Written by CGD - Mon 7th Jun 2021
When you meet someone new it can be difficult to know what sort of relationship that person has in mind. Knowing if they're just interested in keeping things on a casual basis or possibly looking for something long-term can help you decide whether you feel aligned with the situation.
You may find that some people aren't always upfront about what they're looking for so, we have put together some indicators that the person you're dating wants to keep it casual.
It might sound obvious but if someone tells you that they want a casual relationship that is confirmation that they mean what they say and it's up to you whether you want to continue dating this person.
If the person you're dating doesn't take the time to plan meaningful dates that could be a potential red flag that they might be looking at things more casually. However, you do need to consider that there may be genuine reasons for this such as, one or the other of you is busy. If you're in a more committed, long-term relationship with someone, at some point, plans are going to be necessary. Whether it's committing to the coming weekend or discussing mutual goals for the future, if your partner seems reluctant about prioritising your relationship or even engaging in conversation about what the future may hold, it could be a sign that they aren't interested in pursuing a more meaningful relationship.
In the early stages you wouldn't expect to meet the person's closest friends or family. Just because you haven't been introduced to them it doesn't necessarily mean that they're only interested in something casual.
However, if you've been dating for a while and they show no interest in introducing to the most important people in their life, then this could be a sign that they don't see your relationship as something serious. If that's the case and you feel unhappy about that, you need to have an honest conversation about it. Having an open and frank conversation is the best way forward. Once someone has decided that they want a casual relationship it's difficult to win them over. It's much better to accept the reality and let him/her go. This doesn't mean that you won't have feelings or grieve the loss, but you will be emotionally free to move forward with someone who does want what you want.
Not every relationship needs to be deep, or serious, however, you should be able to have those kinds of conversations with the person with whom you're in a relationship.
If the person you're dating wants to keep things light, he or she might not be ready to invest any wasted emotions on a casual relationship. Not only that, but they might be trying to keep their distance. If you're having lots of serious conversations, you might find yourself getting attached. And if the person you're dating doesn't want that sort of attachment, keeping things light can help them avoid it.
If the person you're dating doesn't respond to messages in a timely manner and lets your calls go to voicemail, that might be a sign that they're looking for a casual relationship. Don't take it personally if someone doesn't want a committed relationship. This is generally more about them than you, and if it is in the early days, comfort yourself in the knowledge that they couldn't possibly know enough about you to reject you. They're only showing you that you don't match their fantasy of their ideal partner. If this is the case then they weren't the right person for you and they won't match your needs either.
If you're only doing certain things with the person you're dating or only seeing them at certain places, that could be another hint that they're only interested in something casual rather than long term.
Typically, as relationships grow and develop, they expand to include new aspects of each other's life. If that is no happening, it may be a sign that your partner is keeping things casual and limited to the existing structure.
If the person continues to come up with excuses and cancels on dates he or she may want to keep things casual. You wouldn't usually cancel plans with people with whom you want to keep a relationship with. So, if they seem to cancel on you and they don't appear to be concerned by that, that could be a sign that they don't see anything serious coming out of this.
If the person you're dating isn't interested in talking about the future, making plans or talking about the two of you as "we", then this could be another indication that things are only supposed to be casual., this could illustrate that there is no real "we" in their mind. You're two separate people, not an "us".
If the person does not go out of their way to make you feel special you might be heading towards a casual relationship. It's normal to do things for the people that you care about. If they don't make the effort to do that, that could mean that things between the two of you are casual and that they believe you may not be around them for very long. Keeping things casual is not necessarily a red flag unless you want the relationship to turn to something serious.
However, if that is the case, then you're not on the same page if your date wants to keep things casual and instead of putting up with, or worse thinking that you can change them, you need to keep looking until you find someone with the same agenda as you.