Marian Rogers, 34 years old
You've been dating someone for a while but haven't discussed the possibility of it turning into something more. This casual relationship stage can be fun -- but it can also be confusing and frustrating. Couples set the rules for their casual dating exclusive through actions and words, but there are also universally accepted truths when it comes to dating. Knowing where you stand when it comes to exclusivity will help you work out what is right for you and what you are looking for in the long term. A casual relationship may take different forms. It may be an ongoing relationship that is purely about sex and has no promise of anything more, says Ruth C. Sex needn't be part of the equation, of course.
How to steer your friends-with-benefits fling into more serious territory. You've been seeing this guy or girl at least once a week for a few months now. You're both sushi aficionados, his or her big brown eyes make you melt, or they even laugh out loud at Casual dating exclusive Mindy Project with you. It's great-except that you have no idea where things stand. They have yet to introduce you as their girlfriend or bring up being exclusive, and you're craving that "couple" title and the security that comes with it.
People often associate the term "casual dating" with having a one-night stand when, in fact, the casual dating definition is: "any relationship where a couple is not exclusively dating each other. While this can extend to casual sex, it's more about the seriousness of the relationship than whether the parties are engaging in sexual intercourse. When a couple is casually dating, this means that they aren't bound to each other in any way. They're both still allowed to see other people, and they certainly aren't discussing marriage or children. They're just out for a good time and to have fun with each other - that's the extent of the relationship. A couple can go on like this for a while, or the relationship between them can turn more serious, sometimes without their intention or expectation.
More about casual dating exclusive:
Relationships happen in stages. You don't just meet someone and automatically become their significant other. I've tried that. First, you meet and message. But, you're not quite boyfriend and girlfriend yet. Sometimes, this confusion can make me want to come to every date with a checklist: "So, we've gone casual dating exclusive, like, five times. Are we still allowed to send memes to other people? Here's how you can distinguish between dating exclusively and being in a relationship, because seriously, what the hell are we anyway?
When my partner and I first got together, I was not ready to lock it down right away. This came about because I was equally tired of both the anxiety of looking for something serious and the dissatisfaction with hookup culture. What I really wanted was something in-between; I wanted the Goldilocks set-up of being exclusive, but not in an official relationship. Ultimately, our super casual relationship did evolve, and we made things official, but I truly believe part of the reason our relationship has gone the distance was that it started off with the intent to keep it casually exclusive. It allowed us to get increasingly emotionally intimate, without the pressure and expectation that naturally comes with the girlfriend title. In my case, I was the one with the control over how official things were, but for my partner, who always wanted more, I am sure there were times my resistance to going all in on the relationship was confusing and maybe even a little scary. Had they asked me at the time, I am not sure I could have even articulated what made me so resistant to rushing in, despite really liking them. Now, I casual dating exclusive it simply came down to fear of moving too quickly. As it turns out, that fear is not uncommon.