Casual Relationship: What It Is, Why People Like It & 20 Firm Rules

Having a casual relationship has become increasingly common these days. But that doesn’t mean it’s easy. So, keep these 20 things in mind to do it right.

casual relationship

Does the thought of having a no-strings-attached, casual relationship excite you?

A committed relationship is like a warm blanket of comfort. But at times, all you want is the reckless rush of a rollercoaster ride that gives you a high and a racing heart, makes you feel dazed and confused, and leaves you back on square one at the end of it all.

As good as it sounds, true love isn’t always the answer for everyone.

Sometimes, even if you’re in a perfect relationship with a wonderful partner, all you’d want is to experience the single life and see just how green the grass is on the other side!

[Confession: I really just want to be single and date many guys again!]

What is a casual relationship?

A casual relationship is a kind of relationship where there are no clear rules or long-term commitments towards the relationship.

Both the people involved in the relationship are just in it for the moment, until something or someone better comes along.

Simply put, casual relationships are an outlet to satiate sexual and emotional desires without the rules and boundaries of a regular romantic relationship. [Read: How to seduce a friend into having sex with you]

To many, this kind of relationship may seem blasphemous or just wrong, but in reality, many people are indulging in this kind of relationship all the time. And now, more than ever!

Why does a person like a casual relationship?

It’s easier to get into one and get out of one, and it also gives a person the chance to experience the lusty side of what the world has to offer, without being tied down by the rules of society or a serious relationship.

If you’re young and don’t want to get tied down by a one-partner romance, it’s always easier to just get into a casual relationship with someone you’re sexually attracted to. You move on if you find someone better or stick around until one or both of you get bored and drift away. [Read: 6 signs to recognize a girl who wants to hook up and 12 ways to hook up with her]

The logic behind the idea of a casual relationship seems easy to comprehend, but it’s not always a practical idea. So if you do want to experience a casual relationship, make sure your casual buddy has the same expectations from you too! [Read: How to arouse a guy and make him want to hook up with you effortlessly]

The transition from a romantic relationship to a casual relationship

Guys and girls who are easily swayed by the idea of a casual relationship are usually the ones who have been in a long-term relationship *and are now bored* or the ones who have experienced a bad breakup even after they gave it their all to keep the relationship together. [Read: 20 common reasons why most people get bored with their relationship]

At some point in time, they realize life is just so much easier and fun when they’re taking it easy and flitting from one lover to the next, instead of committing wholly to someone who may eventually dump them anyway!

20 things to remember in a casual relationship 

When you get into a relationship and want to keep it casual, it’s always best to make your intentions clear from the beginning. Or you’d have one confused lover and one frustrated lover in the relationship, and that’s never going to bode well for the relationship, even if it’s only a casual one. [Read: What guys want and expect when they date someone casually]

Here are all the casual relationship rules that you always need to keep in mind if you want to keep the relationship strictly casual and intend to avoid any kind of serious commitment with your casual partner.

1. Don’t get confused with your emotions

It’s easy to believe you’re falling in love with your casual partner. If you think you’re seriously falling for your partner, avoid them for a few weeks and see if you still miss them. 

If you can move on or don’t see a need to have this friend in your life for reasons beyond casual sex, you’re just experiencing a case of mild infatuation. [Read: Lust vs love – 21 signs to know exactly what you feel for each other]

2. Don’t be controlled

A casual relationship involves two people. But almost always, one person has complete control over the other person. The dominant partner decides when to hook up, and when to avoid each other.

If you find your casual partner too dominant or controlling, chances are, you’re falling in love with them and agreeing to anything they say only because you can’t bear the thought of losing them or staying away from them. If you feel controlled or dominated, walk away before you get your heart broken. [Read: 20 signs you or your friend with benefits is falling for the other person]

3. Set the ground rules

There are no hard and fast rules in casual relationships. But that doesn’t mean there are no rules at all. A few basic rules could go a long way in making the relationship work for both of you.

