For some people, a commited relationship just isn’t their dating goal. Casual dating can be just as rewarding for some people. The problem is, society tends to value the dating with an end goal of a monogamous relationship, and not so much any other type of dating. I figured I’d tackle the subject for all you non-traditional daters out there. Here’s some answers to some frequently asked questions on Casual Dating:
1.What’s the difference between dating, friends with benefits, and casual dating?
When you’re dating, you’re exploring your options. Dating can turn into a number of things and is a tool for maybe finding something more serious. Casual dating is basically the dating phase with the only difference being that you’re dating with no intention of becoming than more serious. You might change your mind at some point, but it’s unlikely. This is different from a no-strings/friends with benefits in that you actually go out on dates together.
2. Should I tell the person I’m dating I only want to casual date?
Absolutely. You might end up with a smaller dating pool, but in the end it’s always better to be upfront about what you want than not. For the most part, people date with a goal in mind. Whether that goal is the development of a potential relationship, or just figuring out what they want. If you’re not looking to explore your options, it’s unfair to go into casually dating someone without telling them. Do the right thing, even if it makes dating more difficult for you.
3. How do I set boundaries in my casual dating situation?
When you’re telling your partner that you want a casual dating situation that’s the time when you set your boundaries. You don’t need to be coy, just be straightforward about what you want. If you want to casually date, communicate once a week, and never bring up a potential future, SAY IT!
4. How do I maintain casual dating and avoid getting into a relationship?
Well being honest about what you want out of your casual dating situation is the first step. Next is to not lead your partner on. Don’t tell them things could MAYBE lead to something if it’s not true. Don’t use niceties to placate someone who is thinking of leaving you. More importantly, don’t let them trick you into being in a relationship. If you set limits and boundaries, stick to them. If you feel like they’re slowly getting you to do things you don’t want to do, either by getting you to agree or by subterfuge, bring up your boundaries again.
5. How can I avoid feeling like a jerk when I’m casually dating?
If you feel like a jerk if you’re casually dating, it might not be for you. If two consenting adults agree to casually date while clear of mind, you should have a clear conscience. The truth is, you might very likely hurt someone when you’re dating casually, but the same goes for dating, dating monogamous, friends with benefits, marriage, relationships, or any other romantic entanglement. There’s nothing wrong with feeling empathy, but you shouldn’t dwell on people being hurt if you were upfront and honest about what you wanted.
Now, if you’re misleading people, you should feel like a jerk.
Good Luck Out There.
photo credit: AngelsWings