Remember the good old time when people used to marry their high school sweethearts? Well, that time has passed, and by the looks of it, it’s not coming back any time soon. Nowadays, the average marriage age for men and women is 28 and 30, respectively.
Daters and people looking for love and life partners are taking longer to settle down because they have a long list of requirements. Both parties like to turn every stone before settling down with one partner.
Casual dating is the seed of this school of thought, where daters go out with multiple partners and date casually to explore their options, requirements, and sexual needs.
When dating casually, there is hardly any stress or pressure to maintain the relationship; if you don’t like your current dating partner, you can stop seeing him without the usual drama of breaking up and mourning over losing the love of your life.
Although. Casual dating is way easier, but it still comes with a few headaches that need to be addressed. If you are thinking of starting casual dating, you need to know the many rules of casual dating. One can’t enter a casual relationship without knowing what it has in store for you.
The biggest question surrounding casual dating is how long you should casually date someone. How long before they get bored or you get bored, how long before it turns into something serious, or how long before you or your partner quits. There are too many questions surrounding this how-long question.
Well, there is no straight answer to this seemingly simple question. Casual dating comes with a lot of struggles. One has to be prepared for all if one wants to taste the fruits of casual dating. There are risks in every relationship, with casual dating, there are many risks that you may not see immediately, but they can be dangerous for your sanity. Before diving into how long you should casually date someone, you should know the many risks that surround the remarkable phenomenon of casual dating.
How Long Should it be?
There are no rules to this; it can go on for months or end in a few weeks; it depends on how it’s working out. If the relationship is working great for you, keep at it for years, and if it’s not, end it on the first date. However, if you are looking for love or a future, keep your casual relationships as short as possible.
Casual Dating Risks
If casual dating goes on for a long time, many risks may develop. Here are some of the few you should be aware of before taking it longer than you should.
1. Romantic Feelings
To keep emotions at bay when you are sexually involved with your partner is very hard. You can only date when you have full control over your feelings. If you have just come off an abusive or toxic relationship, cool off before trying to casual date.
There is no room for emotional attachments when you are casual dating. Your partner doesn’t need any baggage. Hence they chose to casual date. Your budding relationship will bring nothing but more heartbreak for you.
There is always a chance of your partner developing feelings for you. If they leave you without telling, it’s hard since you will feel you did something wrong. Or if they tell you and you don’t feel the same, it will fill you with guilt for hurting your partner. There is always a risk of emotional attachment and its many consequences.
A lot can be lost in communication if you aren’t clear with your partner about what you want or what they need. It can be potentially dangerous as well. Imagine you telling your partner that you aren’t looking for an intimate relationship, but they don’t get what you mean due to poor communication. To them, a casual relationship implies sex.
At the end of the day, when the demand comes, you don’t supply. This can provoke an unjustified attack on your being. If you are entering a casual relationship, have clear communication. Spell out everything you want from the relationship and let your partner know all the boundaries.
4. Lack of emotions and Consideration
With long-term casual dating, one can become selfish. Inconsiderate as well as dismissive of other people’s emotions. Since casual dating has no usual pressures, there is no keeping the partner’s expectations; most daters can become highly self-centered.
Many embark on the casual dating journey only to look for a serious relationship. The fact that they aren’t completely honest with themselves as well as their partners says a lot about what kind of a person they are
6. Sexually Transmitted diseases
Since there are too many partners to count, there is a considerable risk of STDs when casually dating. There is no exclusivity in casual dating. You can’t expect your partner to stay loyal to you and not have any other partners. This is the essence of casual dating, to have more than one partner. And since sex is a huge part of casual dating, you can imagine that your partner isn’t sexually active with the other people they are seeing.
Although there is no room for emotions in casual dating, there are times when you start getting those romantic feelings for your partner. This is okay, you can move on and leave your partner, but you can’t get jealous of other people they might be seeing. This is the most important rule of casual dating. There is a high risk of jealousy if you start getting romantic feelings for your casual partner. Know that there is a huge chance they might not share the same feelings. This can lead to massive heartbreak and a bad self-image.
Tips For turning Casual Dating into Serious Dating
Before we discuss how long should your casual dating period last, we need to jot dot how you can make it last as long as possible to enjoy it to the fullest. Besides sex, the whole point of casual dating is to have a fun partner with whom you can enjoy life without any pressure, expectations, and stress. Here are some tips to help you make your casual relationship last longer and better.
