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Date Tripper - Tips on Casual Dating - Featured in The Mirror - 7th July 2011 Featured

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Date tripper

Toying with the idea of having a fling? Don’t step into the fast dating world without these handy tips. by Kevin Lobo

 

Characters such as Charlie Harper from Two and a Half Men, who get women at the drop of a hat, and Barney Stinson, who made sleeping with the opposite sex an art form in How I Met Your Mother, have become legendary. But having them as your role model for relationships in the real world can be quite disastrous, even if you are looking for something casual.

If you’ve been through a bad break-up or just don’t want to get into a committed relationship for now, a casual date seems like a convenient escape route. But you need to equip yourself with these tips from our experts, clinical psychologist Varkha Chulani and life coach Malti Bhojwani to avoid jumping from a relationship frying pan into the world of heart-burn.

Reality check

Though TV glamourises having a fling, it is not for everyone. Introspect and analyse if you can handle a casual relationship before getting into one. You have to constantly remind yourself that this is just a ‘fling’.

Varkha Chulani says, “Whether you are party buddies, movie buddies or sex buddies, call it what you want, don't expect anything more. Causal relationships are purely functional. If you aren’t equipped, you might end up being depressed, feel very guilty or even remorse for what you have done.”

Timeline

Chulani says, “One of my recent clients is a young boy, just 17 years old. He was jumping in and out of relationships as if it didn't matter. Now, he is finally smitten by someone and can’t get over her. He came to me because he wanted to go back to his causal dating style.”

It’s okay for a teenager to be confused about his love life, but if you are older you need to decide on the time frame - how long do you want to date casually for - a few months, a year or till a certain age? Otherwise you’ll end up like Charlie, 40-something and emotionally a nubile teen.

Honesty

Unlike Charlie Harper or Barney Stinson, be honest with your dates and with yourself. Set the ground rules in the beginning so that no one is hurt in the end. You don’t need to play any games or hide or pretend about anything.

Bhojwani says, “The best part about casual dating is that you get to speak honestly about your desires and what you want. You get to be completely selfish. If you don’t have common desires, then you don’t have to hang out or see this person ever again.”

Discovery

Since you are not putting on any pretences in a casual relationship, this might be the only time you can actually be yourself without caring what the world thinks about you. While enjoying freedom is great, you can use it as a fun way to experiment, both in bed and emotionally. Bhojwani says, “In coaching, we say that the best place to learn about yourself is when you are involved with another person.

You get to be you 100 per cent with no agenda, which is a great way to learn how you would react to different situations and people, while having fun.” You can use these insights in your next serious relationship.

Simplify

Remember, the whole point of keeping it casual is for relationships to be stress free. So if you met someone, numbers were exchanged and had a perfect date, don’t try to hard or wait too long. If they have not responded to your messages or invitations, move on. They are not interested.

Your dates could be dating others as well and the last thing a man or woman wants to know is who else you are going out with. Bhojwani says, “Remember, casual or not, a date is about feeling exclusive and interested in. If you both want it to be physical, remember to be safe. Also, never casually date someone who already has a partner. There are a lot of fun single people you can meet.”

End it

When you find that your date is not interesting any more, turn them away politely, just like you’d do in a real relationship. A casual date can also grow into something serious against all the defences you might put up.

If it does happen, tell your partner as soon as possible, or else your fun time will turn out to be disastrous. If (s)he rejects you, cut them off completely. Remember, it was supposed to be a fling anyway. No harm done.

 

*****

 

Includes excerpts taken from Equip yourself for casual dating - More tips from Life Coach - Malti Bhojwani

 

Be honest. Be honest. Be honest.

 

Be honest with yourself first - and with your casual dates. Casual dating is not for the emotionally dependent or the faint hearted. If you know deep inside that you are looking for a long term relationship then don’t do it. Be clear about what you don’t want and what you do want.

 

Have you come out of years of painful relationships and have forgotten how much fun dating can be?  If you feel that you are ready for the fun and excitement without the hassles of a committed relationship, then you are set to casual date for a while. Remember that someone you are dating casually may only want to do that, so again if you are playing casual and hoping that it will grow into something more, you are not made for it.

 

Decide on the time frame. How long do you want to date casually for? A few months, a year? Til you turn a certain age?

Be honest with your casual dates

 

Be clear in your own head that this is not someone you are trying to “snare” and get to “fall in love with you”, so you don’t need to play any games or hide or pretend about anything. The best part about casual dating is that you get to speak honestly about your desires and what you want. You get to be completely selfish. If they don’t have common desires, then you don’t have to hang out with or see this person ever again.

 

Learn Learn Learn

 

Use casual dating as a fun way to learning more about yourself. What you like and don’t like. This will equip you as well for when you are ready for a relationship. Get to know another person without any commitments or expectations of sex. It is all about you, no one else. In coaching we say that the best place to learn about yourself and how you operate as a person is in an involvement with someone else. You get to be you 100% with no agenda and they get to be them, no one is trying to please anyone. This is a great way to learn how you react to different situations and people and it is so much fun! Probably the most fun you will ever have.

 

KISS – Keep it Simple & Safe

 

Don’t try too hard or wait too long, if someone you went on one date with or exchanged numbers with has not responded to your messages or invitations, move on, they are not interested.

Your dates could be dating others as well and the last thing a man or woman wants to know is who you are going out with tomorrow night. Be respectful and polite. You have been honest about your intentions with him or her, but there is no need to kill the “romance” and fun of the night.

 

Remember, casual or not, a date is about feeling exclusive and interested in. If you both want it to be physical, remember to be safe. Also, never casual date with someone who has a girlfriend/boyfriend, spouse. It is dishonest and unethical and there are a lot of fun single people you can meet. So why go there?

 

Be True to yourself – this may be the only place you ever really get to.

 

Keep your own core values in mind and express them. Is it Adventurousness, Boldness, Charm, Humour, Compassion, Creativity, Flexibility, Playfulness?

Just because you are dating casually does not mean you have to keep all your niceness, romantic side, compassion at bay, express yourself, it is all about being honest, with no agenda or vested interest. Express yourself in the way you dress, the music you like and food or drinks you enjoy. Do not hide or display anything that you are not just to impress or not scare away your date. When it is no longer fun, it is time to stop.

 

Lastly,

when it comes to the time that you no longer find interacting with this person fun and light, it is probably one of two things, either you are bored, decided you don’t really “like” this person, in which case it is time to politely and respectfully say, hey, bye, or, you have discovered that you are expecting a lot more from them than they are giving, in which case again, it is time to be honest and ask. Yes a casual date could grow into something more, but when one of you start feeling that way, be honest. If they do not feel the same way, have no bad feelings, take your fun times and experiences and go out there and declare that you are looking for a serious relationship and be honest about that, in order to keep all the “casual-daters” away!

 

http://www.multi-coaching.com


Last modified on Sunday, 17 June 2012 02:14

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