Some people prefer casual relationships more than committed relationships. For the uninitiated, how do you define casual relationships?
A short or long-term casual relationship is a wide spectrum, ranging from one-night stands, a “friends with benefits” arrangement, booty calls,no-strings sex scenarios, or even just casual dating.
Of course, at some point, if a person has dreams of settling down and getting married, they might need to start considering how to transition from only enjoying a casual relationship to being able to enjoy a committed relationship just as much.
But there are also times when one person might engage in a casual relationship only to develop deeper feelings for the person they are having fun with and hope to turn it into a committed relationship.
But, the other is still having light-hearted fun, enjoying the uncommitted relationship.
Which leads to the question, what are the guidelines for a casual relationship? How can you tell if things are progressing further into something more serious? And how do you deal with that if it’s not what you want?
What is a casual relationship?
A casual relationship is a non-committal romantic or sexual connection between two individuals who are not exclusively committed to each other. Unlike serious relationships, casual relationships are typically short-term and lack the emotional and practical demands of a committed partnership.
Partners in a casual relationship may engage in sexual activities without the expectation of monogamy or a long-term commitment.
Benefits of a casual relationship
You may think of how to start a casual relationship and why it could work for you. Know that casual relationships can vary in intensity and frequency, and the level of emotional attachment between partners can vary as well. Check out these benefits of having a casual relationship:
Freedom to explore without the pressure of commitment
No expectation of monogamy
Opportunity to date and connect with multiple people
No need to share financial responsibilities
More time and energy for personal goals and hobbies
Chance to learn more about one’s own needs and preferences
Possibility of developing new and diverse friendships
Flexibility to end the relationship without major emotional fallout
Minimal drama or conflict compared to more serious relationships
More opportunities to practice communication and boundary-setting skills.
There are various types of casual relationships, and they can vary in terms of intensity, frequency, and level of emotional involvement. Here are some examples:
A hookup is a casual sexual encounter with no expectation of further commitment or emotional attachment.
2. Friends with benefits
A friends-with-benefits relationship involves two people who are friends and occasionally engage in sexual activity. While there is no expectation of monogamy or commitment, there is typically some level of emotional connection or friendship.
An open relationship is a non-monogamous relationship in which partners are free to pursue sexual and romantic connections with others outside the relationship. This type of casual relationship requires clear communication and boundaries.
4. Casual dating
Casual dating involves going on dates and spending time with someone without the expectation of exclusivity or commitment. While there may be some level of emotional connection, partners in a casual dating relationship are free to see other people.
A one-night stand is a casual sexual encounter between two people with no expectation of further contact or commitment. It is typically seen as a one-time experience with no emotional involvement or expectation of a future relationship.
6. Booty calls
A booty call is a casual sexual encounter initiated by one partner who is seeking physical gratification without emotional involvement.
Why to have a casual relationship?
People may choose to have a casual relationship for various reasons. Some may be seeking to explore their sexuality or to date multiple people without the pressure of commitment.
Others may have recently come out of a serious relationship and want to take a break from emotional involvement.
Casual relationships can also provide a way to connect with others without sacrificing personal goals and hobbies. Additionally, casual relationships can offer an opportunity to learn more about one’s own needs and preferences, as well as to practice communication and boundary-setting skills.
Overall, a casual relationship can provide freedom, flexibility, and the chance to enjoy companionship without the demands of a committed partnership.
10 ways to have a casual relationship
The casual relationship advice is that it’s tricky to know all of the answers to these questions from the offset, people diverse, and each circumstance will be different.
But if you follow these guidelines on how to be in a casual relationship and how to keep a relationship casual, you’ll probably find that you won’t have such questions anymore.
1. Remember what a casual relationship is
Ok, so we know that you can’t always control your feelings, and if you have a tendency to fall in love easily, a casual relationship is probably not going to be for you.
It’s just too casual and uncommitted.
That’s what a casual relationship is, a sexual relationship, where there are no rules or long-term commitments toward each other in the future.
If you think you are going to be able to handle a casual relationship as a way to get closer to somebody, you already have feelings toward the person, then having a casual relationship with them is already a high-risk strategy that could result in you being hurt.
It’s your choice whether you want to take the risk or not, but we suggest you consider the risk of being in a casual relationship first.
2. Stay in touch with your emotions
If you are having a casual relationship and are now surprised to realize that you are starting to catch ‘all the feels’ for the person you are having fun with, stop seeing them for a few weeks so that you can figure out your feelings.
If you still miss them, then you have two choices on how to handle a casual relationship.
Distract yourself and move on from this person.
