Serious Dating Sites vs Casual Dating Sites

There’s never been a better time in history to meet and date any number of fascinating singles you want to get to know better on dating websites. But this happy choice has left us with one common dating question to ask ourselves: am I on a serious dating site or casual dating site? The site is important, and it’s all to do with the singles you’re dating who you meet on there.

There’s so many singles out there, but we all largely fit into three camps:

(1) Looking for that special, long-term relationship. The one.
(2) Discovering new people to connect with. We’ll see how it goes.
(3) I have no idea what I want. Where did I leave my keys?

If you’re looking for a serious dating site you don’t want to waste your precious time dating singles who aren’t looking for the same thing as you. Likewise, if you’re happily mingling and not looking to settle down, you shouldn’t string on someone looking for more. If you have no idea if you’re casual or serious dating, you should sit yourself down and make some honest decisions about where you want to go on your dating journey.
Unfortunately, most of us don’t walk around with signs declaring our romantic dating intentions. And of course, dating is a matter of the heart, so things can, and often do, change with the wind. But both singles on serious dating sites and casually dating singles have some tell-tale signs which the majority of the time will indicate whether they guy or gal you’re going out with is looking for something easygoing or more committed. Check out the top 5 questions to ask yourself below, and see how many of them fit your current date.

1. What does their online dating profile look like?

A picture paints a thousand words and a profile paints another thousand on top of that!

Casually Dating: A couple photos, a very generic or completely absent description of themselves and an incomplete bio.
Serious Dating: A wide selection of pics showing your date off, an insightful description and a bio which reflects what’s important to your date.

Singles on serious dating sites have usually spent the time sprucing up their online dating profiles to be up to date, whereas more casual members haven’t invested as much effort into theirs. Whereas issues like politics, religion or whether kids are an option aren’t necessarily super relevant to casual daters, they are to those serious dating, so look out for any sign of any mention of potential deal breakers.

2. How protective are they over their phone/laptop?

We’re all messaging on phones, laptops and even watches these days, and our devices follow us around everywhere we go, even on dates.

Casually Dating: Your date never leaves their phone where you might see it and is oddly specific and protective when they show you something. Occasionally they have notifications on, sometimes they don’t.
Serious Dating: You’re free to keep swiping through that photo gallery through endless dog memes, chin selfies and pics of their parent’s holiday in Tenerife.

With notifications buzzing for everything from your electricity bill to the latest cheap flights to New York, it’s become increasingly likely that a dating related notification might pop up on your dates phone, if they’re in contact with a number of dates or potential dates. It’s the mark of a casual dater to understandably be more protective about what you might see on their phone than someone more seriously committed to you.

3. Do you chat about your future together?

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with living in the here and now, date to date. Neither life nor dating are all about meticulous planning, but there’s meaning behind the inclusiveness of the conversations you have with your date.

Casually Dating: Your conversations are usually rooted in the present or near future. When you do talk about the future, your date most likely has big plans, but there’s not necessarily a space needing to be filled by someone else in there.
Serious Dating: Your date might straight up come out with talk of pets together, getting married or buying property. If they’re less forthright, they’ll start talking about places you should visit together, and they include you when discussing big life events.

This one is often slipped in subconsciously by members of serious dating sites but more conspicuously avoided by casual daters. A serious dater will constantly be imagining the two of you together and thinking about what you’d be like as a pair in all sorts of situations. A casual dater will typically either actively avoid talking about the big plans of the future, or make clear that their primary goals at the moment are on individual level.

If you’re looking for singles on a serious dating site, you probably don’t want to invest a huge amount of time dating someone who’s next big milestone is to work in California or travel the world – although you never know.

4. Do you always go on dates in the evening?

The time of your dates is an important indicator of whether you’re serious dating or are involved in something more casual. These days, time is a precious commodity to us all, and members of serious dating sites and casual daters prioritise differently:

Casually Dating: Your dates normally happen early or in the middle of the week, Monday-Weds. If you do meet up on other days, it’s either later (after 8pm) or a last minute arrangement.
Serious Dating: Thursday and Friday nights are options your date has suggested. They might have even suggested a date during the day on a weekend or bank holiday for the pair of you to while away the day together.

Looking for a new special someone is all about priorities. Singles on serious dating sites are willing to use their most valuable hours of free time, typically on Thurs-Sun, to date new singles. Those on casual dating sites prioritise dating lower down on the things-they-want-to-do list, so they’re more likely to put meeting with friends, sports or a million other interests they might have above dating.

5. How long does your date take to message you back?

There are no hard and fast rules to abide by when it comes to online messaging, but if you’re constantly waiting days for a new message or their messaging patterns are erratic, it could be a sign:

Casually Dating: Your date’s messages are hot-and-cold. One day they’ll answer your messages promptly and be open to conversation. Other times they’ll disappear completely off the radar for who knows how long.
Serious Dating: They’re responsive to your messages and move to turn chatting into dating quickly.

Different people communicate differently. However, someone on a serious dating site will almost definitely be more keen to meet you in person quickly, so they don’t waste away their time on something that won’t grow into what they’re looking for.

Interestingly, the amount you chat to a date isn’t a good indicator as to how serious they are about dating. Lots of people casual dating will chat almost indefinitely to people they might have dated once or twice simply for good conversation rather than any serious romantic intention.

Whether you’re on a serious dating site looking for singles seeking a serious relationship or if you’re looking for something a little more casual, take a moment to consider the people you’re dating, and find out what camp you think they fall into. If you’re not sure, just ask!

Learn 20 Unwritten Rules Of Online Dating and get more advice from our dating experts!