Whether you’ve recently experienced a breakup or have been riding the wave as a single person for a while now, inevitably you’ll get back out into the dating world. Starting with casual dating is a great way to dip your toes in.
Casual dating is a fun, low maintenance way to meet new people and learn more about yourself as a partner.
Casual dating is not about committing to anyone long-term necessarily, but rather, it’s about enjoying someone’s company for the time being.
Unfortunately, the term “casual” can mean different things to different people, which can lead to a sticky situation if you’re not careful. To understand what it means to casually date someone, follow this guide:
What is Casual Dating?
Let’s begin with the definition of a casual relationship. A recent article written by Elite Daily asked author and dating expert, Alexis Nicole White, for her take on the term.
She says that casual relationships can be defined as, “‘taking it slow’ without any pressure.” She’s exactly right. What makes a relationship “casual” is the lack of pressure that’s normally felt by people who are pursuing a more formal, romantic relationship.
For this reason, casual dating makes it much easier for people to feel more relaxed during the initial date.
Why Do People Enjoy Casual Dating?
Casual dating isn’t for everyone. For some, it’s just another way to waste your time getting to know someone who you most likely won’t be with you in the long-run.
Or, some may think of it as a glorified term for people who are sleeping around.
For most people, however, casual dating is a modernized approach to dating that allows people to maintain their freedom, while also learning about themselves and what they look for in a partner.
Tips on Dating Casually
Before you create your own stance on casual dating, I suggest you try it out first. If you’re unsure on how to go about it, consider these tips:
- Be Responsible for Your Sexual Health
First and foremost, when it comes to casual dating, you must be responsible for your sexual health. Regardless of whether you are or aren’t having sex during this time, it’s imperative that you take precautionary measures to protect your body as well as your partner’s.
In order to play it safe, if you’re open to sleeping with someone you’re casually dating, always pack some form of contraception before heading out on a date. For women, birth control pills are a widely popular and effective solution for preventing pregnancy as long as it’s consumed regularly each day.
For men, on the other hand, condoms are the most practical method for staying sexually-safe. However, if you’re still worried about getting an STD or an STI, you should make it a point to communicate with your partner about each other’s sexual health history.
This will not only alleviate your concerns, but also provide clarity on the best methods of contraception to use during intercourse.
- Be Direct About Your Expectations
Since many people have their own definition of what it means to “casually” date, it’s best to clarify how you both view your unique relationship with the other person.
Otherwise, you’re bound to have misunderstandings and eventually, someone’s feelings will probably get hurt. Be direct and honest about your expectations from the start by discussing what you want from the relationship, what it means to you, and what possibilities you see for the future.
If you don’t want them to text you all day every day, be upfront about it. If you only want to hang out once every couple of weeks, talk about that too. And of course, if you’re uninterested in pursuing anything with them, don’t end things with them by ghosting, which is immature, rude and lame.
Trust me, you’ll save both of you the headache of trying to understand each other’s cryptic signals and lessen the likelihood of a messy breakup.
If you’re having trouble processing your emotions like many of us do, I’d suggest therapy via BetterHelp.
- Avoid Using Labels
A huge difference between casual and romantic relationships are the titles used. Husband, wife, girlfriend, boyfriend, spouse, or partner are just a few examples of relationship labels that people use to refer to their significant other.
These labels are an indication to others that you are taken. This is why labeling one another is a big no-no when you’re casually dating.
If one of your dates posts a picture with another person on their Instagram or Facebook profile, you have to be okay with it and so do they!
The moment one of you becomes overly-possessive is when the causal part of your relationship ends.
- Don’t Make it a Priority
Lastly, if you make casual dating a priority, it not longer remains casual. Part of casual dating is maintaining an informal relationship with the other person, while also still prioritizing yourself.
That’s why it’s so important that you don’t invest too much time overanalyzing the connection you share and where the relationship is going.
Your first and only concern should be focused entirely on yourself. This is a period for you to explore what you do and don’t like and ultimately grow as an individual.
But, if you put all your efforts into the casual relationship instead of yourself, you’re hindering your own personal development.
So next time you enter into a casual relationship, make sure to give yourself time to reflect on how you feel about the person you’re seeing and what you’ve learned from your casual relationship.