They all offered oral sex. I responded to them politely, saying, "Just interested in women, but thanks for the offer! Have a good one.
I began to suspect that no women actually used the site. The stereotype is that women are interested in relationships, and that only men would be interested in totally casual sex, right?
We know that's not true, though. In fact, I was inspired to write this article when a friend told me many of her female friends had owned up to using it. Over the next couple of days, I actually received a lot of posts from women.
Or at least, they said they were women. To be honest, I doubted the veracity of the claims. It didn't take long to realize that almost all the replies I received were scams. The situation is so severe on Craigslist Casual Encounters that posts by real women who are actually seeking hook-ups are often flagged for removal at the slightest cause for suspicion. The most common scams are "safe dating" websites.
An alleged woman will write a man saying she's interested, but that because of the Craigslist-based serial killers and rapists in the news, she needs some extra assurance that it's safe.
If you follow the link she provides, the website asks you for your credit card number — y'know, so it can do a background check to make sure you're not a criminal. One individual tried to get me to buy him or her virtual currency in online games like MapleStory before agreeing to hand over contact information.
Yeah, right — moving on! What little luck I'd had so far. The week was half over and I hadn't had a single bite. I decided I would have to take the initiative, so in addition to posting my own ads, I started responding to every ad from any woman who seemed at all interesting. I cast a wide net in my searches, looking up posts by straight or bisexual women between the ages of 18 and 35 who lived anywhere in Chicagoland — a large metropolitan area that's home to close to five million females.
Most of the women wanted something very specific they couldn't find in their normal lives: Someone to help play out a particular fantasy, someone vastly older than them or someone of another race. Very few of the women who were advertising seemed to be looking for anything I would consider a "normal encounter. I typically wrote two or three paragraph replies and matched the tone of their own messages, then attached a couple of tasteful photos of myself.
I didn't get a single reply from an actual prospect this way. It turned out that most of the ads were fakes from scammers, and quite a few fell into another category all together.
Prostitution is what made Craigslist controversial. There's technically another section for that — "Adult Services," formerly "Erotic Services" — but that's not the only place you'll find practitioners of the world's oldest profession. The prostitutes of Craigslist speak in code, but it's not a difficult one to learn. They advertise "French lessons" — an odd thing to advertise under "Casual Encounters," don't you think?
Well, it's obviously a euphemism for something else. Many of the ads that weren't from scammers were from prostitutes. The ads are so obvious that it's surprising the euphemisms are effective in fending off law enforcement. Then again, maybe they are law enforcement. Amidst all those failures, I had one near-success.
A woman wrote in response to my sweet "cuddling first" ad saying she was in town for only a couple of months, and that she was frustrated she couldn't find a relationship. When she sent her pictures, she looked plain but attractive. We exchanged a couple of e-mails over the course of two hours, tossing back and forth lists of interests and the like.
She made it clear that she wanted to meet up, and while she talked about starting slow, it was clear that it would indeed be a casual encounter. But when I suggested a time to meet — the last message from me before I would reveal myself and back out — there was no reply. At least, not yet. The next day, she e-mailed me saying she was deeply apologetic and that she'd fallen asleep. She said she'd like to meet up sometime. So yes, there are women on Craigslist. Well, at least one! You've probably guessed by now that the experiences for heterosexual men and women on Craigslist's casual encounters are quite different.
I observed that for every ad a woman posts, there are at least 20 from men. If nothing else, that imbalance ought to alter the experience. To get the female perspective, I did two things: I posted a fake ad as a woman to see what kinds of responses I would get, and I interviewed two women who have had success hooking up on casual encounters in the past. As for potential suitors, I asked only that they supply a photo and "be attractive and not creepy. There was a five minute delay before my ad appeared, then I started receiving about one response per minute.
Most of them were careful to say "I don't do this often. Some sent pictures of themselves naked along with the word "Hi. There were a lot of expressions of sympathy over my fake breakup. I was hearing from men of all types, and it seemed I had my pick of the litter. Beacon Beacon isn't a dating app per say, but it can be used like one. Unlike most other apps that have you log in through Facebook, Beacon has you log in with your Twitter account.
You can create "events" — see if others want to meet up for a drink or pool for a Lyft — and then either limit the invite to mutual Twitter followers or make it public. The app is a leap of faith since you don't know who will join your event it's also very new, so its pool of users doesn't seem very big yet , but it might be worth a try if you're burnt out on other options.
