Everything seemed to be going great. They got a long really well, had similar interests and goals, shared beliefs and values, and simply had a lot of fun together. But all of a sudden one day, she seemed to back off.
A few weeks later they reconnected, and this is what she told him: Can we just keep it casual? I cringe whenever I hear this phrase.
Though many people use the term in an attempt to maintain space, push off commitment, stall for an answer, or implement some distance- in my humble opinion, what it really means is this: Part of the problem is that in this day and age, we have a tendency to really complicate dating. But dating is neither of those things.
Let your yes be yes, and your no be no. Are you past the point of casual? There is a time and place for casual. That time is called the stage of the firsts.
In the early stages of dating it should always be casual. No thinking ahead, no commitments, and definitely no promises. The first few months of dating can be considered casual, because the direction up ahead is still unclear. But what makes a relationship turn from casual into committed? The answer is always time. Within a few months, the very nature of a relationship turns from casual into committed. The time that you spend together, the conversations you exchange, and the affection you begin to develop can no longer be considered casual.
Once you have entered this stage of a relationship , there should be no going back to the twilight zone of ambiguity and uncertainty. Consider what it is about casual that makes you comfortable: If you are the one that is longing for casual, you need to ask yourself why. Either the problem lives within you, or within the relationship. For some, the baggage of their past brings fears of future, failure, commitment, and permanency. For others, the relationship itself is not all that they had thought it would be.
Rather than helping you make a decision, casual dating keeps you stuck in confusion longer than you were ever intended to stay. It paralyzes you from making a choice, and keeps you stagnant in mediocre rather than moving forward toward fulfillment. If you are comfortable in a casual relationship, you need to really consider what it is that is keeping you from moving forward, and be quick to deal with whatever that thing is.
Realize the cost of casual: For those who are living within the comfort of a casual relationship, there is always a cost. Relationships are meant to be exciting, fulfilling, and healthy. They are made to grow, to stretch, and to mature. They are meant to deepen in intimacy, connection, and in love. If you are at a stand-still within the world of casual, you have to really ask yourself what you are missing out on. There is always a cost. Casual will always take the place of passionate.
Casualty will always win over certainty. Maybe by holding on to casual you are keeping yourself from a relationship that could offer you so much more. Maybe by waiting for things to magically change, you are missing out on the change that could be taking place inside of you. Maybe by clinging to complacency in a relationship, you are saying yes to casual and no to finding true love.
The one thing to remember about relationships is that they are not as complicated as we make them. Healthy relationships are natural. Healthy relationships are comfortable. Healthy relationships progress every so easily, deepen ever so quickly, and develop ever so passionately. Your Indispensable Guide to Finding the Love of Your Life , where she writes candidly about dating, relationships, and how to find true love.