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 RisingFromAshes
Joined: 6/3/2008
Msg: 1
How to keep a dating relationship 'casual'?Page 1 of 2    (1, 2)
Howdy,

I've dated a bit since my divorce went through. Was married 11 years, and REALLY acclimated to that kind of relationship. It agrees with me, and I enjoy it. 1:1. Deep. Passionate. Problem is, twice now since getting divorced I've felt something deep for a particular woman - something I wanted to take 2 the next level. That, in itself isn't a problem, but it wasn't what they were looking for at the time and I ended up wanting "too much, too fast" for them - causing great dating relationships to fall apart.

The kind of relationship I know & enjoy most, right now anyway, is the deep, meaningful one. It's where I eventually want to end up. How can I learn to keep dating relationships 'casual' to give myself the chance to eventually end up there?

RfA
 tlcslc
Joined: 7/20/2008
Msg: 2
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How to keep a dating relationship 'casual'?
Posted: 7/24/2008 8:27:52 PM
Hi there Rising,

Being a woman in my late 30's I too am looking for that "long term" commitment and am having problems with men only interested in a sexual relationship. I think the key is to be open and honest with the woman. Let her know up front that y0u tend to move faster that she may be ready to go and that, with patience, you are willing to try to move slower if she will talk to you and let you know when you speed up a little to much. I find it refreshing and sometimes VERY hard to come by a man who wants what you seem to want... long passionate relationship with a woman who returns that same ideal. Good luck and hope you find what you're looking for.

tlcslc
 lichatnoir
Joined: 12/4/2007
Msg: 3
How to keep a dating relationship 'casual'?
Posted: 7/24/2008 9:41:58 PM
I think the 'too much, too fast' can affect either sex in this matter. Communication is the key, being upfront about some general expectations. For some reason I seem to attract two main types. Men that become instantly obsessive about me-texting me constantly up to 15 times per day at least, after our first date. The other seems to be the ever popular 'friends with benefit' thing. What is normal anyway? I know that I'm independent and secure in myself to not be 'needy' and constantly need reassurance of a partner's interest every hour and every day. I'm not going to stress if I don't hear from someone in the early stages of dating, every day. I've even had someone text me two days after the first meeting, telling me 'I love you". That's just way too scary for me, it's not love it's obsession. The answer for me is that I expect in the early stages of what could become a long term relationship, not to be smothered. Also, from the other side concerning the 'friends with benefit' thing-it's not for me, I think people wanting that should hire escorts/prostitutes. Each to their own. I'm a little old fashioned that I think you should go steady and learn a little more about someone before leaping full tilt into each other's lives. I don't want to be 'owned' by someone or try to possess them for myself. We have many segments to our lives, you can meet in the middle somewhere with the right person.
 La Gioconda
Joined: 6/27/2008
Msg: 4
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How to keep a dating relationship 'casual'?
Posted: 7/24/2008 11:36:22 PM
I am hearing some contradiction in your statement, your question is

How to keep a dating relationship 'casual'?

and after reading your post I concluded, you really want a deep, meaningful relationship.

The kind of relationship I know & enjoy most, right now anyway, is the deep, meaningful one. It's where I eventually want to end up.


I think you maybe thinking that if you take things slow, they will eventually progress to something more meaningful. Whereas this maybe true, when we were in our twenties, does the same rule apply when you are in your 4oies? I think there lot of people who have been single for long time, and although they say they are looking for a relationship/dating, often they don't really want to change their lifestyle. So, I think there isn't any simple rule or style of dating that will eventually bring you to your desired goal. I think it's about finding/meeting someone compatible who wants the same thing. Having answered that, I still wonder...the more I am here on forums I learnt that people believe there are certain 'ways' and 'rules' about attracting the right person. While I don't share those views, they may work though if you are looking for the right kind of job, but not when you are looking for a relationship. People come into our lives sometimes and often without any warning.