Mingle2 Instead of swiping, Mingle2 has users tap a heart to indicate that they like someone. You can also "nudge" someone, which is similar to when you'd "poke" your crush on Facebook in ninth grade. Hitch Hitch free, iOS and Android is centered around shared interests. Start off by making a profile as you would on any other dating app. Then, check out trending conversations among people located nearby and join discussions centered around specific categories, such as travel and events, food, and fashion and lifestyle.
Meet someone in a group that you want to chat one-on-one? Just reach out to get the conversation started. Klique If you'd prefer to meet your date in a group setting, go with Klique.
After matching with someone, the app lets each person bring other friends who are also on the app into the conversation so that you can all make plans together — and your friends can weigh in on your date. The app lets you swipe for a match in typical Tinder fashion, but also gives you the option of having it set up a date for you, taking out all the annoying, never-ending messages. You can also filter by relationship intention or pick one of the in-person mixers that other app members have indicated they're going to.
The app free on iOS is similar to others in that you create an "Ad profile" with photos you can set them to private or public , and your first name and age. From there, you can send messages or "winks" similar to likes to other members and wait for the replies to roll in.
Whim Don't feel like texting back and forth? Whim free on iOS is the answer: The app gets rid of the kind of endless communication that can go on for days. Just create a profile and enter which days that week are good for you. When you match with a potential date, Whim will pick a time and place that works for both of you. All you have to do is show up — no messaging required. Zipskee Traveling solo is something most women should try at least once.
But if you're also looking for some action, you may want some help meeting the local flavors — and for that you need a local. While this isn't a dating app, Zipskee free on iOS will pair you with a local guide on your trip to show you around. Your male or female guide should know the spots you should hit so you can meet someone worthwhile while you're in town. Stud Or Dud Despite its name, this app actually has nothing to do with sorting potential dates based on physical attractiveness.
If you want to make sure the bae you're hooking up with doesn't have a shady past, you can use Stud or Dud free on iOS to quickly look up publicly available information about their identity.
The app can show you whether they have a job, whether they're married, and whether they've been to court for various issues. If you're paranoid the guy you just met might be an axe murderer, this app should help you rest easy. Mimitate Want to keep it casual and just Netflix and chill? That is what Mimitate free on iOS and Android is all about. Heres' how it works: Guys take a selfie of themselves and share what they're watching on Netflix.
Ladies, if you're interested, respond back with a selfie imitating their face, and if you're down for that title.
From there, you can meet up to watch the show…or just have it on in the background. Down Down free on iOS and Android serves you up 10 local matches each day based on your location. If you're looking for a date, you can specify that, and if you're just looking to get down, well, you can specify that, too.
The app boasts more than four million users globally, so hopefully you'll find someone worth your time — and ready to get down. It acts as a password-protected locker for all your sexy photos. And if you're looking to find a hookup for tonight, tomorrow, or this weekend, let's be real, you've probably got a few choice photos that show off your bits. If you've got a partner you constantly sext with, you can keep both of your photos locked up in here, only accessible when you both enter your passcodes.
And your photos aren't just stored behind two passcodes — they're also encrypted. Happn You and a cutie on the subway locked eyes for a smoldering second before you had to run off and catch the express.
In this app, you can browse singles and see how many times you've crossed paths and where. It's a bit like Craigslist's Missed Connections, but way less desperate-sounding.
This chatting app for hetero singles uses your location to find matches near you. Pure Pure free on iOS and Android cuts to the chase: All you have to do to get started with the app is upload a selfie.
The app initiates a one-hour chat limit in order to eliminate annoying noncommittal conversations that drag on and on. You can pay for a monthly subscription if you start using Whiplr a lot, but its initial free search and chatting preferences are decently robust, including starting up to 10 chat sessions a day, browsing profiles at a time, and swiping through 25 profiles a day.
Her Her free on iOS is a dating and social network app exclusively for lesbian and queer women. It also includes more of a community, with a timeline on your profile for sharing photos and comments, and it serves up links and articles relating to lesbian news and culture.
Several early users of Her the app just launched in July were surprised by the number of bisexual, queer, and lesbian women in their community. The app has made more than 6 billion matches so far.
