What Does It Mean to Be Casually Dating—And Is It Right for You?

Updated 04/22/19
skynesher/Getty Images

When it comes to dating and relationships, the term “casual dating” comes up a lot. And yet, many people don’t exactly know what casual dating means or what it even entails. So in order to determine if casual dating is right for you, it’s time to formally define this kind of informal dating process and weigh the pros and cons of this type of connection. 

What is casual dating?

In the most basic sense, casual dating is when you enjoy spending time with someone and are looking to get to know him or her better, but you aren’t committed to this person in any way. Additionally, while you may have a strong physical and emotional connection with this person and engage in “date-like” activities together, you’re free to date other people and pursue other options simultaneously. In other words, casual dating implies that there’s no obligation or commitment between the two of you, and your relationship with one another is light and informal with no strings attached.

Pros of casual dating 

Casual dating can work well for many people, and there are numerous reasons as to why it can be the right choice for you. For example, perhaps you just got out of a long-term relationship and you’re not interested in and/or ready to pursue anything serious with someone new at this juncture in your life. Or maybe you’d prefer to date in a way that removes the underlying pressures, demands and anxiety that can come from monogamy or a formal commitment. Whatever the case may be, casual dating enables you to partake in the dating world on your own terms and with your own rules.

 

Additionally, casual dating can be an intriguing and exciting option because it enables you to keep the thrill of the chase alive as you’re able to pursue and date multiple people at once—all while staying completely unattached and uncommitted. Casual dating truly leaves the door open for new people, new possibilities and new experiences without the obligation or burden of being tied down.

Cons of casual dating

Casual dating isn’t for everyone, and there are several reasons why you may not want to engage in this kind of informal connection with others. First, you may find it awkward, inappropriate, or a bit unnatural to date many different people at once. You may also find it challenging to date more than one person in terms of your own schedule and other commitments, not to mention the fact that it can limit the amount of quality time that you’re able to spend with someone. After all, it can be difficult to learn anything beyond the superficialities and really get to know a person when you’re devoting your time elsewhere to the other people you’re casually dating.

You might even find it hard to keep track of who said what!

In addition, if you’re casually dating someone and then have the desire to take things to the next level, it can be hard for you to transition your casual connection to that of a committed relationship, as the person you’re dating may not be looking for anything serious. Along these lines, people may also find themselves longing for the deep connection, intimacy and closeness that an exclusive and monogamous relationship can bring. In fact, it’s not uncommon to feel emotionally unfulfilled when you’re casually dating.

Is casual dating right for you?

If you’re wondering if casual dating is the right choice for you, it’s important to look internally in order to understand what your dating expectations are. While it may be difficult to ask yourself the tough questions, it’s time to reassess exactly what you’re looking for at this point in your life. And depending upon your current relationship goals and personal preferences, casual dating can be a great option when it comes to getting to know multiple people at once and keeping your options open.

However, if you know in your heart that you’re looking for a serious relationship and long-term commitment, casual dating may not be the best choice, as it can leave you feeling used, unhappy, and unsatisfied. When it comes to casual dating, there’s nothing casual about making the right decision for yourself.

Related Stories