Casual or Short-Term Dating

General discussion about relationship issues.
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ily
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Casual or Short-Term Dating

Postby ily » Sat Feb 20, 2010 9:18 pm

Hey all,

A friend of mine has a blog about her experiences with online dating, specifically with OkCupid. She was recently writing about a man she met who was interested only in casual dating, and "short term dating" is an option on OkCupid.

This got me thinking whether casual dating is something that asexuals do, because while I'm sure there must be at least one of us who does...I've never really heard of asexuals doing it. It seems like the prevailing pattern for us is to enter into a long-term relationship when we meet a compatible person.

Anyway, since I don't have personal experience in the matter either way, I'm interested in hearing other people's thoughts.

Gracias!

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KAGU143
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Re: Casual or Short-Term Dating

Postby KAGU143 » Sun Feb 21, 2010 12:13 pm

Well, I don't think I would even consider it today. 'Reason being: "Short term date" is simply another word for "One night stand."
No thanks. Just because dinner and a movie is usually a good bit cheaper than hiring a prostitute? .... nope. Not here, it isn't.

Several decades ago I might have done it if it were a church-sponsored event or something of that sort. In that case, sex would not have been expected and the very fact that it was supposed to be short-term would have allowed the pending relationship to be disolved before sex became an issue. In the "olden" days it would have been seen as practicing one's socializing skills more than anything else, at least for the first date.

Man ... I'm glad I got out when I DID!!
For the most part, I shunned dating even then. I socialized a lot with my friends, but mainly as a group.
I told them that I intended to be a very eccentric adult when/if I ever grew up, (little did they KNOW!) and that I needed to start early to do it properly.
I was so right! :)
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Dargon
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Re: Casual or Short-Term Dating

Postby Dargon » Mon Feb 22, 2010 5:37 pm

While I probably don't count, for the record, I have never understood "short term" or "casual" dating. It seems quite pointless to me.

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Nathan
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Re: Casual or Short-Term Dating

Postby Nathan » Tue Feb 23, 2010 7:53 am

The idea of short-term dating actually makes perfect sense to me, though I have no idea if I'm thinking of it in the same way as the OKCupid people. I think it's mainly an age thing. When people are older, it's more likely that marriage is the end-goal in mind when people date, so short-term, non-marriage-track dating is an exception. But in college (and just think of high school!), it's the norm. People create dating relationships that are just as strong as marriage-track ones, but with no expectation that they will continue -- rather, WITH the expectation that, at some point, they will break up. Because most people do break up. Few people at that age are thinking about partnering for life anyway, even if they will in the future. At least from my past experience of watching people around me, short-term dating is the norm.

Dating, as I see it, is simply a way to form and structure a close relationship with somebody, and if people want to form a relationship like that without as much commitment to being a part of each other's lives either day-to-day or long-term, that's great. I think it's worthwhile for as long as it enriches both people's lives.

I think asexual people usually think about dating differently. We often form close relationships of one sort or another, but since sexuality isn't a marker of the intimate connection, by the time a relationship is strong enough to think about defining it, or commitment, etc (or, whether there's even dating going on!) it's way past the initial dating stage. That initial stage is where casual dating would happen, and asexual people often just get to know other folks instead -- and if it's a short term thing, it stays a short term thing without any label; if it gets to be a long-term thing, we talk about it (hopefully).

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ily
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Re: Casual or Short-Term Dating

Postby ily » Tue Feb 23, 2010 9:19 pm

Dargon, why don't you count?
Anyway, if I wasn't asexual, maybe I would date people casually. But even so, it seems like long-term dating would be the natural outcome of successful short-term dating.

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Dargon
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Re: Casual or Short-Term Dating

Postby Dargon » Wed Feb 24, 2010 10:03 am

Ily, because I consider myself aromantic. Most of dating doesn't make a lot of sense to me, so my perspective on causal or short-term dating is likely very biased.

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ily
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Re: Casual or Short-Term Dating

Postby ily » Wed Feb 24, 2010 4:20 pm

Well, dating tends to make little to no sense to me, either. I wouldn't think aromantic people are any less qualified to talk about dating, at least in theory...it does surround us constantly, even if we don't take part in it ourselves.