Let them know how you feel(but be prepared that the other person might not have such feelings and might just be a pro at casual relationships).
If you get the latter response, don’t take it personally or as a knock against your confidence or esteem. Move on and learn from it.
You’ll soon find somebody who you like as much, who doesn’t only enjoy casual relationships.
3. Watch the balance of control between both parties
In a casual relationship, one person has more control over the other.
Perhaps they are the one who cares less, but usually, the one who has more power calls the shots. They decide when it’s convenient to hook up and won’t hook up if they don’t want to.
If you go along with that and find yourself craving for and wondering when you’ll see your casual partner again, then it is one of the evident signs your casual relationship is getting serious and you’ve got feelings for this person.
So, it’s probably time to walk away. Else, follow the instructions in point one.
4. Agree on some terms
Yes, we have said that there are generally no rules in a casual relationship, but there should be some casual relationship rules.
In most cases, one partner will want more from the relationship, so when that occurs, it won’t hurt to have some rules in place to protect you both.
Rules such as when one of you calls time, the other respects that and doesn’t make any more booty calls to you.
Other basic rules could assist in helping you both feel respected.
For example, if one of you meets someone else, they should let their casual partner know. Or you might agree to the terms of how you meet – maybe you don’t like booty calls, and so you agree to meet once per week.
Just talking to your casual partner about their expectations will help you both to negotiate terms that are agreeable and empowering for both parties.
Here are some examples of questions you might ask each other –
How do you feel about dating other people while being involved in a casual relationship?
How shall we deal with things if one of us falls in love with the other or someone else?
How often shall we meet?
Is this relationship to remain secret?
What do we do if one of us catches ‘the feels’?
How shall we end things in a way that we both understand that it’s over if one of us is not feeling it anymore?
These might be awkward questions to ask, but you’ll be glad you did over the course of your relationship or if things become confusing in months to come.
5. Don’t say you love them
Don’t say you love the person you are enjoying a casual relationship with unless you have followed all of the points above, particularly the first one.
If you talk with your casual partner and they, too, have feelings and want to take things into a more exclusive phase, then that’s probably a more appropriate time to exchange I love you.
Any sooner and you might be gravely disappointed.
6. Don’t get manipulated or manipulate your partner
Don’t say confusing things to them, where you oscillate between telling them it’s okay to keep your options open while also getting jealous or territorial.
You’re confusing them.
Also, don’t fall into the trap of manipulation where they tell you to meet and start dating someone else while also demonstrating their neediness for you.
If you want the casual relationship to work out, toss manipulation out of the equation.
7. Don’t be a control freak or be controlled
A casual relationship involves two consenting individuals.
Often, one partner ends up giving their remote control to the other, who calls the shots on deciding to hook up or avoiding seeing each other altogether.
Don’t give in agreeing to anything they say only because you can’t bear the thought of driving them away. Equally important is to maintain the equilibrium where you don’t get too dominating or controlling with the turn of events.
If you feel like they are pulling the strings, walk away.
However, it’s important to note that every individual and every relationship is unique, and communication is key to ensuring that both partners are on the same page about their expectations and boundaries.
However, if there is a lack of communication, emotional dishonesty, or if one partner is not interested in maintaining the relationship on casual terms, it can become unhealthy. Additionally, if one partner starts developing stronger feelings and the other does not, it can lead to emotional pain and disappointment.
Ultimately, it’s up to the individuals involved to determine what is healthy and right for them and to communicate effectively to maintain a positive and respectful dynamic.
How to end a casual relationship because you want more
Check out the ways to end a casual relationship:
Be honest with yourself and your partner about your feelings and desires for a more committed relationship
Express your desire for more commitment and be clear about what you are looking for in a relationship
Be prepared to listen to your partner’s feelings and respect their response, even if it’s not what you were hoping for
End the relationship respectfully and with kindness, acknowledging the positive aspects of the relationship and the time you spent together
Take time for self-care and healing after the breakup, and avoid contact with your former partner until you have had time to process your emotions and move on.
It is important to note that a relationship can be casual as long as both members’ feelings remain casual, but in cases where couples face challenges in their relationship, seeking couples therapy can be helpful.
By following these useful casual relationship tips, you will be able to reap the benefits of a not-so-serious relationship without ruining your peace of mind and keeping the unnecessary drama miles away.
Rachael Pace is a noted relationship writer associated with Marriage.com. She provides inspiration, support, and empowerment in the form of motivational articles and essays. Rachael enjoys studying the evolution of loving partnerships Read more and is passionate about writing on them. She believes that everyone should make room for love in their lives and encourages couples to work on overcoming their challenges together.
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