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What are your thoughts on and experiences with casual dating?


Guest Anonymous
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Guest Anonymous

Hi everyone,

I wanted to ask what are your thoughts on dating people casually. Have you had experience with it? What was it like?

I'm asking cause I'm at a time where I'm feeling like having fun and going on dates without being committed to anyone. I'm just not into that until a year+. But I'd like to date carefully and casually, have fun, and learn about myself & men in general. I've not done that before, so it's foreign territory for me.

Also, how would you go about it/approach it? Mens' opinions are appreciated too!

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Guest Anonymous
2 minutes ago, Guest Anonymous said:

I'm asking cause I'm at a time where I'm feeling like having fun and going on dates without being committed to anyone. learn about myself & men in general.

What exactly do you mean by casual dating? Hookups? No strings sex? FWB? 

Do you mean hanging out as friends? Is so that's not dating either. You'll have to decide exactly what you wish to pursue. 

As long as you are clear on your 'fun and no commitment' approach without leading anyone on, it's fine.

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Guest Anonymous

Casual dating is a type of relationship between people who go on dates and spend time together in an ongoing way without the expectation of entering into a long-term, committed relationship. Casually dating someone usually means you like them enough to want to hang out with them regularly but are either not ready for a serious relationship or just don't want one, whether that's in general or just with this person in particular. 

The above.

And, it would include occasional sex.

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54 minutes ago, Guest Anonymous said:

Hi everyone,

I wanted to ask what are your thoughts on dating people casually. Have you had experience with it? What was it like?

I'm asking cause I'm at a time where I'm feeling like having fun and going on dates without being committed to anyone. I'm just not into that until a year+. But I'd like to date carefully and casually, have fun, and learn about myself & men in general. I've not done that before, so it's foreign territory for me.

Also, how would you go about it/approach it? Mens' opinions are appreciated too!

Dating casually almost always ends up with someone having stronger feelings if it continues long enough so just be respectful of one another and end it if you’re no longer on the same page. Be honest with those you’re seeing whether exclusive or non-exclusive. 

I’ve never set out for something like this. It was the tone or chemistry at the time and then I realized I didn’t like the person. Oops. 

Good luck. 

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Guest Anonymous
1 hour ago, Guest Anonymous said:

Casually dating someone usually means you like them enough to want to hang out with them regularly but are either not ready for a serious relationship or just don't want one, whether that's in general or just with this person in particular. 

Ok. How do you know you won't like them more than FWB? 

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I dated casually  once.  Meaning I knew I was just out of a relationship and really wasn’t looking for anything serious. Not as a focus. I met K through a print personal ad. We were in our late 20s. He was a very good person and ambitious and successful like me - relative to our ages.  We went on dates once a week for the first couple of months. Dinner, movies , etc. he was a gentleman. I wasn’t that attracted to him and he was very shy.  And very smart. Kind of stiff as far as conversation but we both had a good time on dates.  We spoke once a week by phone. Pre internet and cell phones. 
After a few months he introduced me to his friends and I introduced him to some of mine. All was good. We really didn’t talk about the future. We moved very slowly physically- - some kissing etc.

after about 6 months I made a mistake.I was very very stressed studying for an important grad school exam. I met him for a movie after a review course. I was exhausted. He would send me home by taxi from his neighborhood (I lived right outside the city and he lived in). We went to see the movie Speed lol.  I asked him if I could stay over - I was so out of it from being tired I didn’t realize he thought I meant sex. Understandably !!  So I went home with him and he started trying and I said no. He stopped. Very polite. I left the next morning. He called me and we talked about it. He was really good about it and I apologized for leading him on/creating the awkwardness.  After that we had a talk about “us”

.  He said he was thinking that he wasn’t sure we had a future etc. no it was not because I said no to sex. At all - I’d told him if we ever got serious it was a possibility. we both knew we liked each other but not enough. Also my friend found a personal ad that described him to a T. He insisted it wasn’t him and was shocked to see it. It really didn’t matter. We were casual. 
Within the year he met his future wife. We stayed in touch for a bit - long enough - sigh - for him to royally mess up a friend’s roommate situation. Sigh. 
upshot - all told it was fine. Would not have been fine if we’d been having sec as I didn’t do casual sex. Neither did he basically.  It was fine because we had a nice time on dates and we didn’t lead each other on other than my bad mistake. 
I don’t think having multiple sex partners is casual dating. I don’t think multi dating is casual dating of the person is doing so to try to meet the right  person.  I multi dated a lot. 

