Dating and Romance

7 Whip-Smart Reasons Why You Should Date CASUALLY

Do you have girlfriends who dive into every new dating relationship with the intensity of a law school student who has only 24 hours left to study before taking the bar exam?

Whew! Nobody needs that kind of pressure, do they? You’re so much smarter than that, beautiful.

I recently answered a letter from a young woman who didn’t really want to date at ALL. There’s plenty of room in the world for being happily single, just as there is for dating around without so much pressure to it.

In the early stages of dating, a relationship should always be casual. There’s just no need for thinking ahead, commitments or exclusive promises. Not yet.

In fact, casual dating can be a delightful treat in your life; it’s like a tasty relationship hors d’oeuvre, and here’s why you shouldn’t be skipping it and heading straight into the main course…

1. Casual dating is FUN

Casual dating is waaaay more fun than watching old Saved By the Bell reruns, chica. Although I admit Seinfeld reruns are pretty compelling. But I was saying: casual dating lets you get out of your house, have a little pleasure, and get to know someone new. And that’s enough reason to do it right there.

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2. Casual dating lets you test drive different kinds of partners

You know all those “fish in the sea” your mom told you about? You should check out a lot of different kinds. After all, how else will you know if you’re a seared ahi tuna type, or a deep fried fish-n-chips gal?

3. Casual dating is a good reminder that it’s not your job to “save” anyone

If you’re the type of woman who seems to keep bringing home the helpless lost puppies of the man world, dating casually can help you learn to break that habit. And once you’re no longer looking for a pet project, you’ll be much more ready to consider an exclusive dating arrangement.

casual date4. Casual dating reminds you that YOU don’t need “saving”

Same coin, other side, princess. 🙂 You’re not in need of rescue! You are a queen in command of her realm, and you get to hold tournaments in which men try to win your favor! How’s that for turnaround?

5. Casual dating gives you time to unpack your baggage

But not during the date, of course! Comfy-breezy dating simply gives you time to work on some of the issues that either caused a breach in your former relationships, or could cause one in a new relationship.

6. Casual dating lets you be your normal, attractive, not-desperate self

Sometimes you may have felt like you had to twist into a zillion different shapes to be the person a particular man would be attracted to. Light, uncomplicated dating lets you enjoy being the person you REALLY are. Which will work nicely in your favor if and when you decide to commit to a man.

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7. Casual dating reminds you that you WANT, but don’t NEED a man to feel happy

How great is it when dating is the cherry in the whipped cream on the ice cream sundae of your life? It’s not the whole thing (I almost said it’s not the whole enchilada, but we were talking ice cream sundaes and… you know, I’m still good with it! 🙂 ), it’s just the special, bright, yummy, sticky, delicious treat on top! Your LIFE should make you happy; once you really encompass that idea, you’re ready to add a man (the cherry!) to the top.

Okay, you probably knew all that already. But it’s always a good reminder. Because you deserve to have a little fun, enjoy some time growing into the sunshine, spreading your petals out under the sky.

xoxo Claire

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11 comments on “7 Whip-Smart Reasons Why You Should Date CASUALLY

  1. Hi! I so much agree this casually dating now after my divorce. I have really studied relationships, most from your Capture his heart-book. I am so happy to stand happily on my two feet and meet men lightly, freely and somehow truly without any unnecessary pressures.

    • Claire Casey

      Hi, Satu, thanks for taking the time to read and leave a comment. You sound like a woman who has learned a LOT, and is putting it to work on her behalf. Way to go, girlfriend! 🙂

      PS: I really liked the way you put it: “meet men lightly, freely…” Lovely.

  2. I think I’ve mentioned before that this advise is fine for young single girls with no baggage, but as a 38 year old working single mum, studying for a degree with limited time and money casually dating a string of men is impossible

    • Claire Casey

      So I’m curious, Jo — does that mean you don’t date at all, or that you only date one man at a time until you decide whether or not to move on to the next one?

