If You’re Looking For Something Real, There’s No Point To “Casual” Dating

If You’re Looking For Something Real, There’s No Point To “Casual” Dating ©iStock/BraunS

You’re looking for a serious relationship, so what’s the point of “casually” dating? Is it a way of getting to know each other or is it just a way to keep anything real off the table? It’s smart not to jump the gun on commitment before you really know someone, but if things are going well and the guy you’re seeing insists on keeping things chill, your warning bells should ring. Here’s why:

  1. You shouldn’t confuse “casual” with “taking things slowly.” You might stick around with a guy who wants to keep things casual because you figure it’s synonymous with just taking things slowly, but it’s not — if that’s what he meant, he would have said so. Taking it slow would have been good because it means you’re still moving forward. Staying casual, on the other hand, is really just staying put.
  2. He’s taking you to a dead-end. If it feels like you’ve been casually dating for a while and he’s not making a real move, it looks like you’re stuck in relationship limbo.
  3. He should know what he wants. He says he still wants to see if you’re a great fit for each other, even though it’s been three or four dates. Yikes. He’s just wasting your time and telling you, in a subtle way, that he’s not that interested. By now he should know what he wants and he should be taking you from casual to committed.
  4. There should be expectations. When he says he wants no expectations, it can sometimes be misleading. You might think he means he’s just living in the moment, but it probably means that he doesn’t want any demands made of him. That’s seriously messed up. Of course there will start to be some expectations the longer you date — otherwise, things aren’t going to become serious, in which case you should probably know that now.
  5. He might be using it as a way to get sex. When agreeing to this casual setup, make sure you’re on the same page. He might just want to hook up without having to invest in you or the relationship. That’s just manipulative if he’s not openly calling this a fling or casual hookup.
  6. He wants to keep his date card filled. Casually dating is often a fancy term for not being exclusive. Make sure you speak to him about whether or not you’re both allowed to date outside of whatever it is you’ve got going because he might think so while you’re committed to him and hoping that something real will happen. That’s totally messed up.
  7. He’s not looking for a serious relationship. A guy who wants a casual setup is just not keen on a serious relationship, so don’t hope he’ll come around. He’s hoping to date you in such a way that he can do as little as possible for the relationship hile still getting all the perks, and that’s BS.
  8. He might actually be a commitment-phobe. If you’ve been casually dating for a while with no relationship progression, get out before you continue wasting your time. If he’s always keen on just hanging out and never speaks about being serious or he mocks his friends’ serious relationships, calling the guys “whipped,” that’s not a good sign of what’s to come.
  9. He only likes the chase. He liked to pursue you in the beginning, charming you and making you feel like he wanted you and you alone. But if his efforts have dwindled and you’re dating but not official, then he’s probably just addicted to the chase. Time to throw this one back into the jerk bin.
  10. He’s dizzy from all the options. There are so many options available out there that he’s the type of guy who doesn’t want to be limited. He met you, thought you were great and didn’t want to miss out on a chance with you. But hey, he doesn’t want to miss out on a chance with other women, either, so he’ll say that he’s keen to casually date to prevent you from leaving, but when you’re not around he’s firing up his Tinder communication.
  11. Screw him, you’re a priority. You are not someone’s option, but a priority, and he needs to know he can’t just waste your time by fooling you into thinking he’s dating you with a goal in mind. The best thing to do is to stop being casual and get serious with someone else who actually sees how amazing a relationship with you can be. Anything less just doesn’t cut it.
Giulia Simolo is a writer from Johannesburg, South Africa with a degree in English Language and Literature. She has been working as a journalist for more than a decade, writing for sites including AskMen, Native Interiors, and Live Eco. You can find out more about her on Facebook and LinkedIn, or follow her on Twitter @GiuliaSimolo.