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Re: Casual or Short-Term Dating

Postby Jicragg » Mon Mar 15, 2010 1:03 am

KAGU143 wrote:No thanks. Just because dinner and a movie is usually a good bit cheaper than hiring a prostitute? .... nope. Not here, it isn't.

All depends on what you have and if you get any snacks at the cinema. The average price for anal sex with a prostitute is ninety-seven dollars (or ninety-three - it's one of the two).

From what my friend's explanation of short term dating she generally does it for fun (but not sexually) when she wants somebody she can be with in a romantic sense but not have to worry about commitment because she views herself as being too young for anything too serious. If it does seem like the relationship could be perfect they would continue it. That's what I see it as so I guess it's perfectly possible for asexuals to have relationships like that but for the most part I've only ever seen asexuals comment wanting full, long-term commited relationships.

disjointed

Re: Casual or Short-Term Dating

Postby disjointed » Mon Mar 15, 2010 8:45 am

for many the short term dating..or f*ck buddies is normally for yhe buzz and the chase along with a guaranteed shag at the end

as to asexual short term..non f*ck buddies..it does seem pointless

The Gray Lady
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Re: Casual or Short-Term Dating

Postby The Gray Lady » Thu Apr 08, 2010 4:48 pm

Been meaning to reply to this thread for a while, but I really just haven't had the free time lately... Playing catch-up!

Well, I don't think I would even consider it today. 'Reason being: "Short term date" is simply another word for "One night stand."


Um, no it isn't? I was rather confused when I read this, so I asked my girlfriend what she thought--she is 26 and has done the friend with benefits thing, the casual encounters on craigslist thing, casual dating, serious dating, romantic friendship, "what the f*ck is this and what are we doing," "I love you but I don't want to admit I'm in a romantic relationship with you," and "Let's be poly!"... so in short, young and very much in touch both with current mainstream cultural norms regarding relationships (of almost every kind), and with non-mainstream alternatives.

Casual ENCOUNTERS are usually another word for one night stand*. Casual dating is something totally different. The difference is easy to google, and I think for the most part it's been well enough explained already, so I won't get into it unless somebody asks for a more detailed explanation.

* (which by the way is different from having a "f*ck buddy" or friend with benefits--which are in turn different from one another)

I think it's unfair to say something like that--it's stereotyping, and it's based on biased perception rather than experience or at least research.

I've also done casual dating. In fact, I find it way easier to deal with (when starting out, of course) than formal dating, because it removes a lot of the expectations of deep commitment--and no, I don't find it places more emphasis on sex. If anything, it's about the same... If not any less expected, because the relationship is less goal-oriented. Although yes, often it does involve sex, there is by no means a "guaranteed shag at the end." And instead of going into it with all the typical ideas about what is supposed to happen eventually (which IS seen as including a guaranteed shag), each individual is able to define the way their relationship evolves with each person they casually date, because neither person expects to follow the goal-oriented script. And for some people, that could very well mean getting to know someone as friends who do date-like activities, with both keeping options for how the relationship might evolve in the future open.

I think Nathan's right that casual dating is probably more like the norm for college-aged people. In fact, I think that's usually what people around my age refer to as just "dating," to the extend that it seems weird for me to say I'm "dating" my gf. And for me, the natural outcome of short-term was indeed long-term dating. But I don't think that's the case for everyone. Some people do casual dating for a while before deciding they just don't really want to date. Or that what they want is more like a friend-with-benefits. Or whatever--results vary a lot.

disjointed

Re: Casual or Short-Term Dating

Postby disjointed » Fri Apr 09, 2010 8:41 am

i must adnit at 46 i have had in recent years a sense of ..this feels odd..declaring someone as my girlfriend...it seems that term is definatly for young guns

Isaac
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Re: Casual or Short-Term Dating

Postby Isaac » Thu Jul 08, 2010 9:03 am

I'm also aromantic and find no sense in all these formats of relationship, but I think it's important not confusing them. From my observation I'll call middle-term the default style in college, reserving short term for relationships shorter than a month, which are followed by many people in high school and early college.

SlightlyMetaphysical
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Re: Casual or Short-Term Dating

Postby SlightlyMetaphysical » Fri Jul 09, 2010 1:00 am

I'm in agreement with Nathan and Grey Lady. As a not-romantic, not-aromantic person (greyromantic?), if I date, I'll probably try deliberately to avoid how a standard relationship grows. This could mean 'casual' relationships, polyamorous relationships, community-based intimacy or any mix of the three. In my position, casual relationships are a pretty useful tool for connecting with people in mutuall fulfilling ways.

