Although, casual dating can seem so effortless. Like it seems so easy because it just involves forging new connections to eliminate that feeling of loneliness. But what happens when you get too attached? While casual dating can certainly proceed smoothly for all involved, it’s not always that simple. Things can get pretty complicated, especially when you don’t have a clear idea of what it means to casually date. So what is casual dating?
WHAT IS CASUAL DATING?
Casual dating is a type of relationship between people that basically go on dates together in a consistent way with any expectation of a long-term or committed relationship. Casually dating someone usually means you like them enough to want to hang out with them regularly. But still, you are not necessarily ready for a serious relationship whether that’s in general or just with this person in particular.
BENEFITS OF CASUAL DATING
Casual dating doesn’t have to involve sex. It all depends on the purpose you intend the relationship to serve basically. Plus, people primarily motivated to have sex often get those needs met through hookups or Friends with Benefits relationships, anyway. Then what are the benefits of casual dating?
#1. It can help you figure out what you want:
Casual dating basically helps you narrow down your mind on what really matters to you in a relationship. You might learn that what you really want from the person you’re dating is:
a. A similar schedule
b. Regular sex
Alternatively, you might find that these things aren’t really deal-breakers for you.
#2. It gives you the chance to enjoy dating without pressure:
Casual dating creates this opportunity for people who want to stay single to enjoy dates and similar interactions with like-minded people. Basically, you can enjoy activities like dancing, seeing a movie, or even going wine tasting without necessarily having sex. Except that’s why you guys want. Although, it’s possible to enjoy these things with friends. However, it’s fun when dating. Because of the thrill of attraction like kissing and/or intimate moments.
#3. It can help you get used to dating:
Dating sometimes involves breakups. So when casually dating someone it serves as a traditional step to prepare you for a serious connection. You might face difficult situations like;
a. Struggle with intimacy
b. Fear of rejection and abandonment
Casual dating can help you warm up to the idea of connecting intimately with people before you dive into a long-term relationship. Even if you do want a relationship, the very idea might terrify you and keep you from attempting to date at all.
However, it’s not for everyone, though. Casual dating has its benefits. But it doesn’t work for everyone. When you notice you;
a. Start developing strong romantic feelings once you get involved.
b. Begin to imagine a future together.
c. Prefer strong bonds and emotional connections.
Then trust me, it’s not for you.
RULES OF CASUAL DATING
#1. Remember that respect is key:
When spending time with a lot of people, you’ll probably encounter different relationship styles, attitudes, attachment theories, and behaviors. People don’t always treat others with kindness. Unfortunately, that’s the world we live in. So you should know how to make things work for you. Respect is very important here.
#2. Honor boundaries:
Boundaries in relationships can either be emotional, physical, or even sexual. When dating multiple people, keep in mind they may not want to talk about their other partners or hear about yours. You’ll probably want to have a conversation early on about sexual boundaries, in general. When they don’t want to have sex, respect that decision.
#3. Don’t cave:
Because it’s “casual” doesn’t mean it’s insignificant. Dropping a partner without a word is not only rude and unkind. Basically, if you don’t want to keep dating someone, just tell them in person. You can keep it brief and honest without really going into details.
#4. Honesty is the best policy:
Honesty is always important. When dating, if you don’t disclose your intentions upfront, it can be really confusing. When you start seeing someone new, tell your partner. Some people won’t share their own feelings until asked, so ask about their dating goals, too. Make sure to check back in with the other person if these goals change.
CASUAL DATING ETIQUETTE
#1. Don’t forget about self-care:
Although dating may seem like a good option to tackle loneliness, anxiety, and even boredom. But these things are temporal at best. When something becomes more important than your own feelings, then dating is not the solution. You’ll generally need support from a therapist to work through anxiety or depression not a relationship. Because you could just be masking the problem. So always prioritize yourself.
