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Boundaries when dating casually: understanding your comfort zone

To some singles, casual dating is an activity they can merrily indulge in, week in, week out, without giving undue thought to the bigger picture. This might involve developing an incredibly thick skin and deciding emotions can be set to one side while indulging natural desires. Someone keen to keep on casual dating without longer-term consequences will need to impose boundaries. But what happens when nature steps in, and the casual dater finds themselves unable to simply switch off their stronger feelings? All dates, no matter how casual, or how few strings are attached, rely on a degree of chemistry. Just like one of those lab experiments where two substances react together dangerously, chemistry can have a habit of increasing unexpectedly, threatening to spill over boundaries! The key to avoiding the stress that can be prompted by the fallout from casual dating is to understand your comfort zone. It’s all about managing those boundaries.

Significance of boundaries in casual dating

Question one. Why is it necessary to have boundaries when dating casually? Surely the key attribute of these relationships is their very flexibility? That’s fine if you’d be okay with entering a dimension where emotional connections can be vague and signals mixed. The point is, you need to understand some basic rules to avoid the possibility of being hurt should your aspirations differ from your partner’s. A good tip is to be mindful of where you hook up with someone in the first place. It would be a good idea to aim for compatibility as a given. Opposites do attract, but a firmer starting point for any date, no matter how casual, is when the parties naturally get on with each other because they share common ground. A website dedicated to finding you an onenightfriend-style romance will instantly put you in touch with like-minded individuals. Everyone you have the potential to contact on these platforms will have uploaded their details because they have no issues with flings. Nobody will have any doubts about the type of relationship they’re seeking. This level playing field is the best way to establish a comfort zone.

Common boundaries in casual dating

The commonest boundary of all is appreciating the casual nature of these get-togethers. A huge tip: no matter how bowled over you are by this liaison, resist the temptation to gush over-enthusiastically. Avoid using the L-word! Love is an intense emotion requiring to be nurtured, not some glib statement to be blurted out which will only demean any deeper feelings you might have. Keep chat light and uninvolved. So, no politics or religion. Other taboo subjects would include how much you earn. Safe subjects might have anything to do with health and well-being, whether that’s recommendations for beneficial smoothy recipes or affirmations that will cement positivity, easing the way for open and amiable communication. Another boundary is to introduce respect and honesty into this scenario. Casual flings can still instil potent chemistry, so if you always part on favorable terms, your self-esteem will remain intact. One of the most fundamental rules of all: never discuss ex-partners, especially if your natural inclination is to bitch about them. This will only give the impression you’re not a nice person. Casual dating relies on good-natured exchanges, not talking behind someone else’s back. Indulging in that sort of point scoring will make you come across as untrustworthy. 

Identifying your personal boundaries

Once you’ve established the various common boundaries that will signpost your casual fling, you’ll also need to focus on those referring specifically to your aspirations. Is your casual date someone you know well, or a passing acquaintance? Are they already a person you’d count as a friend, and if so, how will you ensure there’s no awkwardness in future? You’ll have to concentrate on affirming your friendzone boundaries. Whatever happens, you don’t want to enter some situation that is going to fill you with regret.

Communicating boundaries to your partner

Establishing boundaries does seem a tad counter-intuitive in the context of loving relationships where a natural flow might seem more appropriate. This is where sharing these all-important issues can work wonders for any relationship. Openly discussing your boundaries with your partner will gain respect and put both of you in the best position to make this connection a success.

Respecting your date’s boundaries

Lastly, as well as tabling what you are hoping to achieve with your casual dating enterprise, you’ll need to reciprocate with your other half. If you divulge how you see things progressing, you’ll be underlining that you empathize with their point of view. A successful relationship is as much about listening to what they want as getting your position across. This mutual appreciation will pave the way for a potentially meaningful connection.