define "not serious"
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  1. #1
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    Default define "not serious"

    I have officially decided I am old. I need to have something cleared up for me. You know, these young people keep changin' the rules and I am just an old stick in the mud.
    So if someone says that their relationship is "not serious" what does that mean? Back in my day, I assumed that it meant that there was very little or no sexual activities. A serious relationship implied exclusivity and (in non-Christian and some Christian couples )sexual activity.
    My niece is claiming to have a "non-serious" relationship with someone. Times have changed and I understand Friends With Benefits and F*Buddies. Not that I agree with it I just understand the terms.
    But there seems to be several aspects that could make a relationship "non-serious" but I don't see any way she can describe it as "non-serious"
    Sexual--from "only a peck on the cheek" to "yeah, we can have sex but there is NO WAY you are sleeping in my bed afterwards" there seems to be a myriad of ways of creating a distinction that this relationship in "not serious" but somehow I think there has to be a line drawn somewhere here. (my judgement I know)
    Exclusivity--Can you date other people? I think a serious relationship would insist on exclusivity but some non-serious relationships might not.
    Daily involvement-- In a non-serious relationship, daily or hourly calls would not be required. Calling every few days and seeing each other weekly to me seems like a casual relationship.
    Tests-- I am not sure what to call this but I have seen women esp do this. Either a situation arises or is created to create a 'test'. There is a right and wrong response to a question or problem and the guy is judged on his response.
    Discussion of the future--somehow I think this is another really important thing in making a relationship "not serious". You don't have a common future. If it is serious then you can talk about houses, children, living together, marriage.

    So to me, who is living outside my nieces relationship but very very nearby, it seems like a serious relationship. But she claims she won't have a serious relationship for year after her separation. (the divorce is getting tricky at the moment as he is deployed). I think her definition is "living together" because in every other way, I think it is serious. And they can talk and make plans about how they would live together and the layout of the house and when the children would be coming but....it isn't serious.
    So how do you define serious?

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    Moderator mauimagic's Avatar
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    Good question Kita - since I am of an age myself, I certainly cannot help you out, but am very anxious to read the responses.

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    Registered User Greebo's Avatar
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    Not serious = no commitment, not no sex.

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    Registered User kitkat0649's Avatar
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    Engaging in a physical relationship without exclusivity or accountability. Having fun in the moment without thoughts toward the future.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Greebo View Post
    Not serious = no commitment, not no sex.
    I totally agree with this.

    Commitment comes in many forms. The "serious" part is in their hearts. All the rest is details and varies from couple-to-couple. So if they "aren't serious" then somewhere in their relationship they are not committed.

    My 2 cents and I'd just suggest you not bang your head against it too much. Get to know the person as you would any other friend at work or in your neighborhood but know they may at some point & time be gone.

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    So then, "you must call me on my first coffee break and lunch break" and "call me to say good morning and good night" is a form of commitment, right? I realize that it isn't marriage but when there are requirements like that, it doesn't feel "not serious" to me. Especially when she threatens to chew him out if he doesn't remember.
    I think what really set me to thinking was this past weekend she was sick and she asked him to come (he lives about three hours away). He protested that he has (specific task) to do. She made sure that it was done through friends and since he was away from the phone (no cell) she went ahead and bought the train tickets. And had a roommate tell him the next day when he was to leave. She wanted to see how he treated her when she was sick because all she wanted to do was cuddle.
    Frankly, I think this is beginning to go beyond "serious" and "not serious" into serious control issues.
    I want to mention this to her but I need to get my conversation straight before I mention it. I have a philosophy with her at the moment which is I WILL tell her if something drastically needs to be said but it is a one-off deal. I feel a bit of responsibility as an older aunt but she is an adult. I get input but not control.

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    Registered User krbshappy71's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kita View Post
    So then, "you must call me on my first coffee break and lunch break" and "call me to say good morning and good night" is a form of commitment, right? I realize that it isn't marriage but when there are requirements like that, it doesn't feel "not serious" to me. Especially when she threatens to chew him out if he doesn't remember.
    I think what really set me to thinking was this past weekend she was sick and she asked him to come (he lives about three hours away). He protested that he has (specific task) to do. She made sure that it was done through friends and since he was away from the phone (no cell) she went ahead and bought the train tickets. And had a roommate tell him the next day when he was to leave. She wanted to see how he treated her when she was sick because all she wanted to do was cuddle.
    Frankly, I think this is beginning to go beyond "serious" and "not serious" into serious control issues.
    I want to mention this to her but I need to get my conversation straight before I mention it. I have a philosophy with her at the moment which is I WILL tell her if something drastically needs to be said but it is a one-off deal. I feel a bit of responsibility as an older aunt but she is an adult. I get input but not control.
    Its only a form of commitment if they feel it is. You can't put your ideas of commitment onto their relationship. (well you can but it doesn't change things)

    Its between them what it looks like, regardless of how others interpret and see it.