1. Be Clear
As we have mentioned earlier, being clear and having boundaries is all you need to make your relationship last longer. There are many grey areas in casual dating; you’d want to stay clear of those areas just to avoid conflicts with your partner. The only way you can stay clear is by being honest with yourself and your partner.
First, figure out what you are looking for. Second, find a partner who shares the same ideology about casual dating as you do. Most people casually date without being clear about what they need. Some days they are looking for sex; some days, they aren’t.
This isn’t how things work. You need to know what you want to spell out to your partner. If you’re confused, your partner will also stay confused, and this won’t be a healthy casual dating experience. It’s very off-putting to have a partner who doesn’t even know their own needs.
2. Think Before Proposing
There are times when you are casually dating, and both partners develop romantic feelings for each other, this is rare, but it does happen. For the time being, you will feel like this is the best thing ever, and you would want to move to a serious relationship immediately, but hold your horses!
The relationship feels perfect and magical because it’s casual; there are no responsibilities, no expectations, and no duties towards your casual partner. Once you think about going serious, the usual pressures of a serious relationship will be added to the lot. Will you be able to handle that after such a perfect casual relationship?
If you think you have found the perfect partner and your ideal partner also shares the same feeling, relax, calm down and take one step at a time. Don’t rush into a relationship that may or may not work.
3. Red Flags – Run When You See one
Humans are naive; more than that, they are hopeful. Most people, when they see a red flag, go into denial. Generally, this happens when they like their partner or when they have no better option. We emotionally depend on our relationships so much that even with clear red flags, we keep on with it.
If you have a potential partner if you think this casual relationship can turn into a real one, list down all the red flags. These evaluations will help you see if this one is the right one or not. There is a big difference between thinking this is the right one now and this is the right one for life.
4. Imagine the Future
Before you jump into a serious relationship with your casual dating partner, sit and imagine your future with them. A long and serious contemplation of your future with your current partner will help you see things very clearly.
If the future you are seeing doesn’t look appealing, there is no point in making it a serious relationship. Why get into something that you know will not last long?
5. You Come First
The last thing people do in a relationship of any kind is put themselves first. But with a casual relationship, you can practice this one thing solely. No matter how big or small the issue is, you put yourself first. Your needs, ideas, suggestions, your happiness comes first. If your partner is good with this, pursue the relationship and move to the serious step.
6. Start Hitting Subtly
If you have been dating someone casually for a long time and aren’t sure how this relationship is going, try subtly hinting at how you should proceed. This will help you get a clear picture of what your partner wants.
If weeks go by and your partner isn’t taking the hints, you should sit them down and have a serious chat about the future and how things should go forward. Don’t waste your precious time on casual dating when you can date the right person and build a future.
Many a time, you might develop feelings for your partner, but there is a chance the feelings might not be mutual. How do you know? How can you make the judgment call that your partner doesn’t share the same feelings without letting them know how you are feeling. If you aren’t ready to disclose your feelings but need to know how your casual partner is feeling, here are some signs he isn’t interested in the dating scene and wants to keep things casual.
7. They Keep Telling You How Good the Casual Dating Scene Is
This is as clear as it gets; when your partner keeps claiming that casual dating is the eBay thing ever, there is no chance for the serious thing ever happening, not with you at least.
This doesn’t mean you aren’t good enough for them to date you seriously; this only means they don’t want a serious relationship as they are very happy with the casual relationship you guys have.
8. Lack of Meaningful Dates
You know when in a relationship the girl or the guy puts crazy effort in making a date go great, they buy tickets and flowers and plan a beautiful meal, yeah? Well, casual daters don’t do that because they want to make it serious. So, if your casual partner isn’t planning any meaningful dates, this is a sign enough to tell you they want to keep things casual just the way they are.
9. Lack of Meeting with family and close friends
Casual dating and family don’t mix. The most important rule of casual dating is to keep your casual partner as far away from your family and friends as possible. It gets confusing when you keep taking your casual date to family gatherings; this gives them the wrong idea. If your partner never takes you near his family or close friends, they want to keep things casual.
Don’t get false hopes about a serious future or a ring. No matter how good you guys are in bed, if they aren’t taking you to meet the family even as a fun trip, it’s not happening.
10. Lack of Deep Conversations
Compatible partners talk about everything from kids to stocks to family gossip. If these are missing from your relationship, this means your partner doesn’t want to get serious and is happy with the casual relationship.
Casual partners stay away from deep conversations; this isn’t just their jam. They aren’t in the relationship to talk about their past, their love, or what they want in their future partner. They are in it to have fun.