Can Women Be Equally Satisfied With Part-Time Relationships?

Can Women Be Equally Satisfied With Part-Time Relationships?

While I’m happily married and try to help others become happily married, in no way do I think that my lifestyle is the only viable lifestyle. Readers with alternative lifestyles may get annoyed when I continually cite articles about monogamy, marriage, and children and I want you to know that I only write those pieces because that is my target audience.

Sounds like a breath of fresh air, doesn’t it? All the romance and sparks “without the monotony and obligation of a full-time relationship.”

But I’m not remotely judgmental when people decide that they value their freedom and independence over marriage. To each her own. This is what spurred Helen Croydon to create her own dating site, PartTimeLove. “Croydon asserts that a low-maintenance or part-time relationship is distinctively different than the eloquently named “booty call,” or the even more lucid “casual encounter” in that the goal is lasting love. (She) admits it’s not for everyone. She envisions her demographic as users in their mid-to-late 30s and early 40s who are set in their ways and might find it difficult to adapt domestically to a new partner. “They’re realistic on the fairytale,” she says.”

It sounds like a breath of fresh air, doesn’t it? All the romance and sparks “without the monotony and obligation of a full-time relationship.”

Of course, like any new paradigm, PartTimeDating has it’s own flaws: namely that one partner will likely feel stronger than the other and will be dissatisfied in a relationship that is, by its very definition, limited. In other words, there are millions of people who are having these “Part-Time” relationships – but unlike the founder suggests, the reason they’re doing it is because they DON’T want to fall in love and get married. Hell, my MOM wants a relationship like this. In her words, “I don’t want to take care of an old man!”

Just know that this isn’t a new paradigm at all. The only difference about Croydon’s website is that it’s officially sanctioned. This is a place where women can no longer complain that men only text a couple of times a week, because by virtue of being on the site, that’s exactly what they’re signing up for.

Your thoughts below, are appreciated.

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Comments:

  1. 1
    Sabine

    I really want the fairytale.  I want to meet a wonderful man with whom I can share my hopes, dreams and my life.  I want the appetizer, the meal and dessert (metaphorically speaking). The only difference I see “relationship wise” between the PartTimeLove site and the “FullTimeLove”  site is that this website basically tells you to keep your expectations at the ground level.  Keep it breezy….forever.  I know what I am looking for (a committed relationship instead of an agreed upon “male friend”) so this website is not for me.  BTW, I do not know how to love (and I mean really love) “part-time” so if this could be explained to be, that would be great :-) When I love someone, I totally and completely love them on a full-time basis, not per diem. :-)

    1. 1.1
      k2012

      Sabine, high five for that post. i want the fairytale too. The whole nine yards. Everything. Part time love? Nope. Not for me at all. Part time love also sounds like if you are sharing another woman’s partner or husbasnd as u dnt want the responsibility of taking care of a man. To each his own. Not for me.

  2. 2
    LC

    This got my blood boiling…haven’t checked out the website yet but had to put my two cents in about a personal experience. My ex bf “who has NPD Narcissistic Personality Disorder”..is in an arrangement right now like this, sort of. Still txts me and wants to get me back with him..part of his game. No thanks. Meanwhile has a part time live in gf who is fine that he’s out in bars every night and sleeping with anyone willing. He’s very successful so she likes the “lifestyle”. She also apparently likes lying, manipulating and swinging cause thats what he is also into.
    Sad because he portrayed a generous, kind, loving monogamous man and thats what I fell for. Fast forward a yr later and got the shock of my life when i realized he was living a double life. Just asked me to go to Mexico with him next month too! Says he doesnt have a girlfriend!!! Piece of work. Wish he would move far away but he lives in same town and works for same company as me.
    He is 51 and was married for 26 years and wants to know someone is there for him…..but wants fun on the side too (nonmonogamous).  Never thought he would find a willing participant but he did.  She lives in CT part time and he has houses in MA and RI. And yes she definitely knows what he is doing but puts up with the manipulation and lying because of the money.
    Yet I still cant find a satisfying relationship since our breakup 2 yrs ago ; (  Maybe I will check out the part time love website haha.  I just don’t think it would be for me.  I’m an all or nothing girl.

