Note - I should also make a post called "5 Ways to Spot if your Date is a Serial Killer".
Here is how to spot them and avoid them.
#1. Serial Daters love meeting people for coffee or tea. They don't have to spend much on the date, it has zero commitment (because serial daters are afraid of commitment) and if their first impressions are poor they can use a Fake Out ("Oh oh I just got a text and my dog is sick. I need to leave...").
So Lesson 1, NEVER meet anyone for coffee or tea. If they are so afraid of commitment that they cannot commit to a real date, don't even bother with them. They will just waste your time.
#2. Serial Daters love using the Fake Out. Any excuse for them to leave in the middle of a date and then never talk to you again. Often the excuse will be the equivalent of "My dog ate my homework." but more likely you will get the "My roommate just broke up with her boyfriend and I need to go console her."
People that use the Fake Out basically just want to meet you in person so they can see whether your photos were real and then have an escape plan if you are not up to their standards and/or they find you boring. So Lesson 2, never meet anyone for a date unless they are genuinely interested in you and it is clearly obvious in your communications together (email, text, phone, skype, whatever).
#3. Serial Daters don't like spending much time talking back and forth. They just chat a little bit and then quickly pop the tea/coffee question.
So Lesson 3, don't meet anyone right away. Exchange longer messages / emails first to see how talkative and interesting they are. And if they are genuinely interested in you they will want a more romantic first date than crappy coffee/tea. See Lesson 2 over again.
#4. Serial Daters are sometimes looking for one night stands. On the 2nd date... Sometimes the 1st date but often the 2nd. It is a weird phenomenon, but lets pretend you make it past the coffee date and they do want a 2nd date. The 2nd date will be something friskier and usually end up at YOUR place. Why your place? I think it is because bringing yoi home to their place sounds like too much commitment. Then you know where they live and can just drop by whenever you want and that sounds like commitment to them.
Thus let us pretend you convince them to have a date other than a coffee date (eg. You have a picnic at the beach instead and it goes well, and possibly includes kissing and light petting.) When asked about a 2nd date the Serial Dater will typically refuse to give a definite answer and will say "we can discuss it later" and then you never hear from them again.
But the other possibility is that they do want you for sex (at least once) and then you make it to the 2nd date, you have sex, and then you either never hear from them again or they give you some lame excuse for why they cannot see you again. More often you just won't hear from them again.
Now you might think "Wow, the pressure is on to make that one night of sex really good." and you are partially right. But if it is too good they might think you are some kind of weird freaky sex fiend, and decide you are obsessed with sex.
So Lesson 4, don't have sex on the 2nd date. I know that may seem counterintuitive to some people out there who love having sex on the first or second date, but trust me on this one. Do a really good job on the 2nd date, kissing, maybe some heavy petting - but stick to foreplay or less because you want to make them WAIT for the third date. Call it "playing hard to get", but if you can get them to go on the third date then BAM, third date equals commitment. (3rd date is also the best date to have sex too. Delay any longer and people get bored.)
#5. Serial Daters usually don't have a good track record of long term relationships. Often they just date date date different people, sometimes fill their loneliness with an one night stand and then go back to serial dating again. So how do you determine which people have a bad track record?
Lesson 5, ask the following questions BEFORE you agree to a first date.
When was the last time you had a long term relationship and how long did it last?
Your longest relationship, how long did it last?
It doesn't really matter how they answer these questions because they could be lying. What matters is what they do when they realize you are looking for a long term relationship. Any commitment-phobe who is remotely honest with themselves will come up with an excuse to cancel the first date so they don't need to meet you. The delusional commitment-phobes will still want to meet you because they are in denial about being a Serial Dater and like to pretend they want a long term relationship.
But hey, Lesson 5 should cut the number of Serial Daters you meet roughly in half.
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