Committed relationships can be a lot of headache for people who would rather keep things casual. At the same time, casual relationships can be just as much a headache if one or both parties fall into the trap of getting too serious. If you are in a casual relationship and you want to keep things casual, luckily, there are countless ways to ensure your relationship doesn’t get too serious. Best of all, many of them don’t require so much effort.
1. Know What a Casual Relationship Is
People who are just entering into their first casual relationship may be a bit carried away at first, especially if they have previously been in a committed relationship.
This is why they have got to sit back and really understand what casual relationships are all about. Casual relationships are just sexual relationships or hookups without commitment.
The people involved are not actually dating or in a romantic relationship and do not expect commitment. Studies have shown that some young women have found such relationships beneficial as it helps meet their needs for social connection, sexual fantasies, and intimacy.
Bearing casual relationships mean in mind is going to help you stick to your relationship without asking for more.
Make a mental note that no one stays committed. Let this note have a place in your emotions too. In other words, get a hold of yourself.
If needful, remind yourself of all the things that could go wrong if you crossed red lines. Our emotions are very sensitive to red lines and would not be near them if they were well defined.
2. No Jealousy, No Possessiveness, No Control
Say these to yourself “No jealousy. No possessiveness. No control.” This is one of the golden rules of any casual relationship: to ensure a casual relationship doesn’t get too serious.
Do not allow yourself to feel jealous over what your partner does. As mentioned earlier, they can do what they want. Just as you, too, can do what you want.
You don’t have to be possessive. They aren’t committed to you. Be fine with that.
Don’t try to control them or manipulate them in a way that makes them feel as though they owe you some form of loyalty.
3. Flirt With Other People
Flirting with others will help you come to terms with the fact that no commitment is expected of you.
Flirt with as many people you find interesting and don’t allow yourself to feel guilty for it. One of the few things you have to learn to do is shut out your feelings of guilt.
In a lot of communities, casual relationships are relatively new. As a result, people from these communities feel some form of guilt when they get into casual relationships.
The truth is, as long as you aren’t hurting yourself or hurting anyone, there is really no reason to feel guilty.
4. Hang Out Once in A While
What makes committed relationships so taut is that both parties spend a lot of time with each other. More often than not, casual relationships will not need this. It’s most for hookups, social connection and to catch fun.
If you are someone who finds that they develop feelings for whomever they spend a lot of time with, then you shouldn’t spend much time with your partner.
To maintain a relationship casual and never go into the “what are we exactly” talk, it is best only to have them around when there is a need to. Also, do not go on normal dates too often otherwise you may start developing some kind of feelings you don’t really want.
5. A Break When It Gets Confusing is Ideal
It is not unexpected that you feel overwhelmed at some point during your casual relationship. This feeling is a common one and usually stems from emotional and mental confusion.
Since you are new to this, your emotions may be confused at some point as they try to adapt.
When this happens, it is ideal that you take a break. Talk to your partner about why you need the break. Tell them it has got nothing to do with them. But you. Then, take a break and process your emotions.
6. Talk to Them About Your Crushes and Exes
Although, for a good reason, people in committed relationships barely talk about their exes and crushes, people in casual ones should.
This works in two ways. First, it reminds you that you are not meant to be that committed. And then it reminds your partner that they are not supposed to be committed to you.
This makes things more glaring and easy to walk through.
If you want, you can talk about your sexual escapades, and you can listen to theirs. Be sure to keep your emotions intact as they talk. Fight back your feelings of jealousy by keeping an open mind.
7. No ‘I Love You’s
Words of affirmation are very effective in triggering feelings.
The last thing you want to do in your casual relationship is trigger feelings. So, don’t say the three words. If you must say them, say them very casually, the way friends say them to each other.
If your partner says them, laugh them off and go on to talking about something else to ensure the relationship remains casual.
Keep the love word as far away as possible, especially when you both are physically in contact.
8. No Cuddling if You Can’t Handle It
Sex and body contact can set off endocrine responses by the body. When you have sex and engage in body contact, your body produces a hormone called oxytocin. This hormone is secreted by a gland in the skull called the pituitary gland.
And it is responsible for triggering feelings of love and possessiveness. To keep yourself from being flooded with oxytocin, it is best to stay off cuddling if you can’t handle it yet.
Let it just be sex until you are mentally convinced that you are ready for the intense feelings that come with cuddling.
9. No Stalking, Even When You Miss Them
I am telling you, you don’t want to fall into this trap. When you give in to the pull to stalk your partner, you are giving into intense jealousy and an urge to control.
If you find that you are intensely drawn to stalking your partner, then it is time to remind yourself of number two. No jealously. No possessiveness. No control.
Take your partner off your social media if following them is what causes you to feel the need to stalk them. Also, take their number off speed dial, so it gets quite hard to stalk.
10. Detach When You are at Your Low Points
When we are at our lows, our sense of determination may hit a low too. We may fail to uphold boundaries we would naturally uphold if we were in our right frame of mind. We become emotionally vulnerable.
When you are emotionally vulnerable, it is best you detach. Especially if you don’t want to tell them that you need a break—just detach.
Detachment involves limiting contact to the barest minimum. No calls. No texts. No hanging out. Use this time to talk to your closest friends about whatever difficulties.
11. Don’t Let Your Life Revolve around Your Relationship
Outside whatever relationships you are into, whether casual or committed, you have a life. Don’t give up that life for anything.
Still maintain your hobbies. Still hone your skills, and give time to your talents.
Take control of your own life. Don’t build dependence on any one relationship. If you must be dependent on something, it should be yourself.
Give attention to your body, hit the gym, and work out. Working out doesn’t only strengthen your body. It also strengthens your mind so that it becomes easier to stick to defined boundaries.
12. Let Them Know It Doesn’t Lead Anywhere
Sometimes, you wouldn’t be the one who crosses boundaries. Your partner may also cross boundaries, especially if they are new to this too.
Remind them what you both are into, the truth that it will not lead anywhere. Don’t give them the impression that you will be committed to them.
When they try to control you, politely remind them that you won’t be controlled by them.
Let them see that it is just a casual relationship and nothing more. Let them enjoy it for what it is.
13. Flaunt Other People
Sometimes, it is not enough to only talk about the people you are talking to or seeing. You just have to flaunt them sometimes.
This works to remind your partner further that what you two have got going is not going to lead anywhere. It works to shred their hope and further define the boundaries.
Ask them to flaunt the people who are interested in them, too—spin humor when you do this.
When you two go out, ask them what they think about random strangers. You can say something like: “What do you think about that guy there?” Laugh about it. This will help keep maintain the casual relationship and ensure it doesn’t get serious.
14. Party Together
If you both must go out, then go to parties together. Go to anything ‘casual.’ Not real dates. Not tours. Nothing serious. Party on Friday nights, and party with friends.
Also, find a way to spice up your sex lives. Since it is a casual relationship and the goal is not to get too serious, do not be scared to explore. Explore each other’s kinks, no matter how wild they are.
Many casual couples like to try out a threesome. Maybe you should too.
Whatever you do, if it gets too much for you to handle, then maybe it is time for you to leave and try some other time again.
Photo by Andrew Welch on Unsplash