    1. 2.1
      Peter 51

      Sounds like his reaction to 26 years of serious but unfulfilled marriage to me.

  3. 3
    julia

    I think this works more for the senior demographic. You mother, like my grandmother are widows who don’t to take care of old men. But they still want to have some fun. The mid 30s-40 demo is probably the wrong one to market this to.

    1. 3.1
      Nicole

      I agree.  I think I see a lot of women who were married for 20, 30 years who get divorced or widowed who want a relationship but having done the heavy lifting of being a wife, don’t want to do that again.   I’ve met older people who kind of have these partnerships, and yeah, they don’t want to marry or co-habitate.

  4. 4
    twiceshy

    I may be the minority here, but this describes me ‘somewhat’. My idea of fairytale has changed over the years…marriage, kids, house…not for me. Been there tried that, twice. I’m in my very early 40’s now, two teens that will be out of the house in a few years, a fabulous career, still have my looks and youth, confidence and independence. Two ex husbands who started out as the fairytale a
    Now my fairytale is about getting my kids out of the house, building my career further, traveling and exploring at my leisure, going out with great friends when and if I want, developing my hobbies and spending my own my own time and money in any way I want without asking a man for his consent. I spent six years without a man in my life after hubby number 2. I recently started dating and having a wonderful time doing so. For the last 6 months I’ve been seeing a wonderful man exclusively, and I adore him. But I have no desire to have the ‘conventional’ relationship I used to idealize. He seems to feel the same way, and assuming that doesn’t change, this IS my fairytale!
     
     

    1. 4.1
      Sophie

      twiceshy can I ask how often you see each other? As in, how often are you at each other’s houses? And did you have a conversation to understand those expectations of each other or did it just mutually happen naturally? I was seeing someone for most of the weekend every weekend and sometimes one night during the week but this has diminished to one night here and there at the weekend (against my wishes – one Saturday night is not a “relationship” in my eyes ) and one night during the week occasionally but only if I make the commitment – it wouldn’t happen otherwise. It’s starting to feel too casual. Where is the line? Different for everyone I guess but do you think the line needs to be agreed formally between you both?

  5. 5
    JB

    At  53 it’s not really what I’m looking for but since I can’t find that…..I’d be happy if I could even come close to dialing this sort of thing in but it’s not likely unless I’d be open to dating a woman 7-10 yrs my senior. I’m not quite ready for the “Our Time” website yet….lol  This type of thing sounds good on paper but as we all know those little things called “feelings” start to creep in and someone usually gets angry, hurt or at the very least frustrated, aggravated and unhappy.

  6. 6
    starthrower68

    If sex outside of marriage weren’t against my value system, this would be a perfect option.  But as we know, even a great many Christians are not following that one.  So I guess I’ll just enjoy my cats and call it good enough.  

  7. 7
    Johanna

    I thought I thus what I wanted because I really thought that there was no one out there for me. I am 33 and haven’t really dated until now. I was always the friend to many guys never the girlfriend. As my last “relationship” fizzled I became pregnant, the father and decided to live together and raise our daughter as friends. In reality I was hoping he would change his mind about not loving me and we would get married. Wrong. We finally went our separate way and I decide I would not care getting married or finding a man. I didn’t want get hurt anymore. I would sleep with men if felt like it and push the away when I was done. Look for company if I felt like it. I was not happy but at leas I felt in control.
    I started reading this blog two months ago and I am starting to changed my mind. I am even dating someone and we are following Evan’a timeline. He doesn’t know I read this blog but he has the same values as Evan. I’m starting to realize I do want get married and have more kids. Who knew? 

  8. 8
    Lola

    The more I read dating blogs, the more I realize something… We are all (minus the cases of mental illness ) born pre-programmed to want the affection, acceptance, kindness, and finally, love. Some of us got negatively re-programmed somewhere along the way (bad childhood, bad experiences, etc) , and have developed some kind of defense mechanism – all in a name of protecting one’s feelings. So we start claiming that we now like our independence/ control/ non-attachment , etc better. Blogs are full of people who pride themselves on having developed a “good” way of guarding themselves against future disappointments and hurts. Examples are a plenty: part-time relationships and sleeping around are just a few of them.  What’s really sad is that these folks truly believe they’ve cheated the game – because they’ve found a way to have their cake and eat it too. No need to be vulnerable, risk being hurt again, having to work on your character flaws and better yourself as a partner…
    Oh really ?  

