I hear people saying they are in casual relationships or they are looking for something casual.
This begs the question: what is the point of casual dating?
Usually, people look for something serious, hopefully, a life-term commitment. Something “casual” is far from that, so why would someone opt for it?
Well, there are different reasons people choose casual dating. Some are personal, while others are basically to enjoy the dating experience.
This post covers the point of casual dating and sheds more light on why some people opt for it.
Without further ado, let’s get started!
Understanding The Meaning of Casual Dating
If you ask around, there are different definitions of casual dating depending on the people you come across.
However, one thing remains constant. A casual relationship does not progress along the traditional relationship path. There is no intention of a long-term commitment. Two people get together and agree to have fun dating without the possibility of something more.
So we can say that casual dating refers to a romantic relationship with a lower commitment and less emotional investment. It also tends to mean nonexclusive.
This means that all parties involved can enjoy every aspect of traditional dating. Spend time together, get intimate, and do any other thing that comes with dating.
Which begs another question: how do parties to a casual relationship maintain less-to-zero emotional investment?
It’s our emotions that make us humans, and the more time you spend with a person, the more you get attached emotionally.
Emotional intimacy makes other kinds of intimacy more rewarding. This means for a casual relationship to be as fun as it’s intended to be, there are a lot of emotions involved. So you can’t define it based on less emotional involvement.
I would say the line between “casual” and “traditional” dating is the level of commitment. In addition, it has to do with whether or not you want the other person in your future life. If both of you know it’s temporary, and you are doing it for fun for as long as it lasts, then that’s casual.
You don’t include someone in your life decisions. Better still, you don’t make life decisions with them in mind. You don’t take responsibility for their well-being outside of your interactions.
When you take it like that, it doesn’t suck as much. After all, who said dating must lead to a life-term commitment?
You might not be ready, and that’s where casual dating comes in to give you the whole dating package experience without caring about commitments.
What is the Point of Casual Dating?
Now that we have a better understanding of casual dating, what’s the point?
There are so many stereotypes when it comes to casual dating. Even with the evolution in dating, some people are still against it, especially those who hold monogamy so dear.
The thing is, with casual dating, you are allowed to be polyamorous because you are not exclusive and committed to anyone.
Side note: Polyamorous means you can have several romantic partners at once.
This goes against every rule of traditional dating, making it hard to come to terms with the idea of casual dating.
Wouldn’t casual dating be a waste of time?
I mean, why would you put your efforts into knowing someone for nothing? It’s not for nothing. If you forget all the negative connotations and keep an open mind, you will understand the point of casual dating.
Allow me to share my thoughts.
The point of casual dating is to have fun
If we are being honest, traditional dating comes with a lot of responsibilities. And unless you are a hundred percent ready for it, you can’t handle it.
The fear of commitment and everything else in traditional dating scares some people away.
Some of them think about the whole thing and opt out before it even starts. And even when they gain the courage to say “yes” to exclusive relationships, they don’t enjoy them.
That fear already clogged their judgment and sense of enjoyment.
Casual dating allows enjoying dating without having to handle the baggage that comes with traditional dating. Your responsibilities are limited to the direct interactions with those involved, so you have less on your plate.
You have fun with an open mind and allow yourself to experience what those in exclusive or traditional relationships experience.
The only limit in casual dating is no commitment, which can be a good or bad thing. But again, it’s the only limit, so you can do everything else, including getting intimate with the other person.
If you want to have all the fun in your casual dating experience, go for someone who wants the same things as you. What I mean is that someone may be open to the idea of casual dating, but their goals contradict yours.
In such a case, you won’t have the fun you desire. That’s why it’s advisable to talk about everything and see if you are on the same page with the person involved.
Also, you diversify your dating life
Some agree to see other people while dating casually. This way, you meet new people, bond, and have fun together.
As you interact with others, you learn their beliefs, values, and what makes them special. Who knows? You might even borrow a thing or two from them.
So basically, you diversify your dating life. And even when you opt for exclusivity in your casual relationship, you still get to diversify your life.
Casual relationships are enjoyed for as long as they last. So they are not permanent. This means you will be done with one person and proceed to know another when you decide to end a relationship.
Actually, when you overstay in a relationship, it starts deviating from being casual. So, whether you are practicing polyamory or monogamy in your casual relationships, you still get to diversify your dating life.
It warms up the idea of dating and connecting with someone
Not everyone who gets into casual dating plans to stay there forever. As I said, some opt for it because the idea of dating scares them away.
When such a person tries casual dating, it warms them up for the actual thing. It gives them time to overcome their fears and realize that it isn’t as complicated as they thought.
