Golden Rules to Date by: The Do’s & Don’ts of Casual Dating

Photo by CC user Minm01 on Flickr.

Our tech is pretty mobile. And it’s permeated the other parts of our lives, too — including our personal lives. Somehow, we’ve become pretty mobile too.

As we bounce from country to country and experience to experience, some people poo-poo this form of existence as “fleeting” and “meaningless” while others who are more open-minded are mature enough to recognize that freedom and self-determination mean that we can decide who we want to be — and how we want to live.

And this includes how we want to have relationships in our lives, and the kinds of relationships we wish to have. Sometimes, it’s just not practical to keep an ongoing flame alive. Especially if you’re a digital nomad or you’ve been hit with the remote-work bug, long-distance and committed relationships can be completely impractical.

But we still crave companionship and the touch of another. We still learn a lot about ourselves through being with other partners.

So here are the golden rules of casual dating. Whether your eyes met her across a pool cabana or she caught your eye on an online venue like HotDates18, Follow these and you’ll never have a lonely night, no matter where on planet earth you’re spending that night.

Do: Have Fun

And get out when the ride stops. One of the best things about casual dating is that it’s “no fuss, no muss”. You should remember that casual dating is all about keeping things light and having fun.

In the context of casual dating, it’s totally okay to see the same woman more than once. You can keep dating for as long as you both agree you’d like to. But the point is not to let it devolve into the “drama of a relationship”. Besides avoiding fights, you want to keep your relationship filled with new settings and things to try together.

After all, if it gets boring, you’re under no obligation to stay.

Do: Set Some Ground Rules

That being said, make sure everyone is aware of what, specifically those “obligations” are. You don’t have to make “the talk” unsexy but you do have be upfront about what you’re willing to try and what a deal breaker is.

Make sure she’s being vocal about the same. Here is the moment where you can’t keep anything in your silo, so to speak. These ground rules can include how often you see each other, the protocol for the possibility of serious dating, whether the relationship is supposed to be a secret, etc.

It only moves forward if you both agree. “Casual” dating does not mean dating sans rules.

Do: Mix It Up

Look, you’ve got the best of both worlds here: you can experience the prolonged intimacy and experience of seeing someone multiple times, someone you really enjoy and have a great time with.

At the same time, there is nothing stopping you from following your other desires and flirting with other people, perhaps even multiple women at the same time. As long as it is something you’ve both discussed and agreed to (see rule above), the world is your oyster.

As such, you have the complete freedom to design your evenings and encounters. You can start off with drinks with a cutie you met at a bookstore last week and end it with the woman you’ve been seeing for a few weeks now that you met in your hotel.

Vary up your dates and take full advantage of casual dating because you never know when interest will wane — or you’ll be pulled to your next country, on a new nomadic adventure.

Don’t: Spam Her Phone

This goes for people who are not casual dating as well but, that’s another story for another time.

Naughty texts are a great form of foreplay and can really set the stage for the next time you meet.

But there’s a fine balance you have to maintain. Too many texts in one night is not okay. Neither is multiple texts after you’ve just left each other. That screams needy and insecure and that’s never attractive.

Plus, it violates the rules of “casual” dating as exclusivity is not in the cards. If she’s out with someone else, you blowing up her phone is not going to go down well with her.

Don’t: Meet The Parents (Or The Friends)

Nothing spells intimacy like taking the “next step”: meeting her family and friends. Don’t do it. If you feel the urge, you may have to have a talk with her about the nature of your evolving feelings.

If she insists on it, on the other hand, remind her sweetly but gently the original terms of your dating. Let her know that you like what you have going and don’t want to ruin it. Agreeing to meet friends or family doesn’t really invite drama but it certainly send mixed messages. It seems to say that they consider you (or you consider them) a potential long-term mate.

Don’t: Ask Too Many Questions

Questions about future aspirations, hobbies, and general topics are great. If you’re casually dating and seeing this woman more than once, you can even start to ask her about intimate fantasies or experiences she might want to have together.

But questions about the “5 Ws”, as we call them, are off-limits. These are the kinds of personal questions that one would expect in a committed, long-term relationship but are not really useful to casual dating.

The point is not that you’re trying to avoid commitment or responsibility. But, at the same time, you want to keep things fun and light. So avoid the “who, what, where, why & when” of her day. She should never have to answer who she was with, where she went and why.

And neither should you.

Personal questions of the 5W nature will usually be greeted with irritation and distance. So do both of you a favor and avoid like the plague.