    1. 8.1
      Dina Strange

      Great observation. I totally agree with you.

    2. 8.2
      SAL9000

      I couldn’t agree more. Whenever I hear of these “alternative” dating lifestyles (i.e., perpetual, not just a fling every so often) I see damaged people or people lying to themselves.
       
      There’s also damage/risk from the practical side of such arrangements – the proliferation of STDs (esp. HSV-II and HPV) and previously curable STDs are coming ever more drug-resistant.

      1. 8.2.1
        Julia

        Y’all know that condoms are affective against the transmission of most STDS except HPV and Herpes right? Why does everyone think that sleeping around=riddled with STDs?

        1. Karmic Equation

          And that there are about 40,000 strains of HPV, but I believe only 2 cause cancer … in women. Doesn’t seem to have the same negative effect on men, other than they becoming carriers. The HPV vaccinations are only good for non-sexually active girls BEFORE they become sexually active. So a young girl getting innoculated after losing her virginity is still at risk of contracting some strain of HPV, which can have an incubation period of YEARS.
           
          Basically, HPV can’t be guarded against, so worrying about that is like worrying about catching a cold. If a woman has been sexually active for any amount of time and has ever had unprotected sex (e.g., marriage), in which the partner has ever had unprotected sex in HIS past, he or you might be/become a carrier and/or infected.
           
          HIV is another matter.

        2. Karmic Equation

          And um… you can get STDs from *giving* blowjobs without a condom and from digital stimulation, if he touches himself and then you, without having a condom on it…. Most people bag it right before the deed, so if you’re doing foreplay without bagging it first, you’re at risk of an STD.
          http://www.therulesrevisited.com/2012/03/what-you-should-know-about-stds.html
           
          All that said, always have safe sex to lower your odds :) But there are no guarantees, except abstinence…and not even then unless you’re a virgin.

  9. 9
    lisalin

    Part-time is inherently “casual.” I am part of the more mature demographic, a “yes” woman who has been walked over for more than 20 years, and just about ready to throw in the towel. (No, saying yes all of the time does not encourage any reciprocation, finally figured that one out.) But that is because I am not interested in the “light and breezy forever,” which oftentimes is just what Marc seems to be preaching. I am a complete human with ups and downs, 24/7. And if there is no one out there who can deal with that, why should I  trouble myself for just now and then? Which really is little more than a booty call anyway.

  10. 10
    MsB.

    I’m 34 and I am into D/s “female led” relationships.  I get contacted by tons of men one of whom wanted a “part-time” relationship which in his case is realistic.  He’s 49, a partner at a big law firm, with 3 kids  that live part-time with him.  he’s very successful and attractive, but literally does not have time for the type of dating someone like me is interested in.  Many people who are successful have less time to devote to a partner.  Because of how much he works and his commitments to his kids (which is fantastic by the way) he can’t just be there for me realistically, not the way some other men can be there for me, and not the way I need, frankly.  There are few of us dominant women out there so it’s not like he can just find some regular woman at work or something like that.   it’s not like “vanilla” guys who can just chat girls up at parties and bars and call it a “part-time” relationship . For people with niche sexual orientations, it is more difficult finding relationships as is, because the pool is much smaller.
    He was honest about it and I respect it, I think I need someone who can devote more time to me, and also someone who I can realistically possibly still have kids with if I choose to. I used to also get contacted by single dads and other divorced men and as a single woman I find that (the idea of) dating  divorced person with kids is a part-time relationship.  Some people already have waaayyyyy too many commitments in their lives.  I just happen to be at a moment in my life where I want a full-time relationship:), like a regular marriage type of scenario.
    I also briefly dated a (vanilla) man who had kids who lived in the UK and told me he did NOT want to live with anyone ever again and said he wanted a relationship where each person had their own apartment, and saw each other a few times a week, which, in New York, is expensive. I find that to be another word for lack of commitment, ultimately.  I think most people ultimately want a full-on relationship where “in sickness or health” are exercised.
     

