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Friday, 11 March 2016

DATING | My thoughts on casual dating

Casual dating has never really been my thing.

I'm definitely a hopeless romantic and when it comes to dating, I can be very old fashioned. Yes, I use Tinder, but only because everyone else does, making it near impossible to get a date in any other way. I believe in waiting a fair while before giving up the goods, I like to be taken out on actual dates and I really bloody hate the idea of playing the game - so I don't understand how showing someone you like them is a bad thing.

Formidable Joy - UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle blog | Dating | My thoughts on casual dating; Formidable Joy; Formidable Joy Blog; Dating; Relationships

But, lately (in the past year or so) I've been trying to make more adult decisions and one of those decisions has been to be more laid back about the dating scene. To stop only going out with guys I see a future with, to stop looking for something more (not that I was specifically anyway), and to be happy to just see where things go.

The first thing I learned about this approach (after praising Tinder, of course) was that sometimes you should not have a type when it comes to looking for love or, in my case, just browsing Tinder.

I've found that in the past few years, there have been dates I've gone on that, in all honesty, I wasn't looking forward to.

Okay, let me rephrase that.

It wasn't that I wasn't looking forward to going on these dates. It's just, there's been dates in the past where I've felt sick to my stomach with nerves because I fancied the pants off the guy I was about to meet and was so nervous.

But by going out with cute guys who don't necessarily give me these crazy butterflies or don't necessarily make me want to drop all my other plans to go out with them, it's made a difference.

I've found I've had some of my best dates with people who, well, I thought wouldn't be anything but an average date. I've clicked really well with some of these people and it's made me realize that by not looking for a specific type and instead just putting myself out there to meet some great people and maybe just have that experience of normal dating for once, it has actually led into some really great things.

Which brings me onto my next point...

If you're looking for your future husband then yes, if it's something like they don't want kids but you do, this is a legitimate excuse to be picky. But we all have an idea in mind of things we do and don't like in a relationship and, although I say you shouldn't give up all your morals and let them treat you like crap, it's okay to be leniant on things.

If you're attracted to someone but they're not into the same movies as you, in this case does it really matter? You're unlikely to be spending much time watching movies anyway...

Something else I've realized is that it's good to not overthink things. It's entirely okay to just enjoy seeing someone, whether you see a future with them or not.

Not that I ever condone leading anyone on, but if it's far too early to tell if someone is boyfriend material or not and you both know where you stand, it's okay to just enjoy it.

It's okay to enjoy being treated and having that one regular date once a week and yes, when the time comes, it's even okay to enjoy having sex on a regular basis without having a talk about whether or not either of you are exclusive.

It's not always easy. Sometimes it's not easy because you might actually really like them and you might actually want to be exclusive (in which case, maybe you should have the talk or try and scope out whether or not they feel the same).

And sometimes it just feels weird that it feels so normal to not worry about everything.

I know it did for me. I'm used to being that batsh*t crazy girl with my mind racing with excuses when a boy doesn't text me back, or constantly analyzing every date to as of whether or not the guy will want to see me again.

So I felt super weird just letting go of all that and just seeing where it went, but once I got over those qualms, I learned to just enjoy the fact that I'd met someone who willingly wanted to see me again.

Formidable Joy - UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle blog | Dating | My thoughts on casual dating; Formidable Joy; Formidable Joy Blog; Dating; Relationships
 Obviously I don't actually think I'm flawless, I just really love this pencil.

If things come to an end during 'casual dating' it can be hard to know how to feel. Do you even have the right to be upset, considering the whole relationship was so laid back and neither of you were exclusive?

Well, yes, of course you do.

Whether or not you have the right to be upset at them is a whole different kettle of fish, depending on why things ended. But in general, I've personally found that if I've dated someone for a couple of months or so and they've decided they don't want to see me again, I have a right to be upset but not at them because, in my cases we both knew where we stood, so he had every right to decide that.

Of course it doesn't stop you feeling sad, if you do. But I think if I was going to give any specific advice here, it would be to be careful about how you address your emotions.

With casual dating, it's so easy to walk away from things and avoid drama getting messy. Don't get mad at a guy for breaking things off when you both knew where you stood anyway - it just doesn't make much sense.

It's not like you were in a relationship and he cheated - it's two very different things.

And it's okay to not be upset too.

That's another thing I found hard to not be guilty about. When me and a guy have broken things off in the past, I have been upset, for a day or two, but I've later realized it was just because I was going to miss the idea of him or just having someone to date in general, as opposed to him specifically.

I soon realized that we were dating casually for a reason - we both liked each other, but weren't too sure whether we wanted to be in a relationship with each other, we were both attracted to each other but didn't have a lot in common etc.

Once I realized that, I didn't feel so bad.

So although it hurt briefly, it also opened my eyes a lot. It made me realize that I can give in and go with the flow when I want to, and that not every single person you're attracted to has to be potential boyfriend material. It made me realize that hey, it's totally okay to just give in and do something you enjoy - people aren't going to judge you and, as long as you're both clear about where things stand, you aren't going to get heartbroken.

And then I actually felt good. Good that I'd done a grown up thing for once - I'd met someone, taken an adult approach of not over thinking things and happily just enjoying the time we spent together, and then we went our separate ways - no mess, not many tears and somewhat still on good terms.

It's the type of thing I wished and wished I could do when I was younger but I guess, maybe only recently, I've had the confidence or the ease with myself to do so.

So, to sum up this blog post, I guess I'm not really sure what this is. Perhaps it's an advice post, advising you all to realize that even if you are looking for love, it's okay to have a bit of fun along the way. Maybe it's just me rambling on. And maybe I just wanted to talk about the fact I finally managed to do something I (and other ladies too maybe) ever dreamed of - enjoy myself with a few hot guys (not at once, mind) and just let go and see where it leads.

How's that for casual dating?

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  1. Eek - casual dating! What a scary prospect for a married 27 year old with a baby on the way!

    Sounds to me like you're taking the right approach to it - have fun!

  2. Casual dating is fine when you're just looking to connect with people and not specifically looking for anything deeper. I find the whole concept of dating so rubbish these days as guys can see how much choice there is out there so don't want to commit to anything, even a second date x

  3. I totally agree! I think casual dating is important before you do find the one anyway. I met my partner on POF and I didn't think it would be anything serious but 2 years later we live together and are very much in love so your tips are great advice x

  4. i love this post, do you know the type thing, is really hard to get out of but it's amazing who you'll find when you stop being so picky (but of course by remaining picky in a sense)

  5. Casual dating is not for everyone, but I definitely learnt a lot about myself through it.


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