Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Not Alone Series: Casual Dating {freebie!}

Helloooooooooo! Hopefully, wherever you are, the weather is as nice as it is here in good ol' Illinois. Warm, breezy springtime - my fav.

This week, Jen and I decided that the topic would be a freebie! Whatever you want to talk about, go for it! Just link up below!

A couple weeks back, I mentioned that I've been dabbling in this thing called "casual dating" and there were a few questions about what this all looks like....so OF COURSE I must oblige ;) Also, it's something that I've been meaning to write on since my perspective has changed dramatically in the past few months.

"Casual dating". What the hey does that even mean?

I used to hate the idea of casual dating, mainly because of the cultural connotation attached. I took this to be something that's hand-in-hand with the "hookup culture"....and I'm not about that.

So, naturally, I rejected this as a possibility for me.

Additionally, it seemed to me that casual dating also meant that there was a lack of intentionality....I mean "causal" can be just that: no commitment, no obligation, no worries.

But I don't like that. I like commitment. I like obligation. I like intentionality. I like worrying....ok maybe not, but I don't like a carefree view on dating. I mean, there has to be a purpose behind every date, right?

I've realized that casual dating can be intentional and doesn't have to be just about hooking up. Not if you don't want it to be.

So....what does "casual dating" look like for me?

Ultimately, it begins with a certain state of mind. Specifically, realizing and accepting the fact that while relationships should be about discerning marriage, dates are about discerning a relationship.

It seems to me that anything with the word "discernment" attached is immediately taken more seriously. But just because we're called to discernment in everything doesn't mean that we can't have fun! Dates are really meant for getting to know someone and figuring out whether or not you want to pursue something further.

And guess what? You can get to know more than one person at a time!

I used to shy away from talking to and/or going out with more than one guy at a time....and while it's an adjustment, I have to say, it's actually really helpful in maintaining emotional chastity. See, I can't be projecting too far into the future with a guy when there's someone else I'll be going out with next week.

But, I think the attitude of casual dating can be utilized even if you aren't going out with more than one person. It's really all about perspective and not putting too much pressure on any one date.

I've struggled with investing so much of my heart into a potential relationship, before it's appropriate, that if/when it doesn't work out, it's frustrating and disappointing.

However, once I really embraced the concept of dates being just "get-to-know-you"s and not "omg-I-must-determine-if-you're-"the-one"-by-dessert"s....well, there's a weight lifted and it's a lot easier to be yourself. 

Additionally, it's a lot easier to be honest with yourself if something just isn't clicking...because THAT'S OK! Ultimately, if you don't fit right with the person you have coffee or lunch or dinner with, all that means is you have one less man or woman in the world to date and you're one step closer to finding your "one"!

Another question is whether or not this idea of dating being casual is discussed with the men I've been going out with. No, not really. I think the way in which I interact in a date, makes a big difference, though. 

If, when accepting an invitation, you say something like "That sounds great! I'd love to get to know you better!" ....and then during the date you actually try to get to know the person you're with, that's huge. But, I really try to allow the first few dates to be not super intense. My natural inclination is to want to know every single thing about someone....but that gives off a very serious vibe when you're talking about your hopes and dreams for the future or where you ideally want to settle down to raise a family...on the first date.

If these things come up, that's not bad...but keep it light! Perhaps hold off on bearing your entire heart and soul until you're in a committed relationship?

I think that's all I've got! At the end of the day, this whole living my single life became a lot easier once I truly, truly allowed myself to realize that the fulfillment of my life is not defined by my relationship status. This place I'm in makes it a lot easier to go into a date thinking "I'm perfectly happy with my life where I'm at, even if this doesn't turn into anything, I'll be in this same place, which is good." (those are actually the exact words I must remind myself of before every date/hangout/whatever)

Please don't hesitate to ask other questions or for clarification! I'm by no means an expert on dating, but I'll try to help however I can! :)

Link up your freebie post below!!!


Next week's topic:
Touchy Feely
Everyone has different ideas on physical affection in and out of relationships and where their personal boundaries lie. What boundaries do you draw or expectations do you have for physical affection in romantic relationships? Have specific experiences led you to draw these lines?

Please help Jen and I out by suggesting any topics you'd like to write on in the coming weeks!!!


  1. I think I am ok with casual dating but seem to not even be able to meet guys to go on casual dates with. How do you even meet guys? Also how does the physical aspect of dating (i.e. kiss goodnight and hand holding in particular) play into your casual dating?

    1. I want to know this, too! Don't leave us hanging, Morgan!

  2. Hi guys,
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