  11. 11
    lisalin

    Quick apology: for some reason, unbeknownst even to myself, I wrote Marc instead of Evan. Sorry Evan!

  12. 12
    LC

    Part-Time Relationship = part of the time he’s with you, and part of the time he’s with her.  So if you’re okay with sharing a man amongst however many women he can pull at once (dependent upon his looks,charm, & income), then by all means do this.  But don’t be surprised when you get an STD.

  13. 13
    Pauline

    I had  to laugh when I read  Helen Croydon’s ideas on part time lovers hooking up when the urge arises … And then everyone goes their separate ways … And then it’s only for people who really want a committed loving relationship … Huh!!!!
    I was under the impression that you meet someone you like, then get to know each other over a period of time and then decide if you both want to continue into the future or even decide to get married – fine, go right ahead. Who says you have to move in together after 3 months? You barely know someone after so short a time. This seems to be a difficult concept to grasp these days, spending a least a year getting to know someone, their friends and families, shared lifestyle goals and plans, children and the list goes on before deciding to live together, married or not.
    My ex husband and I didn’t have a problem with persuing different interests and I wasn’t worried for one minute wondering if he was chasing other women when he was out with his male friends and he didn’t worry if I hit a bar for a night out with my girlfriends, that’s not the way it worked.  Most of the married friends I know are the same, they have a level of trust and honesty including letting their partners have their own space when needed. I know plenty of husbands who regularly have to travel in their job and they’re not looking for opportunistic casual sex as soon as they are out of the house. It’s rather insulting and demeaning to treat men this way and women too if they are the partner who has a job that takes them away for a period of time. 
    It seems to me that the author and developer of this casual part time relationship dating site is out to make money from the prevalence of people who want casual hook up sex without any responsibility and if that’s your thing I’m sure you will find plenty of like minded people. It sort of reminds me of communism, great in theory but doesn’t work in practice. 
    It’s too hard to take the lady seriously, it’s a joke. 
     

  14. 14
    Dina Strange

    When i read that heading a funny russian saying came into my mind: “Why did communists create love?” “So they didn’t have to pay a woman.”

  15. 15
    Niki

    I’m 47 years old, have been divorced almost 9 years and have two young adult children. My committed boyfriend has 3 children all under 18 years of age. Still in a battle with ex and hasn’t finalized his divorce. We love each other deeply and are involved in each other’s children’s lives. However we don’t live together. Perhaps it’s fear based but I’m done with parenting children and teens.  I don’t want to walk away from someone who truly is my perfect match as a partner. I love his kids but combining his young children with my college age child when there is still so much conflict in his life makes me prefer this more part-time relationship. The definition of full-time for me is living under the same roof. I’m committed only to him and the same for him. I believe you have to be honest with yourself and not break what isn’t broke. If it works for you and you are happy… just saying.

  16. 16
    Selena

    I can see this site being potentially useful for a variety of people.  Some would like to find someone special, but know they do not want to marry, co-habitate, merge finances.  And people who have grown children and do not wish to raise more “under roof”. Or divorced parents who don’t want to live with all the kids under one roof. (Nod to Niki #15)
     
    Also, could be a way for “super busy” folks to connect. The guy who works 80 hours a week, and the woman who has something going on most days, might make a great match despite the lesser amount of free time they have.  A site like this might help them weed out those who come to resent their limited availability.
     
    And there are people who are seasonal, or know they will be relocating after a specified time. They perhaps would like to meet someone for more than a hookup who is in a similar situation, or understands the parameters. A “parttime” site might be a better pond to fish in for them than a conventional dating site.
     
    A drawback I can see is that a person may be convinced they don’t want to co-habitate at the time they meet someone, but then change their mind about it some time later.  If their partner isn’t open to making the change…disappointment.

    1. 16.1
      Karmic Equation

      Selena #16 wrote:

      “A drawback I can see is that a person may be convinced they don’t want to co-habitate at the time they meet someone, but then change their mind about it some time later.”
      That happens whether or not one is in a traditional relationship or part-time relationship. People change their minds during the course of any relationship.
      The mentality, expectations, ability, and willingness of the people involved to adapt have more to do with the success of such a part-time relationship than anything else.
      If you still believe in the fairytale of finding your Prince Charming and that he becomes your “soulmate” as opposed to your “partner”, PT relationships are not for you. If you make a man YOUR number one priority instead of “one of your priorities” — you’ll never be happy in a PT relationship.
       
