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Hesidating – Everything You Need to Know About this Modern Dating Concept

Hesidating – Everything You Need to Know About this Modern Dating Concept

Updated on Oct 04, 2023

Reviewed by Katina Tarver, MA (Mental Health and Wellness Counseling) , Life & Relationship Coach

Hesidating – Everything You Need to Know About this Modern Dating Concept

Wondering what even is “hesidating“? Or, do you already get the pun… but are afraid if you’re in one? Anxious about how to stop this for good?

Well, hesidating is one of the by-products of the pandemic that left people potentially incapable of loving. People started feeling uncertain whether they really needed a relationship or not once they started dating.

And if you feel the same yourself or think that your date gives you a similar vibe, my think-piece will help you get out of this difficult situation.

So, let’s dive into it!

What is Hesidating?

Hesidating defines the uncertainty, indifference, and hesitation about diving in a serious relationship among daters. This is more pronounced after the Covid-19 scenes because of the uncertainty everyone experienced about meeting their lovers or even about staying alive.

The online dating app Plenty of Fish coined the term “hesidating” after the pandemic.

The resident dating expert of the app, Kate MacLean, defines hesidating as feeling indifferent about dating and unsure whether it’s better to date seriously or casually. Because life, in general, is so uncertain during and even after the pandemic that daters didn’t know any better.

According to MacLean, 70% of singles are uncertain about what they want from their relationship or their relationship status… aka, they’re hesidating!

Dating experts explained that the world led an uncertain life during the pandemic. People felt anxious about not being able to meet face-to-face even if they lived in the same city.

They didn’t feel safe or secure and the anxiety made them avoid serious relationships. A fear of commitment along with hesitation about a full-fledged relationship is normal in such circumstances.

Due to the lack of socializing, emotional bonding was nearly impossible… and it almost desensitized most people’s energy and will to bond emotionally which led to the hesidating.

But is that the only reason? Let’s find out here…

What are some other reasons behind hesidating?

The most valid reason behind the beginning of hesidating is the pandemic. But it’s not just about being unable to meet and bond that led to the current situation. Rather, a train of troubles resulted in this dating hazard so let’s know some of them here…

1. A popular reason that resulted in an upsurge of hesidating is personal growth during the covid-19. As you know, most businesses resorted to work-from-home during the pandemic.

Astonishingly, those who flourished in life during this lonely phase found more peace in being alone. Loneliness wasn’t something to fear for them anymore… but they actively wanted to be alone for their growth.

2. During the pandemic, some daters didn’t give up on dating. They tried hard enough to sustain their dating and relationships… only to find out one or the other felt too frustrated and gave up.

Or, they realized they dated the wrong person, but they wasted too much time on each other… all because meeting in person was impossible!

Many young daters lost a lot of time and just grew hesitant whenever their dates wanted something serious. So, even if a lot of people want to date exclusively and seriously, the anxiety of losing time kicks in and they flake off.

I’m sure you’re anxious if you’re with a Hesidater right now! So, let’s find the truth here…

How do you know if you’ve matched with a Hesidater?

Some say that it’s easy to identify a hesidater… as they relate hesidating with casual dating. They look for phrases like “casual dating only” or “only for fun” in dating profiles and avoid them to keep their dating game strong.

However, even if your date’s profile mentioned “Serious relationships only”, they can still be a hesidater!

Your heart probably sank at the thought of it… so, it’s time to know if you’re talking to a hesidater…

1. They don’t show vulnerabilities… even by mistake

Many dating experts recommend testing your date in the early phase. Tell them something personal and vulnerable, and watch how they react to your words.

At this point, a love interest can react in two ways. If they are invested in you, they’ll listen, understand your emotions, show kindness, and even share a word or two of encouragement. If this happens, the goal’s clear.

The other possibility is the red flag: They seem unaffected by the conversation. They become defensive and act as if they did something wrong. Or, they might ignore you and continue talking about something else. If any of these happen, they’re emotionally unavailable!