You may even match up with someone famous — the app recently introduced verified profiles for celebs and public figures. OKCupid also has an Apple Watch app that can show you matches who are nearby.
Badoo Badoo works kind of like Happn — you have the option to start chatting with people nearby and people you've bumped into — but its user base is reportedly bigger than Tinder, Happn, and OkCupid combined. This means you have more luck finding instant love at the club or coffee shop on the app than you do anywhere else, especially if you're traveling abroad.
Badoo also recently acquired Lulu, a similar see-who's-nearby app, boosting its user base. You select your interests, for example, going to raves, and see people within a mile radius who share similar points of amusement. Like many other social apps out there, TikiTalk can absolutely be used for dating, but the option to start a chat with someone by asking "Netflix and chill?.
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|Sex encounters nsa sex||I know, the number is shocking and not something I'm particularly proud of but neither am I ashamed by it. Journal of College Student Psychotherapy. Verified by Psychology Today. Learn more at Passion. Sexual addiction Sex Addicts Anonymous Sexual surrogate. Then, most importantly, get offline as soon as possible. They all offered oral sex.|
Some couples see swinging as a healthy outlet and a means to strengthen their relationship. Others regard such activities as merely social and recreational interaction with others.
Most young adults in this age group believe that their peers are having a higher frequency of casual sex than they actually are, and this is due to vocabulary choice.
For example, using the term "hookup" denotes that the sexual activity, whether it is vaginal sex, oral sex, or sexual touching, is casual and between unfamiliar partners.
The legality of adultery and prostitution varies around the world. In some countries there are laws which prohibit or restrict casual sex. Research suggests that as many as two-thirds to three-quarters of American students have casual sex at least once during college.
The majority of hookups happen at parties. Other common casual sex venues are dorms, frat houses, bars, dance clubs, cars, and in public places or wherever is available at the time. Collegiate holidays and vacations, especially spring breaks, are times when undergraduates are more likely to purposely seek out casual sexual encounters and experiment with risky behaviors.
Overall, there was a perception that sexual norms are far more permissive on spring break vacation than at home, providing an atmosphere of greater sexual freedom and the opportunity for engaging in new sexual experiences.
A one-night stand is a single sexual encounter between individuals, where at least one of the parties has no immediate intention or expectation of establishing a longer-term sexual or romantic relationship. Anonymous sex is a form of one-night stand or casual sex between people who have very little or no history with each other, often engaging in sexual activity on the same day of their meeting and usually never seeing each other again afterwards.
They are not in an exclusive romantic relationship , and probably never will be. Recreational or social sex refers to sexual activities that focus on sexual pleasure without a romantic emotional aspect or commitment.
Recreational sex can take place in a number of contexts: A "hookup" colloquial American English is a casual sexual encounter involving physical pleasure without necessarily including emotional bonding or long-term commitment; it can range from kissing for example, making out to other sexual activities. Hooking up became a widespread practice among young people in the s and s.
Researchers say that what differentiates hooking up from casual sex in previous generations of young people is the "virtual disappearance" of dating, which had been dominant from the postwar period onwards. Today, researchers say, casual sex rather than dating is the primary path for young people into a relationship.
Black and Latino students are less likely to hook up, as are evangelical Christian students and working-class students. Data on gay and lesbian students show mixed results, as some research shows that they engage in hookups at the same rate as heterosexual students, while others suggest that it occurs less due to college parties not always being gay-friendly, as most hookups occur at such gatherings.
A study of hookup culture at the University of Iowa found that waiting to have sex does not contribute to a stronger future relationship. Instead, the study found that what mattered most was the goal individuals had going into a relationship. Individuals who started by hooking up tended to develop a full relationship later, if that was their goal going in. Many specialist online dating services or other websites, known as "adult personals" or "adult matching" sites, cater to people looking for a purely sexual relationship without emotional attachments.
Tinder is a free smartphone dating app that boasts over 10 million daily users, making it the most popular dating app for iOS and Android. If both users swipe right on one another, they are a match, and messaging can be initiated between parties. This app is used for a variety of reasons, one of which is casual hookups.
Men are more likely than women to use Tinder to seek out casual sexual encounters. Despite this, there is social concern as some believe that the app encourages hookups between users. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For the film, see Casual Sex? For the song, see Casual Sex song. For other uses, see Booty call disambiguation.
