While most people are looking for monogamous, long-term relationships, there are many people out there who enjoy unconventional relationships. One such relationship is a casual relationship. A casual relationship is like a “friends with benefits” situation. The two of you are intimate with one another, but you don't need to be exclusive. You are free to see other people and you do not put an official title on your relationship. This type of relationship is perfect for people who are not looking for a serious commitment or people who are not ready to settle down. It is also perfect if you are just testing the waters with someone and feeling them out before you decide to be serious with them. While casual relationships can be very beneficial for certain people, there are some important rules you need to follow to make one work. Check out three rules to follow in a casual relationship:
1. Don't Get Jealous
A crucial part of being in a casual relationship is that you cannot get jealous when the other person gets involved with someone else. The whole point of being in a casual relationship is not being exclusive. This means that the both of you are free to see whoever you want. If you find yourself getting jealous over the other person seeing someone else, you may not be cut out for a casual relationship.
2. Always Use Protection
Being that casual relationships are not exclusive, you need to make sure that you always use protection when having sex. You don't know exactly who your casual partner is being with or if they have any sexually transmitted diseases. To be on the safe side, make sure that you always use protection when having sex with this person.
3. Make Sure You're Both On the Same Page
The most important rule in a casual relationship is to always make sure that you are both on the same page. If one of you thinks that the relationship is exclusive and the other thinks it is casual, you are asking for trouble. When the two of you have different ideas of what is going on, someone is bound to get hurt. To make sure that everyone is comfortable with the situation, you both need to explicitly express what you want the relationship to be like and where you want it to go.
“Friends with benefits” relationships can be exceptionally worthwhile if it’s done the right way. Defining a “friends with benefits” relationship is relatively simple. You and your friend are sexually attracted to each other and have a mutual understanding that you will get together and have sex…but with an explicit agreement that this lifestyle will not develop into a romantic relationship. Both of you will enjoy hot, steamy sex, while the two of you are free to explore other relationships.
The dynamics of this kind of relationship can be a little bit tricky. You probably know that “friends with benefits” needs a lot of communication just like any other relationship. In fact, you might even argue it takes more communication to make this kind of relationship thrive. In order to feel satisfied having casual sex with your friend, the two of you need to be upfront about your wants and needs and how the relationship benefits you. You both should also be wary of protecting each other’s hearts from emotional damage.
In a traditional monogamous romantic relationship, you don’t have to be worried about these issues. In a traditional relationship, you go on a first date with a woman and you tell each other what you like, what you don’t like, how you want the relationship to progress, etc. If everything goes as expected, you both decide whether you will go on a second date. On the other hand, if you are in a “friends with benefits” relationship and you start to have romantic feelings for your friend, it’s important to tell them about your feelings. If you were dating a woman and fell in love with her, and she didn't have any feelings for you, you would want that person to be honest with you. After all, no one likes to be given false hope.
Hiding your romantic feelings from your friend isn’t outright betrayal, but the two of you have entered into this kind of arrangement with clear guidelines. So the best and most decent thing you can do is to let the other person know if there’s any change in your feelings. It’s fully possible for a “friends with benefits” relationship to never transform into a romantic relationship if it’s done correctly.
Sure, you have sex with this person, but this whole arrangement works well because you have already decided beforehand that this person is your friend and always will be. You know she will never be your partner or soulmate. In the meantime, if you realize that you have developed romantic feelings for her, you must tell her ASAP. It’s likely she might have the same feelings for you. If she doesn’t, then it may be a hassle to find someone new you can have regular sex with. But it is way better to avoid sex and save your friendship than to suffer a heartbreak given the fact that you have hidden your feelings for her for a long time.
For those of us who aren’t ready to settle down and want to enjoy our freedom, casual dating seems like a heaven. You get to have fun on dates, have a hot girl to crawl in your bed pretty much whenever you want, but still get to flirt and have fun with other ladies.
But, if you don’t follow the rules of casual dating, it could end up quickly turning into a nightmarish ordeal.
Picture girls crying at your doorstep or – worse — you falling for a girl so badly that you obsessively write love sonnets to her and ask her friends who else she’s been seeing.
Before you enter into the world of casual dating, make sure you understand the rules!
What Is Casual Dating?
There are a lot of different terms which are often used interchangeably with casual dating, like open relationship, fuck buddy, booty call, friends with benefits…
Casual dating is a bit different than all these other types of relationships. Like a fuck buddy or booty call, the relationship is mostly based on sex. However, it usually isn’t just about sex like a pickup is. Unlike with your favorite fuck buddy who you’ve got on speed dial, you will probably actually go out with the girl you are casually dating, such as meeting for drinks (hence the term casual dating). But casual dating doesn’t have the commitment or closeness associated with an open relationship or even a friend with benefits.
There are a lot of different ways we could define casual dating, but it all essentially comes down to the same thing: you are keeping your options open.
Society has done a pretty good job about making us feel guilty about casual dating. After all, we are only supposed to bed down with people we are in love with or serious about, right? But casual dating doesn’t necessarily have to be sleazy. Casual dating is about meeting new types of people so you can find out what types of people you are attracted to. It also helps you learn to communicate with members of the opposite sex, learn valuable skills like compromise, and get better in the bedroom (all things your future partner will appreciate!).
Note: Casual dating is NOT the same as having an affair! Always find out if the person is married or in a serious relationship before you hook up. Otherwise, you could end up in some serious trouble.
Can You Handle It?
