Gone are the days where marriage and settling down is the standard end goal for all romantic interactions. Although if it is for you, that is just as valid a want as it is to want to get married early, late, or never at all.
So that means that if you are out here trying to ride around and get it in your twenties, you have options. As I am no stranger to online peopleing and various romantic tomfoolery, I’ve been contemplating a curious thing known as the casual relationship.
Which in theory sounds simple enough, you find a person whose face/spirit you enjoy and then you date with no clear title/exclusivity, with the understanding that both parties are interested in getting to know one another, and that time may or may not be put in to see where the interaction leads. Solid.
But casual is in fact much more complex than that, because there are clear distinctions between casual dating and casual sex. I have concluded that more often than not we don’t know what we want, are scared to want what we want, or are scared that other people don’t want what we want. So it has reached the point where we are delaying providing upfront information in the name of fulfilling or disregarding those desires entirely.
In the name of talking, situationships, and casual whatevers here are five rules of “dress,” should you choose to engage in any dating entanglement labeled “Casual.”
1. Casual sex doesn’t last forever, but babies and antibiotic resistant diseases do.
I am no stranger to being some version of a human other than myself in the name of LOVE or whatever, but I find that as quickly as we can swipe and #wasteourowntime2017, we can’t quite master open and honest communication when it comes to bumping jiggly bits with another person. If you can have sex with a person that you have known for all of no time at all, then you can also ask for a health report, demand the use of protection and make sure no babies are created in the making of this production. I know millennials have the hookup game on lock, but anything that can lead to a tiny human or itching where there should be none is NEVA casual…
2. It’s okay to say you want a relationship…or not
I know that “relationship,” has become a dirty weird since we learned that a flick of the wrist can get you face to face with a human in seven days or last, but if you find that you are headed for a drive down Casual boulevard remember that if you want a relationship, that want is valid, but also subject to change should you find that your casual whatever is enough to sustain your current needs, and if you are the person in the scenario who does not want a relationship, do not fear. “I want a relationship,” does not mean that the other person wants one with you.
3. Draw clear lines between casual SEX and casual DATING
As always relationships are deeply subjective, however there should be clearly drawn lines in your situationship of choice. If one is to engage is sometimes skin exchanges, then it means being open to the occasional text or phone call that both parties know are happening for ONE THING ONLY. That means do not under any circumstances behave in a way that can be even halfway interpreted as romantic. Note: this does not mean that a level of respect and regard for being a decent human goes out the window. It means both parties know that they will not be the other person’s #mcm or #wcw any day of the week. Whereas casual dating implies that both parties have vocalized some semblance of romantic interest and will allow things to progress naturally. But meddling somewhere in the middle or hoping that subtle hints will take the place of clarity is a surefire way to catch feelings and hands.
4. Ask yourself what YOU want before you ask someone else the question
Before getting into a casual interaction that warrants the “What are you looking for?” question be sure that you have meditated, prayed, and communed with the spirits to be at least 75% sure of what you want, and it is okay to not be actively looking for this or that. The same way that it is okay if you have a list of requirements and algorithms that weed out F*ckboys/girls. Whether you figure out on date one or Netflix and chill night number twenty, it is valid and paramount that you are honest with yourself and most importantly the other person, because while you are hovering somewhere around lukewarm you are wasting someone else’s time and your own.
5. Have FUN
There is enough crummy stuff in life being crummy, peopleing should not be one of those things. In a perfect world we date to not find another half, but to enhance our own wholeness and maybe someone else’s, to learn things we never knew, to become better people, to have mindful conversations and informed and amazing sexual encounters that are fueled by consent, passion and trust and cuz it’s a cold world and sometimes people can make it better. But if your casual thing that isn’t a thing isn’t at the very least FUN then run immediately.