Cicisbeo Concubinage Courtesan Mistress. Breakup Separation Annulment Divorce Widowhood. An earlier article in the same newspaper rebutted an attack on the behaviour of American girls made recently in the Cosmopolitan by Elinor Glyn. It admitted the existence of petting parties but considered the activities were no worse than those which had gone on in earlier times under the guise of "kissing games", adding that tales of what occurred at such events were likely to be exaggerated by an older generation influenced by traditional misogyny: From Front Porch to Back Seat: Courtship in Twentieth-Century America.
Archived 28 May at the Wayback Machine. University of Chicago Press. Review of General Psychology. Retrieved 27 April Retrieved 4 October Emotionally I am stable and fulfilled, I have supportive friends, family and my children. Physically I am in great shape, healthy and fit. I work full time and my economy is in order. I am missing sex! Of course I can masturbate to relief my sexual needs and I do release tension by my "own hand".
It is a poor substitute though to real sexual interaction with another human being. Kissing, caressing and making out, feeling another body next to yours and having the oxytocin release: Modern research reveals that it happens to men too, not only women! I just put that oxytocin into good use cuddling my children, since mommy is on cloud nine after a night with some great "no strings attached" sex. I have no time or space in my life at this point to commit to a relationship.
I am discreet, I am safe. Condom is a must. I do not leave my home number or address. I am ready to take the risk of a brief emotional attachment, actually that is one of my requirements. If there is no feeling of "connection" emotionally, physically, spiritually I do not "hook up" with the guy. The great thing is that men are also looking for that connection! The guys I have met are not looking for brainless banging. They want to discuss life, relationships, religion, spirituality, dreams, passions Both know it is a none commitment thing, we meet and we part.
Hopefully both parties have had an expanding experience. I feel blessed to have shared that moment with them and my life is richer and my pussy is tender from hours of great sex and multiple orgasms!!!! So girl, please do take responsibility to cater for your own needs. If you are honest with yourself and your partner and not trying to cover up alternative motives, go for it. There are men that are looking for a great experience with a mature, assertive sexy lady that they can connect with and share a night or two of pleasure, no strings attached This article repeats the same bullshit assumptions I keep seeing about women and casual sex.
I am 37 and single. I have mostly been single for my whole life, although I ended a 5-year relationship almost a year ago. I never have had a problem with it. It is a godsend! I have physical needs just like any man, and like filling them with a little variety, thank you very much.
The issue is with expectations: If you both just want to have a little fun, what's the harm in that? As long as both people realize what the deal is, it's great. I agree that many women can do it. And it is also possible that there are generational differences. I have several female friends Europe, different countries, around yrs who went through an NSA sex phase for different reasons. Some were after long, abusive or unhappy relationships, some were left by their partner.
From my part, I only went into a relationship with the knowledge that the guy is not for me and that this will end rather sooner than later. I felt strongly attracted, and the guy did not lie at any stage, no false hopes for future together etc. Nevertheless, even when I entered, I knew it will be painful when it ends. And it was 3 months later.
I am a bonding type of person, want to know my partner intimately and share my life with him, so no way will I do NSA sex. For some, just the fact, that the guy was clearly not interested in them as a person, but more like a sex object, caused them to feel used regardless of their consent even if sex was physically satisfying for them. I haven't read the above article regarding male oxytocin release during sex, but in another one earlier I did read that the testosterone if released in large amount will counteract the released oxytocin - and hence certain males will not bond via sex whereas women do not have this "defense".
Stereotypes are not the full picture, I agree. And for the same reason I also do not like some men writing about their need for casual sex as a generalised, all men's dream of thing. Non-functioning, boring, sexless, etc. PUA community using tools of a sociopathic narcissist's mindset to basically rape women some using covert hypnosis, young, gullible, undereducated, psychologically troubled etc.
The difference I see between this and roofying someone, that with the drug it is more provable that abuse happened. One of the terms in PUA lingo clearly describes this: Some PUA gurus after a while get more chilled and end up in monogamous relationships but by then they contributed to tremendous abuse directly and indirectly for female victims as well as their customers.
Looking at Maslow's hierarchy, sex is a fundamental. Looking at health-focused research, sex is healthy and necessary. What do you do if you are alone? After one year with no one-on-one sex, I decided to try a casual arrangement. From the first, it was wonderful. There are no undercurrents, and each of us can get out at any time, no questions asked. I am very happy. I am 54 and he is If women can be choosy about the height, physical appearance, and wealth of their casual sex partners, why shouldn't men be choosy about the past sexual conduct or "morals" of their potential long-term relationship partners?