You meet a killer girl who has a sexy body, is chill, and the two of you can’t stop laughing together. But she says that she isn’t ready for a relationship, doesn’t have time, or simply enjoys being single. You tell yourself that you are fine doing the casual dating thing. You might even think that you are fine with it. Then you catch her out on a date with some other guy and go berserk with jealousy…
A lot of guys think that they can handle casual dating, only to find out that it is too emotional for them. As Love Panky points out, casual dating doesn’t mean she doesn’t want a relationship. She just doesn’t want it with you. You two are both using each other until someone else better comes along. If you can’t handle this harsh reality, then get out before you get hurt!
Can SHE Handle It?
It’s never cool to hurt a girl’s feelings. Just like guys can be in denial about their ability and/or desire to be in a casual relationship, girls do it too. Not to stereotype, but it is usually the girls who lie to themselves that “casual” will eventually lead to a commitment.
You’ve got to be very clear from the beginning that you don’t want a relationship. Ideally, you tell her this before you sleep with her. Then, make sure you aren’t giving her the wrong idea by acting like a boyfriend.
Also, be on the lookout for signs that she really wants a serious relationship, like she keeps talking about having kids, mentions future plans, or starts prying into your personal life.
Set Some Ground Rules
Just because casual dating doesn’t have the same well-defined rules as an exclusive relationship, it doesn’t mean there aren’t any rules. After you two have “dated” a couple of times, sit down to have an open discussion about what you want and expect to happen. Some of the things you might want to agree on are:
Is it okay to go out in public places?
Should the relationship be kept secret from everyone or is it okay if some people know (especially if you have common friends)?
If one of you starts dating someone seriously, will you two continue having sex or will you cut things off?
How often do you want to see each other (good question for understanding what the other person expects)?
Don’t Ask Questions
When you are in a relationship with someone, it is expected of you to ask questions like what she did all day, where she went out, and so forth. With casual dating, all these personal questions are off limits. If you don’t follow this rule, you are bound to get hurt or embarrassed.
For example: You ask her what she did last night. Either she avoids the question and makes you feel awkward for asking. Or she tells you that she went out and had some drinks with a “friend.” Then your night is ruined because you keep imagining her with another guy.
So don’t ask her:
How many people she is seeing
Where she was last night
Why she didn’t return your calls
To add you on Facebook
Casual dating is different for everyone. Some might just come over for an occasional booty call and return home the same night. But, casual dating usually does involve some degree of actual “dating” – meaning you two go out somewhere together (check out our fun date ideas). This is actually what makes casual relationships so much more fun than a booty call, because you two can have fun flirting and “warming up” before you make it to the bedroom.
But make sure you’ve set the ground rules about your dates. Are you okay going out to places where you might bump into people you know? How should you act if you run into her friends? Is it okay to hold hands on a date? What about kissing in public? And, in this era of social media, agree that you won’t post photos of your dates online!
Do Follow the Rules of Safe Sex
This should be obvious, but you’ve got to BE REALLY CAREFUL when having casual sex. Because chances are that person is sleeping with other people too. And those people are also sleeping with other people. And so down the line. Need I remind you that there are nearly 20 million new cases of STDsevery year, including HIV, gonorrhea, Chlamydia, and HPV (amongst others)!
Always wear a condom. And you’ve got to have the safe-sex discussion with her too. Ask her when the last time she was tested, and whether she always uses protection with partners. While you are at it, it is probably time for you to get tested again! If the idea of getting a girl pregnant totally freaks you out, then you’ll also want to ask her what she would do if she got pregnant and whether she is using birth control as a backup in case a condom breaks.
Don’t Meet Her Friends or Family
If she suggests that you go out with her friends or meet her family, it is a sign that she probably wants something more. If you agree, then it will send a mixed message that you also want a closer relationship. If the two of you were friends before you started sleeping with each other, then it is still okay to go out as friends. But be very discreet about it and don’t have any noticeable displays of affection or even flirting in public.
Just because you are only dating casually, it doesn’t mean you’ve got to be a dick. If she spends the night, don’t kick her out first thing in the morning – make her coffee and breakfast. It is okay to cuddle after sex and say sweet things. And, even if it was just a booty call, you should still always follow up with the girl the next day!
Don’t Go Overboard with the Text Messages
Sending naughty text messages is a lot of fun and can add some serious spice to your casual relationship. But be really careful about going overboard with them. You run the risk of annoying her or interrupting her daily life. Avoid sending texts in nighttime hours. You never know if she will be out on a date with someone else, and it could really screw things up for her! If you show her this consideration, she will do the same for you.
Become Better in Bed
Take advantage of being in a casual relationship to become a better lover. Ask her what she likes, divulge any fantasies you’ve had, and try new things. In my experience, girls who are open to casual dating are also pretty open sexually, so you shouldn’t feel shy about asking specific questions or making requests.
Have Fun – And Get Out When It Stops Being Fun!
Casual relationships are supposed to be about having fun until the right person comes along. But too often casual relationships turn into boring relationships. And too many men get stuck in them.
Here is how it usually happens. A guy starts having sex with a girl and maybe going out for drinks beforehand too. He is too busy (or lazy) to meet new women, so the casual girlfriend becomes a fallback. Even though he sees no future with the girl, and she doesn’t want one with him, they both keep seeing each other out of habit. Eventually, they get so used to seeing each other that they become trapped. They end up acting like an old, unhappy couple – but a couple that never even loved each other to begin with.
Do everything you can to keep casual dating fun. Try new things in the bedroom. Go to fun new places (where no one knows you). And, if things start getting boring, then get out!