Good luck OP, I know my post may not be very helpful, but I tried.
 §püngl䧧
Joined: 7/13/2008
Msg: 5
How to keep a dating relationship 'casual'?
Posted: 7/25/2008 3:51:47 AM
OP...if you find you're moving too fast, and are unable to reign in your desire to have a relationship similar to the one you had, perhaps it's too soon for you to be seeking. You should never look to find what you're missing... rather you should be looking to find new and better experiences.
 nadia08
Joined: 6/25/2008
Msg: 6
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How to keep a dating relationship 'casual'?
Posted: 7/25/2008 7:48:27 AM
wish I can put in my 2 cents.. but in my case.. that is my handicap.. nobody wants to go casual 1st... like you I just got out from a 10 yr relationship.. and I dont think I can just have my heart not just on my shoulder but on a platter... Goodluck.. and there's a few you know who would just be happy to hang out and a pro long get to know you stage send him my way!!!
 firecracker3
Joined: 2/15/2008
Msg: 7
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How to keep a dating relationship 'casual'?
Posted: 7/25/2008 11:54:08 AM
Hi, RFA
People men or women may not be in the same place at the same time even if you have something together that could be "it". The key I feel is to first talk about theses things before you invest your feels and then you have to make a choice whether you can live with where and what they want or if the price would be to high for either of you. Remember it is a choice. As for keeping things casual when dating... here is what I think on that. Dating is causal at first when it becomes exclusive then all bet's are off...LOL even then feels are not something we can always control.
 djsharc
Joined: 5/30/2007
Msg: 8
How to keep a dating relationship 'casual'?
Posted: 7/25/2008 1:05:00 PM
My best advice is never see a casual person more than once a week.
 worldscollide
Joined: 2/22/2008
Msg: 9
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How to keep a dating relationship 'casual'?
Posted: 7/25/2008 1:36:16 PM
I am happy to see this thread Rising, because I am the same way exactly. I am very observant and I know very soon if a person is someone who I could settle into a long term relationship with. I also know very quickly if they aren't. The funny thing is, is that I've had a few boyfriends who were slower and more careful, and they ended up pushing me away because I eventually got bored with waiting for something that was already implied.

Boy meets girl, they talk enough to see that they share core values, traits, and beliefs, they spend some time together and there is chemistry and compatibility, so if you have all the ingredients, why not make an honest go of it? If it doesn't work out, it's not going to work out in a week or a month or a year. There's always a chance for something to not work out, so why not start out giving it the chance that it'll be a meaningful relationship?

So in my case, what happens? A few months later they ended up regretting losing me, and cue the emails or phone calls begging to have me back. By that point it is too late. This has happened in every case with a guy I've liked, and it's a bit frustrating, but in the end I have no regrets. I am not going to apologize for being a woman who is honest about her feelings and who is more than willing to share them, I hear so much comment from men that those traits are ones they find desirable.

I think I am very quick to see potential because I am very intuitive about people. I don't have a lot of fear. My personality is adventurous, curious, and I deal with the consequences of my actions. I accept them, if I've done wrong I learn to not do it again, and I move on never to dwell or regret. I think a lot of people who rush into something have a hard time dealing with it afterward, they feel guilty for not doing something the 'proper' way (even though their heart tells them otherwise) and they want to make sure that they won't make repeat mistakes. They are afraid that they will end up hurt, having made a bad decision, that they will be rejected once they've trusted someone. But what do they lose out on? Carpe diem.

I decided after this happened a few times that I was going to wait and play things the safe way, out of deference to the rest of the world. Now, I am not so sure, and am a bit unsettled at the thought of not being honest to who I am. Par for the course, the minute I decide to try the going slow route, I hear a ton of anecdotes about people who did move fast, and are still together after 20 years. I cannot win for losing.

I did things 'properly' with my ex-husband. We dated for a couple of years, and waited to have sex, all the right things. It ended decisively after a relatively short period of time.

tlcslc, I like what you wrote and it's given me something to think about. Thanks for that.

edit to say- I am not advocating for those people who want to hop into a marriage when they don't even know who you are, I've had that happen and it's creepy. I am talking about something a little bit more realistic, but still seemingly quicker than the norm.
 RisingFromAshes
Joined: 6/3/2008
Msg: 10
How to keep a dating relationship 'casual'?
Posted: 7/25/2008 3:12:34 PM
Wow, some AWESOME responses here, folks. Thank you all very much for chiming in. I'm on break at work right now, so I don't have time to respond to all y'all, but I wanted to clarify my question a bit:

I've got a great big cuddly ol' heart that yearns to love and be loved. I tend to drop the walls around it too quickly/easily when I think I've found the right woman (doesn't happen often). I want to enjoy dating relationships for what they are - without looking into the future - EVEN when I think I've found "Ms. Right". What can/should I do to avoid diving in too far / too deep the next time I think I've bumped into her?

I like the "no more than 1x / week suggestion", the response about limiting communications (texts was the example), and the response about becoming exclusive being the turning point. That's the kind of advice I'm looking for here.

Great stuff, people. Please keep it coming.

RfA
 La Gioconda
Joined: 6/27/2008
Msg: 11
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How to keep a dating relationship 'casual'?
Posted: 7/25/2008 6:22:59 PM
worldscolide, there are truly many words of wisdom in your post, very inspiring. I can identify with lots of concepts you have touched in your post, so I can't resist in writing. I feel very similar to you when you say this:

I think I am very quick to see potential because I am very intuitive about people. I don't have a lot of fear. My personality is adventurous, curious, and I deal with the consequences of my actions.

