Relationship Status: It’s complicated?
Dating has taken all new types and forms in the last few years and describing what kind of dating you are into has become harder than ever. The relationship status “It’s complicated” has never been more factual than it is right now.
From friends with benefits, exclusively dating to open relationships, the dating world seems to be more complex than just the courtships and boyfriend-girlfriends relationships of the past.
However, with this drawback comes a whole set of advantages like more options when it comes to dating styles and easier laying out of expectations for both you and the person you are dating.
One of the more popular types of dating we frequently hear about is casual dating. Casual dating is a term used to describe a sexual or non-sexual relationship wherein both parties are interested in getting to know each other through dates but without the commitment, exclusivity, pressure of taking the next step and the promises that romantic relationships usually come with.
Casual dating is not automatically and necessarily “romantic” in nature but there is a possibility of it blossoming into a fully commited romantic relationship since it involves getting to know each other personally outside of the bedroom, as opposed to say a no-strings-attached relationship where the basis of the existence of the relationship is 99% sexual.
Most casual daters report to find their match/es online, surprisingly not in a bar. Because of the steady popularity of online dating, companies found ways to profit from and answer this need of people to connect more casually with dating or flirting apps like Tinder.
This trend is becoming more and more apparent in Canada, where there is now “a classier Tinder” app (their words, not ours) called Hinge that connects you only to friends of your friends, based on your qualifications of a potential dream date, just like the way a real friend would set you up with someone. They said this measure increases the chance of compatibility.
There is also the more established AdultFriendFinder, which is explicitly for those seeking out like-minded sexual partners. Also in Canada, there is a new app that matches Canadians with Americans looking to escape/flee their country in case of a Donald Trump presidency!
How’s that for motivation to date?
Whatever app you are using, if you are considering trying out casual dating, here are three rules that coud help you “keep it casual”.
Better Safe than Sorry
When meeting up for a casual date, especially with a person you just met online, you cannot be too trusting. He is not always what his profile, Google or Facebook says he is. She might be a decoy to get you alone at a place you are not familiar with. Anyone, even those who look like Leonardo Di Carpio, could be criminals, too. (Case in point: Catch me if you Can)
Let some people know about your whereabouts and what time you are expected to come home. Meet up with your date at a place where there are lots of people especially for a first date and always put safety first.
Oh, and this is purely common sense but just as a reminder, safe sex is sacred!
Casual dating wouldn’t be so casual with a pregnancy complication (or an STD scare), would it?
“Expect for the worst and hope for the best” is not only not applicable to casual dating but also the worst rule when it comes to relationships in general.
Expecting for the worse will lower your standards and make you feel like you’ve hit the jackpot even when you are with the most mediocre person you could meet. Hoping for the best will most likely break your heart harder and make you appear clingy to the average casual dater. The key phrase and cardinal rule of casual dating is this -“No expectations”.
You do not expect for anything to go right or wrong, you just enjoy the moment and stay or leave whenever you want. You also get to set mutually agreed upon rules with your date early on because you are both open to define the terms of the relationship together and do not have the baggage of preexisting expectations and assumptions.
When it comes to casual dating, publicity is always a bad thing. There should always be discretion from both camps in letting the world know about the relationship. That said, relationship statuses even if it says “It’s complicated” should not be declared to the world.
And meeting the parents? That one’s a definite NO. What would your date say when your mom asks the two of you when are you getting married or worse, when are you going to give her grandkids. Oh, you will melt like popsicles in a desert during summer.
Introducing your date to your parents and family, probably with traditional values, is a clear sign that you want her to become part of the family in the future. Where’s no pressure in that?
Meeting the friends and some group dates are allowable but not when everybody else is part of a couple, too.
You won’t need to do the “front porch test” to a person you’re just “casually dating” anyway, right?
So there you have it, be safe, be discrete, do not expect and just enjoy the ride! Have fun. Isn’t that what being casual’s really all about?