Ask your casual partner these questions once you establish that a casual relationship is what both of you are looking for.

a. Are you okay with being non-exclusive and dating other people at the same time?

b. If one of us falls in love with someone else, can we end things abruptly?

c. How many times do you think we should meet each other in a month? *helps both of you understand each other’s expectations*

d. Are we going to keep this relationship a secret from everyone else?

e. If it’s not working out for you, will you tell me about it the very instant you feel it?

Asking each other these questions can help both of you discuss the awkward things that aren’t easy to talk about.

You may think these questions are just awkward and not very important, but within a month or two, you’d wish you had the answers to these questions already! [Read: What does a casual romance mean to a guy and your future?]

4. Don’t say that you love this person

It’s very easy to feel intensely attracted to someone you’re having sex with and spending time often.

If you feel like saying ‘I love you’ because they make you feel so good *especially when you’re having an orgasm*, hold that thought.

Saying those three words will take your relationship to a whole new stage. Or it may even end the relationship for good.

5. Be truthful about your feelings

If you don’t think it’s working out, talk to your casual buddy about it. If the sex is boring or the together times are awkward and empty, chances are, you’re losing interest in this person.

On the other hand, if you wake up thinking of this person or slip into bed fantasizing about this casual partner of yours, you’re probably falling in love with them. 

Talk to your friend and ask them if they’d ever be able to see this relationship as something beyond a casual relationship. And when you get your answer, you get to make a decision too. [Read: How to read the signs your casual relationship is slowly getting serious]

6. Talk about it if one of you crosses the line

A casual relationship is full of invisible boundaries. You don’t ask about your casual partner’s dates or their other hookups. You don’t have any control over them or the relationships you get into.

But the few things you do have complete control over are when your partner oversteps the boundaries talks about love or tries to control you or the people you meet.

If you feel restricted or awkward at any point in time, you need to mention it so your partner knows what’s on your mind.

7. Don’t fall for manipulation

Don’t fall for manipulation, and don’t manipulate your casual buddy. Don’t say things that can confuse them like “I can’t imagine not having you in my life, but I do want you to meet other people and fall in love with someone else…”

You’re just screwing with their mind and confusing them. So are you falling in love? Are you telling them to meet start dating someone else?

If you want the casual relationship to work out, be truthful and avoid manipulating your partner. [Read: 18 signs you’re falling for an emotional affair and don’t even know it!]

8. They want a relationship, but just not with you

It sounds rude and harsh, but at times, it’s the truth and you just have to accept it. When you’re in a casual relationship, both of you are just using each other until a better person comes along.

So don’t have high hopes for this kind of casual romance. Instead, have fun, take it easy and keep your options open instead of having just one long-term exclusive casual relationship because it defies the whole point of being in a casual relationship until someone better comes along!

9. Emotionally unavailable relationship

A person who wants a casual relationship is usually the kind of partner who is emotionally unavailable for a serious relationship. They want all the benefits of a sexual relationship, without the baggage of being emotionally available to their lover.

Many bad relationships or a bad breakup could make some of us lose faith in love for a while, and it’s in these moments that people go looking for casual relationships instead of committed ones.

When you get into one, don’t be surprised to see that your partner is completely emotionally closed off from you. [Read: 10 reasons why guys and girls get the fear of commitment]

10. Don’t get trapped

One of the biggest things you need to be wary of in a casual relationship is getting trapped in the relationship. You may not realize this until you’re ready to step out of the relationship.

Each time you try to end the relationship or drift away from your casual partner, does your casual partner try to get closer to you even if they were the one who was drifting away in the first place? 

If you’re in a casual relationship with someone who tries to cling to you or trap you by pretending to fall in love with you each time you want to get away, you’re probably dating a selfish person who just wants you to stick around for some more fun, even if they don’t care about you! [Read: How to date casually without getting attached – The 25-hurt free rules you must know]

11. You are not a priority

It can be confusing when you’re in a casual relationship because you might accidentally start assuming you’re in a “real” relationship. In other words, you might start acting like a girlfriend or boyfriend and develop expectations.

But you need to realize that in a casual relationship, neither of you is the other one’s priority like in a normal romance. So, don’t expect that your casual partner will drop everything and come running whenever you want them to. [Read: Why you should never make someone a priority when you’re only an option to them]

12. Avoid affection

If you’re having sex, and if you’ve had this casual relationship for a while, it will be natural to be affectionate with the other person. You might want to cuddle on the couch or hold each other after sex. And maybe even hold their hand in public.