2. They are hardly engaged enough

Another ultimate sign is your date’s interest in knowing you. If your date initiates texts, tries to know about you, eagerly initiates dates to meet you, and even has elaborate plans to spend a good time, you’re in good hands!

But if they show least to no interest, don’t try to know about you, hardly initiate texting, respond to your texts after hours, never ask you on dates, even if you have dates it ends quickly, or have nothing interesting planned… major red flag! That person is most definitely a hesidater.

3. They are curious… but the vibes aren’t good

But trying to know you isn’t always a good sign… focus on what kind of questions they shoot at you. If it’s about your favorites, your lifestyle, your background, and other personal and intimate details, you’ll usually feel they like you for real.

However, focus on the kind of vibe they give with the questions. If you feel they ask deep questions which can actually lead to splitting, that’s a warning sign.

For instance, ridiculous questions like “Do you snore?”, “Do you chew with your mouth open?”, or any question that makes you feel like they want to find some issue or difference… DON’T IGNORE THIS SIGN!

4. Conversations suddenly turned dry

A sudden shift in the energy of communicating is another worrisome sign of dating a hesidater. If this is your situation, your date will initially feel excited to know you and spend time with you. They’ll ask you out often and make you feel that this will turn into your dream relationship.

But eventually, the excitement will die and your conversations will be cut short. Of course, you won’t think they’re a hesidater instantly… and give them chances to prove themselves. You might assume that they’re busy and waiting… but the conversations continue to be dry and meaningless.

5. They avoid serious questions like the plague

“What kind of relationship do you want?”, “Where do you see us in the future?”, “What kind of house do you want? I want one with a big porch!”

These deep questions give direct signals that you dream about a future together. Though these serious conversations were always hard… after the pandemic, nobody wants to waste time and settle down ASAP.

So, if your date avoids these questions completely and doesn’t even say “Let’s take it slow”, you’re with a hesidater.

6. They stood you up last minute

Suppose you guys only ever talked online and have yet to meet. So, it’s too early for them to be curious about you or too early for you to talk about moving in or sharing vulnerabilities, so take small steps. However, this might shatter your heart into a million pieces.

Figure out a day you both are available and ask them out on a date. If they don’t show up at all or bail out with an excuse at the last minute, that’s your final answer. They’re hesidating and they don’t truly deserve your time and energy.

So, a lot of the signs matched and you’re wondering what to do. Here’s your cheat sheet for this situation…

What to do if you’re dealing with Hesidater?

Once you know you’re with a hesidater, a surge of emotions might wash over you. You might feel disgusted about your partner not taking you seriously… you might simply feel your heart break… or, you might take a challenge to make your date fall for you.

But honey, life isn’t a romcom… so, take these precise steps to carve your way out of it!

1. Stride in with honesty

When you match with someone on a dating app or in real life, start by being honest about your needs. State your strict boundaries about dating first.

For instance, “I’m only interested in dating someone who’s also interested in a serious commitment.” Or, “I don’t want to be sexually involved with anyone before I get serious.”

These kinds of statements send signals to your date that you’re not interested in the casual dating trends. If you guys aren’t on the same page, they must speak out about their intentions.

2. Insist them to reciprocate

After expressing your boundaries and desires from dating, wait for them to state theirs. Sometimes, they might not get the hint and won’t bring up their needs unless you clearly ask them to.

So, after waiting long enough, if they continue with the regular conversation but don’t talk about their needs, be more open.

Ask them “Remember what I told you about my needs in dating, you didn’t share yours… I’d like to know if we’re on the same page or not. So, what are your thoughts on dating? What do you want from it?”

Even if they try to bail out of the conversation, don’t let them. If they won’t face such basic questions, it’s not worth your time. So, stick to your question until they answer you.

Of course, if they ask for some time, allow them. But accurately know how much time they need from you because your time is equally precious.

3. Take a step back to understand the issue

Hesidating might have different reasons… a person might be emotionally unavailable or worried about wasting their time. But it’s also possible that they’re just not comfortable because your pace is too high.

