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How to Date Casually Without Getting Attached: 25 Hurt-Free Rules

You met someone you like, but you’re not sure where it will lead – and maybe nowhere serious. So, here’s how to date casually without getting attached.

How to Date Casually Without Getting Attached

You decided to casually date—great! But now you have one problem. You’re not sure how to date casually without getting attached.

We all want to meet someone. Sometimes it’s simply not the right time. Whatever it is, you know a serious relationship isn’t in the cards for you right now. Which is pretty mature. It’s good you’re not jumping into a relationship that you know you cannot fully invest in.

[Read: Dating vs Relationship – How to read the signs and know your status]

Dating casually – What you need to know

Of course, there are rules to dating casually to ensure you don’t get your heart broken. But there’s something else that matters even more as well. It’s the big question of whether casual dating is for you in the first place.

When you look around, everyone you know and see may be hooking up with someone. But does that mean you should just go with the flow and do something because “everyone else is doing it too”?

At times, you need to ask yourself if something is right for you before you take the plunge. There really is no advantage to sleeping around or dating multiple people casually just because someone else is doing it if you don’t feel the same way. So let’s take a look at the pros and cons so you can weigh your options, before we head to the real rules of casual dating that you shouldn’t ignore. [Read: Why do all the guys only want to hook up with me? And all you want is a boyfriend!]

Pros and cons of learning how to date casually without getting attached

Everyone has their own level of comfort with commitment. Some people crave it, and other people run from it. So, before you start to figure out how to date causally, you will want to really sit down with yourself and figure out what the pros and cons are before you embark on this journey.

Let’s start with the pros.


There are a lot of pros to learning how to date casually without getting attached. You just have to look for them. Here a few to get you started. [Read: Casual dating vs. serious dating – what’s your dating speed for now?]

1. You can keep your options open

Maybe you met someone you like, but you don’t like them THAT much. You don’t feel like they are the kind of person you could spend the rest of your life with.

But you really enjoy their company. They’re cool, fun, and you really like hanging out with them.

When you date them casually, you can keep your eye out for the person who IS right for you. You don’t have to totally sacrifice your dating life just because a person isn’t the man or woman of your dreams. You can have your cake and eat it too!

2. You have an occasional companion

Sure, friends are great. But sometimes you just want a companion of the opposite sex to do things with. It just feels different being around someone who is a date instead of just a platonic friend.

Even if you’re not ready to be in a committed relationship with this person *or anyone for that matter*, you can still have the benefit of being in a “sort-of” relationship. It’s like having one foot in and one foot out. [Read: What is casual dating? And how to know if you can handle it]

3. You can focus on other things

There is more to life than romantic relationships. Yes, they are great. But they don’t have to be the center of your universe. So, when you are dating someone casually, that leaves you time to focus your attention elsewhere.

You can climb up the corporate ladder in your career, spend more time with your friends, and go visit your family. You can even take up a new hobby or start on a health journey by going to the gym.

Your time isn’t going to be wrapped up in just one person. That is one good thing about learning how to date casually without getting attached. [Read: Dating exclusively but not in a relationship? The grey area dilemma]

4. You aren’t completely alone

A lot of people don’t like being alone. In fact, some people would rather be in a bad relationship than no relationship at all. Not that it’s a good thing to do that, but that’s just how some people feel.

So, if you’re one of those people who don’t like being completely alone, dating someone casually is a great compromise. You don’t have to spend every lonely night wondering when you will ever meet someone – because you already have.

5. You can have sex if you want

Let’s face it – a lot of people have casual sex these days. It’s no longer the 1950s where most people thought they had to be married to get laid. This is the 21st century, so you can have sex with whomever you want. [Read: Dating multiple people – the stress-free way to have fun doing it]

That’s one of the benefits of dating casually. You aren’t completely single, and you’re not completely in a relationship either. And this gives you the chance to get some of your sexual frustrations out without making a serious commitment.


But, as with anything in life, there’s always the flip side to dating casually. Nothing is black-and-white, and so there are some cons to how to date casually without getting attached, too.

1. It can be emotionally empty

When you are dating someone without a commitment, sometimes you can feel emotionally lonely. Serious relationships give you the ability to develop mutual feelings for each other, which can be a beautiful thing.

But when you’re dating someone casually, the expectations of emotions just aren’t there. That’s why they call it “casual.” So, if you’re the kind of person who gets attached pretty easily, this situation might not be for you. [Read: How to find out if someone is on Tinder and dating you on the side]

2. One or both of you might develop feelings

On the contrary, even though there are expectations of NOT developing feelings, one or both of your might accidentally do just that. And whether it is you or the other person, things can get very uncomfortable quite quickly.

If you catch feelings, then you will feel rejected by the other person, and it could affect your self-esteem. But if the other person starts getting attached to you, and you don’t feel the same way, you might be kind of weirded out by the whole thing. [Read: How to tell if a FWB is catching feelings – 20 signs they’re falling for you]

3. The person has no obligations to you

It might sound great to not have any obligations to another person. That means you are technically footloose and fancy free! But sometimes, you want the person you are dating to be there for you when you need someone. [Read: Dating vs. relationship – How to read the signs and know your status]

Maybe you had a hard day, and you want to talk to someone. Or you could really use someone to help you paint your bathroom. Well, when you are dating someone casually, they are not obligated to do any of those things for you.

4. You don’t have a guaranteed date anywhere

It might be easy to assume that you will have a date every Friday night, but you can’t really count on them for any specific day or time. If you need a date to your friend’s wedding or your company’s holiday party, they may think that’s a bit too much for casual dating.

