Charmed & Dangerous is a dating blog maintained by a twenty-something facing dating in Baltimore. The C&D blog is not only for singles but for anyone looking for fun ideas in Baltimore. This week Charmed & Dangerous tackles the daunting task of date-planning, and the struggle between spontaneity and preparedness.  

Anonymous Asked: Say you’re a single twenty-something who is, in all likelihood, boyfriend material — but you aren’t actually interested in any kind of relationship. Is it morally questionable to be on dating sites, or to date in general when you’re in that headspace? I’m up front about where I’m at, but it still feels strange for some reason.

Why You’re Doing It Right:

You’re aware of what you are (or in this case, are not) looking for.

You’re upfront about that feeling.

You seem to have at least some concern for the wellbeing of the people you’re interacting with.

For you, personally, I would say you’re in the moral clear! Keep doing what you’re doing and have a good time.

How to Do It Wrong:

From my experiences, most, if not the majority of twenty-something’s in Baltimore are not in the market for any kind of relationship, right now, so you’re not alone with that sentiment. Where issues tend to come up are with the following:

People that say that they are not looking for a relationship but then are baffled when the person they’ve been “hanging out” with for six months has no intention of being in a relationship with them.

If someone tells you they’re not looking for anything serious (or doesn’t list long-term relationship in his profile), they’re really NOT looking for anything serious. Yes, sometimes people fall madly in love when they weren’t expecting to but most don’t stick around to see if that romantic comedy scenario comes through for you. Move on to someone that isn’t going to be an unnecessary challenge. Trying to play the laid back, I’m so cool chick that doesn’t need “labels” will make sure you end up dateless on Valentine’s Day because I can pretty much promise you that “doesn’t believe in titles” guy isn’t taking you to Charleston for dinner. That is your fault. Most of the time, people will tell you the truth even if you only hear what you want to hear.

People that are not upfront about not looking for a relationship that then hurt someone who thought the dates were headed in that direction.

Now if they don’t tell the truth, the blame is entirely on them. It’s fine you’re not looking for anything serious and express that blatantly to someone. Now, if you know you’re not looking for anything serious and you string someone along for months with false promises and little nuggets of hope, you’re a terrible human being. Don’t have someone waste months or even years of their lives with you when they can be out finding someone that wants to meet their parents and go on that trip to Europe.

People that have no idea what the hell they want and destroy everything in their wake trying to figure that out.

This is most people I’ve encountered in the dating world. Being oblivious to your emotions is not a good thing. You should not date people if you don’t know what you want. It’s fine to want to see how it goes and allow things to come naturally. It’s not fine to be oblivious, ambivalent and inconsiderate. You’ll end up feeling bad. They’ll end up feeling bad. It’ll be messy. Not even being sure about dating pretty much guarantees that you’ll never be sure about a person—if you’re even sure you want to be sure about a person? See… complicated.

Don’t be any of those people. Those people suck.

What I think is fundamental here is to be aware of who you are as a person and what you’re looking for. I did a little experiment asking guys why they did not want a second date. Every answer involved not being emotionally ready to date (most were just hung up on an ex). These are all men that listed seeking “long-term dating” on their online profiles. We live in a world where everyone has a lot of baggage that they can sign on and lurk for hours from the privacy of their own home.

If you’re not sure about dating, that’s completely fine but you probably shouldn’t select “long-term dating” on your online profiles. However, don’t be one of those people looking for “New Friends” only, because those people are the worst. As least, the casual sex people are honest…

The goal should be not to make anyone life unnecessarily more complicated with your own neuroses. You’re not Conor Oberst. It’s not cute.