just see what happens.”

Play it cool. If you aren’t sure what to say, err on the side of standoffishness. It will balance out your natural tendencies.

I’ll go ahead and add my voice to the chorus. You don’t need to state your intentions and map out the entire relationship on the first date. Don’t assume that she’s looking for a husband unless she says so. Dating is supposed to be fun, so just relax and have fun with it.

SBM with respect, your OP amuses me.

Unless you’re DATA from Star Trek NG, you can’t just flip your emotion chip on and off as you please.

You have no idea what’s in store for you. Just sit back and enjoy the ride dude.

You do have to be honest to your mate about your feelings as you’re feeling them but to try and predict how you’re going to feel in the future is just crazy talk.

Why are you an asshole? Most people in their twenties sleep around. Sex is not that big a deal and it certain doesn’t require a commitment to be made by both parties beforehand.

The majority of single people who hook up and have sex with other single people are not thinking ‘Well, we’ve had sex now so I’m committed to spend the next five years with this person.’

If you don’t mind me asking, have you had sex before? It sounds like you have a lot of misconceptions.

Well, I just felt an obligation to inform you right up-front that I can tolerate the bees for the 4.7 months I’ve allotted to our relationship.

I totally agree.

Women are, believe it or not, autonomous creatures, and they often have goals and agendas other than the ones you ascribe to them. And they don’t all think of sex as a commodity to be traded for precious metals.

Besides, even if they DO have marriage and babies on their minds…well, it’s amazingly arrogant of you to assume that they want to marry you.

But you cut it to the half that’s got goals similar to yours, so what’s not to like? Mention you’re not looking for anything serious, but don’t say more than that.

I have a shiny new quarter that says he ends up totally flipping over the second chick he goes on a date with.