  3. I tried going on a series of first dates last year but realistically couldn’t expect each one to wait his turn as I only have 2 weekends a month child free. I certainly don’t want to introduce casual dates to my son which means not having them come to my home when my son is there. I attend a weekly dance class and monthly balls and dances but I’m not dating at all. Having seen someone for over a year who just wanted casual sex/friends with benefits situation but still wanted to socialise with mine and his son I know casual does not sit well with me. I just want a normal loving relationship with a man who won’t need to keep it a secret or refuse to socialise in public with me, I want a plus one, someone who wants a committed relationship with me and my son and more children before I’m too old. I’ve been single for over 5 years and my son is 6 so he’ll be around for a while yet!

    • Claire Casey

      Wow, limiting yourself to every other week does make it more difficult. And parenting is tough in the best of circumstances, right? I remember how hard it was when all three of my boys were tiny, and there were TWO of us trying to parent them. Whew.

      Have you thought about increasing your possible dating times by having a babysitter or family member watch your child for the evening? There’s also the possibility of a casual lunch or coffee date during the day (assuming you are working during the day and have your son in childcare or school)…

      Also, here’s a funny story: my mother was a big dater in her “single and looking” days. She didn’t have a child to care for, but she DID “stack” her casual dates. My father recalls having to schedule to get a date with her well in advance, and also having to be back by a certain time because she had ANOTHER date with a different guy, same day! 🙂

  4. I read somewhere it was ok having lunch with one man and then dinner with another but I found it too hard remembering who I’d had what conversation with! I have enough balls in air without adding too many other pairs

  5. The man I’m currently dating (14 months) is 50 and never been married. I might or might not want to marry him in the future, I’m just not sure. I love him but feel that I might like to casual date other men as well as him. How do I let the man I’m currently dating know that I would like to casual date other men but maintain the relationship that the two of us currently have? Is this weird thinking on my part?

    Oh, I was hospitalized for over a month during Nov/Dec of last year and it caused a lot of stress for us both. He was there for me but became very distant when I was released. He didn’t buy me a Christmas present, no card, nothing. This hurt me a lot!! He said when I got better he would take me Christmas shopping. It’s now June and I’ve mentioned it several times but he has not taken the lead. I’m still disappointed over this and I think it’s the main reason that I want to start dating other men. Am I being childish??

  6. Claire Casey

    Hi, Sheila — No, I don’t think you’re being childish by wanting to be loved and cherished by a man! It makes all the sense in the world.

    And I’m not sure that you owe him a “notice” that you’re dating other guys, do you? Unless the two of you explicitly talked and agreed to be committed and exclusive with each other, then you’re… not committed or exclusive. 🙂

    You can tell him if you just want to:

    “I’ve really enjoyed dating you for the past year, and I’m also starting to see some other guys as well… But I don’t want to date casually forever. I’d like to figure out who I will settle down with and commit to in the next year or so.”

    Or drop it in casually in a conversation like this:

    “I was out with Steve the other day, and he said/did [insert something relevant to the conversation]…”

    Or for that matter just post a light comment about it on Facebook or whatever social profiles where he’ll see it.

    If he shows any interest or asks “Who’s Steve?” you can tell him he’s a guy you have gone out with a couple of times.

    If the two of you have NOT had any kind of conversation about commitment or exclusivity, that may help you bring one up.

    And if marriage is what you want, and it’s something he’s not interested in, you have your answer.

    My best to you, beautiful.

  7. I’ve actually found things end as they start. So unless the guy is “open to a relationship” rather than ‘casual’ (in an online profile description) I won’t date him.
    I know that ‘casual dating’ doesn’t necessarily mean ‘casual sex’ but it’s what it means to THEM mostly, that’s what they’re hoping for. Sex without strings.
    Nup…..I see where you’re coming from, but I really don’t agree.

    • Claire Casey

      Hi, Teri — You bring up a great point that I didn’t really address in this article, which is what’s on a dating profile. I don’t think I would put “casual” in a dating profile at all. And I agree with you; if I saw it on a man’s profile (especially!), I would immediately think he wants casual sex.

      But I still think it’s a good attitude to cultivate when a woman is dating, until she becomes serious and exclusive with a particular guy… 🙂

      Thanks for taking the time to read and comment!

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