The so-called "double standard" works both ways. The simple fact is, women these days have more options and more choices than men. That's why heterosexual bars and clubs have "ladies night" instead of "men's night". The women, not the men, get to do the choosing. At closing time on ladies night, a group of average, slightly shy, somewhat short men are sitting alone at the bar while the women have left with all the big, tall, square jawed athletic looking guys with big feet- the same guys who went home with different women after the last ladies night.
That's fine- we all should have the freedom to make our own choices, but we also have to face the consequences of our actions. I would like to point out that young boys don't dream about growing up and marrying girls for who they are sexual partner number 25 any more than daddy wants his little girl to grow up to be a porn star. And no amount of hypocritical, self-righteous "feminism"- short of a totalitarian "Brave New World"- is going to change that dynamic. While I don't approve of that group's behavior, I do think that what they are doing cannot in any way be compared to "rape" as you suggested.
Lying maybe, but rape, no. What you are implying is that women are too stupid to make their own choices or to see through childish head games. As someone who believes in the mental equality even superiority of women, I find your suggestion appalling. If a woman feels "used" afterwards, perhaps that's a sign that she should be more choosy, or even delay a sexual involvement for some time until she's sure about the man's intentions.
I'ts sad that women are falling for that sort of thing, but they made a choice, so live and learn. I think a lot of frustrated guys who lack self confidence, good looks, or stature are likely to try the "PUA" methodology, because they've felt rejected or hurt by women, and also they see the blatant hypocrisy in women's sexual behavior.
By hypocrisy, I mean the way women promote the idea of a finding a loving, committed partner i. The popularity of "PUA" tricks shouldn't be any more shocking than that of "penis enlargement" gimmicks which don't work; these industries prey upon gullible men with deep seated insecurities, fears which are often amplified by women's actual behavior.
The first glaringly problematic comment the author made, is that "in my personal experience, most women cannot have casual sex without feeling hurt if the other person doesn't call back and has no intention of doing so. It is obvious from that sentence, that the author is butt-hurt about a guy Feeling ashamed of herself, she decided to extrapolate her experience to mean "most women must feel this way since that is how I feel.
I do not understand how one author's personal butt-hurt made it into a renowned magazine about Psychology as a general guideline. I assure you, as a man, it is equally obnoxious to hook up with a girl you like and have her never show up again or call you back. It is a silly double standard to assume that women do not do this to men as well, to assume women do not sport-fuck you for a notch on their belt, because many of them will and you will not know about it until afterwards.
I also take issue with the whole "if she has to drink to have sex, maybe she shouldn't be having sex. People drink to lower inhibitions and get laid. It just happens that way. Sex is fun when it's thrilling and has that "is this going to happen? A drunk man's inhibitions are not lowered any less than a drunk woman's, and for this reason I say I believe hooking up even when there is some form of attachment can be quite possible and, not only that, but very fulfilling.
I am a young single mother and I have found that most of my relationships since my daughter was born, have been very short lived and meaningless. There is one person who has become both, a friend, and a lover.
He happens to be my daughter's father. We spend time as a family, but want nothing to do with a serious relationship between the two of us. We are simply two people who have a child together that occasionally share in a physically gratifying arrangement. If either one of is were to want to settle, we are more than welcome to walk away, and if not, we are both perfectly fine in our situation. We can also feel free to hook up with other people if we so choose.
It takes away the awkwardness of having to share ourselves with new people if we didn't want to, plus we both know what each other likes and it is just easy and fun.
The main problem with this article and many similar articles is the basic misinterpretation of oxytocin release. Yes, oxytocin is released during orgasm and is a factor for women becoming attached to men. However, that attachment is a sexual attachment NOT an emotional attachment. Having an orgasm, will make a woman want to have sex with that man again but it won't cause her to suddenly fall in love with him, want a committed relationship with him if she wasn't already , or become emotionally attached.
