Casual dating is the most overused millennial romantic catch-phrase. It’s a bond-free, no strings attached relationship where you go with a flow and explore yourself and other people (yes, in plural).
Sounds fun and games, but the problem is, you need to make sure your understanding of casual dating is correct. You need to be on the same page with your date partners, and that means, first and foremost, getting the basics straight.
What is casual dating?
Casual dating is surrounded by a fair share of myths and prejudices. Most commonly, you’ll face people with the following convictions:
- it’s a no-strings-attached relationship with intimate and sexual relationships;
- it’s a middle ground between friendship and romance — both sides are undecided about the course of the relationship;
- it works only for young people — everyone older than 30 should start seeking commitments.
While all these myths are not born out of anywhere, they are still not correct. If you just assume these things, you can be seriously in the wrongs and hurt both yourself and your partner.
A casual date implies an agreement between two people that the relationship does not include any further commitment. You are not in a relationship. You date other people and go on as many dates as you want. Sex is not necessarily included — it’s a whole different story.
It’s by no means restricted to a particular age. In fact, with experience and maturity, open relationships can become more natural as people are more self-aware.
How to do casually date?
Now that we’ve gotten the term straight, it’s time to go through some DOs and DON’Ts of this sort of dating. Even though freedom lies at the core of the whole principle, there are unwritten rules that you are supposed to know and follow. Otherwise, it’ll be awkward at times — and don’t say we didn’t warn you.
1. Be ready to explore and make these first steps
The first one of casual dating rules is that it is a proactive process. You are not waiting for a prince (or princess) charming to pick you up. The initiative is in your hands. Beginners may have already found this intimidating — but don’t worry. The beauty of online encounters is in risking nothing.
- It doesn’t require you to expose the deepest part of your soul, family background, intimate interests, career ambitions. Your goal is to enjoy the process while it lasts.
- You are accustomed to rejection in no time. Even if you consider yourself the most overthinking and neurotic person you know, responsibility-free interactions will teach you to face rejections with no slaps in the face. The worst that can happen is getting a polite “No”.
- No special creativity required. You can come up with an ice breaker if you want to, but usually, tried-and-proven lines like “Hello! What’s your name?” work best. Even a beginner will easily manage to start a conversation.
2. Start in crowded places
Putting the word “casual” in dating means keeping the whole thing impersonal — at least in the beginning stages. With that said, it’s clear that you want to avoid typical meeting settings like a college, workplace, neighbouring apartments.
Instead, go out and see people outside of your social circle. Our top picks of places for casual datings are:
- Cafes, coffee shops, bars, even malls;
- Parks, gyms, squares — you can jog into your date in the morning;
- Interest meetings, group meetups, conferences (for fancy dates).
You can come up with your ideas based on your activity and interests. The key ingredients are a considerable number of strangers and a comfy place.
3. Keep communication alive
Even though one-time encounters don’t entail a relationship, it doesn’t mean silence is acceptable. Communication is vital for all stages of a relationship, including the very beginning. The success of your bonding activities almost entirely depends on your ability to convey your intention. Loud and clear.
What should you and your partner know about the interaction:
- What is your intention for a relationship? Do you want to date other people, how often do you expect to meet?
- What are your favourite places to go out to?
- What are the deal-breakers and the topics of “no comment”? There are things that you might not want to discuss with the causal date (and several things that you shouldn’t even mention — we’ll get to this in a moment).
- Clear up your definition of casual. Does it include hanging out in each other’s apartments, sex, or other forms of intimacy?
- Financial issues. Typically, everyone pays for themselves but make sure that you are both okay with it.
4. Make it adventurous
The wrongest thing you can do here is expecting the other side to entertain you. It takes two to tango, and it couldn’t be more accurate in this case. If you strive to be surprised, become a surprise yourself. Prepare exotic date locations, come up with breathtaking ideas, and don’t worry about stepping out of the comfort zone.
Here are just some of our ideas on spicing your causal dates up:
- Fun conversations. Discuss your favourite superpowers, least favourite cocktails, viral videos. Come up with a fresh topic for each date. Even if you don’t bring it up, having a killer conversation in your pocket is a plus.
- Use it as a possibility to do something that frightens you. Come up with a list of 10-15 things that you always wanted to do and start crossing them off with your date’s help. You can even exchange lists — now that’s a fun bonding idea.
- Social media can be an inspiration. If you found a date picture on your feed that got you longing for the same experience, go ahead and recreate it.
5. Casually date in a secret
This one is controversial, but it has proven to work. In reality, there is little to no point in telling people that you are meeting people. It’s supposed to have no consequences — and humans are wired towards expectations.
