While committed relationships are rarer than white tigers these days, we haven’t lost the desire to have a love life. Cue casual dating. Being able to date people on a non-exclusive basis allows us the freedom to pursue our dream job, go wherever we want, and keep our options open. But despite how great it sounds on paper, casual dating isn’t for everyone. Here are some signs it’s not for you.
You want a relationship. Let’s just start with the obvious. If you’re thinking about casual dating but what you really want is a full-blown, committed, loved-up relationship, stop immediately. If this is what you long for, casual dating will bring you nothing but disappointment. As in, realizing you’ve already eaten the last Oreo disappointment. Casual relationships don’t provide the same fulfillment as an actual boyfriend, so don’t set yourself up for failure if you really want the latter.
You’re the jealous type. If you’ve ever felt green over your guy saying someone else was attractive, or were overly wary of a she-friend, or have an unnatural amount of resentment towards Margot Robbie and her perfect everything, casual dating is not for you. You must be cool as a cucumber to make this situation work. And being jealous is the fastest way to zap the fun out of your easy breezy arrangement.
You don’t like the thought of dating multiple guys. If seeing multiple people at once doesn’t sit well with you, you may not be the ideal casual dater. Sure, you could go along with an uncommitted relationship without playing the field, but if one party is dating other people and one isn’t, it’s bound to cause issues somewhere along the line.
You’re dating to distract yourself. Hate your job? Not excited by your social life? Depressed that you have to wait an entire year for the next season of Game of Thrones? Dating is not a band-aid for the parts of life that suck. Ideally, you want to be in a good place as a singleton before you contemplate including someone else. So if you’re feeling unfulfilled in other areas, focus on rectifying that instead of diverting your attention to a shiny new man-toy.
You need complete transparency. Do you need to have all the details to know how you feel about a situation? Although good, honest communication is important for casual dating, there’s going to be a lot that you don’t know (and shouldn’t want to know). If you can’t let go of what may or may not be happening when your casual fling isn’t around you, you’ll drive yourself crazy.
You’re insecure. Do you need constant validation in your love life? Casual dating is all about going with the flow and being relaxed enough to not need assurance. If you’re the type who doesn’t put her phone down after a date, over-analyzes and obsesses over saying the wrong thing, you are not ready to date casually. Your time would be much better spent doing things that make you feel good about yourself, rather than entering a relationship founded in uncertainty.
You think you can change his mind. If you go into a casual relationship with the mindset that you can eventually win the guy over with your charm and personality, think again. Plenty of girls end up in the eternally frustrating ‘almost relationship’ this way, without acknowledging that a proper relationship wasn’t actually on the table to begin with. Sure, it might happen. But it’s always safest to assume that if I guy says he doesn’t want a relationship, he means it.
You’re on the rebound. While getting yourself back in the game can be a positive step forward after a breakup, doing so too early can do more harm than good. It’s better to be happy alone before bringing guys into the mix. If you jump into casual dating before you’re ready, you could end up even more depressed than before; comparing your casual fling to the real deal you once had. Give yourself time to heal.
You don’t have time for you. Do you struggle to find time to exercise, eat healthily, read that book on your Kindle or just relax? If you already find yourself spread a little thin, maybe it isn’t the best time to date. Even if you’re only dating casually, it’s still a time-sucker (shaving your legs on a regular basis is a real commitment). No-strings-attached relationships are notoriously selfish, so make sure you’re looking after yourself before you attempt one.
You don’t know what you want. If your mind is already all over the place, it’s not a good idea to jump into the potentially messy world of casual dating. If you’re not sure what you want out of your love life (a boyfriend, a casual fling) or if you even want a love life, stop. Take a break and spend some time with your thoughts. Make sure you’re ready and willing to embrace the world of noncommittal relationships before taking the plunge!
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