Last updated on Jun 10th, 2021 at 04:52 pm

Are you single? Do you have any idea what youâ??re looking for in a partner? Casual dating may just be what you need.

Now, be careful not to confuse casual dating with â??friends with benefitsâ?? as they are very different. While â??friends with benefitsâ?? is more a sexual relationship with no commitment involved; casual dating doesnâ??t always include sex.

Casual dating rules

Casual dating; according to Ashleigh Frank, author of â??8 Rules of Casual Datingâ? in Life Script Magazine, is â??all about keeping your options open and playing the field so that you can figure out what type of person youâ??re most compatible withâ?.

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A few of the rules that Frank refers to are as follows:

  1. Be honest: Make sure your date knows what your intentions are right from the start.

  2. Experiment: Attracted to the same type? Why not try to date someone that you probably wouldnâ??t give a second thought â?? you never know; you might like this type way more than your usual type.

  3. Donâ??t kiss and tell: Donâ??t let your date know that there is competition; itâ??s only going to stir up some unnecessary jealousy. 

  4. Sex? Do you or donâ??t you? Frank says that casual dating is not synonymous with casual sex, so there shouldnâ??t be any pressure. Either you want to, or you donâ??t. Make your choice and stick to it.

  5. Go out: Go out and have fun, staying in to have pizza in front of the TV is what couples do.

  6. Be yourself: Always listen to what that little voice at the back of your mind is saying.

What next?

So what happens after you think youâ??ve found the man of your dreams, through this process of casual dating, and want to know if things will progress? How does one go from being â??casualâ?? to signing the exclusivity clause? Ambrose Diaz, writer for Health and Wellbeing, says that there are small things to look out for.

  • Invitations to meet the family

  • You stay IN for pizza and TV

  • You start to fight, but you know that itâ??s not the end-of-the-world; and

  • If the topic of an exclusive relationship comes up.

When these (or some of them at least) begin to happen you can make your choice: Run like hell in the opposite direction, or sit back and enjoy your time with him.

What would you choose?

What would you say if you were asked, â??Casual dating or long-term relationship?â? Some of your answers may go something like this:

Aléthea, (23) says â??Casual dating is fun and carefree but usually ends up in heartbreak, where a long-term relationship (if youâ??re with the right person) is amazing because you do everything with that person and they know you inside and out.â?

Colleen, (60) says, â??In my youth, if I had casually dated I would have been considered a whore. It was more important to get to know your partner before marriage in a long-term relationship. If I was younger, I would try casual dating as it’s an experience.â?

In retrospect

If you are in (or on your way into) a serious relationship, think about how all your relationships have started; you met, you liked, you flirted, and then, WHAM, relationship. Getting to know your partner is dating, whether it was casual or not. Think about it.

Casual dating gives you an opportunity to get to know the men you date before you get involved in a full-blown relationship (and your hormones start making decisions for you!).