A while back, I came across an OKCupid profile of an interesting guy who specifically said he wasn't looking for anything serious. Since I have plenty of not-so-serious in my life already, I passed him by. But not too long ago, he sent me an email introducing himself, and we got to messaging.
To his credit, he was open about where he's at. He told me he's in "play mode" because he just got out of a 10-year marriage. I can respect that - but also wanted to be honest. I told him I am not looking for anything strictly casual. Even though I'm not looking to rush into anything serious, I want the potential to be there. I said it sounded like we're in different places.
He agreed, but we kept chatting as friends. He told me he appreciated that I didn't get all judgmental and angry with him for wanting to "play." Apparently, some women have reacted poorly.
Here's my thing.... I think "play mode" is perfectly fine, as long as the person is upfront. There's nothing wrong with not wanting a full-blown relationship. If you already know you have no place in your life for one, why not just be honest?
I think the problem is a lot of women (maybe men, too) take that personally. Like, oh, that person must just not want to date me. I suppose that is the case sometimes - but when someone tells me right from the start that he just isn't in that place, I don't feel like that has anything to do with me. How could it? It's a decision he made before I even came along.
It's cool to want a relationship, and it's perfectly fine to limit yourself to meeting new people who want the same. But there's no reason to judge people just because they want something different.
Some people are just looking for someone else in play mode.