We live in a world with various dating options. Two of the most common are casual dating vs serious dating. But both have their ups and downs.
Casual dating vs serious dating, where do you land? It’s important to enter the dating world with an idea of what you’re looking for.
Not everyone feels ready for a serious relationship. Provided you’re open and honest about it with the person you’re seeing, there is no harm in enjoying casual dating. If you’re seeing someone who clearly wants a relationship, keeping things light and casual isn’t going to work.
The only way to navigate these choppy dating waters is by having an adult conversation. Yes, you need to have the ‘where is this going?’ talk. Terrifying indeed. [Read: 10 definite signs you need to have the relationship talk]
Honest communication matters
The problem is, most people try to avoid this conversation completely. It adds pressure, makes things awkward, and figuring out the right time to have it can be difficult. You don’t want to bring it up too soon, but the fact is that most of us say what we think the other person wants to hear when we start seeing someone, out of fear of coming on too strong.
Relationships of all types are complicated. But if you’re open and honest from the start, everything becomes much easier because both parties know where you stand.
Casual dating vs serious dating – What it really is
To know which type of dating scenario you want, ask yourself these questions:
– Do I want to be with just one person?
– Do I want to work towards a settled future with someone right now?
That’s it, literally two questions. If you can’t say that you want to be with only one person, then you’re not ready for a serious relationship. In that case, go casual. There is nothing wrong with it, as long as you’re honest!
If you like the idea of being with just one person and crave the love and attention of building a future, serious is the route for you.
When you first start seeing someone, the lines are blurred. It can be hard to figure out where you are on the relationship scale. Is it even a relationship? Some people don’t want to add the ‘R’ label!
The thing is, we all have relationships of different types, including friendships. You can be a friend with benefits and still have a relationship. A relationship isn’t necessarily all hearts and flowers with endless declared love.
The lines between casual and serious can become blurred, so let’s explore what each really looks like.
What is casual dating?
Casual dating is when you see someone, but there is no commitment per se. You may be seeing more than one person, and provided you’re on the same page about it, there’s no issue. The issues arise when one person thinks they’re dating casually and fine to see other people, and the other person thinks they’re exclusive. This results in very difficult times and an upset partner.
Casual dating doesn’t have a commitment, and it’s not serious. This doesn’t mean that it can’t progress to serious in the future. But for now, there is no talk of the future. Casual dating is firmly in the here and now only. [Read: 15 reasons why casual dating can be the best thing you need right now]
How often two people who are in the casual dating scene see each other is totally personal. Some can see each other once per week, while others are talking on the phone all the time and seeing each other three or even four times. There is no hard and fast rule. The theme is that there is no expectation or commitment. Put simply, casual dating is meant to be totally chilled out.
The problem with casual dating is the non-monogamy side when it comes to sex. If you are seeing more than one person and you are sexually active with both, then you must make sure that you are careful and protected. [Read: How to casually date without getting attached]
What is serious dating?
On the other hand, serious dating can be described as being in a monogamous relationship with someone whom you see on a very regular basis. There is an expectation that your union will either remain close for a long time to come, or if you both want it, you may move towards marriage or children.
People can be in serious relationships for years and years and never get married. It really comes down to what both parties want. It’s certainly far more on the cards than with a casual dating situation! [Read: 19 signs you’re totally ready for a serious relationship]
Many people love the comfort and security of being in a serious relationship, while others erupt into a cold sweat at the thought of it. Feeling trapped isn’t something you should experience when you’re in a serious relationship. If you do have that feeling, this isn’t the right situation for you.
The major difference between casual dating and serious dating is that serious dating is between two people only. There is no third party involved, and any episode of being with another person is classed as cheating. [Read: 15 signs that tell you that you are at the exclusive stage]
Casual dating vs serious dating in today’s world
The rise of social media and dating apps has meant that the debate between casual dating vs serious dating has become more intense. Apps such as Tinder make it very easy for those who are seeking a casual hook up to achieve their aim, but many do not make their intentions clear.
There are equally as many people searching for a serious relationship who use these apps, and by interacting with someone who is basically only after a good time and isn’t honest about their future intentions, heartache is on the horizon.
On the plus side, these platforms make it far easier to meet like-minded people with similar interests. We no longer have to go out on a Saturday night and pluck up the courage to speak to someone at the bar. A situation which strikes fear into the hearts of many!
Now we can sit at home in our pajamas and meet all manner of different people. If you take away the possible downsides of that situation, then you have to admit that technology has turned the dating world on its head! [Read: The pros and cons of using dating apps to snag a date]
Which do you prefer? Are you a serious dating fan, or do you prefer the free and easy feel of casual dating? It’s important not to put a label on either in terms of which is best. We all need different things at different times in our lives. Perhaps you’ve come out of a long-term relationship and you’re really not feeling the love for another, but you want the comfort and fun of a casual fling. In that case, as long as the other person feels the same, go for it!
Equally, maybe you’ve had a few casual dating endeavors and you’re tired of the lack of true connection. In that case, maybe you’re ready for something more meaningful and special. A serious relationship could give you the security and companionship that you’re craving.
Of course, there is a third option, staying single. There is nothing wrong with simply doing you. If you want time to enjoy your life, to avoid having to please someone else, or arrange dates around everything else you have planned, why should you even have to? It’s perfectly fine and totally acceptable to enjoy time alone and focus on yourself. It’s to be recommended from time to time!
Casual dating vs serious dating doesn’t produce a clear winner. It really depends upon the situation you’re in and the way you feel. Both will teach you important life lessons. Embrace them both in the right times!