But you should avoid doing that because that crosses the line and makes it confusing. Having normal romantic affection will just make you slip further from the line of casual dating. [Read: Why do guys only want to hook up with me? And all you want is a boyfriend!]

13. Watch your body language

Similar to avoiding affection, you also want to make sure your body language isn’t too lovey-dovey. You want to avoid looking deep into their eyes while having sex or just having a drink or two.

Also, don’t sit too close or put your arms around each other. This might sound cold, but it is necessary to convey to the other person that you still just want to be casual, and you can do that easily with your body language.

14. Don’t intertwine your lives

Sure, it might be tempting to meet each other’s friends and family. That’s what a normal couple would do. But you’re not a normal couple, you’re in a casual relationship, so you should keep them out of it. 

Also, you don’t need to check in with each other about what their schedule looks like or how their day is going. When you intertwine your lives like that, it crosses the line into serious relationship territory, so you want to avoid it.

15. Pay for yourself

Just because you’re in a casual relationship doesn’t mean that you can’t leave the bedroom. It’s fine to go out to get something to eat, have a drink, or catch a movie from time to time. 

But make sure both of you pay for yourselves. When the man pays, then it looks like a real date. And real dates have expectations of leading into something more serious. So, when you go Dutch, it has more of a “friends” feeling, which is casual and not overly romantic. [Read: Going dutch on a date and all the reasons why you should keep it even]

16. They probably won’t want to get serious

Maybe you agreed to this casual relationship because you hoped that your partner would change their mind and want to become serious one day. But if they already told you that they just want to be casual – believe them.

When you hold on to false hopes that the relationship could turn into something permanent, you are just living in a fantasy.

Instead, keep your options open and date other people too so you don’t get too attached. [Read: Casual dating vs. serious dating – What’s your dating speed for now?]

17. Discuss protection

It’s best if you discussed the ground rules for dating or sleeping with other people. A casual relationship can be exclusive, but you don’t want to assume it is. So, that’s why discussing protection before you get sexual is extremely important.

If they are sleeping with other people, you definitely don’t want to get an STD, do you? And you certainly don’t want an unwanted pregnancy either.

18. Don’t show jealousy

It’s easy to get jealous, even in a casual relationship. You might be jealous that they were seriously committed to an ex, but not to you. Or you could feel inadequate if you know they’re also talking to other people. [Read: Why am I so jealous? The reasons why we feel it and how to fix it]

You can’t help but feel jealousy sometimes. But, just don’t show it. In a casual relationship, it’s supposed to be low-key and not involve feelings. So, don’t show that you are jealous. If it bothers you so much, leave the relationship or find someone else. But don’t change the status quo when you both got into it for one reason alone – casual sex.

19. Don’t talk about other people you are dating

Maybe you both agreed that you are not exclusive. That’s fine, but it could play into the jealous issues that we just discussed above. So, if you are dating other people, don’t talk about it. No one really likes to hear about their competition.

On the flip side, don’t ask your partner if they are dating anyone else. Definitely don’t ask for details, because your body language will give away your jealousy. Keep the conversation light and don’t talk about other people. [Read: What is casual dating? And how to know if you can handle it]

20. Don’t spend too much time together

When two people are in a serious relationship, it’s normal to spend a lot of time together. In fact, they want to spend as much time together as they possibly can – which is why it’s serious.

So, you want to avoid being around each other too much when you’re only in a casual relationship. When you spend too much time together, you have a higher chance of getting emotionally attached – either you, them, or both. You want to avoid emotional attachment by limiting the time you see each other.

[Read: 18 must-know rules to end a casual hookup with absolutely no drama or tears]

Casual relationships aren’t for everyone. But if that’s what you’re looking for, keep these casual relationship rules in mind and follow them. It’ll make all the difference between a happy casual romance and a complicated mess that’s hard to get away from!

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Sarah Summer
Enjoying life in sunny California, Sarah Summer hates waiting for the perfect moment and instead chooses to take the moment and make it perfect. She has an unab...
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