I'm a 24 year old Canadian man on an extended holiday abroad. Most people I meet are from the United Kingdom, Germany, and Ireland. The country where I am is irrelevant because I rarely meet people from it in my hostels.

Due to a fundamentalist religious upbringing (which I have now abandoned) and a mild case of Asperger syndrome (which I can usually conceal and does not affect me day-to-day) I made no serious efforts to date until early 2018. I'm pretty clueless about the whole thing, but I've been reading up and making serious self-improvement efforts. It's led to some successes, but I still haven't ever kissed or had sex.

My dating strategy in the hostels I stay at has been to have a few conversations with a girl, and if she seems reasonably friendly then ask her out to coffee. This hasn't worked yet. The first time I tried it, she told me "I don't date people from the hostel", then just a few days later started a casual, summer-lover relationship with a different guy there. When I confronted her about this she said that in reality she had rejected me because "you're looking for love". Something almost identical happened two days ago: she rejected me because she wants to be a free spirit, but when I asked her if she'd sleep with someone at the hostel she said "yes, if we had a connection".

My friend back home has told me "in hostels and girls travelling—they aren't planning for it to be a long-term marriage and sometimes the sex is just sex". Great, now how do I start something that isn't a long-term marriage? To be clear, I'm open to short-term dating. In my position I'll take anything.

TL;DR I want to date girls from my hostels. I would prefer something serious but I'm open to something casual. When I ask them out in the way I currently do, they say no thinking I want something serious. How do I start something casual?

This is not a duplicate of this question. While it does contain some useful advice, I have the exact opposite problem: I would prefer a serious relationship, but the women I meet don't want one. Plus I'd like to know about the process of establishing a casual partnership in more detail.

  • As per your linked question: do you preface any relation with stating that you are prefering LTR? In the question the OP was stating "I'm not looking for anything serious". So maybe start with that. State that you are looking for someone to spend some fun time together, grab a coffe or drink from time to time. Apr 6, 2020 at 11:32
  • Just to clarify because I don't see an actual question in your post: You want to know how to have sexual relations with women specifically while backpacking? "I'll take anything" suggests that you don't care about the specifics. It's perfectly legitimate either way. However I don't believe that you can just read a forum post and then make it happen if you're not that kind of guy. This is just a suggestion, ask whatever you want (but make it clear please), but I would ask instead: How do I get my friend/acquaintance who is good with that sort of thing to help me?
    – Raditz_35
    Apr 6, 2020 at 18:53
  • @SZCZERZOKŁY I do not. I merely ask them to coffee and they infer something serious from that. I suspect that's not the right way. Apr 7, 2020 at 9:05
  • @Raditz_35 Yes. My friend who told me that girls aren't looking for love says he's bad at dating and can't help me. Apr 7, 2020 at 9:07

3 Answers 3


Read the Hints

For my mild colorblindness, I check with other people, “What color would you call this?” And for your mild Asperger’s, you might do the same. So if you’re asking what others see in your scenarios, I will offer my analysis. You are free to disagree.

Starting a Relationship

“My dating strategy … have a few conversations with a girl, and if she seems reasonably friendly then ask her out to coffee.” This is a good start if you keep watching for your hints in the social cues.

Social Cues

"I don't date people from the hostel" = I am not interested in dating you (The hint was trying to find a superficial excuse to say no, then “started a casual, summer-lover relationship with a different guy.”)

"You're looking for love" = I am not interested in dating you. (The hint was the superficial excuse. I’d accept the no disappointedly and move on.)

“She wants to be a free spirit” = I am not interested in dating you. (The hint was the superficial excuse.)

“If she'd sleep with someone at the hostel, she said ‘yes, if we had a connection’ ” = Not you.

“I used the word ‘confronted’, but … asked simply ‘Did you tell me the truth?’ " This is confrontational in two ways: it was in public and not built into a conversation you were having.

To learn more social cues is to learn from others, thus to compensate for how you see things, and thus to live happier.

Establishing a Casual Partnership

Long-term relationships do not start with a set end in sight. If you are thinking about the tenth date during the first two dates, that dream is not based on the person you are with. It is a fantasy you are entitled to. However, you are not obliged to announce what kind of relationship you want when you cannot know at the beginning.

This system is called staying in the moment. Appreciate the other for their special qualities rather for how they could fulfill your dreams. That is your partnership.


I'm autistic and used to backpack a lot. While it might look as I'm on the other side of the issue - passing as female - I've always made the first step in my relationships. Here are a few tips to help you with making meaningful connections with people.

First of all, something's unclear to me. Are you looking for hookups or is your goal to be in a relationship, regardless of how long it will last? I'm unsure which one it is from your question. This is important to me because I wouldn't approach people the same way depending on the situation.

One-time things

If you're looking for hookups you might want to make it clear from the beginning. The issue being, you can't really come to someone and say "hi. You look great. I'd like to have sex with you. You're in?", as we're not really evolving in a society where upfront honesty is encouraged regarding these topics.

What I've done is to mention my travelling plans, making it clear I'm not here for long and won't likely return before a while. Should the person be interested in me too, they'll read that as a hint that I'm not looking for anything serious.

Romantic relationships

If you're looking for romantic relationships instead, I'd encourage you to try to become friends with the person first - it really helps building a trustful relationship and also, I think being friends with your lover really makes the relationship better. In many cultures being upfront about your romantic interest is uncommon so it might look scary for you to be upfront about that. Try to offer to go visit some places instead of going out for coffee - it'll look less like you're trying to date them. Then if after a couple times the connection is still there, you might ask them for a date - you had the time to get to know each other better. If they refuse, try not to take it personally. We don't choose who we fall for. Also, try not to burn bridges with them - you may not have found a lover but you can still be friends? Unless you can't be friends with romantic interests (some people can't), in this case I'd advise you to let them know:

Oh, okay. I might need some time to get over you, please don't take it personally

This is what my best friend told me after he confessed his feelings to me and I said I wasn't interested in that kind of relationship with him. It took him some time to get over these feelings but now it's been ten years of a great friendship and I'm glad I have him in my life.

When I met my current partner they were 23 and never had a lover before. After a while they told me they began to feel insecure about it. Please know that it's completely normal and that there is no age at which you should have had sex already or been in a long term relationship. We're all different when it comes to love.

I also think love is a matter of two intersecting prerequisites: it's the right person but also at the right time. Someone might not be interested in relationships by the time you meet them for the first time. That doesn't mean they don't think you're partner material, we just all go through phases where love is not on the table, IMO. I mentioned my best friend earlier, fun fact: I fell from him two years after he confessed his feelings for me. We missed each other once again and that's okay, that's part of what love is.

Believe in yourself, believe that you're an interesting person to be around and it'll already help in making others see that you're a great person that they'd like to get to know better.


For me, dating was about getting to know people. I approached everyone with curiosity. My goal was to learn more about them, and see if they wanted to learn more about me. One of three things tended to happen:

  1. I'd meet someone that was interesting, learn about their life, and enjoy the conversation. These were often nice people, but they rarely turned into more than a couple of interactions.
  2. I'd meet someone that I had nothing in common with and pretty quickly end the conversation - no connection.
  3. I'd meet someone that I couldn't stop talking with. Time would fly by, I'd feel connected, and we'd both keep spending time together. These are great when you find them!

I'd just suggest meeting as many people as you can - with no expectations beyond getting to know them. Try this with 10-20 new people and see what happens. You'll learn a lot about other people as well as yourself. Have fun!

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