Casual relationships, aka casual dating, have become really popular lately. Is it because of a hectic lifestyle or our tendency to catch flights instead of feelings?
We’ll never know for sure but sometimes keeping things casual is just the thing we need!
What is a casual relationship?
Undoubtedly, a casual relationship means that you’re not interested in marrying anyone (at the moment).
It also means that you don’t have any intention of being in a long-term relationship either because you’re primarily interested in having fun with no strings attached.
Just like it takes two to tango, it also takes two people to manage to be casual with each other.
If one person starts catching feelings, there will no longer be room for casual dating.
When your partner has the desire to be in a committed relationship, your casual journey becomes a nightmare (assuming that you don’t want to be in a serious relationship with them).
For that reason, it is important to establish some casual relationship rules that will protect both you and your casual partner from getting hurt!
12 Ground Rules For A Casual Relationship
Make it clear that you’re not looking for anything serious
The first and the most important rule of going casual is informing your potential casual partner of what you want. But don’t get me wrong.
You don’t need to tell them that right on the first date but you can do it the next time you see them or when you feel it’s convenient to do so.
By telling them that you’re not interested in anything serious, you’re giving them the opportunity to think about what they want.
You can say something like: “I truly enjoy hanging out with you but I want you to know that I’m not interested in anything serious at the moment.”
If they say that they are on the same page as you, there you have it: Your casual journey is just about to begin!
Remember that respect is still an important part of your casual relationship
Just because you’re not in a committed relationship and you’re not a legit couple on social media, this doesn’t mean that they don’t deserve to be treated with respect.
They are a human being just like you and me and they should be treated with the same levels of respect and kindness.
Do whatever your heart desires
Let’s repeat; what are casual relationships? Such relationships have no conditions and they scream ‘no strings attached’.
Here’s another casual relationship definition: Do whatever your heart desires!
In such a relationship, you don’t need to worry about compromising, their whereabouts or going out of your way to meet their needs.
Heck, you don’t even need to think about first date questions or be anxious about making a first impression that lasts.
You are completely FREE and able to do whatever your heart desires.
(This is one of the reasons why this type of relationship is perfect for college students.)
You can have a backup (if you want to)
A casual relationship is a type of relationship where you’re allowed to have a backup (or backups) in case you want to.
So, you can casually date one person at a time or you can still have an active dating life and see a few people at once.
I’ll repeat again. You can do whatever your heart desires without feeling guilty about not meeting conventional dating/relationship standards.
In other words, you don’t need to do what you’re expected to but what YOU want to and that’s the beauty of being casual with someone.
The only thing you should pay attention to is not to catch feelings (which can sometimes be quite challenging).
No jealousy or possessiveness is allowed
Jealousy is not only the main destroyer of serious relationships but it is also a destroyer of any kind of relationship, including a casual one.
You should stay away from being jealous of one-night stands or them meeting other people.
If you see on social media that your casual partner is dating other people, you shouldn’t make a scene or be mad about it.
Jealousy is one of the first signs that a casual relationship is getting serious.
Also, if you notice that your partner is getting possessive, know that this is a huge red flag and you should consider ending things ASAP.
You can focus on the other things in your life
Being in a serious relationship requires lots of effort, time and energy.
Well, lucky you, because you’re not in one right now, which means you can focus on the other things in your life!
Start working on boosting your mental health and improving body wellness and continue spending time with your loved ones and friends.
Do something new for the first time in your life, explore the world, get out of your comfort zone!
By focusing on the other things in your life, you will also prevent yourself from establishing an emotional connection with your casual partner because you won’t be spending much time with them.
You already know the drill. When you’re feeling bored or lonely, it comes naturally to you to contact that one person you’re seeing at the moment and initiate a hangout.
While this is okay from time to time, it shouldn’t happen on a regular basis.
Don’t make plans too early
Let’s say you want to initiate a hangout on Friday night.
In that case, you shouldn’t make plans a week in advance but doing it a day or two before the event is okay.
The reason why you shouldn’t do that is because it prevents you from living in the moment and focusing on the other things in your life (the things we mentioned above).
What if you meet someone new in the meantime?
If you only focus on making future plans with your casual partner, you will direct your mindset and all your energy to it, which screams ‘SERIOUS’.
Instead, focus on the things in front of you and think about new ways of evolving and becoming the best version of yourself.
Don’t talk to them too much between meet-ups
Every relationship expert will tell you that spending too much time with someone might result in bonding and catching feelings.
The same thing goes for texting or calling them between your meet-ups.
Don’t send them tons of texts or pictures during the day. Don’t call them all the time and don’t even think about doing that.
Keep in mind that the more things you share or do with your casual partner, the closer you’ll get to each other.
Therefore, the best bet is to keep your conversations and texting to a minimum.
If you notice that you have the urge to share every detail of your life with them, then you might be in a predicament because this is a sign that things are getting serious.
Don’t take them to your family gatherings or hangouts with your friends
Thinking about introducing your casual partner to your family? Think again. If you do that, they will immediately think that you two are or soon will be in a serious, committed relationship.
You don’t want them to get too attached to a person they might never see in their life again after a few months.
Also, you don’t need any external pressure regarding your love life situation.
You should apply the same rule to hangouts with your friends.
If you take your casual partner to hang out with them, they will soon become a legit part of your crew and you will not be able to do anything on your own.
Your people will become their people, which is not casual at all.
So, the best thing to do is keep them as your little secret or just tell a few best friends that you’re in a casual relationship but don’t introduce them to each other (even if they start insisting on it).
Don’t ask them for personal favors
And forget about asking them for personal favors! Do you need someone to help you with your chores, job or any other task at hand?
Don’t ask your casual partner to help you with any of these.
Seriously, don’t. No matter how stressful or desperate you are, it is never a good idea to ask for their assistance.
Why? Because you shouldn’t expect them to be there for you whenever you need them.
That’s not how casual dating and open relationships work.
If you do that, chances are they will call you to help them with something as well and there you have it: a sure-fire way to switch from being casual to something serious.
Don’t overthink things
“Should I call them now or tomorrow? What should I wear? What if I say something that I shouldn’t and as a result, scare them away? Is this a casual hookup or are we friends with benefits?”
Overthinking can lead to hurt feelings. Overthinking can lead to stressful situations.
You don’t need either in your life if you decide to go casual.
As always, the ball is in your court. If you say to yourself that you’ll follow these rules and will not overthink things, you will become a master of casual dating.
However, if you start overanalyzing your and your partner’s every move, you will not enjoy the journey of going casual but you will end up feeling frustrated over it.
Be honest with yourself and your casual partner!
How to have a casual relationship without getting hurt? Just be honest with yourself and your casual partner.
Have a conversation about exclusivity with them.
If you develop romantic feelings and start thinking about being in a committed, romantic relationship, you should tell them that.
Or if you want to break up with them, end things by letting them know that you’re no longer interested in dating them.
I once caught feelings for my casual partner and I was totally scared of not knowing what I should do.
After some time of thinking about the pros and cons, I decided to end things and I can say for sure that it was the right thing to do because I wasn’t ready for anything serious at that time.
When being casual, the last thing you need is to overthink things or get hurt.
For that reason, follow the above rules and everything will go smoothly. Also, don’t forget to enjoy it!
A casual relationship should be filled with joy and positive vibes.
If you notice that it makes you feel anxious or stressed in one way or another, consider ending things because you shouldn’t have to satisfy yourself with mediocre casual romances either!