By Case Kenny

How to know what someone is looking for in a relationship

In dating how do you know what someone really wants? How do you know if they’re looking for something serious or just looking for something casual?

Well... the obvious answer is you ask.

But we don't ask!

We're all hesitant to ask the simple question: "what do you want?"

It's weird, right?

You’d never let that slide in other areas of your life. In your career you wouldn't work for 2 months without knowing what your boss wants from you. You wouldn't consider buying a house if you didn't have an idea of the listing price. No! You'd ask for clarity!

We have to ask "what are you looking for?" early on (date one or two).

When you do you're likely to hear one of two responses.

You might hear a super honest answer. They might say… I'm just looking for fun. I don't want to settle down. You might also hear the polar opposite: I'm looking for something very serious.

That's great. That's honest. You can roll with that.

But more often than not you'll hear a very non-committal answer.

I’m out here. Well I am single. I’m looking. I’m doing my thing until I meet someone special. I’d love to meet someone and see how things play out. Commitment? Ya sure.. if it happens that’s great.

What do you do when someone hits you with an answer like that?

That's very ambiguous.

What do you do with ambiguity? You ask for clarity!

You have to push for clarity in your dating life.

Otherwise you're essentially saying "I'm confused by that answer but I guess I'll just see what happens. I’ll just float in the wind until THEY decide to give me more to go on."


You owe it to yourself to get a better answer.

You’re the main character in your life, right? You create your own happiness, right? Well then prove it! Embrace the "awkwardness."

You owe it to yourself to ask a follow-up question.

I recommend saying: "well, what does that look like?"

This is a really powerful question because it quickly reveals if they’ve thought about it.

"What does that look like?"

I’ve found that if someone don’t have a decent answer to that question... it probably means they haven't really thought about it.

Don't expect poetry from someone but if they can't answer... it should give you reason to pause.

Think about yourself.

If you’re on a date and you can’t answer WHY you’re on a date… huh?

If you’re looking for a partner but you have no idea what you want in a partner… huh?

This question exposes lack of intention.

That doesn't make someone a bad person but it certainly gives you (someone with intention) something to think about.

For example... If you and I were on a date and you asked me "Case, what are you looking for?"

And I said… oh, ya know I’m not in a rush but I’d love to find someone.

And then you said so what does that look like?

I could have two responses...

I could say: I’d love to find someone I can joke with, who loves to travel, who understands that I’m really committed to my creative work, who is driven and motivated in her career.

Or I could say...

Ummm wow you’re really putting me on the spot. Waiter, another drink please. Ya know I’m just open to seeing what happens. I’m open minded ya know, I don’t really have a type.

Which of those responses gives you a bit of insight into my intention?

Obviously this isn’t science and people can be nervous on a first or second date so don't expect a thesis statement but you HAVE to ask!

Their answer is VERY telling!

We don't like to push the issue past "what are you looking for" simply because it might be awkward or it could scare off a potential partner.

But let’s say your fear comes true and it does freak them out... do you really wanna be with someone who’s that soft?!

Do you wanna be with someone who’s turned off by YOU knowing what you want?

Get outta here!

There’s zero downside.

Ask and if they give a middle of the road answer hit em with what does that look like?

See what they say.

Don't walk away from date one or two with a huge question mark in your head about their intention. Push yourself to figure out if you're both on the same page.

That should be qualification #1 at the top of your dating checklist.

You owe it to yourself to not waste your time or energy with people who aren’t on the same page.