Addicted To Love?: How To Properly Engage In A Casual Relationship

The term “casual relationship” is one that gets tossed around a lot these days, but despite the ubiquitousness of this concept, I feel we’ve all kind of lost the plot as to what a casual relationship actually is. I fear that the desire to keep things casual when it comes to sex largely stems from a place of selfishness and (to a lesser extent) self-preservation. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with being in a casual relationship (or not wanting to be in a casual relationship, for that matter), but don’t kid yourself into thinking you’re rocking the non-committed dating game when there’s a chance that you’re really, really not. Here are a few signs that indicate you may be getting more than you bargained for.

If the discussion as to whether or not to meet up doesn’t resemble a banking transaction…
True casual sex is what I like to call “banking transaction” sex. A guy that I was regularly sleeping with up until recently had this shit on lock. Our text message conversations would read:

“What are you up to tonight? Want to meet up?”
Option A: “Sure. Come over at 11.”
Option B: “Sorry, I have a thing.”

No fuss, no muss. If you’re truly engaging in a casual relationship where the only element of your interaction is sex, your correspondence likely looks a little bit like this. If your text conversations involve cutesy language and/or emojis containing hearts, stand back and re-evaluate.


If you’re texting multiple times a week…
Since we unfortunately live in a world where your texting habits become indicative of your level of intimacy, having a look over your conversation history is a good way to gauge what’s going on. If you text daily, or every other day, or something close to that frequency, this may be fleeing the realms of “casual”. Also, if you get super excited when you see their name pop up on your phone, you may have the feels.


If you’re not sleeping with anyone else…
If you’re simply just too busy to engage in a sexual relationship with more than one person at a time, that’s one thing. If you’re trying to be a responsible adult human and keeping your sexual partners to a minimum at any given time, that’s cool too. However, if you’re turning down completely viable options because you don’t want to jeopardize your current situation (whether consciously or subconsciously), you may want more.


If you do things together in the light of day…
When you and your situation only meet up under the cover of darkness and are never remotely affectionate in public, you’re on the right track to keeping it casual. But, if you go for food, or to the movies, or hang with one another’s friends, you’re toeing the line of being in a legit relationship (and a pretty good one, by the sounds of it).


If your friends know about them…
Friends of mine never asked how things were going between myself and my aforementioned casual situation (well, largely because none of my friends liked him, but whatever). The point is, they never asked because for the most part they didn’t even know we were ever hanging out. If your friends know about this person enough to inquire as to how things are “going”, you may have an S.O. on your hands. Also applies when you find yourself not being concerned with whether or not your friends know about this person, or see the two of you together.


If you actually look forward to seeing them…
Sometimes, you just want to hang with that person! If you find yourself wanting to hang out with your situation because you genuinely miss them (not just their sexual ability), you’ve entered Feel Town, USA.


Contrary to popular (and usually my own) belief, there’s nothing wrong with having the feels every now and then. The point of this piece isn’t to deter anyone from engaging in a casual relationship, or to abandon something they suddenly think is getting too serious. In order to properly be in a casual sexual relationship, you need to stop and re-evaluate the situation every so often, just to ensure you’re both still on the same page. Just be honest with yourself and your feelings, try not to break anyone’s heart, and chances are you’ll be just fine.


Alex Payne

Alex Payne

Contributor at Addicted
Alex Payne is a writer/editor/blogger living in Toronto, and a complete pop culture junkie, writing about music, dating, and whatever else she wants to rant about. She's obsessed with cupcakes, Kate Spade and The Simpsons. Oh, and vodka.
Alex Payne