So- I may well be that asexual. I guess that answers your question, Ily.

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P is for...
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Re: Casual or Short-Term Dating

Postby P is for... » Fri Jul 09, 2010 6:33 am

i've never really been able to wrap my head around the concept, simply because--and i hope it goes without saying that i place no value judgement whatsoever on anyone who feels otherwise--i have never seen the use in being involved with someone simply for the sake of being involved with someone. i'm definitely romantic, no question about it, but perhaps for that very reason my standards are pretty high. so my pattern has been to have relationships based on a personal connection, with massive, gaping black holes of time between them. as in years and years. i've always felt quite comfortable with my own company (in fact i tend to prefer it to that of most others, for good or for ill), so it's never been an issue for me not to date for companionship, socialization, or what have you.

the whole "quirkyalone" thing wasn't around when i was in college, but if it had been, i probably would have found a great deal of comfort in it. oh yeah--and asexuality. that too...

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ily
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Re: Casual or Short-Term Dating

Postby ily » Fri Jul 09, 2010 12:29 pm

P is for... wrote:--i have never seen the use in being involved with someone simply for the sake of being involved with someone.


That's how I feel, as well.

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Re: Casual or Short-Term Dating

Postby fridayoak » Tue Jul 20, 2010 11:24 am

I don't know about other people's defintions of "casual dating" but for me I've had a few phases of just going out with girls for one, two maybe 3 dates, usually when I want someone to go to see a particular film with or I just want the feeling of having nice female company on an evening. It's just dating, only on a couple of times has it ever led to a relationship, the vast majority of times I'll like the girl in question but not romantically (usually for starters I try to imagine kissing them and majority of time it just doesn't seem possible, so that's pretty much it, or there's jsut no "spark").

The last phase of me doing this was over a year ago, then I had a long-term girlfriend, now I'm single again I have to admit I'm having trouble getting into dating mode. There was a girl I was supposed to meet to see a film, but I kept putting it off, like for weeks and weeks I made excuses. We shared the same film/books interests and she sounded great but I just couldn't face going on a date with her for some reason.

Maybe I'm just not ready to date again, or maybe my dating days are over, or maybe I just want to only date asexual girls from now on, I can't work out which it is.

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Pamcakes
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Re: Casual or Short-Term Dating

Postby Pamcakes » Wed Aug 04, 2010 10:03 pm

Casual dating, for me, is those first few dates when I am regularly seeing someone in a romantic context that we are both aware of and participating in, but it's not necessarily mutually exclusive yet, and there is no formal statement of relationship. Usually lasts for the first five dates/month or so, and is the period when we get to know each other and I decide if this is someone I would like to call my boyfriend. Eventually, there will be a formal conversation where one of us asks the other, "Sooooo...are you/do you want to be my boyfriend/girlfriend?"
It's kind of like a multi-round interview for a relationship, I guess, while I see if this person really knocks my socks off, and if I want to stop seeing other guys and date him exclusively.* I have to find someone interesting and likeable as a friend, first, before I'll be willing to casually date them, but then the casual dating period is where we figure out if we're also romantically compatible with each other.
I know a lot of people my age like relaxed "dates" like going for coffee, or spending time out in a group, because they feel it "takes the pressure off", but I like the pressure. I think the pressure is a good thing, as it banishes ambiguity. I prefer to know when I'm dating someone very clearly as opposed to when I'm hanging out with a friend, so I'm a big fan of the formalised dating process. One on one dinner dates are good, even if they are old-fashioned, because it's very hard for there to be any confusion; it's an established activity, which means both people involved are probably going to be aware what they're there for, and that they're getting to know each other in a romantic context with a view to a possible relationship.
I don't know what short-term dating is, though. Maybe seeking a romantically interesting companion when you're only in an area for a finite period? Sort of like a holiday fling, only it might be a business trip fling? That would be my guess.

P.

P.S. *Incidentally, I have personally never slept with anyone during the casual dating phase. I reserve that for after we enter an exclusive relationship.
P.P.S. Not that there's anything wrong with people who do, it's just not for me. I love sex, but it's never casual.
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