I have been hurt in the past of course, just like anyone here, and similarly to you worldscolide, and the ~OP~thought of right pace of 'dating progressing into relationship'.
But this is where my dilemma begins, "I don't date"....what I mean by that I don't casually go out and check people out, (I tried few times, while here on POF)...and I always come to the same conclusion, that it is boring, going out with bunch of strangers expecting there is going to be some chemistry, ah yawn

In my case for example, He usually appears when I least expect him, but trying to make an effort, it is really quite pointless. It is like appearance of comet Halley, it appears only once in a while, but when it does, there is no mistake about it. Should I dance around it, make it baby steps, five steps forward, three steps backward, ugh, walk on the egg shell, analyze/paralyze... you see this silly game I don't think I can take.

But similarly to you OP and worldscollide, I thought there must be something that I don't know, and thought of different approach, more toned, 'wait and see', 'seek and hide'. Just like you said worldscollide

I decided after this happened a few times that I was going to wait and play things the safe way, out of deference to the rest of the world. Now, I am not so sure, and am a bit unsettled at the thought of not being honest to who I am.


I have arrived at exactly same conclusion, I am questioning it.

But I do like what the post firecracker3 said:

The key I feel is to first talk about theses things before you invest your feels and then you have to make a choice whether you can live with where and what they want or if the price would be to high for either of you. Remember it is a choice. As for keeping things casual when dating...


...something to ponder about, but I don't feel convinced... to talk before you invest? I usually already have feelings and emotions developed, it's not something I can turn on/off... so just pondering...but maybe what you are saying is to accept those feelings, and talk to your partner how you both see the bigger picture, you may find out your images don't match.
 verygreeneyez
Joined: 3/15/2006
Msg: 12
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How to keep a dating relationship 'casual'?
Posted: 7/25/2008 10:46:43 PM
What can/should I do to avoid diving in too far / too deep the next time I think I've bumped into her?

~OP~ You can do what I did. Learn to do things by myself. It sounds silly, but I'm not kidding, what an eye-opener. I'm not meaning stuff with friends ~~~ entirely alone. I started with movies, then dining, then a weekend trip and eventually, a major trip by myself. Wow, what a difference it makes for me today. I no longer feel "hurry up and find me" stuff. You do have to be careful, because I think I've become rather indifferent to dating now. If I don't date at all, that's perfectly OK, if I do, that's usually a life-altering event. I also learned that affection is best left out of most casual relationships (both sex, and even the kissy kissy stuff ~ that can really confuse things when you do want to just date casually) and date more than one person at a time. That really can be fun if you've never done it and leave it what it is: socializing with the opposite sex under equal and agreed upon terms (they know you date others ) It ran it's course with me fairly quickly, but 8 years ago I was having a really great time doing it. Just make up your mind and do what is best for you ~ I think you'll be happier if you don't do too much of the "heart on the sleeve" stuff, it can be really problematic! Good luck.
 bcsofnc57
Joined: 11/20/2007
Msg: 13
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How to keep a dating relationship 'casual'?
Posted: 7/26/2008 9:49:52 AM
I don't think you are the problem. I think the problem is you are dating flaky women. Date women who are on the same level as you are.
 Jan Sobieski
Joined: 7/4/2008
Msg: 14
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How to keep a dating relationship 'casual'?
Posted: 7/26/2008 1:40:31 PM
Just be your own man. If all you're after is a bit of fun, make it known. Likewise if you want more. Make your intentions obvious so there can be no confusion.
 good kitty
Joined: 2/21/2008
Msg: 15
How to keep a dating relationship 'casual'?
Posted: 7/26/2008 7:03:36 PM
OP: you've been spoiled.

Being previously married I completely understand where you're coming from.

You are used to someone intruding (nice way) into your personal space, being able to speak your mind, spending all your free time together. Like in a marriage should be. That does not translate into dating though.
You can try dating very recently divorced women. They relate more to you than single ones.

Dating crowd puts on front and is quite skittish with commitment or shring time and space with someone.

Take it easy. If you think you're going slow, slow down still. Try not to see whoever you're dating more than 3 times a week, and no more than 4 hours per date in the initial stages.

If it seems agonizingly slow pace of dating to you, the pace is just right to your average date.
(I wish I were kidding)
Getting back to the dating pool was more difficult than doing full time job, full time school, full time mommy thing.

