Our lives determine our circumstances. Sometimes it charters for us a course that brings us to commitment crossroads; crossroads where you have to make some very complex decisions.
One of these is when you start wondering if casual dating could be an option for you. If you aren’t too sure, the following pointers may help you decide if you are a good fit for casual dating or not.
The Meaning of Casual Dating
Casual dating is referred to as a non-commitment relationship or/and a no-strings-attached relationship. It is a relationship that two people enter into without any expectations of it being a permanent one. It can be sexual or non-sexual in nature. Some of these can be open relationships too, where there is a mutual understanding that either one or both partners can date other people too.
Casual Dating has been frowned upon by many for the lack of commitment it involves and the vulnerability it leaves the more committed partner with, in such a non-commitment relationship.
Casual Dating vs Normal Dating
Casual dating is generally common among youngsters who are just getting into the whole dating scenario, such as teenagers. Many college students who don’t want a long term commitment that comes with formal relationships also dabble with it. An ‘Archives of Sexual Behavior’ study reported that almost 60% of college students have indulged in it at point time in their lives or the other.
Adults who have had a bad breakup or loss of a spouse and are entering the dating scen after a long hiatus, often also prefer to start with casual dating.
The following are the basic differences between Casual and Normal dating.
1.Level of commitment
Casual dating can also colloquially be termed as ‘friends with benefits'. The level of expectations from both partners can be exceedingly low as the relationship can be quite on and off. There may also not be any monogamy in this arrangement, as the dating can be quite occasional and when convenient for both parties. In casual dating, the dates can be infrequent and in the interim, if mutually agreed upon, the partners also date other people.
2. Level of Intimacy
Casual dating can be either sexual or platonic in nature. In this relationship, two people with similar relationships needs but are not yet ready to make it permanent, come together. Casual dating is very much recommended for those who like to take it slow and easy and don’t want to rush headlong into a relationship.
3. Inter-personal relationships
As opposed to normal dating, the partners may or may not be very much involved in each other lives. In normal dating most often, the dating couple will meet each personal close family or best friends and will even meet up with them socially. Normal dating is usually the predecessor or a stepping stone to a more permanent relationship, such as an engagement or marriage.
Casual dating may progress to normal dating if the people involved realizing over the course of time that they have more in common than they had bargained for, and actually have a great chance of succeeding in a more permanent setup.
Rules of Casual Dating
If you do decide to embark on a casual dating relationship, you both must have clearly defined boundaries in order to avoid future heart-ache and confusions. If not, when the relationship ends one of the partners will be inevitably hurt.
Before embarking on one, be honest with your dating partner about what it is you are expecting from the relationship. If monogamy matters, put it out there. If you’re not looking for a long-term relationship talk about it too. Not doing so, will be very unfair to your partner.
Talk about if you are okay with being just dating each other or if you can date other people too.
Once you have set these basic boundaries and start your casual dating relationship, a few rules should also be followed during the course of your relationship. Some of these are:
1.Respect each other’s boundaries
You need to understand and respect each other’s boundaries when you are in a non-committal relationship. If your partner has said that they find it uncomfortable talking about you or if they haven’t mentioned you to their family and friends and if this is what you have discussed before then you should respect that decision.
2.Refrain from false expectations
Don’t have any false expectations from your partners in a non-committal relationship. If you are just dating on an on and off basis there is a good chance that they may not be in love with you. Don’t expect them to start acting like a love-struck partner and don’t have any unrealistic expectations from the relationship.
3. Don’t Intrude
Respect your partner’s wishes. Don’t call them about every aspect of your life unless they show genuine interest. If they are interested, you will know. Pushing the boundaries of a casual relationship will only cause it to breakdown, so learn to recognize the danger signs.
If a polygamous relationship was agreed upon right at the onset, then there really is no room for jealousy in your relationship. If you find yourself feeling jealous with your partners other friends or anyone else she/he is dating, then this relationship is clearly not working for you.
How to deal with Casual Dating
The term ‘Casual’ is actually kind of misleading in a casual relationship. Feelings and emotions are at stake here too. There is no casual handling in a casual dating relationship and one needs to be very careful while treading these waters.
Set up these guidelines for you as a couple.
- The relationship may be casual but it is definitely not a frivolous one, so be respectful of each other at all times. Don’t treat your partner in any way that shows that just because it is a non-committal relationship, it is an easily disposable one.
- Respect the boundaries you set in the first place.
- Call it off if you find yourself getting deeper into it or vice versa and if you or your partner are unable to reciprocate in the same way.
- If it is so, be honest and break it off in a dignified manner.
- Don’t have unreasonable expectations from yourself or your partner.
- If you find yourself falling in love with someone else other than your dating partner, be upfront about it and call it off as soon as you can.
When Casual Dating gets Serious
Casual dating doesn’t go on a long-term basis. It will either fizzle away or flare-up into a more serious one.
If you find that the relationship has run its course then the wise thing would be to call it off completely. This is also true if one partner starts getting serious but the other doesn’t feel the same way. In both these cases, it is wise to end it amicably and go your separate ways before it causes serious damage.
On the other hand, if you both find that you are enjoying each other’s company and are having more fun than you bargained for, it is time to take it to the next level and turn the casual dating relationship into a more committed one such as a normal dating relationship.
Best Apps for Casual Dating
The number of people looking for commitment-free relationships has exploded in recent years. So much so that several dating websites cater to those looking for only casual dating relationships. The following are five of the most popular ones:
Casual dating requires a certain mindset and is not for everybody. It works great for people who are for whatever reasons, all genuine, not looking for a long term relationship. It is generally sought after by people looking for simple companionship.
If this is what you have in mind too, then log in to any one of the above mentioned casual dating websites to find the right person for you.