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What are your thoughts on and experiences with casual dating?


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2 hours ago, DarkCh0c0 said:

@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.

That makes sense. If it comes up in conversation I'd remain open minded but clarify only that you're moving soon within a year or two. I wouldn't box this into a casual situation right from the start. The other person can decide later on whether they want to keep seeing you too. You don't have to take on the whole burden of it. 

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All dating is casual until you've built enough of a connection to want to be exclusive. 

Casually dating around, to me means that I will go out with different guys on dates here and there, see what they are like. Some maybe I'll see more than once or twice, but mostly, it will be one and done. Unless, I really liked the guy and want to see more of him.

That is kind of a natural process of meeting and hanging out with different types of people, seeing what's out there and seeing who you do and don't click with. The focus here is more on enjoying your time with the person and seeing how it goes. There is no need to spell out that you are just casually dating because of the opening sentence above. That is so long as you don't lead any guy on, by going on multiple dates with him, hanging out or sleeping with him, to where he thinks you are connecting and is developing an attachment to you.

The above is different from fwb, where you are basically sticking with one person, having sex without strings attached, but not really dating and realizing that at any given moment, either one of you can end the arrangement for any number of reasons, including because you met someone you actually want to date. However, as the old saying goes, when sex happens, sh$t happens, in that almost invariably, in this situation at least one person will catch feelings and things will get messy from there. It's more of a convenient sexual arrangement than casual dating as such.

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21 hours ago, DancingFool said:

All dating is casual until you've built enough of a connection to want to be exclusive. 

No -for me it wasn't -when my goal was exclusivity from the beginning -ASAP -I made my general goals clear.  So it was casual for the time being -no commitment -but the mindset was dating to see if it could lead to a future.  As opposed to casual dating of the variety the OP is referring to.  Certainly both "casual" but for the limited times in my life I had no serious goals of marriage and family my choices were different at times - I went on dates with men I'd not consider anything serious with because of geography or other factors.  

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22 hours ago, DancingFool said:

All dating is casual until you've built enough of a connection to want to be exclusive. 

Some people (as Batya just laid out) date very explicitly to find a longterm committed partner, while others are open to a variety of experiences. Still others, which seems to be the case of @DarkCh0c0, seem to explicitly be looking for something that never evolves past the ephemeral stage. 

Been in all those spots myself, especially the latter two. Honestly, I don't think it merits a lot of analysis, save for not swiping right on any profiles that explicitly say they're looking for commitment. From there, everything will present itself pretty fluidly: in pre-date chatting, chatting on dates. Those are the moments when you explain what you're into and see if you gel with someone. 

As others have pointed out, this can all get murky quick. Someone who professes to be cool with casual can become less than cool pretty quickly, especially after sex. Guess what I'm saying is that you can do x, y, and z to not mislead someone, but that doesn't create an airtight solution where someone doesn't end up feeling mislead. But so it goes, part and parcel in the world of dating, to be dealt with case by case by just being straightforward. 

 

 

 

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I wish the guy I'd been dating for eight months had said something to me. I had fallen madly in love with him. We spent every weekend together, traveled together, I met his parents and his siblings and his friends, he would hold my hand and walk with his arm around me when out in public and with friends...and then, eight months in, he told me he "wasn't feeling it" but he'd continued because I was "convenient", i.e., he didn't have to go find a woman to have sex with because I provided it for him. I was so heartbroken. I cried for two straight months and thought I would never recover (I did, obviously).

He said it was at about the three month mark (we had been exclusive that entire time) when he realized he wasn't going to fall in love with me. But I guess, why give up convenient sex and companionship?

So I vote for being upfront. At least by the third date, explain that you don't plan to stay in the country and therefore aren't looking for a committed relationship.

What will you do if you fall in love with one of your casual dates? Something to consider.

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Agree that even with a disclaimer you have to be careful as it is easy to unintentionally fall into a relationship. So important not to treat someone like your boyfriend/girlfriend in case they get the wrong idea e.g. avoid too many quiet nights in, weekends together, getting lovey dovey, intimate conversations about your hopes, dreams, feelings, fears etc. and so on.

The focus should be on hanging out, having fun, making each other laugh, and having sex (if you are OK with that). 

 

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8 hours ago, jazz_lover said:

The focus should be on hanging out, having fun, making each other laugh, and having sex (if you are OK with that). 

That's the focus. I don't have time nor bandwidth nor desire to do anything other than that.

@boltnrunI'm so sorry for what happened, and I'm happy to hear you are feeling better. 

I do not want to lead anyone on and would probably stick to 3-4 dates max to be safe and avoid attachments. I'd be upfront on date 1-2 depending on how this comes up in the convo.

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5 hours ago, DarkCh0c0 said:

That's the focus. I don't have time nor bandwidth nor desire to do anything other than that.

@boltnrunI'm so sorry for what happened, and I'm happy to hear you are feeling better. 

I do not want to lead anyone on and would probably stick to 3-4 dates max to be safe and avoid attachments. I'd be upfront on date 1-2 depending on how this comes up in the convo.

If sex is involved make sure you have a plan re: STDs and have a direct discussion about what would happen if pregnancy results.

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7 hours ago, DarkCh0c0 said:

I do not want to lead anyone on and would probably stick to 3-4 dates max to be safe and avoid attachments.

Do you mean someone forming an attachment to you, or you them? I ask because a lot of these posts seem to be about controlling the outcome, managing the feelings and expectations of another human being so things don't get painful, messy, whatever. 

Which is understandable. You're a kind person, you don't want to hurt people, let alone find yourself dealing with drama. But also? It's not your responsibility, not fully. Just be clear, have fun, and if things get a little wobbly, deal with that then, not at the outset by having all these rules of stagecraft. There is nothing casual about this level of analysis after all.

I have plenty of experience with what I think you're looking for here, most all of it satisfying and drama free. Have I been disappointed here and there? For sure. Have I disappointed people? Without question. But that's all dating. 

 

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8 hours ago, DarkCh0c0 said:
16 hours ago, jazz_lover said:

 

 

@boltnrunI'm so sorry for what happened, and I'm happy to hear you are feeling better. 

Thanks, that happened over 20 years ago so I am definitely over it. 

Three or four dates could be described as "we're 'dating'", IMO. Maybe space the dates far enough apart so the man doesn't believe you two are leading toward a relationship. Also perhaps make it clear you're not exclusive.

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Just an anecdote -over 15 years ago a friend of ours - a good friend -posted an ad on craigslist seeking an activity partner -for cycling.  He was divorced, no kids, in his 30s, had done some online dating.  He absolutely meant it as a cycling partner.  But yes -female.  I guess craigslist had that sort of option.  He met a woman this way, they did cycle a lot, hang out and yes, started dating.  They've been married around 15 years now and have a lovely daughter.  You never know!

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