Don't worry, after a while, you'll get back into the dating mindset.
 worldscollide
Joined: 2/22/2008
Msg: 16
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How to keep a dating relationship 'casual'?
Posted: 7/26/2008 11:00:38 PM
bcsofnc57 comes in and with one simple eloquent sentence, blows me out of the water. Nicely put. :)

Forumbuddy, I like what you said too.

La Jaconde, thank you for your kind remarks. I am very similar to you as well in some ways. There's absolutely nothing wrong with being the sort of person who wants a long term close relationship, just as there's nothing wrong with people who like to date casually. But I am definitely the former, like yourself. As modern and even quirky in other ways, in the realm of love I have always been the romantic and old fashioned sort. The forever girl.

To derail a slight bit and respond to a couple of points from your post- Many many people get hurt in relationships, but I swore long ago that it was unfair to paint people with the same brush. I am not going to make someone pay for any hurts that other people have done. Being hurt should add wisdom and the clarity to understand the circumstances which led to being hurt, not cynicism and mistrust of everybody else on the planet.

It is difficult sometimes, but even though I will be true to myself, I also am aware of these things and would like to balance things. I won't lie to someone but I try not to be pushy either. We have to stop and remind ourselves to consider the other person's feelings too, and that they may not have the same qualities, the same quickness in coming to realizations.

To get back to the matter at hand, and my previous post, I should have clarified that I meant relationships where you've been seeing someone exclusively for a couple of weeks to a month, and they don't give you the courtesy of talking about commitment, but accept the benefits in a relationship. They say romantic things, and go through the motions, they say they are happy with you and all that, you are the only woman they want, and can't believe they found you. Where you've discussed and determined that you both want to go to the same destination with each other, but they just refuse to give you any sort of official status, or they keep you separate from their life, or refuse to use 'we' statements instead of 'me' statements. After all those discussions and implications, it really shouldn't be too difficult to say 'so, will you be my girlfriend?' and let someone into your life to see if the qualities remain over time. I have heard men say that they are not mind readers, we women aren't either. ;)

I'll say it again, life does not come with guarantees, and there is always a possibility of something ending in a day, week, month, year. Why not enjoy it and give it a fighting chance to be something beautiful?
 BeautifulLady35
Joined: 5/5/2008
Msg: 17
How to keep a dating relationship 'casual'?
Posted: 7/27/2008 10:57:42 AM
RfA: You were right to enjoy sex with your wife because she was your WIFE. A man just has no right to have sex with a woman he's not married to. Sex is the bloom of a beautiful married relationship, not the root. The end, not the starting place.

If you want to keep your dating relationships casual, so that you can discover if it is God's will that a particular woman become your wife, so that you may have sex with her, then I suggest you see her one or twice a week, withhold physical affection (hold her hand or give her a "peck" kiss, no more), initiate long conversations about values and goals with her, treat her with protective, respectful affection, and don't make promises you won't keep.

If you want to keep your dating relationships casual, so that you can have sex with a variety of women, then date immoral women. But that's not what I recommend.
 La Gioconda
Joined: 6/27/2008
Msg: 18
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How to keep a dating relationship 'casual'?
Posted: 7/27/2008 12:06:37 PM
BeautifulLady35, I think that in your post you are projecting your own values and religious beliefs on ~OP~.

You were right to enjoy sex with your wife because she was your WIFE. A man just has no right to have sex with a woman he's not married to. Sex is the bloom of a beautiful married relationship, not the root. The end, not the starting place.


Being someone's WIFE does not automatically grant anyone right. Our bodies are not anyone's properties or commodities. It is religious belief based on dogma and not real spiritual values. Dogma creates 'fear', imposes on our abilities to reason, we must obey but not necessarily feel this is right. It creates conflict in us instead of 'freedom to chose'

I respect your religious beliefs, but imposing them on other posters is simply not right.
 BeautifulLady35
Joined: 5/5/2008
Msg: 19
How to keep a dating relationship 'casual'?
Posted: 7/27/2008 4:18:22 PM


BeautifulLady35, I think that in your post you are projecting your own values and religious beliefs on ~OP~.


You were right to enjoy sex with your wife because she was your WIFE. A man just has no right to have sex with a woman he's not married to. Sex is the bloom of a beautiful married relationship, not the root. The end, not the starting place.


Being someone's WIFE does not automatically grant anyone right. Our bodies are not anyone's properties or commodities. It is religious belief based on dogma and not real spiritual values. Dogma creates 'fear', imposes on our abilities to reason, we must obey but not necessarily feel this is right. It creates conflict in us instead of 'freedom to chose'

I respect your religious beliefs, but imposing them on other posters is simply not right.


