What is Casual Dating? How Long Should You Date Before Making It Official?
You might have heard the term “casual dating” and been curious about what it means. It usually refers to semi-romantic relationships in which neither person expects the other to make a commitment and both may be seeing other people at the same time. Depending on the situation and the person, “casual dating” can mean a lot of different things.
Casual dating can be a healthy and fun way to meet new people if people talk to each other and treat each other with respect. We'll talk about the ins and outs of casual dating and how to navigate it so that you and any potential dates have a good time.
What Is Casual Dating?
Casual dating usually involves having an emotional or sexual connection with someone without making a long-term commitment. Casual daters might see other people while they're dating each other, or they might decide to be exclusive despite the fact that they're dating in a casual way. This kind of dating is less stressful than a serious relationship because there aren't as many expectations.
Even though many people go on casual dates in order to build close relationships, sex doesn't always happen. Casual dating is a way for some people to get back into dating after ending a relationship. Others may be too busy with work, travel, or other things in their lives to commit to one person. Some casual daters want to be in a serious relationship in the future, but they'd rather have the freedom to look for the right person right now.
Pros of Casual Dating
Casual dating can work well for many people, and there are many reasons why it could be the right choice for you. For example, you might have just ended a long-term relationship and not be interested in or ready for anything serious with someone new right now.
Or maybe you'd rather date in a way that doesn't involve the pressures, demands, and worries that can come with monogamy or a formal commitment. Casual dating lets you date on your own terms and with your own rules, no matter what the situation is.
Casual dating can also be interesting and fun because it lets you keep the thrill of the chase alive by letting you pursue and date multiple people at the same time without getting attached or committing to anyone. Casual dating really opens the door to meeting new people, trying new things, and having new experiences without having to be tied down.
Cons of Casual Dating
Casual dating isn't for everyone, and there are a number of reasons why you might not want to meet people in this way. First of all, you might find it awkward, wrong, or a little strange to date a lot of different people at the same time. You may also find it hard to date more than one person because of your own schedule and other obligations.
Plus, you may not be able to spend as much quality time with each person. After all, it can be hard to learn more than the surface facts about someone and really get to know them when you're spending time with other people you're casually dating. You might even have trouble remembering who said what!
Also, if you're dating someone casually and want to take things to the next level, it can be hard to move from a casual relationship to a serious one because the person you're dating might not be looking for a serious relationship. People may also want the deep connection, intimacy, and closeness that an exclusive and monogamous relationship can bring. In fact, it's not unusual for people who are casually dating to feel emotionally unfulfilled.
How Long Should You Date Before Making It Official?
It depends on how often you see them and how intense it is. There's no “one size fits all” rule here. If you date someone once a week, you'll get to know them a lot better than if you dated once a month. If you see your date every other day or so, you might be ready to commit in a week! Alternatively, it might take a few months if you only hang out once in a while.
Don't worry about meeting any kind of time required before making it official with someone you've been dating. If you like them and are comfortable with them, do it!
For most couples, 1-3 months is seen as “normal“. You don't need to worry if you've been dating someone for a week or two and are wondering when most couples have the exclusivity conversation. After a few months of casual dating, lots of long-term relationships become engaged.
Yet, if you and your partner are on board, it's fine to act sooner. If you and the other person have been friends for some time or have been having casual relationships, you already know each other well enough to decide quickly. If you're already committed to being in a relationship, resist the urge to force yourself to go on casual dates.
That could be a warning sign if it has been more than 4-6 months. If you want to make progress with this, it is important to talk about what is happening.