Are You Dating A Stringer? Don’t Get Too Attached—It Won’t End Well

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A stringer is a man who’s been in plenty of long-term relationships before but has never taken the relationship to the next level. He’s a variant of the serial monogamist except worse because he’s shared huge chunks of his life with multiple women and never actually locked things down. Are you dating one?

1. HE’S AN OLDER GUY WHO’S NEVER BEEN ENGAGED OR MARRIED. I dated a guy who was much older than me. Prior to our relationship, he’d been in two or three long-term trysts with multiple women but had never asked any of them to marry him. At the time, I told myself maybe he just hadn’t found what he wanted, but looking back, it was totally odd that none of the women he dated for multiple years ever resulted in even an engagement, especially given his age. When I think about it now, I realize that it was a huge red flag. He was a quintessential stringer.

2. HE ACTS LIKE IT’S THEIR EXES’ FAULT THAT THINGS NEVER WENT TO THE NEXT LEVEL. Stringers talk about their exes like they were solely responsible for the demise of their relationships. “She was too clingy.” “She didn’t know what she wanted.” “She wanted too much.” He points out every plausible reason why it didn’t work out for the long haul. He makes them seem like they’re the ones who had the problem when really he had and still has major commitment issues.

3. HE’S NEVER BEEN DUMPED. Stringers rarely get broken up with because women have no reason to believe they’re headed anywhere but marriage. However, after a few years, stringers cut the cords and move on. Your property together? They pay you their portion and GTFO. If you’re dating a guy that hasn’t been broken up with since high school, you might be dating a stringer.

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