Not imposing, just typin'. These are my beliefs I'm stating, same as any other poster here, including you, as I assume you state your beliefs in your posts. Did you not state what you believe is right and wrong in your post? Or do you reserve that right only to yourself? Based on what?
Best wishes,
PrettyLady
 La Gioconda
Joined: 6/27/2008
Msg: 20
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How to keep a dating relationship 'casual'?
Posted: 7/27/2008 4:44:27 PM
Beautiful35, You are right, I have used wrong word - 'imposing'- and I agree you are not imposing your beliefs. My apology. I wanted to comment on your suggestion, and it did come out judgmental. I was meaning to say your beliefs are based on religious practice and quite rigorous, but the world is changing and so does the level of our consciousness, people do ask questions. The dogma in itself is not satisfactory in today's forever changing world, and in the world of evolving relationship,IMO.
 BeautifulLady35
Joined: 5/5/2008
Msg: 21
How to keep a dating relationship 'casual'?
Posted: 7/27/2008 5:11:23 PM


Beautiful35, You are right, I have used wrong word - 'imposing'- and I agree you are not imposing your beliefs. My apology. I wanted to comment on your suggestion, and it did come out judgmental. I was meaning to say your beliefs are based on religious practice and quite rigorous, but the world is changing and so does the level of our consciousness, people do ask questions. The dogma in itself is not satisfactory in today's forever changing world, and in the world of evolving relationship,IMO.


La Jaconde,
Thank you for your kind graciousness. I don't believe "evolving" moralities and human natures, consciousness raising, and the belief that Christianity is dogma and other religions are not are true. However, I respectfully acknowledge your right and the rights of others to question, discuss, and seek truth. I understand why "Men have no right to have sex with a woman they're not married to" would be a difficult thing for most people to read in this day and age.
Blessings to you,
BeautifulLady35
 La Gioconda
Joined: 6/27/2008
Msg: 22
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How to keep a dating relationship 'casual'?
Posted: 7/27/2008 5:17:56 PM
Thank you Beautiful35 for your acknowledgment. I understand where you are coming from, and sometimes the best thing to do is to agree to disagree.
Namaste, La Jaconde
 Katietxgirl
Joined: 11/19/2007
Msg: 23
How to keep a dating relationship 'casual'?
Posted: 7/27/2008 8:39:01 PM
I'm a little taken aback with the statement that a man do not have the right to have sex with a woman who is not their wife. I appreciate your opinion and religious views, but...who can say that someone else has no right to have sex with another person. As long as both parties are willing, then no one else has the right to say anything to those people (unless they are in another committed relationship or marriage). Personally, I could never wait until marriage to have sex and would never date a man who felt that way. But I respect that others might feel that way. But I cannot understand someone saying that a man has no right to have sex with a woman before she is his wife. No one has the right to tell someone that!
 RisingFromAshes
Joined: 6/3/2008
Msg: 24
How to keep a dating relationship 'casual'?
Posted: 7/29/2008 10:16:03 AM
I don't think I mentioned anything about intimacy (sex) here, did I? Dating and intimacy are two very different things to me - I'm learning to take DATING lightly, but I don't take INTIMACY lightly at all. And HERE I'm talking about avoiding the temptation to throw my heart around while DATING ('cause it gets bruised easily).

More responses to your responses later, but I wanted to nip that one in the bud before it got too far out on the tangent.

Wow.

RfA
 GotFin
Joined: 5/1/2008
Msg: 25
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How to keep a dating relationship 'casual'?
Posted: 7/29/2008 11:41:57 AM
1) Sex and intimacy are NOT the same thing.

2) Women will tell you your plan is good because it's probably how women SHOULD approach dating, but you're dead wrong.

This is one of those topics where what women SAY they do and what they ACTUALLY do bear no resemblance to one enough. When you meet, the woman will decide in seconds or minutes whether she will EVER consider you a boyfriend, and if there is not a sexual element she will say to herself 'no chemistry' and you would 'make a good friend' (aka emotional tampon). While she may keep seeing you, especially if you do the usual chump move of paying for her time (with dinner/drinks/tickets), but that's just because she likes freebies and it's ego-building to play you even when you've been written off.

Eventually, she will date someone else who has the balls and the game to get her into bed quickly (statisticly by the 2nd or 3rd date), and you'll get to hear all about it at your 'weekly meeting' where you feed her and try to impress her by wimping out on at least attempting to seduce her under the bogus (and effeminate) cover of 'I want to take things slow'.

I don't mean to pick on you -- I know where you come from because I used this strategy myself for many years and saw it play out the same way (as above) each and every time.
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