How often should you see someone you’re casually dating? The answer depends on who you’re dating and what your relationship is like. And while there’s no one size fits all answer to this question, here are some general guidelines about where you should be.
- Everyone, and every couple, is different. This is the first rule of casual dating: There are no rules. It’s like a fight club. Don’t get too caught up in labels and what all your friends are doing. Use that as research to inform but not determine what you feel is right. Don’t wait to ask someone out or tell someone that you love them just because one of your friends said that they said it a month later in the relationship. Let the flow of the relationship and your feelings lead where you go. Try not to avoid obsessing and overthinking and find arbitrary patterns because it breeds a culture of trying to unravel each other on the side rather than just asking the question openly.
- Do whatever suits your comfort level. There’s nothing worse than just feeling like you’re doing things because you feel pressured to. It makes such a difference when you separate yourself from that ideology. Really transformational. You’ll find it’s not even your partner pushing for that, and that sometimes, these are just hangups that we have for ourselves. That’s why it represents real personal growth even within a relationship. Sit for a minute and unpack the root of some aspects of your physical or emotional relationship that you’re uncomfortable with and find out how you can transform that. Or, you can just not engage in that again. These practices will help to inform what you want out of a casual relationship in terms of how often you want to see them.
- Once a week is the least you could manage. This is the minimum amount of contact per week to sustain interest in a relationship. This accounts for the fact that lots of people have busy lives, work, and might just be slowly integrating themselves into the relationship. You don’t need to move in together right away, of course, but there’s still really vested importance in figuring out what you want. Once a week means that date nights are special and really well-thought-out in that initial phase of getting to know someone.
- Three times a week is a happier medium for many. This is a more common timeline with younger people, particularly students. It assumes that you live near the person and that you can integrate them into your lives fairly casually without it being too big a deal. Three times a week, you’re getting into the territory when you know them a little better and are getting more comfortable. That means that you’re both calmer in each other’s presence and you can just relax together. That’s really valuable.
- Five times a week is intense. Tell me you’re new in a relationship without saying the words. This is what lots of people’s first relationships look like, getting swept up in the moment and wanting to maximize their time with their crush. It’s a great feeling to get reciprocation for your affection and to know that you’re in the right place. This might be too intense for some people, so don’t magically expect yourself to be comfortable immediately.
- How do you define quality time? Hanging with your new partner looks very different for lots of people. For some, it’s big fancy dinners and getting dressed up to impress. For others, it’s a game night at home and the simple pleasures in life. Whatever that looks like for you, go with that and help define how often you need to see your person. Big fancy dinners are a once-a-week situation max, for example. Movie nights? You can engage in them much more regularly.
- How much does it cost? This is a question to ask yourself. Don’t get swept up in the pressure to spend all your money on your new partner. That’s a commitment and one that also puts pressure on them and sets the standard for the relationship. Unlearn those unwritten rules of relationships that money=love. It simply doesn’t. If there’s one thing a guy wants in a casual relationship is a low commitment – emotionally and financially!
- Have regular check-ins with your partner. The early stages of a casual relationship present a great opportunity to establish a healthy channel of communication. Plus, you can build up the intimacy on your own terms, or scale things back to ensure you have space before it becomes an issue. That’s the bedrock of a solid relationship, even from the early stages. Define what casual means for you, it’ll save a world of hurt later on.
Does it really matter how often you see the person you’re casually dating?
We’ve already established that how often this happens is different for everyone, but does seeing them once a week compared to three times a week really matter in the grand scheme of your relationship?
- You can’t build with someone you’re never around. If you only see the person you’re casually dating once every couple of weeks, are you actually even dating? If there’s zero urgency to be around one another, to get to know each other, and move things forward, why are you even bothering? This can never lead to a relationship, which is ultimately what you’re after, right?
- You can burn the fire out too quickly if you’re not careful. Let’s say you do want to be together 24/7 and you see each other most days. It’s intense and overwhelming at first, but don’t be fooled. Just because things are hot and heavy right away doesn’t mean they’ll stay that way. You do risk burning out that spark before you really get a chance to get started, so it’s important to pace yourself.
- As long as you’re both in a good place, just go with it. At the end of the day, it’s important not to overthink things to the point that you sabotage what could be a really good thing. If the person you’re dating is happy with the way things are going and you are too, that’s really all that matters. Relationships come in all shapes and sizes, so give your room to grow as it will.