The main problem is that there's still an underlying assumption that women become emotionally attached from sex. As a result, what boys and girls are taught about sexual behavior and research on how men and women react to sex will almost always be interpreted from a biased viewpoint. An analogy would be if a crime was committed and the police automatically assumed from the start one man we'll call him Pete was the perp. This would result in the police solely focusing on Pete, interpreting the evidence as proof of Pete's guilt ie the perp was a man I am 32 and female and have had 4 long term relationships 3 to 5 years though I really don't know why.
I have zero desire to get married or have kids, never have. When I am single, which I am now, I have tons of fuck buddies and nsa sex, and they almost never have alcohol or drugs involved. Ok, the occasional alcohol since bars are a good place to meet guys who want to hook up, but I don't get wasted.
All of my relationships ended because I can't form proper emotional bonds to boyfriends and can't give them the love they need. I had to break it off with them. So since I need sex I find men who I am completely honest with about my intentions: I may not want to see you again ever and if I do it'll just be for sex, I don't cuddle, I really don't want a relationship, and I'll be fucking other guys. I've only had one guy turn me down and we had already had sex a few times, it just took him a while to decide he didn't like that.
I never feel ashamed or dirty or like what I did was wrong in any way. I also never feel any attachment to these guys. I've considered that I may be a sex addict, but I'm always faithful while in a relationship.
Just one girls experience. I can't seem to find anyone else with similar experiences. I have an experience to be in no obligations relationship. I ended it in one month as it was impossible to keep myself completely dis attached emotionally from a man I liked and it was clear he was indifferent except for pure sex. Both of us are mature adults having adult kids; we have our financial independence, yet, it was weird for me to agree acting like I was no human. I can honestly say that when I have ex with a man, I never want to see him again.
If I like a man and we get along great, I don't feel a sexual attraction to him. If I do end up having sex with him, I never have anything to do with him again. It ruins our connection as far as I am concerned. I love sex, don't get wrong but it doesn't evoke any emotions from me. It doesn't create a "bond" or any other connection to the man for me. To really enjoy sex, it has to be with a man I have only met once, maybe twice and then once we have committed the act I can't bear to think of seeing him again.
I forgot to include in my original statement that I also cannot abide the "cuddling", the "afterglow" nonsense. For me it's purely; Do the deed and get out. I prefer to meet where I control the fact that I immediately leave. I never let a man know where I live. I know, the number is shocking and not something I'm particularly proud of but neither am I ashamed by it. Yes is my answer, they can and the reason why my number is so high is because it's far too easy for women to.
I can only speak for myself but I wouldn't say I'm a 'typical' female. I have a drink problem for one.
Never know when to stop and have blackouts. Half the time I don't even remember how I 'pulled' the guy. I'm shy and awkward around men when sober but when drunk become this horny, seductive and flirty may I say it nympho vixen. I don't sleep with men so they 'like' me. I do it because being sexually desired is intoxicating and alcohol makes me friggin horny.
I'm a complete hedonist. I'm also terrified of commitment and intimacy. Men mean to me controlling, angry and hard work I know this isn't true and doesn't apply to the majority of men but once you've been traumatised as a child it's extremely difficult to change this view on an emotional level. The irony is when I meet men and I tell them up front that this is a one off, I don't have anything more to give and let's just have a mutually pleasurable time - they then find me a challenge and start getting all serious.
As I've got older I've fine tuned the experience. I light candles, have a sex playlist and love dressing up in sexy outfits. The men always want to stay over and spend the night cuddling I do to, oxytocin is amazing!
The trick is to make is mutually fun and not let anyone feel used. I make the men feel special and that's reciprocated. Women, it goes like this: That price is lower perceived value in the eyes of higher quality potential mates. And yes, that's a two-way street, except a man with many "conquests" becomes more--not less--desirable in the eyes of women who wrongly assume the Lothario must truly be someone special.
You are assuming that everyone spills their guts about their private lives to everyone they meet. If I were to begin dating a man, there is no reason for me to tell him anything about other men and I feel the same way about his other women.
I care about the person I am meeting now, not the person that existed a year ago or 5 years ago. Not any of my business. What a misogynistic view to call it "whoring around". Get out of the 18th century. At the beginning, you're putting your best foot forward, just as you would during a job interview, the function of non-hook-up dating.
People have a right to their privacy, but if you're interested in sharing a future with someone, you're going to need to know what kind of person they are. In addition to what that "special someone" tells you, there are many ways to glean this, including observing their interactions with family, friends, strangers, etc.