The Rise of Casual Dating

When I was a teenager all I wanted to do was watch romantic films, read romantic novels, and dream about that knight in shining armor. I have become more practical in my quest for love with my dating experiences (read as: heartbreaks) but I still hope to find someone to be in a long-term relationship with. As I browse through hundreds of profiles on dating apps, the most common thing I find is ‘looking for something casual’. It feels like this whole generation has decided to move away from serious commitments to just in-the-moment fun relationships. What has led to this rise in casual relationships?

SS from Bumble

  • Fear of commitment/heartbreak – A lot of millennials who are still single are ones that have already experienced serious relationships that didn’t work out. So now, they find that casual, no strings attached relationships work better.
  • It is easy – No attachment, break it off without any messiness, and move on to the next option as soon as possible. Easy!
  • Too many options – It is amazing how easy it is to meet people on dating apps, especially for an introvert like me who doesn’t step out of her comfort zone to talk to new people. But it has also led to there being just too many options. Usually, people end up chatting with 3-4 people at the same time, maybe even going on dates with more than 1 person at a time – so settling down on one option can often be a struggle. Casual relationships make moving on to the next person easier and less messy.
  • Committed people looking for a side hang – There are so many committed people on dating apps looking for something casual on the side. I mentioned one such case in my worst dates post, where a guy told me he has a steady girlfriend (of 6-7 years) after a really great first date. I’ve heard stories from friends too. A guy recently told me about this experience – he was casually seeing a girl only to realize a few dates into it that she was getting married in a few weeks. (This post I read recently by a fellow blogger is also on the same lines.)
  • Open relationships
  • Divorce rates – I don’t know if it is something that is happening around the world but the divorce rates in India have gone up exponentially in the past 5 years. A lot of people use this as an excuse to avoid getting into a serious relationship.
  • Being okay with being alone – Not everybody needs a relationship to feel fulfilled. A lot of people (including me) enjoy their alone time and something casual lets them enjoy the best of both worlds.

I am not judging anyone that is looking for a casual relationship, I am just surprised by how many people are opting for casual relationships these days. Have you ever been in something casual? Would you ever opt for it?

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14 Comments Add yours

  1. For serious relationship you should check shaadi.com 😛

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  2. I personally don’t like casual relationships, although I am not going to say anything negative to anyone who is

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Yesssss, I totally agree with you. Our generation is so much afraid of commitments. Indeed LOVE is the most beautiful thing to give anyone 💗

    I really appreciate this post!

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  4. Ugh this makes me sad. To just see how many people’s hearts are shut down. And even tho I do know there are people who want nothing to do with relationships, I think that’s the minority. And if most people are being honest, of course they want a true love companion. But I also get how the process to get there is so painful and many people just want to give up or just keep it casual to pretend they don’t care. That’s just my belief but I’m not sure if this is true. But it feels true. I’ve never done something casual and never really wanted to. To me it’s like the worst of both worlds. Not that I mind the physical stuff but I’ve never been driven by sex, and that’s always been something that just comes with love. So the casual thing is like not giving me anything I want. And I’ve also always been afraid bc I wouldn’t be able to not be emotionally detached so I think it would backfire for me. I honestly don’t even know how people do the casual thing. And being that close with a complete stranger makes me feel even lonelier. Obviously I’ve thought about this a lot! 🤣 great post! xoxox

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  5. All of your points are spot on, Moksha. I won’t get started on over-60 dating…

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  6. petespringerauthor says:

    A whole world I know nothing about. Sometimes I feel lucky to have been born in a much earlier era.

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  7. I’m a gen x-er, so not sure if that makes a difference, though I’ve never sought anything casual. I do recognise so many things have changed, so… I don’t know- perhaps priorities are different- and not that it’s a bad thing. For me, I think this relates to so many other things- housing security, job security, how much more accessible the world is…

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  8. birdiehope says:

    Online dating has gamified dating and made people think there is an endless supply of dates. There was a great documentary about it. I’m 55+, and dating is similar. People are not seeking commitment, perhaps still married, swiping continually. It’s frustrating. I recommend trying activities in real life and perhaps meeting someone that way. Good luck!

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  9. Sneha Bhole says:

    You know interesting thing is, after having been fooled by couple of men in this dating world, the ones who said they wanted relationship but ended up hurting me, I finally found the one who doesn’t play any games and is ready to commit. Just when I was about to give up, frustrated. When he pinged me first on Bumble, I thought, “Here we go again.” But I’m glad I gave him a chance after testing his intentions couple of times. Glad to say he got through directly into my heart. I’m happy and I hope you find someone too, someday. Until then, you can enjoy this phase of your life too. I did. And now I’m enjoying as a couple too 🙂

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  10. Srishty says:

    your post made me think a few things. one, as you already know, i have always only dated people i was already friends (or at least acquainted) with and my husband and i often marvel when we talk to friends how unaware we are of this tinder, bumble world. just like you, i dont think there’s anything wrong with dating casually, but it also makes me sad just like the Goddess Attainable has mentioned, how many people have shut themselves off, due to a previous heartbreak or something, to “real” opening up. secondly, your post also made me notice that casual dating on the side of a committed relationship is not as uncommon as i thought it would be. this is a concept i yet dont properly understand, open marriages and all. but i also fully feel that many of these on the side hangs are definitely adultery, as in the other committed partner doesn’t know you are putting yourself out there on dating apps, just like the girl from that North County post. that is definitely f*cked up and the fact that its common is quite alarming, frankly.

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  11. bosssybabe says:

    “Dead inside but still horny” 😂😭

    I have opted for casualness in a relationship before… I wasn’t at my happiest… I would have left if someone better came along for sure so the casualness was more so me not wanting to be without that “someone” (it could have been anyone) in my life at that time… I learnt a lot since then… I’d rather be alone and happy than to be with someone who I am just wasting time with… life is too precious!

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  12. Juliette says:

    Very interesting post! I completely agree with you in that it seems like people don’t want to “commit” and, more generally, to make an effort in their dating life but more generally in anything at all.
    However, for dating apps I feel like saying that you want something “casual” also puts away the pressur of committing right from the start: for instance, when I used dating apps, I would have been a bit pressured/scared away by a guy telling straight away that he wanted to meet his future wife. Not because I don’t want to get married, but because I would have felt the pressure of his expectations in a way!

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  13. Pree says:

    So interesting to see how dating apps are used around the world. But this idea of casual, open, uncommitted relationships being so commonplace is quite sad… nothing against people who look for that, but not everyone does and it makes people who truly want a committed relationship so disheartened.

    Thankfully my time on dating apps was quite limited! I even saved some funny profiles because they made me LOL. As an expat, using Bumble abroad was quite interesting 😂 I recently blogged about it (https://secondgendesi.com/bumble-date-in-milan-italy-come-here-for-a-laugh/)

    Bumble BFF can be tough to navigate too (https://secondgendesi.com/lets-be-friends/) Everyone complains about not being able to make friends as an adult yet so many people are okay with flaking out, not cool 😅

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