Thinking of going on some dates with a few different people? Better not let the rest of society find out! If you’re like me and are trying to navigate the waters of dating, you may have found that the idea of monogamous “dating” has become increasingly popular. And I’m not talking about dating where you’re bringing the significant other to your parent’s house for dinner every other weekend. I’m talking about when you’re getting back in the saddle, and want to get yourself out there and meet people. But you may come to find that this can be as stressful as an actual relationship itself. The days of “casual dating” seems to have evaporated even while popular dating sites like Match.com, or popular apps like Grindr become more frequently used to find potential partners. But fear not, there is a way to navigate the waters of everyday dating by following my Five Do’s and Don’ts of Dating.
DO: Be open about your relationship status. Not everyone is going to be comfortable with you casually dating multiple people but, by placing your stance on the table from the start, it is a strong way to form a bond with the right people. While I understand this may jeopardize certain suitors, if they are not at the same stage in their life as you are, you’ll save yourself a lot of time and trouble.
DON’T: Lead people on. This primarily goes for any relationship – if it’s just not working, don’t drag it out. But when casually dating, it’s critical to understand that when you’re not feeling the connection – let it go. This is also the distinct difference in my opinion between casual sex and actually dating. If you’re just keeping them around because they are a good lay, it’s not only misleading the other person in the relationship but can make the situation very messy down the road when you suddenly stop returning their phone calls.
DO: Dedicate dates for that exclusive person. There is nothing I find more annoying than while I’m on a date, I suddenly feel like the date has included a third wheel. By this I mean leave your cell phone in your pocket! By constantly checking it and texting friends/family, it can come off that you are not interested in your date, that your time is more important than theirs, or that you’re already setting up a fling with another person. Do everyone a favor and ignore your phone, no matter how tempting it may be. If you’re accepting a date with someone, give them just as fair of a chance as anyone else that you agree to go on a date with.
DON’T: Put all your eggs in one basket. It can be very easy when finally putting yourself out there again after a bad break up, to think the first person to take you under their wing is “the one.” Carefully take a step back and think about who you are dating and why. What do you like about them? Do you have things in common with that particular person? Does he take as much interest in you as you do in them? I see this happen all the time. This is SUCH an important topic; I wrote an entire article about the effects love has on the brain. You can read that article right here: I’m An Addict.
DO: Be open to new experiences. You’re casually dating and the world knows it! Use this time to experience a wealth of people and experiences. One of my favorite things to do is meet new people and learn about them and their lives. It can be incredibly rewarding to go on new excursions you otherwise never thought you would. Being single, this is really your time to mingle – so go to it!
So there you have it, casual dating isn’t a bad thing, and it wont blow up in your face either, if you do it right. Follow my Five Do’s and Don’ts of Casual Dating. It’s always an experience learning about others, and there’s no better way to learn about who you are and what you want than by meeting new friends and companions.