#2. Don’t neglect other relationships:
Connecting with new people can help you expand your life and try things you wouldn’t usually do. But don’t forget to continue spending time with your friends and loved ones. Those relationships are important, too.
WHAT DO I DO WHEN CATCHING FEELINGS IN A CASUAL RELATIONSHIP
Despite your intention of keeping things casual. But your feelings can take an unexpected turn. At first, you may be a little hesitant because it is not what you bargained for. But it’s important, to tell the truth. For all you know, this person also developed similar feelings. Even if they don’t feel the same way, keeping your interest a secret can eventually hurt you when the relationship never progresses. Ok, just look at it this way, the worst thing that can happen is that they would turn you down. But subsequently, you’d see that that was the best thing to do.
RISKS OF CASUAL DATING
1. Generally, one huge worry is catching feelings. Although you might not want to. But you can’t always tell your heart what to do. Basically, after a while, you can start feeling some romantic feelings and emotional attachments. Although, it can just be an infatuation or even love.
2. When you both start getting emotionally attached, it’s not a problem. But when it’s just you, you can end up getting hurt.
3. If the other person develops feelings for you and you don’t feel the same way, you may end up feeling guilty about hurting that person.
4. Sometimes, some people may not communicate clearly about what they want from casual dating, causing misunderstandings and hurt feelings.
5. Some people may use casual dating as an excuse to avoid communicating about needs and boundaries.
CASUAL DATING VS. SERIOUS DATING
A lot of people involved in serious relationships usually agree to have a serious relationship with each other. This means that they are very involved with each other and they see and talk to each other often. But people involved in casual dating, the level of seriousness is much lower. The two people do not tell each other everything and may talk daily, but most likely they don’t. Although, casual dating varies between couples just as everyone is different. Different strokes for different foes right? But basically, the seriousness is not going to stand a chance when placed on a scale against serious relationships. Some couples who are dating casually may see each other
One primary difference between casual dating and a serious relationship is that people who are dating casually are not necessarily monogamous. That is, in casual dating, they can be involved with more than one person. Since commitments are not required. Therefore, those involved in this type of relationship are normally free to see other people at the same time. People involved in a serious relationship are monogamous and therefore each person in a serious relationship commits to only being involved with the other person.
#3. LEVEL OF INTIMACY:
Generally, couples in serious or even casual relationships can be sexually active. Casual daters often have sexual relations with the people they are casually dating, just as a serious dating experience. But, also may have relations with other people as well. Basically, casual dating is coined as the same thing as “friends with benefits.”
A lot of people who engage in casual dating do so for the fun of it. Because of no commitments or attachments. Basically, it allows them to have someone to hang out with and go places with, without requiring a commitment to the person. It also lets people be friends without anything more. But being in a serious relationship, you need something way more than that.
CASUAL DATING VS. EXCLUSIVE DATING
Think of exclusive dating as the period between casual dating and being in a relationship. But what does exclusive dating entail?
1. Getting to know each other better
2. The “boo” and “babe” name-calling
3. Vacations or as I’d prefer to call it “baecation” together.
Basically all the necessities of an official couple. Because exclusively dating someone means dating that person alone. But we can’t say that for a casual date. Exclusive dating is like the trial run for the relationship itself. It’s the period of learning someone’s likes, dislikes, hopes, dreams, goals, and future plans. When there is progress, then it is possible to further tighten the relationship. But, casual dating is a very open relationship.
Conclusively, if you are involved in a sexual relationship while casually dating, make sure you take precautions to avoid pregnancy and the spreading of diseases. Although, casual dating might be beneficial to you try looking deeper than the facade, ok?
CASUAL DATING FAQ’S
Is Casual dating beneficial?
As we previously mentioned, it can be beneficial to some because it helps them learn and balance their insecurities. So yeah, in a way it is.
Can I transform a casual relationship into a serious one?
Yes, you can. But only if the person you are casually dating feels the same. But in most cases, this person might not be all in.