So, don’t push them too hard right from the beginning. Instead of meeting in person after chatting for a week, try out a video date to break the ice. Rather than asking about their plans to settle down, ask how they plan to have dates.

Try to know each other mostly through online dates and eventually tell them something along the lines of “I liked spending time with you… but I want something IRL and not just virtual dates. So, hit me up when you’re interested.

4. Confidently walk away if needed

If you gave all the possible chances to your date, but they always showed they’re on a totally different page, aren’t serious, or want something more casual… that’s enough!

It’s time to respect yourself and your time. There’s no point in trying to change a hesidater’s mindset. Whether you genuinely love them or are different from the other guys or girls they met… it doesn’t matter.

If you still insist, you’ll not just waste your time and energy but also impact your self-confidence. Remember, if they intentionally lock their heart up, you can’t find the key to it!

5. Get back on the apps with something new

If you have met more than one hesidater lately, it’s possible something about you attracts hesidating people. No… it’s not your fault, don’t take it the wrong way, Hun!

Instead, it might be because of what you put on your dating bio. So, revise your dating app profile bio with something more direct about your needs.

Put up things like “Looking for serious relationships”. So, only people with similar needs will approach you.

But don’t add “hesidaters suck” or “I hate casual matches!” This sounds like a challenge to some people… and they might pretend to be in love with you and break your heart when you get serious.

However, there’s another possibility… you’re the hesidater and you don’t even know it. So, let’s make sure to be good here…

How do you know if you’re the one Hesidating?

You might feel that you want a serious relationship… yet still, be stuck in the vicious cycle of hesidating without knowing it. So, if you feel that you might be the reason behind your failed dating history, check if the signs seem familiar…

1. You hardly put any effort into your bio

The first sign to know if you’re a hesidater is to check your dating profile. Suppose you download the best dating app and already have some good shots taken to make your profile appealing.

However, you delay uploading them… or, you added the pictures but don’t even try to write anything interesting in your bio.

You don’t even fill in the crucial details that help you find an appropriate match. Instead of swiping through your potential matches’ profiles, you push it for later. If all that is true, then your doubts are right!

2. Your date is great but you aren’t sure

Suppose you matched with someone actually great… you think they are too good to be real. You find that you guys are extremely compatible… or that you’re a match made in heaven.

However, you just don’t want to meet them right now. Something makes you feel uncertain… because thoughts like “how can someone match so perfectly with me?” haunt you.

You’re either a hesidater or you need more time… only you can figure this out.

3. You always push your date behind

Let’s say that neither of the above is your situation. You’re even ready to meet your date but you cancel at the last minute because you’re too busy or you don’t feel good. Or, perhaps you can’t think of a good enough plan or don’t have enough time to create one.

If any of these is your situation, you’re hesidating… and you need more time to prepare for the dating world. Because if you truly wanted to, you’d have worked on it seriously.

4. You don’t feel excited about dating

Another major and direct red flag of being a hesidater is your interest in dating.

If you don’t feel excited at all when you guys meet for the first time or don’t want to look and behave your best on the first date, you’re definitely hesitant about dating. Otherwise, you’ll try to present your best to your date.

Moreover, if you feel stressed, that’s another pressing matter. In that case, you’ll hate to dress and groom yourself and feel that it’s a lot of work to act chivalrous or lady-like to impress someone. This is also a sign of being a hesidater.

5. Your inner voice consistently discourages you

Lastly, to know if you’re a hesidater, focus on your inner mind.

If your inner mind almost always says something like “Are you sure this is a good plan?” “What if you’ll only waste your time after investing your emotions?” Or, “Shouldn’t you wait a bit longer?”… there’s no more doubt about you being a hesidater.

So, you matched with most signs and feel anxious about your dating life? C’mon, I’ve got some work for you…

How to stop Hesidating?

Being labeled as a hesidater either by yourself or your dates doesn’t sound great… rather, you feel more self-conscious and dating becomes a scary scene.