Again, we battle things in our lives that affect how we see things in general. Some people prefer getting into casual dating as they battle their demons. Believe it or not, companionship can help you survive a life-threatening ordeal.
And since casual dating gives you that, why not? Some of these people come out victorious and ready for something serious.
So you see, casual dating is not all about the negative attitude and energy people associate it with.
Another thing is that it’s a good option for those who feel they need more time before getting into something serious.
If you think about it, it’s like having a piece of your cake. This way, you taste the flavors and decide whether you like them. And if you don’t, there is an option to make the necessary changes in your favor.
It alleviates the pressure in life
You don’t have to capitulate to the pressure of commitments, especially if you are not ready.
One definition of commitment is the state of being dedicated to an activity or cause. The other meaning is an obligation that restricts your actions and freedom.
Going by definition alone, you can see the pressure that comes with commitment. You are obligated to do something, so you must do it. Also, dedication comes with a lot of pressure and discipline.
That’s what you experience in a committed relationship. Just because we choose to commit doesn’t mean it’s all roses. It’s the good that outweighs the pressure, so we feel we can handle it.
However, if you don’t feel ready for it, you can’t do it no matter how perfect the other person is. You see, relationships come with responsibilities, so you must be intentional for them to survive. It is also mutual, so you can’t rely on one person to drive it.
Since casual dating means zero commitment, there is no pressure to carry someone’s burden or navigate the hurdles of serious commitment.
Besides, there may be other things in your life that are pressuring. It may be work, finances, or even family. With all that pressure in your life, you don’t want to add dating unless you are ready to handle it.
Again, having something laid back can help alleviate all these pressures and make your life easier.
Why Do People Opt for Casual Dating?
Casual dating has its benefits. Some we’ve already covered, but there is more to it. And that’s why some people prefer it.
Some of its benefits include:
- Companionship. You get someone to spend your time with and have fun with.
- It’s fun; the point of casual dating is to have all the fun in the world.
- You enjoy the benefits of being in a relationship with less or zero commitment.
- You can date as many people as you want.
- You experiment on dating.
- Intimacy with those involved if you agree to it.
It also helps in your dating journey as you interact with people, learn their personalities, and compare compatibility. This way, you know what to go for when you are ready to settle down.
How Long Should You Casually Date Someone?
How long depends on several things.
I have seen casual relationships last longer than serious ones. Others last a week or end as soon as they start.
Though a casual relationship can last as long as those involved want it’s not casual anymore when it lasts too long.
You’ve heard of relationships that started as casual and progressed to serious long-term commitments.
Some casual daters even get married!
A casual relationship can also progress as casual for a year or more. But though those involved will be stubborn to admit it’s no longer casual, feelings are involved at this time.
You can’t stay close to someone all that time without growing attached unless you are a robot. I don’t buy the idea of casual dating for more than six months. That’s long enough, considering the rule of thumb is three months.
When it extends, parties start developing feelings and feeling entitled. Before you know it, there are responsibilities, and you are emotionally invested, so it’s basically a relationship, but you don’t want to call it that.
So, how long should casual relationships last? About three months, and if it’s more, not past six months.
But this depends on things like:
Your reason for dating casually
Why did you choose casual dating in the first place? People get into it for different reasons.
Maybe you are not ready for a commitment, or you’re battling things in your life, and you feel it’s not fair to burden someone with your issues.
You might also be experimenting or simply having fun. Your reason will affect the duration you take to date someone casually.
Compatibility with the other person
You might want it to last a long time, but you are incompatible with the other person.
Compatibility is crucial in any relationship.
So, if you are not compatible, it will end before it starts.
If you’ve achieved your objective
What was your objective? To have fun or experiment with love. These are some of the reasons people date casually.
Immediately after achieving your objective, there is no reason to continue the relationship.
So how long also depends on whether you’ve achieved what you hoped for.
Your agreement with the person involved
As weird as it may sound, some people agree on the duration of their dating experience.
You decide you want to have fun together for a month. So you do everything intended for that duration, and when you’ve ticked everything off your list, you part ways.
Wrapping Up: Is it Worth it?
Some people consider casual dating a waste of time. Others think it’s a cowardly move because you are afraid of the responsibilities.
They might be right. But isn’t it better to take your time because you are afraid instead of getting into something serious and costing the other person their happiness? I think it’s selfish to get into a serious relationship when you know you are not ready.
Actually, I consider that a cowardly move because you are not brave enough to accept that you aren’t ready and work on it.
But why pursue something that leads nowhere? Is it worth it?
It’s worth it if you maximize the opportunity and achieve your objectives. Besides, it warms the idea of dating, whether you intend it or not.