The combination of being young and the times we live in creates the perfect breeding ground for being casual. Not only romantically but in most aspects we find ourselves floating around - may that be in geographical or just general “figuring out life” terms. The world has become smaller but has simultaneously grown in our perception causing us to be on high alert for opportunities that might arise, tapping around like excited ponies.
When our lifestyles change - why shouldn’t our relationships? Well, of course they have already, but don’t we still sometimes feel that what we’re doing isn’t the “proper” way of doing things? Don’t we sometimes think that we should be having epic country song worthy romances and ride off into the sunset instead of scheduling dates in our iCal?
I believe we shouldn’t be ashamed or apologetic about the way we date. There’s no need for you to hide the dating apps on the last page of your “Travel” folder on your phone. There’s no need to make up excuses for missing board games night with colleagues again because you’ve got your second date this week.
Although the problem with excited ponies is that their attention span is very short because half of their brains are occupied with wondering if this is the best they can do. This of course expresses itself in their dating habits such as arranging multiple dates because they know other’s are as flakey - sorry busy - as they are and so they have back-up. Others take casual way too literally and don’t make an effort at all or just ghost you.
What may occur with casual dating is the same sad phenomenon you endure after eating too much candy: it’s not as good as it was in the beginning and your tastebuds go numb. As casual as you think you are you probably still value human connections and personalities and not just their willing genitalia. An overdose of getting to know so many people may make you indifferent to their specialness (or - alternate version - more sensitive about the bullshit you have to put up with).
I don’t think casual dating quite earned the bad reputation it has (well a bit of it but humans will be humans and all). Apart from the obvious perk of plenty of sex casual dating will also give you that much needed reality check - especially if you grew up watching all the chick flicks. Dates and sex with people you don’t know that well are prone to be less sexy/romantic and more awkward than Hollywood makes it out to be but - and here comes the most important advantage of dating - it doesn’t matter. Most likely you don’t care too much about these people which means that gives you a type of freedom you perhaps won’t have with someone you have feelings for. This is the ultimate gift because you can stop worrying about how you look (or if we’re being honest here: how they think you look) this is your time to put yourself first and to quit playing games (or start playing games, if you can be a dick it’s to someone who cares as little about you as you do about them - just kidding, be nice, kids).
The great thing about dating apps for example is that you meet people who have no connection to your established life, meaning you get to know them (and vice versa) without hindering context such as friends or work. This gives you the opportunity to find out what kind of people - and what about them - you actually like. Maybe you have a type you never knew about or realise you’re really into people who can cook. I’ve had quite a few Heureka moments while dating and I am positive it will one day help you find a very suitable long-term partner. As a bonus you could happen to have great conversations that spark new interests in you even if your date turns out to be absolutely not your thing.
I’m definitely not saying that casual dating is for everyone. It can sometimes require endurance, patience and being able to distinguish sex and love. And if you’ve already found your dream human at age nineteen then I am not the one to say you should break up and live a hippie lifestyle. But neither should we frown on those who empower themselves to have a good time that fits into their current life.
Essentially you just need to know when to move on, hold on or get some.