      However, if you have competing priorities yourself, and “being independent” is not just a term you apply to yourself, but one that you actually live… a truly independent woman doesn’t “need” a man to feel complete, she is complete without one. In other words, a truly independent woman is the “cake” in her life and men are the icing on the cake (makes life more interesting but not required to have a good life). Believing that men are the cake is what sets us up for disappointment…because that makes *you* the icing on the cake that is HIS life.
       
      I’m not signing up for that. I’m more for being a two-layer cake. He’s the cake of his life; I’m the cake of mine…and we tie the two cakes together with the icing (relationship) we build together :)
       
      So the icing can be PT or FT or FWB or FB…whatever floats your boat. But both people need to whole cakes to start with to make any kind of relationship work.

       

      1. 16.1.1
        Selena

        That happens whether or not one is in a traditional relationship or part-time relationship. People change their minds during the course of any relationship.
         
        Ofcourse true. 
         
        If you still believe in the fairytale of finding your Prince Charming and that he becomes your “soulmate” as opposed to your “partner”, PT relationships are not for you.
         
        I don’t believe in the fairytale actually.  I would agree however that women who hope to find a partner for marriage or co-habitation, a site geared to those who don’t would likely be a waste of time.
         
        I’m not unhappy being single. I in fact do feel complete without a man.  The idea of having a lover I don’t live with is not unappealing to me.  However…I know myself very well by now. I know that if I were to fall in love with someone I would possibly at some point want us to live together.  So I would rather meet someone open to such a future possibility rather than a fellow who never wants to live with a woman again!   :)   And I wouldn’t expect a man advertising himself on a site for people who don’t want to co-habitate to be flexible on the possibility or change his mind later.  
         
         
         
         
         
         

        1. Karmic Equation

           

          And I wouldn’t expect a man advertising himself on a site for people who don’t want to co-habitate to be flexible on the possibility or change his mind later. 
          Hmmm… I’m not sure that would be a fair assumption.
          Currently, I’m working on being fit. I go to the gym two nights a week for about 2 hours after work and two hours on Sunday morning. On top of that, I play in two pool leagues two nights a week. Which leave me one weeknight a week for dating. And Saturday night. Sunday doesn’t feel like date night to me, so I don’t often do that. So unless I lived with the guy already, having an FT relationship is unrealistic for me right now, for the short-term.
          So assuming a man has a schedule like that, due to work, sick parents, newly divorced split-parenting, or other such commitments that might make a FT relationship unrealistic in the near future, doesn’t mean that he wouldn’t be open to a FT relationship when his short-term commitments are fulfilled. When I finally have the bikini body I’m working hard towards and in maintenance mode (e.g., less time required at the gym), I’ll have more time to devote to dating. In fact that’s why I’m spending so much time at the gym…to become fit enough to maximize the types of men I’m comfortable dating. If I want to date a fit man, I feel I must be equally fit.
           
          I think most women equate PT relationship with “part time sex with you, part time sex with someone else” — perhaps that would be true with some men (and women) on the PTLove site — but that could be true for any one on any internet dating site. I would even say that people on the PT love site might be more honest about their PT-ness than anyone on “full-time” love sites.
           
          In both cases, one has to do one’s due diligence to figure out if the man/woman is worthy of a PT relationship with you, just as you would on a FT site.
           
          But that isn’t really the point. Don’t base being on the site for “what you can get”, base it on what you are honestly able to give. If you can only be available part time yourself, then the PT love site is perfect, you’ll meet someone who’s in the same boat. At least one point of compatibility.
           
          If you’re available FT right now, then of course it doesn’t make sense to search for FT love on a PT Love site. Your needs are instantly incompatible.

           

  17. 17
    Selena

    KE:  I think most women equate PT relationship with “part time sex with you, part time sex with someone else” — perhaps that would be true with some men (and women) on the PTLove site — but that could be true for any one on any internet dating site. I would even say that people on the PT love site might be more honest about their PT-ness than anyone on “full-time” love sites.
     
