Casual is easy, but when it comes to a relationship, is it always best?
For many people, connecting casually has become the new normal. A guy you met online texts to say he's out with friends and asks you to join him. This isn't an official first date, but offers a low risk way to meet.
From my perspective as a dating coach, this seems to be a symptom of a growing rejection-averse culture that fosters casual behavior. As a single woman, you think this is harmless enough. But let me define hooking up for you, so we are on the same page. According to Wikipedia, hooking up means:
- To meet up, or make a connection between people.
- Slang term for courtship, especially of short duration.
- Casual relationship or casual sex.
Given the common understanding that this is a casual type of relationship, doesn't that tell you this probably won't blossom into long-term love? Naturally there are exceptions to every rule, and sometimes things do progress to love, but for the most part, this is very rare.
Let me give you a couple of scenarios to better illustrate my point:
Scenario #1: You meet a guy online. He asks for your number and you start texting. One night he's out with friends and texts, asking you to join him. You go for it and end up having a fun evening. Perhaps you have a few too many or just feel "in the mood" when he says he really likes you and wants to go to your place. You hook up for the night and hope to see him again.
Scenario #2: Maybe the guy you just met asks if you want to hang out. He offers to get a pizza and you'll watch a movie at his home or yours. Sounds harmless enough — so you say yes. One thing leads to another... and you never finish watching that movie.
You Have Needs.
As a dating coach for women, I understand you have "needs." So if this is about getting your rocks off, okay, I get it. Not all women become emotionally attached to the men they sleep with right away. That does make a casual arrangement a heck of a lot easier to handle.
Proximity Causes Deeper Feelings
However, if you are the type of woman who bonds after intimacy, hooking up or hanging out with a man is not a good idea. The longer you stay in this non-committed casual situation, the more likely your desire for love with that man will deepen.
Whether you can handle casual sex or hope for more, you will be spending time with a guy who doesn't have any long-term relationship intentions. Yet, he will take up space in your heart. This is totally natural and a result of what I call "proximity" — spending time with someone you enjoy naturally leads to feelings of affection or desire for more.
Why Love Is Derailed by Hooking Up or Hanging Out
Sticking with a casual relationship and hoping for more is how you get derailed from love because you have growing feelings for a man who is not boyfriend material. You will start to put up with behavior and treatment (like last minute invitations or late night booty calls) that is substandard so you can spend time with him. If you aren't careful, your self-esteem could be eroded and you might start believing he's the only man for you. And all this from innocently hooking up or hanging out.
I Don't Recommend It!
If casual is not what you want, don't get started. When you first meet a guy, it's true you can't always know his agenda. You can't be sure he's looking for love or a girlfriend or a wife. On the other hand, you can tell quickly if he's hoping to hook up or hang out because he'll make a move on you or use those very words. And when a man does this while you are looking for a serious relationship, be smart, guard your heart and simply move on. That's the easiest way to avoid heartbreak and shorten your search for lasting love.
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This article was originally published at It's Never Too Late for Love . Reprinted with permission from the author.