Casual sex and encounters, generally defined as anything from kissing to sexual intercourse between two people with no expectations of a committed future, are becoming increasingly common in today's hookup culture. Being in a relationship means that you must be willing to commit, check in frequently, and generally spend a lot of time worrying about what your S. O. is up to.
However, with casual dating, you can enjoy the freedom of exploring without the pressure of a serious relationship. In other words, before you flirt with a potential fling, you need to define what casual dating is on your terms. Or, maybe something else in your life is a priority right now, and you don't want to let a serious relationship ruin your style. Safety is a must in every relationship, but especially when you're in relationships with new, more casual partners because you just don't know much about them. Plus, it's always a good idea to make sure that you and everyone you casually date get tested for STIs regularly before becoming carnal.
How often you see someone will depend on the agreements you've made with each other, plus your overall dating and relationship goals. Even though it's not “serious”, casual dating still involves being in a relationship with someone, so respect is a must. The term “culture of sexual relationships” refers to a spirit of the time that accepts and encourages casual sexual encounters, including one-night stands, that focus on physical intimacy without emotional ties or long-term commitments. That said, as an intimacy educator and professional dating coach, I've seen a lot of common topics emerge around the benefits and challenges of casual relationships over the years. One of the main advantages of casual relationships is that they provide an opportunity for exploration without the pressure of commitment. If you're at a time in your life where exploring is exciting, whether you just went to college or just got out of a divorce, casual dating can be the perfect opportunity to try new things on your own terms.
On the other hand, one of the main drawbacks of casual relationships is that they can be difficult to navigate due to their lack of structure. Therefore, you will want to have regular conversations to ensure that maintaining an informal attitude remains pleasant for all members of the couple and to ensure that unspoken expectations are not generated. But if you find yourself wanting something deeper, or you start to resent sharing your casual partner with other people, pause. Casual relationships can be fun and exciting if both parties are on the same page about what they want out of it. However, if one person starts to develop feelings while the other person does not feel the same way, it can lead to hurt feelings and resentment. In conclusion, casual relationships within a hookup culture context can be beneficial if both parties are clear about their expectations and boundaries.
Communication is key in any successful relationship - whether it's casual or serious - so make sure that you are honest with yourself and your partner about what you want out of it.