The casual dating market exceeds $269 million. Now is the best time to learn about casual dating.
Around 44.1% of casual daters are 25 to 34 years old, making this age most likely to casually date. However, casual dating is on the rise in nearly all age groups. No matter what your age is, a casual date arrangement might suit your needs best.
You’re never too old to find happiness. Here’s what you should know about dating casually:
Casual Dating 101
Many people wonder, “What is casual dating?”
Each person’s casual dating definition varies slightly. Most people understand a casual dating relationship as enjoying a connection with someone without the commitments or responsibilities of a full-fledged relationship.
The best casual dates are people you’re attracted to. Never feel as though you owe someone a chance just because they’re interested in you.
In order to date someone casually, you must not have any hope for having a relationship with that person. Feelings like that aren’t “casual” and you’ll wind up feeling used or unwanted. More on that later.
For instance, many casual daters don’t like making plans in advance. They prefer to savor the moment and make plans within only a few days notice at most.
Some casual date relationships are monogamous, but don’t have any added commitments or expectation for the relationship’s future. These people are simply enjoying their time as a couple with a person who feels right for them.
Then there are the people who see more than one person. A lot of casual daters are non-monogamous. Instead of calling it non-monogamy, they refer to it as “keeping their options open.”
It’s one thing to be cool about your person seeing other people. However, most casual daters don’t want to hear about other people you’re dating.
Some people are down with the swinger scene. Swingers are into swapping partners and having casual sex. If you’re curious, learn more about this lifestyle.
Both of you must be on the same page about whether to have a monogamous or non-monogamous arrangement. To be safe, have some kind of conversation where you both agree on the terms.
Having a casual arrangement doesn’t equal casual sex for everyone. Many people prefer to casually date, but reserve sex for more intimate relationships. Never expect sex from someone because they’ve agreed to date you casually.
If sex is something your prioritize with your casual connections, be honest about it. Never have sex with someone if you know they want an actual relationship with you and you don’t feel the same.
If you don’t want to have that conversation, just say you don’t think this situation is going to work out. Try to be polite when rejecting someone, especially via text message. Someone could screenshot your text and make you go viral.
If you have sex with one casual connection or more, make sure it’s safe sex. Think of birth control and condoms as your best friends.
The number one rule for casual date arrangements is to never mislead someone. Unless you want to get run out of town by an angry mob, honesty is the best policy for casual dates.
Be honest with yourself about whether or not you’d like dating casually. It’s okay to date casually until you find “the one”, but be real about your intentions.
If you’re interested in someone and they reciprocate your interest, be honest about what you want. You have to say something clear along the lines of, “I’m not looking for a serious relationship.”
Warning: Some people may think they can change your mind. If someone can’t respect your desire for a casual relationship, don’t bother with dating them. Your mismatched desires will escalate into problems and drama.
People have different expectations surrounding casual date arrangements. Be clear about what your boundaries are. At the same time, be willing to respect the other person’s boundaries.
A casual date arrangement is different from a serious relationship. As such, don’t expect to do stereotypical “couple” things together.
For instance, a casual date will never surprise you at work. They’ll also never meet your family or friends. They won’t drop by unexpectedly.
Never take a casual date as a plus one to events like weddings or anything else. If your family sees you together, they’ll start to get the idea you’re a couple.
Casual daters might not text often with the people they’re seeing. However, don’t only hit someone up for a booty call. Make an effort to engage with their personality.
Respect is an important aspect of human connection. If you want a lover you don’t have to respect, get a virtual girlfriend.
Be polite and respectful of others’ feelings. Once again: Don’t be mean when rejecting someone. You might become a meme.
In fact, avoid saying anything you’ll regret later. Never give backhanded compliments or say anything that could be insulting/demeaning to your date.
Don’t kiss and tell. It’ll make people distrust you. If you piss off enough people, it’ll ruin your reputation.
Then nobody will date you.
If you’re wondering how to casually date, accept the freedom of casual date situations. That includes the freedom of others to do as they wish.
You’ll have to manage your jealousy, especially in non-monogamous arrangements. There’s no room for possessiveness in casual dating relationships. If a casual date is possessive over you, it’s a bigger red flag than you’ll find in any communist country.
Try to understand your jealousy better. What kind of emotions are you feeling? Use journaling if you have to.
No matter what you do, you can’t put the burden of managing your jealousy on the person(s) you’re dating casually. You’ll have to find healthy ways of dealing with jealousy.
If you’re chronically jealous, casual dating might not be for you.
Keep Emotions In Check
Part of casual dating implies there won’t be any serious feelings involved in a connection.
It’s alright to feel some romantic attraction to someone you casually date. However, a casual date situation typically isn’t a good place for intense emotions. Having strong feelings for someone who doesn’t return them never ends well.
Each person in a casual situation should be on the same page emotionally. Otherwise, someone will be dissatisfied with the arrangement.
If you’re dealing with emotional problems, see a therapist. Don’t take your issues out on your date.
Going out is a major reason why the casual dating market is so high today. It’s also more fun than staying in. Plus, it gives you insight into how a person interacts in different environments.
Get out of your man cave/she shed and go out on dates. As in, actually go out and do something enjoyable. Going out and experiencing people in different contexts is part of the fun of dating casually.
Don’t let your “dates” consist of sitting on your couch and watching Netflix. Then you might be falling into “couple” territory. It’s also boring to insist all of your “dates” be at home.
If you haven’t met someone out, try going out to social events. There, you might meet potential casual dates.
Try to strike up conversations with people you’re attracted to. If the person is receptive and there’s a mutual spark, then give that person your number.
Remember: Be respectful, especially if you’re using a cold approach (meeting someone you don’t have any social connections with). If someone’s not engaging with you, don’t give them your number.
Casually dating gives you the opportunity to play the field. Feel free to experiment with dating and sexuality to see what and who suits you best.
Dating experiences can tell you a lot about your preferences and desires. For instance, going on a date with a high-strung person lets you know you’re not into people with that characteristic.
Date any kind of person you want. See each date as an opportunity to have fun and get to know someone better.
The more dating experience you have, the better you’ll become at dating.
Enjoy a Great Casual Date
Around 1 in 10 Americans use online dating apps. For many people, online dating is another means of casual dating.
If you’re dating online, mention in your profile that you’re interested in casual dating. That way, you know you’ll only be getting responses from others who want something casual.
Become a smarter dater and read sex/dating features. Everyone you date will appreciate your knowledge.