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    Registered User Greebo's Avatar
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    "Not serious" and "Denial" are not mutually exclusive...

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    For me, a non-serious relationship is casual dating with some intimacy. But, neither person is officially attached to the other person.

    I had a few non-serious relationships but with me, I got attached so it made it serious for me.

    So basically, non-serious relationships are ones where both people aren't exclusively seeing one another but are seeing each other. It's more casual than serious relationships, where both parties are solely seeing that other person and there's no consideration of being with anyone else.

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    Registered User TigerGirl1226's Avatar
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    So I am 29 and married, so this is defined on my dating history (5 years ago) and what I see from my unmarried friends.

    Non-serious dating: Go on dates (or what passes as one these days), may or may not have sex, may or may not date other people, talk on the phone but not daily. Don't consider each other boyfriend/girlfriend.

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    From my observation, although "non-serious" seems to imply a somewhat straightforward meaning analogous to "casual", the way people use the term seems to vary.

    There's the actual "non-serious", which is pretty much what TigerGirl1226 and Greebo defined.

    There's the "non-serious" where both parties involved want to keep the relationship light and fun but probably wouldn't mind if it did get serious, only they don't want to broach the topic for fear of introducing unwanted 'drama' to the currently enjoyable status quo. And/or they are tentative for whatever reason and want to see where the relationship goes. Basically, this is a test phase designed to minimize pain while keeping hopeful possibilities open.

    There's the "non-serious" where one party involved does want to have a serious relationship with the other party, but the other party only wants a casual, non-serious relationship. The one party that wants a serious relationship is involved because either that is the only way to be with the other party or he or she secretly hopes to change the other party's mind over time.

    There's the "not serious" relationship where the parties involved may or may not be serious, but they will SAY it is "not-serious" just to prevent those outside the relationship from prying or heckling or disapproving or asking questions. Or perhaps one or both parties are in a situation where they cannot be in a stated "serious" relationship even if they ARE in one. I see this when people are dating someone their social/work/family circle won't approve and in young people who don't want or don't feel like discussing their personal lives to their parents.

    You need to study the situation, context, and behavior to understand what a person means when they say a relationship is "non-serious." And really, even if we defined it all day long, it won't matter in the end because many times, what people say and what people do and what people say they do aren't consistent.
    And sometimes with some relationships, when you hear "not serious", your mind should just sub that with "immature" or "delusional" or "crazy" or "totally batsh*t insane."

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    Gee....and I thought my parents thought it was hard when the guys said that they were "bearing it tonight"....

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    To me, non-serious means that you're not planning a future together, which is very similar to "no commitment". It means you're not planning on marraige, buying a house together, having kids together.

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    Registered User beks37's Avatar
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    To me, non-serious would mean that there is no commitment for a future, you date casually, you date other people, you call or text occasionally.

    Checking up on each other would be more of a boyfriend or girlfriend (more of a serious) relationship. If I was not serious about someone, then I would certainly not want them checking up on me.

    Before I was married, I have several non-serious relationships. Then several more serious relationships.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kita View Post
    So then, "you must call me on my first coffee break and lunch break" and "call me to say good morning and good night" is a form of commitment, right? I realize that it isn't marriage but when there are requirements like that, it doesn't feel "not serious" to me. Especially when she threatens to chew him out if he doesn't remember.
    I think what really set me to thinking was this past weekend she was sick and she asked him to come (he lives about three hours away). He protested that he has (specific task) to do. She made sure that it was done through friends and since he was away from the phone (no cell) she went ahead and bought the train tickets. And had a roommate tell him the next day when he was to leave. She wanted to see how he treated her when she was sick because all she wanted to do was cuddle.
    Frankly, I think this is beginning to go beyond "serious" and "not serious" into serious control issues.
    I want to mention this to her but I need to get my conversation straight before I mention it. I have a philosophy with her at the moment which is I WILL tell her if something drastically needs to be said but it is a one-off deal. I feel a bit of responsibility as an older aunt but she is an adult. I get input but not control.
    wow.

    it's up to him to put a stop to this. stay out of it?

    wow.

    when i was married to my husband we didn't act like this. i would not dream of running someone's day like that.

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