By Derek Q. Sanders
First, let’s give a working definition of what is popularly known as “casual dating”. Casual dating is the act of dating while keeping one’s options open so that you can figure out what you’re most compatible with in another person. There are no commitments in this relationship. The interactions should be light and fun.
Casual dating may or may not involve sex. The purpose is to allow two people the opportunity to date without any attachments to determine their level of compatibility. There are many reasons why this ‘arrangement’ is not a good idea. We’ll address three of them below.
Only allows for a very limited and shallow view
Casual dating, with its focus on light-hearted conversations, will only allow a couple to engage on a surface level. This limited arrangement does not allow room for any in-depth conversation. The avoidance of serious dialogue does not afford couples the chance to gain a well-rounded view of one another. There is great benefit in having deep conversations even those that may bring about disagreements. Disagreements allow us to learn the things that really matter to one another. It also provides us the opportunity of gleaning from one another’s experience. “Iron sharpens iron”. The necessary friction has a residual benefit. Couples get a chance to see how they handle their disagreements which is important to the health of any relationship. Casual dating only allows for a brief “synopsis” of an individual at best. That’s hardly enough information to make any credible decisions other than to keep on going out for fun and not much else. That works well for relationships among children not so much for adults.
Maybe you’re that rare woman that can “Dance under water and not get wet” then again, maybe not.
Though sex is not specifically included in the idea of casual dating, it is not totally excluded either. It’s an option for those who are able to avoid the emotional attachments that naturally arise when couples engage in sexual behavior. This sounds like the perfect choice for men who want sex without any accountability for the emotional welfare of the women they bed. This puts women in jeopardy if the old adage is true, “Women give sex to get love, men give love to get sex”. The subsequent dangers are many and varied. Casual dating, by implication and practice, allows for multiple dating relationships which, in turn, present the opportunity for multiple sexual relationships which means multiple people to become emotionally attached to. You can see where this could potentially go. Maybe you’re that rare woman that can “Dance under water and not get wet” then again, maybe not. In the long run, I doubt it’s worth the risk of finding out. You’re worth far more than the gamble.
Anytime someone elects to date multiple people at the same time, someone is destined to get hurt. Depending on how many people in an individual’s “dating pool”, it could be several people hurt. Once the decision is made to take the relationship to a serious level and that one special person is selected, what happens to the others that didn’t make the cut? What about their feelings? Casual dating is a selfish act that does not adequately take into consideration the emotional anguish that may be caused to the lives of innocent people that were only looking for a chance to love and to be loved.
Casual Dating is a bit of an oxymoron. If you’re dating, it’s not casual. If it’s casual, you’re not dating. Casual dating is born of fear. It is an attempt to find the reward in love without taking any of the inherent risks that are required in order to know and to be known intimately. For those who have been hurt, I understand your pain. I have lived it. This approach is like sitting on the side of the pool with only your feet in after nearly drowning the time before at the same pool. It’s a huge step that takes much courage after the intense trauma of being hurt. Love Is worth the risk you’re willing to take, but not at the expense of someone else. That’s a lesson only learned when one has loved and lost. With great loss also comes great gain when we are able to learn the lessons found in the pain. We can then move forward better to love and to be loved.
Derek Q. Sanders is a published author, certified relationship coach, blogger, public speaker, songwriter, and musician. Derek is the host of the Blogtalk Radio show, “Writeous Talk on Love and Relationships”. Derek is the owner of Writeous Men LLC
Derek’s mission is to foster strong healthy relationships by providing thought-provoking commentary that creates the atmosphere for dialogue that invites meaningful conversations between men and women to improve the quality of our relationships by finding and offering viable solutions.
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