A casual relationship usually does not involve any expectation of serious commitment or even monogamy. If you are thinking about having a non-committal relationship or if you are currently in one, it is very important to prioritize communication and honesty. Don't just assume things will work out - be clear with any expectations. Establish rules and limit contact with the person. Also, don't get emotionally involved, as this can end up making you both want more than you intend to give.
Part 1 of 4: Analyzing if it's the right situation for you
Step 1. Ask yourself if you want a non-committal relationship
Before starting (or agreeing to have) a casual relationship, it's always good to see if that's what you really want. Write down the benefits of the relationship and consider whether you can handle it.
- People choose to have a non-committal relationship for several reasons. Maybe you've just broken up with a long relationship and aren't ready to dive into another one, or maybe you're too busy investing in your career and don't have time to devote to a more serious relationship.
- Don't let your partner pressure you into a non-committal relationship if it's not something you want.
Step 2. Believe that the person does not want a commitment
Define the relationship as soon as you can so that both of you have clear expectations. If someone doesn't want to get married or you're not sure if you want a commitment, don't wait for her to change her mind. It's not up to you to change her or encourage her to change. Ask the person "Is this what you want?" or "Is there any chance this will progress to something?" and really believe what she says.
You probably won't be a hero for changing a person who doesn't want any commitment. Instead, you will just feel frustrated or upset
Step 3. Accept the relationship for what it is
Don't expect a non-committal relationship to change in any way. If you are with someone and you want the relationship to become more serious, recognize that you are in a very difficult battle. It's better to accept things as they are without hope of changing them.
- If you're not happy in a causal relationship, talk about what you really want and see if the person agrees. Otherwise, it's better to get it over with before you get hurt any further.
- If you're not interested in a commitment, be careful if you notice a change in your partner's interest. See if she's starting to get too involved and change her mind.
Part 2 of 4: Respecting Your Partner and Yourself
Step 1. Set the rules
If you've already come to an agreement that the relationship will not be committed at all, it's important to set rules to avoid confusion. Set clear boundaries on how the relationship will work rather than wondering what you can and can't do. Ask questions and consider whether the deal is right for you - the two of you must want similar things in the relationship.
- Establish some ground rules about physically engaging with other people or dating others. Decide if the relationship is a secret or if it could end suddenly if you fall in love with someone else.
- Although the relationship is casual, you are still dealing with a human being, not a sex toy. Being in a non-committal relationship does not mean that you can treat each other disrespectfully or coldly.
- Remember that it's just as important to communicate in a casual relationship as it is in a more serious one. Keep the lines of communication always open.
Step 2. Be honest
Honesty is vital in this type of relationship. Just because it's casual doesn't mean you two should lie to each other. If you're not satisfied with a decision, don't just wait to get over it. Say something. If you end up crossing a threshold, admit it. Lies can easily turn into big lies, and pretending it's okay when it's not is not fair to you or your partner. Make it a habit to give feedback and express your feelings.
- If you need to change the rules, say something. If your partner wants to change the rules, be honest about how you feel about the changes and whether you are willing to accept them.
- For example, if your partner says she wants to have sex with several people, think about how you feel about it.
Step 3. Make your opinion count
Your opinion should be equally important to what happens in the relationship. If your partner wants things to be just her way, say something. Say clearly what you want, such as "I want to go to your house tonight" or "I need time this week." If she asks for something you're not willing to do, say so too.
- Your partner needs to listen to you and consider what you think and feel. If your thoughts and feelings don't seem to matter, resentment and hurt may result.
- Don't just accept what she wants, especially if it hurts or makes you angry or upset. Say "I'm not comfortable with this."
Step 4. Treat the relationship equally
It's not just you who must change plans or give in. If your partner is demanding your time and energy but keeps making excuses not to do the same for you, the relationship is not in a good balance. If you're putting in a lot more than she is, ask questions or finish things. Whatever the nature of the relationship, you will be more satisfied if things are more balanced.
- If you don't want to break up but want a little more equality, say "I've been coming to your house a lot, why don't you come to mine next time?"
- Another option is to say “I think I'm giving up a lot of my time to get to see you. Could you make a little effort too?”.
Step 5. Use protection
If you are having sex with other people, always use protection and encourage your partner to do the same. Nobody wants a sexually transmitted infection or an unwanted pregnancy. Always protect yourselves to avoid these problems. If you are drunk or drugged, do not have sex.
Having sex with multiple people increases your chances of getting an STD and HIV
Part 3 of 4: Interacting Casually
Step 1. Don't get emotionally involved
Try as hard as you can to not involve any emotion in the relationship. Emotional involvement can end up making you want to spend more time with your partner, see her romantically, or want the relationship to move forward. This can end up fueling a greater connection and closeness. Casual relationships don't progress, so if you find yourself wanting or expecting more, stop. Romantic relationships are emotionally more intimate - avoid this part.
- Avoid talking intimately and opening up emotionally after having sex.
- If the person expects you to take care of them or listen to them, recognize that this can end up confusing the expectations of the relationship. Get minimally involved in each other's lives.
Step 2. Keep conversations light
Do not share personal information with your partner. If you start sharing more, it can increase the emotional connection between you, which can cause feelings of commitment. Sharing vulnerability and having deeper conversations can bring them closer together. As the nature of the relationship is to avoid these feelings, keep things lively and not personal.
- Talk about now. If they talk a lot about the future, it could indicate that they want a serious and lasting relationship.
- If you start to feel more emotionally invested, step back.
Step 3. Separate the relationship from your personal life
Do not introduce this person to friends and family. Most people who want a casual relationship want to keep their lives separate, so involving friends or relatives can confuse things and change expectations. Keep your personal life private and separate from your casual relationship.
Some people have no problem interacting with friends and a casual partner. But for that, it is necessary to divide things well
Step 4. Limit the contact
Do not call, text, email or contact the person regularly. Limit contact to once a week. Spending more time together can increase affection or connection, which can derail the nature of the relationship.
Wanting to see the person more than once a week may indicate that you want more than a casual relationship
Part 4 of 4: Finishing things up
Step 1. Get out if you're not satisfied
The nature of non-committal relationships is that they end when they no longer benefit anyone. If you're with someone who doesn't want a relationship and you're having a hard time dealing with it, get out. Maybe you've tried hard to connect more and make the relationship work, but you're unhappy or dissatisfied. If that happens, recognize that you cannot change the person. If the relationship is more negative than positive, end everything.
Say “I've been having a lot of fun and I enjoy being with you. But I'm looking for a serious relationship and that's not what we have. I know you want to keep things casual, but that's not what I want anymore. I won't keep any hurt, but please don't call me anymore."
Step 2. Avoid being controlled
If your partner always decides when you see each other, when you have sex, or how often you see each other and when you avoid each other, you may start to feel too controlled. Other controlling behaviors include criticism, feeling like you owe her something, or feeling pressured to do things you don't want to.
- If you're feeling in control, get out before the person hurts you.
- Don't accept something you don't agree with. If you have feelings and she doesn't, you better get out of it.
Step 3. Don't be manipulative
Avoid saying things like "I want you in my life and I can't imagine myself without you, but I still want to go out with other people." This can confuse you and leave you wondering how you feel. If your feelings have changed, tell her. Whether you've started to have feelings or have lost interest, it's best to be honest. Do not criticize or overjudge the person as a way to gain control of the situation.