Why Casual Relationships Don’t Work

Why Keeping it Casual Doesn't Work

Being unattached and keeping your options open is awful. There I said it. Casual dating is so prevalent in today’s modern dating culture, but does that make it a good idea? In my opinion, which no one asked for, the answer is no.

“You have soul ties with the people you sleep with, and even when you are no longer in bed with them, they remain in your head. Your thoughts are consumed by their absence in your life. We feel disconnected from something when we give away our most prized bodily asset to a person that can’t even spell our last name correctly” ― Chris Marvel

When there is no commitment, the lines get blurry. Even if you have set out the boundaries for your casual relationship, someone usually ends up hurt. It’s better, from my experience to either make a commitment and be together or make it clear that you are friends and do not pretend to be boyfriend and girlfriend (kissing, hooking up, etc.).

When it comes to breaking up, the person can ghost you or leave without much of a reason. Although this sounds awful, in a casual relationship, neither one of you owe each other anything. At least that’s what I’ve been told. Common courtesy would be excellent, though.

What happens in most cases is that when two people don’t want to commit to one another, it leaves room to date other people. Like it or not, unless there is a discussion or promise to be exclusive, each party is free to do whatever they would like, with whoever they would like. This can be quite uncomfortable when reality slaps you in the face, and you realize you do not want to share this person you’ve been investing time in with someone else. It happens a lot in casual relationships and usually leads to one or if not bot people feeling extremely hurt.

If you brought up the idea to be in a committed relationship and they turned you down and said they would prefer not to put a label on it or commit to anything right now, then that is their problem, not yours. You asked, and they said they couldn’t commit. There you go. Freedom is yours to find someone mature enough to commit to you instead of some wishy-washy nonsense. There is a name for people who can’t commit to a relationship, a “Placeholder.” Wondering if you’re a placeholder in your current relationship? Here are five clear signs: 

  1. An inability to make definite plans with you. 
  2. They won’t introduce you to their friends or family.
  3. Never has in-depth discussions with you that involve their past or present life. 
  4. You don’t feel included in their life. They separate you from the more significant parts of their life.
  5. They don’t treat you with respect and live a very selfish life in which you do not come first or second, probably not even third.

When two people are not committed to a relationship they are just two friends who spend a lot of time talking, sometimes sleep together, act like you’re boyfriend and girlfriend, have inside jokes, spend time together, adore each other, but don’t want to close themselves off to other options that may come along the way which is a little ridiculous but hey this is the world we are living in. The issue with this is that you’re never in. You open yourself up to be vulnerable and get to know someone, but you never really let them get too close to you because you’re still guarding your heart at all costs since there is no mutual commitment. 

When two people decide to be in a relationship with one another, many positive things happen, such as: 

  1. You can be authentic with your partner with full transparency and honesty. 
  2. You and your partner can be best friends and experience joy being able to be real with one another without judgment or secrets.
  3. People in committed relationships have shown to have a healthier response to stress, anxiety, improved work performance, take better care of themselves, sleep more soundly at night, and practice better communication. 
  4. Creating and sharing a life with someone else feels more rewarding than being alone or having shallow relationships with temporary happiness. Longlasting commitments improve the way we think and our overall health. 
  5. Having a partner that supports and encourages you gives you confidence and a sense of security that is unlike anything else. 
  6. Being in a relationship helps you to learn more about yourself/
  7. One of the best-kept secrets to a healthy relationship is practicing humility. Being in relationships helps us learn to be forgiving and understanding.
  8. There’s always someone there to give you honest feedback. 
  9. You have someone to check-in on your and take care of you.
  10. You learn to love unconditionally.

Starting a relationship out slowly is fine, but if after you hang out with the person and you feel a desire to self-soothe with drugs, alcohol, or begin to negative self-talk, then you need to confront the situation head-on and be clear with what you want. I do believe it’s essential to get to know someone well before diving into a relationship with them. Still, after a few months of talking and hanging out, you should have a good idea of whether or not this is someone you want to either continue seeing or brush off to the side and be friends while you find a better match for a romantic partner. It’s always best, to be honest with yourself and the person you’re dating because it will save you a lot of time, hurt, and confusion if you be upfront about what you want and go from there. Don’t let yourself be dragged around by someone who doesn’t have the decency to commit to you but wants to have casual sex with you. 

If you don’t want to see other people and you don’t want the person you’re dating to date other people, then be an adult and commit. Put a label on the relationship and live happily ever after. Best of luck!

I’m looking for love. Real love. Ridiculous, inconvenient, consuming, can’t-live-without-each-other love.’

— Carrie Bradshaw (Sarah Jessica Parker)

I’m going to need a better reason to be wasting all my time with you.

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