Edited by Batya33
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1 hour ago, Guest Anonymous said:

Ok. How do you know you won't like them more than FWB? 

I don’t think casual dating is the same as a sexual arrangement.  To me FWB are two people who are already good friends deciding to have sex when they feel like it. That’s not dating. 

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I think it’s absolutely fine to date casually as long as you are both on the same page and it’s made clear from the outset that you don’t want anything serious, otherwise you could end up hurting people as they will feel as though they’ve been led on

But yeah if you’re open and honest about it there’s no harm in having a bit of fun :)

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Guest Anonymous

Thank you. Anything I should look out for? Like, some red flags?

Edited by DarkCh0c0
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"Casually" means without commitment. Meaning that, for example, you can see somebody even multiple times without commiting to each other. Its good for people who from some reason dont want to commit. For example some people are either not commiting type or afraid of one or dont want to commit currently as they are fresh out of relationship or from some other reason. Or would just want to casually date you just to have somebody, while they chase somebody else for something more. You will hardly get anything bigger out of that. 

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Don't think "without commitment" is the defining feature. Because it is common not to be exclusive in the early phases of dating.

I think the defining feature is a mutual understanding that one or more parties are not looking for anything serious or alternatively not ready for a relationship or just looking to have fun or a similar type of disclaimer which is made close to the outset. 

Not sure it works in practice because I think it is difficult to spend a lot of time with someone (or feel motivated to spend a lot of time with someone) without someone developing feelings especially as there will be physical intimacy which can scramble emotions. 

This can result in time inconsistency so even if at the outset both parties were happy with the arrangement over time one party will want more and find it difficult to walk away so will instead hope the other person ends up wanting more. 

And it is also easy to fall into a relationship by default as you get used to each other and are comfortable with each other and are sleeping together so even without meaning to you prioritize that person over new prospects. Especially as dating new people is exhausting and most dates are a chore and go nowhere so it is easier to stick with the bird in hand rather than continuing to look in the bushes. 

So it becomes some sort of security blanket that you wear until you are ready to discard it and try to meet someone you have long term potential with. And you get a lot of the benefits of having a boyfriend/girlfriend but without any responsibility or commitment and it is a lot easier to break it off without feeling guilty.

So lots of potential traps. I think to give it the best chance of working you need a lot of discipline with some potential ground rules:

-See each other no more than once a week and try to avoid daily texting 

-Continue dating new people 

-Make sure that you actually "date". Too many quiet nights in or lazy Sunday mornings and it becomes too couply. 

-Be honest with yourself and the other person. If you are starting to catch feelings do not suppress or deny them and decide whether it is better to walk away or confess to the other person and see if they feel the same way and want to change course. 

 

 

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, DarkCh0c0 said:

When they ask me out? Or when I'm on the first date?

That depends. Some people like to put their goals before or after. First dates are mostly just getting to know each other. There is no need to define anything when lots of your first dates may just end there. However, if you want more after that, it would be wise to properly define those things so the other side would know what to expect. For example would you be OK with you or other side dating other people or do you just want "no strings attached" at first before you get to know each other.

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2 hours ago, DarkCh0c0 said:

@Kwothe28 @CariadCymruwhen do you think it's a good idea to mention that I'm not looking for something serious?

When they ask me out? Or when I'm on the first date?

As soon as possible because typically general goals are discussed within the first few dates.  I would have wanted to know within the first few dates but I always found a way to bring up general life goals.  No need at all to define anything specifically - for example on a first date in my early 20s he told me he didn't see himself getting married till at least 30 years old.  (He proposed to me a few years later, I decined -we each married in our 40s and both married men lol ). 

