Serial Dating Meaning: What You Need To Know

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Serial Dating Meaning

Serial dating simply means dating for the thrill of it. Serial daters enjoy the beginning of getting to know someone but don’t stick around for long. And once the excitement wears off, they move on to date someone else almost immediately.

Have you experienced that? You went out once with someone, and they ghosted before it even started? 

They are probably serial daters.

Or maybe you are the serial dater. You might have been one and you didn’t realize it.

Let’s uncover the details and understand serial dating exhaustively. So you can point out the red flags and play safe.

What Does it Mean to be a Serial Dater?

A serial dater is someone who is into dating for the glorious limerence. 

Serial (seer-ee-ul): one after the other or in regular succession without gaps

Going by this definition, a serial dater is someone who goes on a date or two with person A, sees how it goes, and proceeds to person B.

Unlike us who go on dates to get to know someone and hope they turn out to be our perfect match, serial daters never intend to commit to a relationship. 

They just date for fun, to enjoy the chase.

What is a Serial Relationship?

Two people getting to know each other
Two people getting to know each other.

A serial relationship involves a series of relationships (often long-term). 

It’s commonly referred to as “serial monogamy,” which means being in a monogamous relationship one after the other. There may be breaks between the relationships, but not long ones. It’s just that the relationships don’t overlap.

So serial monogamists don’t stay single for long. You just find someone you like, stay together until growth or problems cause a break-up, and then proceed to the next person you like, probably hoping it lasts longer this time. 

This leads to my concern:

Serial Monogamy: Is it wrong? 

Aren’t we all serial monogamists? Hear me out: you have a crush on someone, you go on a few dates, find out you are into each other, and start dating.

Things go on well, so you commit to a relationship. You have a great time together until you start having issues (like any normal couple). 

You try to solve them until you can’t take it anymore, so you break up. Luckily, you find another person and decide to give it another shot. 

Isn’t that how life is? The aspect of serial monogamy comes into play when you don’t have breaks between consecutive long-term relationships. And when you do, it’s considered too short.

Some even argue that a serial monogamist plans for the next relationship while in another relationship. That’s why there are no breaks between the relationships. 

So, immediately after they notice red flags, they get ready for the next relationship.

Serial Monogamy Cycles

I will say it’s wrong for one reason. You don’t allow yourself time to heal, learn from your mistakes, and work on yourself, which means you are not emotionally stable enough to get into another relationship.

Maybe that’s why you are a serial monogamist after all. Think of it this way: an average person will take a break from dating when they suffer heartbreak, mainly to re-evaluate themselves and heal from the break-up, especially if it was a long-term relationship.

You may not acknowledge the importance, but taking time to heal helps a lot, even if the other person was the problem. The break helps you see their problem, so you choose better next time.

A serial monogamist, on the other hand, rushes into a new relationship. How will this new relationship survive with all that baggage from the previous relationship? Let’s assume you were the problem in your previous relationship. 

And since you didn’t work it out, won’t that issue affect the new relationship?

And if your partner was the issue, how sure are you that the new catch isn’t more like him or her? I mean, you are not even sure because you didn’t take time to figure out the real problem.

So you repeat the same mistake, things get ugly, and you jump into the next relationship. Before you know it, it’s a cycle. 

How Can You Tell if Someone is a Serial Dater?

Happy couple sitting at a table in a cafe
Happy couple sitting at a table in a café.

Unfortunately, you can’t really tell by looking at someone in the eyes. You have to go on a date or two with them. Even when you do, you can’t be a hundred percent sure.

Serial daters long for that first encounter. While you think you are on your first date to learn about each other, they are there to feed their satisfaction. 

Chances are, a serial dater will give their all during this time to get the most out of it.

I think your only option is to keep an open mind that anyone you meet might be one. This way, you don’t invest your feelings as soon as you meet someone. You take your precious time and, since they don’t stick around long enough, a serial dater will bail on you immediately after the excitement wears off.

Though you can’t tell straight up, try these tips to know if your new catch might be a serial dater:

Ask about their previous relationship

I know, we are going against the first rule of getting to know someone. But what option do you have? It’s either that or suffering heartbreak after investing your time and feelings.

