Rule #1 Honesty For the Win
Probably the number one rule for anyone in a casual relationship, or thinking about entering one, is to be honest with the other person. The lines of what’s casual and what’s not are blurry and many people in casual relationships want more than that. It might seem brutal, but it’s vital that you make sure you are both on the same page and you both understand what this is, and what it isn’t. Do this right from the beginning, don’t allow for any confusion or misunderstandings. That way, if casual isn’t what the other person really wants you’re giving them an escape route, and if it is, you know you’re both happy.
Rule #2 Have Some Respect
If you’ve established from the get-go that this relationship is casual, you are both free to see other people. Unless you’re in a hybrid casual-but-exclusive deal, which is often more of a ‘taking it slow’ phase before you take the leap into a relationship, it’s understood that there will be others. But just because you both know your hook-up is also hooking up with other people, doesn’t mean it’s ok to talk about what you do together all about town. Respect is important, even when it’s casual, so stay classy and keep what happens between the two of you between the two of you. Similarly, don’t ask your date about where they’ve been and who with, respect their privacy.
Rule #3 Set Your Own Rules
For some people casual dating means casual sex and not much else. If you’re both happy with this then that’s fine, but make sure neither of you has other ideas of what a casual relationship looks like. For some people, casual means lots of hot sex, but it also means going to a movie or dinner now and then. There aren’t any hard and fast rules about this, it’s down to whatever you are both comfortable with. The trick is to set the rules between you so you can both enjoy what’s going on. In the same way, you might want to decide whether this is going to be random hook-ups whenever you feel like it, or if you’re going to have a routine.
Rule #4 Beware of Feelings
Sometimes casual dating can turn into something more, but usually it is exactly what it says it is. For this reason, if you think you’re starting to develop feelings for your casual hook-up, it could be time to take a step back. If you both established from the start what this relationship is and your date is still sticking to the rules you set, developing feelings for them will most likely mean you are the one at risk of getting in over your head. Don’t allow yourself to become dependent, or you’ll soon find your hook-up has all the power. If emotions rear their ugly head, it could be time to call time on the arrangement.
Rule #5 Be Practical
This last one might seem like it’s unimportant, but in fact it’s one of the most important rules to implement in a casual relationship. Be practical. Pay for everything separately, split the bill, don’t give gifts and don’t receive gifts, don’t introduce your date to your friends, don’t call them outside of the boundaries of the relationship, and don’t do anything with them that feels like it’s crossing a line into anything more than casual. Keep set lines where they are and keep the rules of the game crystal clear. By being practical about what this is, you avoid any potential confusion, on both sides.