What Does Casual Dating Mean To A Guy?

Most people don’t jump into a serious relationship with someone on day one, regardless of how much they like them. In fact, some people specifically avoid commitment in this way and instead look for more laid-back, casual scenarios. Sometimes this can end up leading to something real and long-lasting while other times, it fizzles out once the spark fades. But what does casual dating mean to a guy and what should you expect if you find yourself in this situation?

  1. He’s free to see other people. You’re not boyfriend and girlfriend and you won’t be having “The Talk” to define the relationship or become exclusive anytime soon. To a guy, casual dating tends to mean that you’re not a proper couple and therefore he’s free to keep talking to, dating, and even having sex with other women and there’s not much you can say about it.
  2. He doesn’t need to delete his dating apps. Why would he? Because you’re just “hanging out” and “going with the flow,” it could end at any second and he wants to keep his options open. In fact, he’s probably spending just as much time scrolling now as he was when you met each other. If you were his girlfriend, he’d have to delete his profiles. Since you’re not, it’s business as usual.
  3. He can go AWOL and leave you on read for days. He might mean to text you back and just get busy, but since you’re only dating in a casual way, the guy doesn’t really think it’s a big deal if he doesn’t answer you for a few days. He’s not beholden to you in any way and he’s a busy guy, so he’ll get to you when he gets to you and you just have to accept it.
  4. He wants to have sex without getting emotional about it. Casual dating tends to include a lot of sex — in fact, it may primarily be about that for a guy, even if you didn’t mean for it to be that way. That means he’ll be expecting you to put out pretty regularly. Otherwise, what’s the point if you even being around each other? However, he won’t want the emotional aspect that often accompanies sex. You’re not likely to get any post-sex cuddling or breakfast in the morning, so put your clothes back on and do that stride of pride.
  5. He doesn’t need to live up to your standards and expectations. To be fair, in his eyes, you shouldn’t even have expectations. Casual dating means everything is casual. While you should totally have standards and boundaries in every romantic scenario, you probably shouldn’t expect him to live up to them because the chances are pretty slim. Of course, you also have the prerogative of cutting things dead if his behavior gets too out of control, so keep that in mind.
  6. He’s definitely not your plus-one. Don’t ask him to go to to your cousin’s wedding with you or let him know you’re allowed to bring someone to your work’s happy hour. To a guy, casual dating will usually mean keeping things as non-committal as possible, so asking him to go places with you or do things that a boyfriend normally would is a big no-no. It’s really not that deep, of course, and he should know that, but don’t be shocked if he looks at you like you have two heads if you bring this up.
  7. He refers to you as “the girl they’re talking to” to their friends… if he mentions you at all. Again, not exactly a shocker. He’s sleeping with you and you guys grab burgers sometimes and went to the National concert together but he’s not exactly planning on making you his wife. Guys are notoriously selective about sharing their romantic lives beyond saying they’re getting laid a bunch, so it’s very possible that his friends will never even know your name.
  8. If he’s not feeling it anymore, it’s cool to ghost you. This blows. Just because you’re not in a serious relationship doesn’t mean he shouldn’t pay you the respect of letting you know when he’s over it and doesn’t want to see you anymore. Sadly, more often than not, he’ll just disappear without a trace and you’ll only know it’s over because your messages will remain undelivered. Back to the drawing board!


Bolde has been a source of dating and relationship advice for single women around the world since 2014. We combine scientific data, experiential wisdom, and personal anecdotes to provide help and encouragement to those frustrated by the journey to find love. Follow us on Instagram @bolde_media or on Facebook @BoldeMedia