Accidental Dating versus Intentional Dating

What's the difference between Accidental and Intentional Dating?

Accidental Dating is defined as not having clarity about your requirements in a relationship and dating to FALL in love or dating to have a boy/girlfriend, to keep from being lonely, or even dating to fill a void. 

Most of the time accidental daters go out, connect with someone they are attracted to and then start dating them. 

There is no seeming logic behind the choice to date other than the initial attraction.  Women tend to dive in with full force at their excitement at having a date and get even more attached with subsequent dates.  We somehow associate our worthiness by whether we are date material or not.

Weeks, months, or even years can go by before accidental daters realize they are dating the wrong person. 

Intentional Dating is defined as having clarity about your requirements in a relationship and approaching dating as a method or process to meet lots of prospects with the goal of discerning who would be more right for you, your lifestyle, your background, your family, and your life.  Furthermore, Intentional Daters know when to stop dating someone because they know they are not a fit and follow through by ending it, they don't try to be friends, they don't feel bad or guilty about it, they move on until they find someone who is a better fit.  They continue to date this way until they make a choice to be with someone for a longer term, with exclusivity.  They know to pay attention to red flags and to address them immediately knowing they may need to say bye to the relationship if no resolution occurs.  They do not get married until they are certain they can have a healthy relationship while incorporating life–family, finances, friends, career, etc. without conflict and with agreement and love.

Watch Dr. Dar on Fox News talk more about Accidental Dating and Intentional Dating. 

WCCB Rising
Story Created: Sep 10, 2010 at 10:09 AM EDT
Story Updated: Sep 10, 2010 at 10:09 AM EDT

Charlotte, NC: Falling in love doesn't have to happen by chance, you can make it happen… sort of. FNR's relationship expert Dr. Dar has the scoop on intentional dating!
Dr. Dar holds classes and private sessions to Singles who want to learn how to date with intention. Check out for more information.


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  1. Sarah

    Your definition of "accidental dating" seems more like "irresponsible dating" or "spontaneous dating". I have found that I end up "accidentally" dating someone because I am a reasonably attractive woman who is very friendly. I will meet a man with whom I share specific common interests or with whom I will casually invite to join me (and others) somewhere as a friendly gesture (not necessarily because of an overt attraction) and then I show up and they think we're on a date. True unintentional / accidental dating. Then I have to manage that, which can get dicey sometimes. 🙂

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