It could get awkward. You are dating, but not serious. So, asking them to go to certain events that couples usually go to together could cause some confusion between the two of you. [Read: Exclusively dating or casual fling – 14 signs to know your status]

5. Managing expectations can be difficult

Even though you both think you are just casually dating, what exactly does that mean? What are the rules for a situation like that? How often will you see the person? Do they spend the night? Is this leading somewhere more serious in the future?

Expectations can be very difficult to manage. It’s best if you are both on the same page about everything, but that takes a lot of open communication. Plus, what if one of you change your expectations and the other one doesn’t? [Read: What does friends with benefits mean to a guy – Do they ever get hooked?]

How to date casually without getting attached

Casual dating may sound easy, but, it’s not. We’re emotional beings. You just can’t shut off your feelings. But does this mean you shouldn’t casually date at all? No. Of course, you can casually date, but prepare yourself. [Read: What you should understand about the world of dating]

If you casually date without knowing the consequences or rules, you can really get hurt. No one wants that to happen, especially when you casually dated to avoid any connection and drama in the first place.

So, we’re going to help you out and show you how to date casually without getting attached. It won’t be easy, but if you follow these rules, it’ll help you keep it casual. You don’t want to get hurt.

1. Ask yourself if you’re ready

Sometimes we’re just looking for casual sex because we’re newly single and looking for ways to stop the pain. Whatever the reason, be confident in why you want casual sex. Doing it for the wrong reasons can cause you to be seriously hurt and no one wants that to happen. [Read: How to know if meaningless sex is for you]

2. Be upfront

Before you even start casually dating someone, make sure they’re on the same page as you. Many of the problems around this type of dating is based on poor communication.

If you are upfront with them from the beginning, they decide whether or not they want to do this.

3. No overthinking

If you’re wondering how to date casually without getting attached, don’t overthink it! When you overthink the situation, it makes it weird.

You both agreed to casually date, this means you are both doing your own thing. Don’t overthink the situation or read into the other person’s actions. If you overthink, you dive down a deep rabbit hole which never ends well. [Read: How to stop overthinking and achieve peace in your life]

4. Have meet-up limits

You’re supposed to have fun and then part ways until you meet again, but meeting again doesn’t mean tomorrow. Set a limit to the number of times you see them per week. The more you see them, the more likely you’ll get attached. Less is more.

5. Don’t chat too much

You can talk when you’re seeing each other, of course, but you shouldn’t be spending the rest of your day texting back and forth. This isn’t supposed to be anything more than casual, right? That’s what you wanted, right?

If so, then the only time you text is when you’re figuring out when to see each other next.

6. Keep it light

This person is strictly for having fun with. You’re not supposed to tell them your deepest darkest secrets. Keep the conversation light.

Saying you had a bad day at work is fine, but talking about your childhood trauma is crossing the line. The less you indulge, the better. [Read: Are you starting to get attached to your friend with benefits?]

7. Set rules

Make rules. Making rules is lame and unexciting, but they need to be in place. Why? Because we’re talking about your feelings! You don’t want to get attached, so ensure both you and your partner know where the line is.

Set boundaries about sleepovers, sleeping with other people, and how many times a week you’ll see each other. This is very important when you are learning how to date casually without getting attached. [Read: 10 unfair but relevant dating rules we all have to live by]

8. Stop seeing them if you have feels

You’re human, and even though these rules will help you out, the likelihood of you catching feelings is still high. The minute you feel something, talk to your partner. Maybe it’s mutual, maybe it’s not. Once you bring it up, you can find a solution together.

9. Always be honest

This is just casual, you both know what’s going on. However, if you’re not honest with yourself and your partner, it’s going to end badly. If you start to feel something or want to stop, tell your partner. Don’t ghost them, be an adult. [Read: How to end a casual relationship the right way without any drama]

10. Have no expectations

If you don’t want to get hurt, expect nothing. If you’re doing this to try to get someone to be with you, don’t do it.

You cannot go into casual dating expecting something to happen. Understand that casual sex isn’t going to land you a relationship.

11. Keep dating other people

This is the ticket to not getting attached. Dating other people keeps things loose. Of course, if you don’t want to date other people, you don’t have to. But dating multiple people will help you have low expectations. [Read: Why dating multiple people is actually really healthy]

12. Don’t plan for the future

Don’t plan a couple of weeks ahead, keep everything light and present. Plan a couple of days ahead but keep the pressure low. Plus, “living in the moment” is a nice mentality to have when you’re casually dating someone.

13. Check in with yourself

From time to time, check in with yourself and make sure your feelings are still in a safe place. This is a common mistake people make when they are learning how to date casually without getting attached.

They don’t check in with themselves and then realize they’re in love with the person. Breaking it off will be really hard to do. [Read: How to make your hookup miss you and start craving for you again]

14. Remember to connect to yourself

Don’t rely on your partner to satisfy you. This is when you develop feelings. So, to counterbalance, have a sexual relationship with yourself.

Make sure you masturbate on a regular basis, giving yourself some much-needed love. If you can make yourself orgasm, that’s even better. [Read: The sexy benefits of solo masturbation]

15. It’s okay if it’s not for you

You may discover you don’t enjoy casually dating. Though it may be popular, that doesn’t mean you’ll enjoy it. What’s important is that you honor your feelings and accept whatever comes your way. Whether you like it or not, it’s your choice.

[Read: How to read the signs your casual relationship is getting serious]

Now that you know how to date casually without getting attached, you’ll be able to have casual sex without any drama.

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