Casual dating may start as a fling. People who are in a casual dating relationship probably don’t have standing weekend plans or invite each other to everything. These can be fun relationships that meet a need for occasional intimacy and someone to pal around with. But, what do you do when this relationship shifts? Sometimes, you can see a change coming as you plug into each other’s lives in a more meaningful way. In other words, how can you tell when a relationship moves from just sex, just dinner or once in a while to something more permanent?
According to a survey published in The Journal of Sex Research, 18.6% of male college students and 7.4% of female college students reported having casual sex in the last month. An article published by the American Psychological Association found that 82% of men and 57% of women were glad they had a casual hookup, or sexual encounter. When these encounters become regular with the same person, they typically turn into a casual dating relationship, where you also do non-sexual things together.
When a couple is casually dating, this may mean that they aren’t exclusive. Casual is just that: not buttoned up, not committed, just enjoying a simple relationship. Sometimes, both people are still dating around. There aren’t long-term, commitment-oriented conversations. This season predates the “where are we going?” conversation. The extent of the relationship is usually sex, dates, outings and hanging out. There isn’t an expectation for more.
It’s important that both people get the terms of this kind of relationship. Before you even flirt with the idea of a casual relationship, you have to communicate to avoid any misunderstandings. Without mutual understanding, one person may feel like the other person was leading them on. If there are different expectations, someone is going to get hurt.
This means that both people in this kind of dating relationship have to be upfront and honest from the start
The same is true if the relationship is turning into something unexpected. For instance, maybe you thought you could handle a casual relationship. After trying it out, you realized that it’s not your cup of tea. You could start feeling more deeply for the person you’re casually dating and need to have that conversation. On the other hand, this casual relationship may be the full extent of anything you ever want from this person, in which case that should be clear to them.
Just because the relationship is casual does not mean that you can’t be honest with that person about your feelings at any point in the relationship. Honesty does not equal seriousness if that isn’t what you want. You’re simply being respectful of the other person’s feelings and giving that person the opportunity to change course if it turns out your feelings have changed.
It turns out that casual relationships like this are fairly common
There are times when a couple who is casually dating decide to take things to the next level. Maybe they’ve spent so much time together that they’ve realized that they don’t need or want anyone else, or that no one else measures up to that person. eters they set for their relationship, they broke the rules and fell in love.
For this reason, some people may ask “what is a casual relationship?” because it can be argued that no relationship is ever truly casual. There is always the risk that the couple will become just that – a couple – and will fall in love with each other despite their best intentions. On a sadder note, some couples decide that their casual relationship can no longer continue because they are becoming possessive and jealous. They don’t want to spend forever with that person, but they don’t want to see that person happy with anyone else either.