Sometimes we aren’t ready to go all in.
Firstly, I wasn’t very familiar with dating apps besides Tinder…Casual dating seemed like some mythical creature to me when I first heard of it; what sort of unicorn was this?
Well, I wouldn’t know till I decided to venture out into the jungles of online dating apps.
I wasn’t very familiar with dating apps, and after hearing some strange tales from my friends, I was firmly put off by the thought. Then, one of my friends started talking about how people now use apps to casually date. I was confused, what is this approach?
But I was alone and most Saturday nights were spent with me, my Netflix account and my dog. So, I threw caution to the wind and decided to give it a try.
It was a process to fix that profile first, and my best friends helped me a lot (the whole bottle of rose was a greater help, to be honest). So, armed with my profile on Tinder and OkCupid, I was ready to go.
You might wonder: why casual dating?
My answer is simple. I had just come out of a long-term relationship and I was aching for a different kind of intimacy, an attachment that wouldn’t exhaust me like a full-blown relationship.
I wanted something light, fun and something came with no strings attached. I was worried at first, but after a bunch of dates, I started feeling quite comfortable with the concept.
Sure, I goofed up hard initially, and learned how awful some people can be, but I also met some really cool people and most importantly, I was—still am—having fun.
I am obviously not the last word when it comes to casual dating (I am still learning), but based on my experiences, here are a few things you need to remember if you want to try this out for yourself:
- Communication is vital
Dating apps have their uses but sometimes they can be a hindrance as well. I know I have put my preferences out into the world and I explicitly mention I am only looking to casually date but the app’s algorithm may not always listen to me.
They may match me with a person who is looking for a serious relationship, especially when not everyone mentions what they are looking for—something long-term or casual?
So, even if they’re charming and good-looking, I need to let them know what Iwant to avoid giving them any false hope. This is crucial because if you and your casual partner are not on the same page, it can become complicated really quick.
- Look outside the box
We all have types, no matter how much we disagree about it, and I am guilty of this too. Before my experiences, I was like, no, I will not date this person because they don’t like dogs.
But with casual dating, it’s okay to step out of your comfort zone every now and then since you are not looking for a long-term partner.
You don’t need to sit down and analyse every last minute of a date when you know you or they are not serious.
And going out with someone not your type can end as a memorable date or you get to have some great sex (or it can end as a disaster, but hey, you’ll still have a great story to tell at the next girls’ night out!).
I met a man from Sweden once, who was only here for a project and then he left, but he was such a cool guy and I gained a friend! The next won’t be as cool as him, but hey, still an experience.
- Walk away if it makes you feel awful
Nothing is more valuable than your self-worth and your wellbeing. So, if a person doesn’t respect you, then don’t bother. Just because you’re not looking for anything serious, doesn’t mean that you let others walk all over you.
Whatever it might be–flaking out on plans or late night booty calls–if they make you feel crummy, used or disrespected, it’s time to cut loose and move on.
I understood that casual date came with casual sex too but it should be something that I and my partner should want, so, if they keep insinuating incessantly or sent you unsolicited images, time to block that Casanova.
- Keeping it real
Feelings are something I cannot control, and I cannot predict who will be interested in me beyond just a casual date, so I have had my share of people saying they want something more from me.
It is common to feel pressured or obligated during such situations, but you have to be firm and compassionate.
You need to be real with them because it saves you the guilt and saves them the hurt. I once met this amazing person who confessed and I do believe that if I was looking for a long-term relationship, we would have been a great match.
But I wasn’t interested and they were going to leave the city soon, so of course, we had to talk it out and cut off ties in an amiable manner.
- Catching feelings
Sometimes, Cupid doesn’t have that great of an aim, and it is normal to develop deeper feelings for your casual partner or FWB. The first thing you do is not run in the opposite direction; you tell the other person, and it might seem a herculean feat, but trust me, it has to be done. If they reciprocate, then awesome!
But if they don’t, then step away because falling for someone who can’t fall for you is just a treasure chest filled with hurt and you don’t need that.
I’m yet to experience as such but looking at a friend, who went on casual dates, and finally found her one while one of her adventures, I’m sort of inclined to believe happy endings can happen with casual dating too.
The best thing about casual dating is that it allows you to explore myriad possibilities without the constraints and responsibilities that a serious relationship comes with.
So, I can assure you that if you do choose to casually date, you will be embarking on quite the educational and exciting adventure.
As long as you remember this primer to casual dating, you are ready to take complete advantage of this concept without cutting back on your self-respect, needs or desires.