Casual dating may seem like an ideal scenario. After all, what guy wouldn’t want the freedom to go out with any woman at any time? But while it may seem like a desirable situation, the fact is it’s not for everyone. Here are a few things to consider before deciding whether or not casual dating is right for you.
Serious vs. casual relationships
Before deciding on whether to seek serious or casual relationships take some time to think about what you truly want. If you could rub a magic lamp and get the any relationship you desired, what would it look like? Would you want the excitement of running from one woman to the next? Or would you want that one steady, reliable girl who’s devoted only to you? There’s no right answer here, the point is to get clear on exactly what it is you want. That way you can go out and get it.
While figuring out what kind of relationship you want it’s also important to figure out why you want that type of relationship. Do you want a serious girlfriend? Or do you tell yourself that’s what you want because it’s what society/your family/your friends tell you to have? Is casually hooking up with random women truly how you want to spend your time? Or do you just feel pressure to try and keep up with your buddies? These are important questions to answer before deciding what kind of relationship to pursue. In the end you want to make sure you’re doing what you want and not fulfilling the wishes of others.
How to know if casual dating is for you
The thing about casual dating is for it to work it must go both ways. You can’t give yourself complete freedom to date other women yet force the girl to be exclusive only to you. This creates an unbalanced and unhealthy relationship that’s more about control than anything else. It’s the type of arrangement that’s likely to create a lot of drama before it comes crashing down.
So before you start looking for casual relationships ask yourself, are you really okay with the women you date going out and potentially sleeping with other guys? If so, then go ahead and enjoy your casual relationships. If not, it’s a red flag that casual dating isn’t for you.
Make your intentions known
Once you know what kind of relationship you want, let your intentions be known. Within the first couple of dates – preferably date #1 – talk to the girl about what you’re each looking for in a relationship. You don’t have to go into much detail but it’s a good idea to ask something like “So are you more of the causal dating or serious relationship kind of girl?” To make sure she doesn’t feel any pressure when answering this question you may want to go first and let her know what it is you’re looking for.
You may lose a few girls rather quickly this way (don’t be surprised if some girls say they’re not looking for anything serious, yet mysteriously stop calling after this conversation), but that’s exactly the point. You’re filtering out women who aren’t compatible with what you want. This will save a lot of headache and frustration down the road. You won’t waste days, weeks, or even months trying to force a relationship that was doomed from the start. Instead, you’ll be free to find the girl (or girls) who fit your lifestyle.
Double check your status
Let’s say you told the girl on the first date you weren’t looking for anything serious. To your delight, she said that she wasn’t either. While it’s great that you started off on the same page, after a few weeks or months you’re going to want to revisit this topic. Why? To make sure she’s still okay with the arrangement.
On some occasions a woman will say she’s not looking for anything serious when deep down she is. But she’s willing to wait a few weeks for you to change your mind. Then there are times when a girl truly isn’t looking for anything serious, but as time goes on she begins to feel differently. She starts feeling more connected and becomes interested in something more. For these reasons it’s a good idea to revisit the topic of your relationship status after you’ve been seeing each other for a while. Make sure she knows nothing has changed from your perspective (unless they have) and give an out if she wants it. This will help you avoid a lot of unnecessary drama down the road.
If you want to keep a relationship casual then you’ve got to set up some boundaries. You don’t want to find yourself “casually dating” a girl yet behaving as you would if you were in a serious, committed relationship. Doing so would get things real complicated, real quick.
So if you’re casually dating a girl be sure to avoid “boyfriend” type behavior. Don’t call or text her nearly every day. Don’t have her meet the family, or regularly invite her to be your date for special events. Actions like these can blur the lines of your relationship and send mixed signals, planting the thought in her mind that the relationship is becoming more serious. If you don’t want her thinking that way and are not interested in having her as a serious girlfriend, then avoid giving her a taste of that role.