The moment you tell your friends or family about a casual encounter, it ceases to be casual. This, of course, depends on your relationship with loved ones, but usually, that’s how it is.
Additionally, that’s how you protect yourself from unsolicited judgments and evaluations. Keeping little secrets also makes the overall experience feels more like a game and less like a commitment — and that’s the point.
6. Avoid getting caught up in types and expectations
Embrace being easy-going about your relationship and loosen up. Your mindset here is not to choose a mother or father of your children but, first and foremost, get to know yourself. In the process, you will learn a lot about your partner as well. Still, meeting people should be primarily about discovering your own needs, desires, and priorities.
Embracing different types of partners helps to discover your hidden passions and interests. People with various backgrounds and interests will take you out on different dates. Limiting yourself to the same type, you’ll also be confined to a similar romantic experience all the time.
7. Don’t regard casually dating as a bridge to a serious relationship
It’s not a stage or a way to get to know a person. If you feel like you are falling in love with your partner and want a continuation, go ahead and speak up. Otherwise, you risk sinking in the never-ending sea of expectations, and it might take a while till you crawl a way back out.
When you are breaking out news of the desire of a deeper connection, you have to understand that the answer will most likely be negative. Getting into this kind of encounters, both you and your partner knew exactly want you were signing up to. Still, you should speak up.
Similarly, if you feel that your partner might be taking your connection too far, you should politely voice your concerns. Don’t be afraid to hurt some feelings in the process — in the end, everyone wins. Even though shuttering expectations are painful, it’ll be only worse if left unaddressed.
8. Adapt a rehearsal mindset
Since casual dating, as we already cleared up, is not supposed to cross the line of becoming a relationship, you shouldn’t treat it as such. However, you don’t give up on the hope of getting a relationship one day, do you? That’s why it makes a perfect sense to treat your dates as practice sessions for the moment when you start building a real bond.
Training sessions, in sports, music, or dance, are a way to train your muscle and build up a technique. That’s precisely the approach that you should be going for.
Here are our main tips for developing and applying this mentality to actual dates.
- Before each date, develop a clear to-do list. These goals should not concern your partner. Even if another person doesn’t behave in a way that you’d expect, your ambitions should remain intact.
- Develop different skills. You can dedicate each meeting to flexing a muscle. On one date, you practice being an active listener, on another — try making jokes.
- Observe your partner and see what you can learn. Ask yourself: “What did I like about that behaviour? What, on the other hand, seemed out of place, and why?” If you analyze each date from a learning perspective, your experience will become much more fun.
How to avoid seeming pushy
That list of questions is rather long, isn’t it? The first date is not Oprah’s interview, which means, bombarding your partner with all these inquiries is not an appropriate approach. That’s where we should use the mighty power of context.
- Start throw suggestions in a laid-back tone and monitor the reaction. What do you say if we do something? Start with basic things like exchanging mobile numbers and keep digging deeper as you go.
- Don’t expect to have all the answers during your first date.
- Provide your answers and perspectives. The best way to initiate sharing is to share first.
Start with online services
Congrats, now you know casual dating’s meaning and are armed with ground rules. Now, the main question is, where to start? The answer is simple: online services. Actually, apps and websites might be the healthiest places for no-strings-attached encounters.
Why is casual dating best to start with online services?
An entirely new social circle. You meet people within your location radius but not within your actual reach. You might never run into your date otherwise, but with the service, you’ll meet quickly.
Transparency. On your profile, you can specify your expectations from a relationship, romantic background, interests.
People know the rules. If people took the time to register an account on the online dating service, they are also more likely to take a look at expert advice.
A ready mean for communication. Now you can forget the hustle with getting a phone number — you already have access to a profile and a built-in chat for further communication.
Why use Pure?
For one thing, Pure’s functionality and interface are perfectly adapted to casual dating, although the service encourages committed relationships as well. This service is oriented on keeping the entire experience fun and fresh, which is exactly what you want from romantic interactions. This is much more effective than on sites like new Craigslist Personal.
Additional benefits include:
- Rich selection — more than 300, 000 active users make Pure one of the most popular online dating services in the US;
- Attention to privacy. All dialogues disappear in an hour so no one can peek at messages.
- No ghosting. You have an hour to talk things through. As soon as 60 minutes have come by, a live meeting is the next step.
- Web service and mobile app for Android and iOS — you can keep up with your date from any device.
Join Pure and start dating
Really, the only reason why you are not into one-time encounters yet is that there always seems to be a good excuse. Whatever reasons you had for delaying your adventures, it’s time to set them aside. After all, you have nothing to lose, and everything to gain. We promise it will be fun.