But hey, if you overthink, things will only take a worse turn. Instead, work on yourself with all it takes. Wondering how to do that? Well, here’s my plan…

1. Get up close and personal with yourself

Before you call yourself a hesidater or people assume you’re one, try to understand yourself and your priorities. Dating expert Kate MacLean, recommends asking yourself some basic questions to find out your needs and desires from dating like these…

Are you uncertain whether you want something serious or casual?

If that’s the case, it’s time to figure out the answer. Understand what type of relationship you want: open, polyamorous, monogamous, monogamish, friends with benefits, no-strings-attached, hooking up, or something long-term, exclusive, or committed. If not…

Do you not want to date at all?

If this is your situation, it’s okay to not date. Do it at your own pace and don’t give in to peer pressure. Otherwise, you and your lover will both feel disappointed. Instead, prioritize your dreams and satisfy yourself. If that’s not the case either…

Do you want to date but aren’t sure about emotional commitment?

If you’re emotionally unavailable about commitment, think about what kind of dating and relationship you want. If you want to work on your emotional availability, a therapist can help you the best.

To work on this yourself, cut the source of your stress. When you lower your stress levels, you can be emotionally available easily. Find out some stress management methods to help yourself.

2. Normalize the fears

Often, people feel anxious about dating after a long time or after a bad breakup. They fear being unable to perform as well as before… or about being hurt again after showing their vulnerabilities.

These dates don’t feel confident enough about entering the dating world, which leads to hesdating. If you relate to this situation, know that there’s no way to get over this fear… unless you actually start dating. As you stall dating, the fear intensifies with time.

So, get on the app and start swiping AND TALK. Don’t mindlessly meet people and try to know each other a bit more online… this is called intentional dating. Don’t fear talking… otherwise, you’ll never start.

Another fear is being unable to flirt… your only answer is to practice. Look up online and send flirty texts. If you guys have met, make eye contact but don’t make it creepy. Make slight body contact which is neither offensive nor too friendly. Practice acting sexy and you’ll get back in the game!

Moreover, fear and anxiety are pretty normal, so keep in mind that the person on the other side is also as anxious. That’s why accept this fear as something normal and avoid paying much attention to it.

3. Go book your therapist’s appointment

If you still can’t deal with your troubles by yourself, seek a psychotherapist. Express your concerns and hesitations to them. Your situation might be due to deep scars due to past experiences.

A psychotherapist can help you sort out your tangled inner mind and help you work on yourself. Once you know about your fears better, you can deal with the hesitation more confidently.

4. Pave the way with honesty

When someone matches with you but you’re unsure about your intentions, just be honest about your feelings. Tell them that you’re still undecided, but don’t forget to be kind and not use any blaming language.

Say something like “I like to spend time with you but I need more time before getting serious”.

Don’t delay this conversation to wait for the “right time”. Start this conversation ASAP and don’t leave them in the dark.

If you have any clear boundaries, mention that and ask about theirs so that you can actually work on it. If you don’t share it, they might violate your boundaries unknowingly… and that’ll be the end of everything.

5. Stop chasing the best

Many people out of habit don’t pay attention to their current date and wait for “someone better”. They always pick on the flaws and troubles of dating someone and avoid getting serious with them.

Before you walk on the same path, know that there’s no such thing as a perfect relationship. You’ll always face some or other trouble in your relationship.

So, it’s time to fix your heart on one person, focus on their good sides instead of the flaws, and work hard to improve your bond. Go for someone with tolerable flaws.

A word from ThePleasantRelationship

Never waste your time on a hesidating match unless they seriously want to invest time in you and know you better. If they want something casual either way, they’re too confused to date right now… so, learn to respect yourself better and walk away.

If you’re the hesidater, don’t waste your date’s time. Try to invest more time, energy, and emotions so you can actually make the connection work. If not, don’t hold someone back when you’re uncertain. If you don’t want anything serious, try casual dating instead.

Know your priorities and desires in dating and relationships. If needed, take more time to know your boundaries and avoid mistakes. After all, nobody deserves to be with a hesidating partner!