I Want A Real Relationship But Finding Someone Who’s On The Same Page Feels Impossible

I hear “I just want something casual” over and over again and it’s frustrating AF because that’s not at all what I want! Yet here I am, repeatedly running into folks who just aren’t interested in a relationship and instead are only interested in hooking up/hanging out. Ugh.

  1. All I want is a nice relationship. I get so upset about being told that someone just wants something casual because all I want is a relationship. I’m not interested in being friends first or not putting a label on what we’re doing. Both of these things are outside the realm of what I want. The only thing I’ll have is someone who’s also ultimately looking for a relationship, nothing less.
  2. It’s not that hard to be clear. I don’t want casual for many reasons, one of the biggest being that I absolutely hate ambiguity. I’m not interested in just seeing where something goes and not discussing the possibility of a relationship. Rather, I want it to be crystal clear from the beginning that both of us are ultimately interested in a relationship. Unfortunately, this hasn’t really been what’s happened.
  3. I’m not exaggerating when I say it’s nearly impossible to find someone who’s not looking for something casual. It’d be one thing if I only heard “I want something casual” once or twice. Instead, I’ve heard it at least a dozen times. It’s a regular thing that people say to me, leaving me awestruck and frustrated that I keep hearing the same damn thing. Can’t someone say “I’m looking for a relationship”? That’d be wonderful. I’ll keep dreaming.
  4. Is it an age thing? I’m in my mid-twenties and I’m starting to think that the fact that I hear this so much may have something to do with my age. I generally date people right around my age. Do people in their twenties have commitment issues? Are we not ready to be in relationships? I don’t know if age has anything to do with it but it sure seems that way.
  5. It’s not just a gender thing. Sometimes I wonder if it’s just dudes—I mean, a lot of dudes say they just want something casual but I date men, women, and everyone in between. I’ve heard this same thing from all these people, not just dudes. Despite my thoughts about it being primarily men, the casual-bug doesn’t discriminate by gender, rather it seems to bite one and all.
  6. Why are so many people so anti-commitment? I guess I could talk to individual people to ask them what they mean by “something casual,” but by the time I know what their deal is, I’m usually off and running. Instead, I’m left to wonder why it is that so many people don’t want to be in relationships. They just want something casual for whatever reason.
  7. Is this code for “I just want to hook up”? What exactly does “casual” mean anyway? To me, it sounds like some people may just mean that they’re looking to have no strings attached sex, with no promises for a future relationship. Maybe they’re just trying to hang out, but I’d be way too worried about getting attached. I just don’t know what’s on the minds of people who say this because my brain is only thinking about a potential relationship.
  8. It’s frustrating if it doesn’t come up right away. We’re three dates in and I’m thinking that this person definitely must want a relationship. I mean, why else would we have gone to dinner? Yet sometimes the conversation doesn’t happen as quickly as I’d like and I’m sidelined by the casual line. Maybe I don’t have the guts to ask right away or it just hasn’t come up. It leaves me frustrated to find out that what they want differs wildly from what I want after a bunch of dates.
  9. I’ve started asking before the date. When I’m online dating, there’s more room for easy communication. As a result, I’ve started asking people what they’re looking for before we even schedule a date. If they say yes, I can rest easy knowing that we want the same thing. If they say no, I don’t even have to go on a date with them and I save myself some serious trouble down the road. No matter the result, asking really eases my mind and puts us on the same page.
  10. I refuse to settle for less. Some people might be wondering why all the frustration. Why don’t I just chill out and give something casual a shot? Yeah, no thanks. I stick to my values and needs. What I need is someone who’s on the same page as me. I’m not interested in voluntarily signing up for heartache when down the road I still want a relationship and the other person still wants something casual. I stick to what I want, and that’s a relationship.
Ginelle has been writing professionally for more than six years and has a bachelor’s degree in digital marketing & design. Her writing has appeared on Birdie, Thought Catalog, Tiny Buddha and more. You can follow her on Instagram @ginelletesta, via her Facebook page, or through her website at ginelletesta.com.