At 23 this wasn't a dealbreaker to me but even back then he knew I'd just been engaged and kind of wanted to set things clearly.

Edited by Batya33
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1 hour ago, jazz_lover said:

I think the defining feature is a mutual understanding that one or more parties are not looking for anything serious or alternatively not ready for a relationship or just looking to have fun or a similar type of disclaimer which is made close to the outset. 

That's exactly where I'm at and how I'd express it. Not looking for anything serious or a relationship. Thanks for laying down some safe points. I thought the same thing about these boundaries. And I really am not looking for a relationship, so I'd be really careful to guard my heart and keep a distance. But at the same time, I'd like to practice discipline and learn about others and myself/my triggers.

@Batya33 @Kwothe28 @Wiseman2I appreciate your advice. So if someone asks me out, I don't need to mention anything until the conversation is up? Just take it easy, enjoy it, and if the talk is up- most probably it will be at some point- then I can mention I'm not looking for anything serious?

I don't want to mislead anyone. That's the key thing.

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6 minutes ago, DarkCh0c0 said:

I appreciate your advice. So if someone asks me out, I don't need to mention anything until the conversation is up? Just take it easy, enjoy it, and if the talk is up- most probably it will be at some point- then I can mention I'm not looking for anything serious?

I don't want to mislead anyone. That's the key thing.

That's very thoughtful of you.  It depends how you meet -if through an online dating site and you choose someone who on their profile says potentially serious relationship then be up front in the first message (some people might write that but might be open to casual dating) -otherwise if nothing is said then yes it's fine to wait and just be careful about your actions - don't introduce to parents or take the person to a family event (unless you make it clear -this is a family wedding -do you want to be my plus one? I just don't feel like going alone so it would be more fun if you came).  

If you have sex, make it clear you might have sex with someone else, or have, that it won't be monogamous.  If it will focus on the monogamy aspect -STD testing, informing each other if there are multiple partners on the horizon, etc.

I never had casual dating that included sex.  Yes, in the gray area once of getting back together with someone we were sexually active - and monogamous -and dating others.  Not a great idea but we thought we didn't mean the sex "casually" as we were thinking of getting back together (and eventually we did).  But I never included sex with casual dating.  Some fooling around, etc but not full on sex.  If you do that's fine -you do you - but I can't speak to any complications if sex is added in.

Can't speak to triggers/learning about yourself or discipline -had nothing to do with why I dated casually the couple of times I did.  Not even sure what that would have to do with it or why a casual dating partner would be involved in your self-exploration.

Edited by Batya33
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I think it is fairer to make the disclaimer early on rather than waiting for the person to develop feelings and bring up exclusivity/seriousness then. Obviously online dating you can simply make the disclaimer on your profile or in the initial emails/texts ask them what they are looking for on the site. Otherwise I think first date as one of the usual first date "interview" questions you can simply ask them what they are looking for. 

Leave it too late though and that question will be misinterpreted as "where are things going?"  which will feel like pressure and scare some people off. 

 

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5 hours ago, DarkCh0c0 said:

@Kwothe28 @CariadCymruwhen do you think it's a good idea to mention that I'm not looking for something serious?

When they ask me out? Or when I'm on the first date?

Mention it whenever it’s appropriate. There’s no rule for this. 

All this analysis does make one wonder whether you’re setting out to protect your heart or prevent yourself from falling in love. Why not go with the flow or don’t bother with relationships if you’re not feeling sure at the moment? 

I also wonder at the 1~ year time range. Why that specific amount of time? Is it because you plan to move elsewhere? 

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@Rose Mosseit's just not to mislead people. It's foreign territory for me, but I do think I would go with the flow while being straightforward. I'm not even using a dating app... Just going with what comes up.

1 year at least because I want to be single that much and yes I'm moving to another country within a year.

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15 minutes ago, DarkCh0c0 said:

I'm moving to another country within a year.

All you need to do is mention this. It means there will be a definitive end and no future without having to corner yourself into any particular label.

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