    Some of the commenters on this blog obviously equate “part-time” that way. The article EMK linked to and the supposed premise of the site by it’s creator however is for people who want something more than casual.
     
    From the article:
    “We are not a no-strings website. We are for singles looking for regular partners with mutual attraction, genuine friendship, respect and a magical spark but whom have no expectations of moving in after three months and value their free time and independence,..”
     
    And:
     
    “Croydon asserts that a low-maintenance or part-time relationship is distinctively different than the eloquently named “booty call,” or the even more lucid “casual encounter” in that the goal is lasting love.”
     
    I based my comments on the article.
     
     
     
     
     

  18. 18
    Peter 51

    I think that there are plenty of people post child rearing who are settled but want companionship without the challenges of marriage.  And grow up life is often designed around couples.  A regular friend of the opposite sex is a convenience with or without physical relations.

  19. 19
    Ruby

    I’d be curious to know the actual breakdown, but something tells me there’s going to be many more men on this site than women.

  20. 20
    Mindy

    I recently find myself trying to figure out if I can live with a relationship of this kind and be happy.  I’m 44, been divorced for 13 years, have dated off and on during that time, lived with a couple of men, but things didn’t work out.  It seems like most guys my age that I’ve run across don’t want to get married again.  I can see this site being popular with men.  My current boyfriend is amazing and we are such a good match, but his attitude about marriage is not good.  This has been a very common thing among men I’ve dated.  I’ve been seeing him for a year and a half and there hasn’t been any talk of the future.  I’m giving it six more months, having a talk, and walking if I have to, unless I decide by that time that I can handle this kind of “separate lives” type of relationship.  I do enjoy my freedom and independence, but I also want to build a future with someone and I just don’t see how to do that in this type of relationship.

    1. 20.1
      vinny

      If a man knows he is going to get “that talk” in six months, he is going to start planning whether he is a planning man or not. 
      Probably a better idea would be that you bring something more to the table in order to convince him to step up.  (be imaginative)

    2. 20.2
      lisalin

      Really, no idea what Vinny is talking about. But I can tell you that I have been in a “relationship” similar to yours for – 8 years. It does not change. I haven’t left because I am busy too, and moving around, so not ready myself for something more consistent. Mind you it is consistent, one call per night, one visit per week (long-distance), but it is not an every day counter-supportive relationship of building a life together. If you are at the place where you really do want a full-time partner, take the step now. Six months this way or that is not going to change things.
      My advice to me when I get to that point is to be sure it is a guy who picks up the ball right away on the every day stuff, eg. “you need that cleaned? I’ll drop it off,” etc. Having someone who will step in to actually help me make my life less stressful is what I yearn for as that is what I do for others and need in a true partner.

  21. 21
    k2012

    There are some situations that suit some people. Take for instance now, a woman or man who has been married two or three times, children are grown and out of the house, she enjoys her life with her children, grand children and her friends. I mean she has been thee done that. She has no wish to marry again. She or he has her own house, car and is quite comfortable. Probably retired or maybe still working, but everything is good. This person might not want a full time relationship, for true. they are quite satisfied with a part time relationship and dont want to share a house with anyone. Sure the person will stay over sometimes. sure. but they just want a regular companion and both persons are satisfied with that situation. I see this situation working for men and women in this category. But people like me who have never been married and have no kids, i want my full time relationship. Even if kids are not possible again, but i want my full time man.Commitment. everything.

  22. 22
    Elizabeth

    I’m seeking a part-time relationship. For me this does not mean sharing a guy with someone else, but two people living their own life, sometimes coming together to share conversation, loving, meeting, traveling, kayaking, swimming, or whatever, and then going home to their own place. I seek a commitment with a like-minded person of this kind. I realize it is unusual, but as a psychologist, I’ve seen relationships like this work very well.
    It’s difficult explaining the concept to a lot of people, particularly to many men I meet online. Many think that what I seek is just getting together for sex, or worse still, casual sex. It isn’t. I seek something quite ordinary here. I am over 60 years old, done the married with kids thing, own my house, run my business, and just enjoy the silence of living alone. There are others like me, and it is these I seek.

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