Chances are, a serial dater won’t have an immediate answer to this question. They will either take a minute before answering, stammer, or beat around the bush. 


Well, because there isn’t a previous relationship. 

Pay attention to everything they say

It goes without saying, but in this case, you should pay extra attention. The primary goal of going on dates is to unveil more about the other person. Therefore, be on a mission to grasp every detail no matter how tiny.

Any person hoping something long-term comes out of your dates will imply this. They might not say it, but you will grasp a thing or two if you are careful enough. 

A serial dater, on the other hand, is there for fun. So the goal is to enjoy the moment while it lasts as they have no intention of pursuing further. Such a person won’t mention anything about the future. Nothing like, “I would love to spend more time with you” or “I wish to know you better.”

Another thing is that a serial dater won’t go into details, particularly about themselves. The logic is, why should they? They are not there to start a relationship or make friends. 

dating couple in a serious conversation
Dating couple in a serious conversation.

Analyze their behavior in general 

For a serial dater, nothing goes beyond the date. How is this person behaving? Do you talk about life beyond the date? 

Do you even talk about anything except planning your date or dates?

Someone who wants to pursue it further will be fully into you. They will want to talk more so they can learn more about you and tell you about themselves, but not just plan dates. 

In addition, a serial dater is likely to go silent after your date. 

You see, regular people talk more after going on a date, at least most do. The excitement after a good time makes you want to keep things going, especially if you like the person.

That’s a no-no for serial daters. 

If they had planned to go on a second date with you, they might try a little or even just ghost you until they want that second date. 

Besides, since the plan is to enjoy it while the excitement is still on, they might seem a little clingy at first. You just met but someone seems too physical—a tight hug and sometimes even a light kiss. 

Someone who wants something serious will take more time than that. You first get comfortable with them before any physical intimacy. 

But since a serial dater has no time for that, things will move quickly. Remember, they are there to get the high of the chase.

Everyone gets a little nervous on their first date. Mostly because you want to impress this other person, and you don’t know how to go about it. Since a serial dater is not there to impress you, they may seem too chilled. So casual and relaxed.

Besides, they might not put any effort into getting to know you. There may be a few questions here and there, but you might notice something is off. They just want the vague details and don’t care so much about the details. 

Do Serial Daters Fall in Love? 

Not really. How do you fall in love when you are not looking for love? Even when true love finds you, chances are you won’t notice. 

The immediate need is to find someone right now to satisfy that emotional urge. So, if you are always looking to satisfy your immediate needs, how do you notice something as intense as true love?

More so, do you even know it? There is just so much that serial daters miss, which makes it almost impossible to fall in love. Unless someone gets tired and decides to chase true love, it’s really hard for a serial dater to fall in love.

This is what happens in most cases. A serial dater changes their thinking and decides it’s time. Unless you were not a serial dater in a real sense, you just got caught up in the situation. 

5 Celebrities we Might Label “Serial Monogamists”

Serial monogamy has become a thing, and like any other person, some celebrities are embracing it. Some intentionally, while for others, it’s just the way things are. 

Here are celebrities we might label serial monogamists and, to some extent, serial daters:

  1. John Mayer: He has dated many women, including Katy Perry and Taylor Swift.
  2. Jennifer Lopez: She has been married at least three times while on her dating journey.
  3. Taylor Swift: Her amazing break-up songs say it all.
  4. Cameron Diaz: She dated several men before settling down.
  5. Bradley Cooper: Cooper is linked to several women, including Jennifer Lopez.

Bottom Line

Serial daters enjoy the excitement of dating but don’t embrace the idea of dating. It’s the excitement that captivates them. 

And though it seems selfish, some will tell you straight up and let you decide whether you are in or out. But this changes to something else as it’s unlikely for a serial dater to admit their intention.

You might come across one in this world of dating. The idea is to keep an open mind and protect your heart at all costs. Happy dating!

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Over the years, Stephanie has had her fair share of dating experiences. While some turned out great, others weren't so great. She believes that relationships are meant to be fun, exciting, and full of laughter. She wants to help men and women become confident, attractive, and successful in their romantic relationships.