What Does It Mean When Someone Says They Are Looking For ‘Something Casual’?

something casual

“Hey, I’m so sorry I totally missed your text. I only use these dating apps very sparingly or when I have the time, because I’m just looking for something casual. If you’re down for that, let’s skip this whole texting stage altogether and maybe grab a drink next week?”

If you’ve ever been at the receiving end of a text like this or have heard of something similar in your social circles, well then consider it your formal introduction into the world of casual dating and all its possibilities. Often opposed to everything you’ve ever learnt about love and relationships. 

Growing up, everything we watched in the movies or read about in the books was about an undying and passionate love that lasted for years and which you eventually took to the grave. 

The search for ‘Mr. Right’ or ‘The perfect girl’ is something we’ve been conditioned to do. It’s all part of The Plan, right? Get the perfect job, pin down the right person to marry, have a few kids and voila – three big chapters in ‘How to Live a Happy Life’. 

That being said, while that search for ‘the one’ gives plenty returns in the long-run, sometimes it can wear you down. Not everyone is Cinderella. So, trust me when I say that the shoe rarely ever fits. And if you’re still single and haven’t figured out this chapter yet, well then let me also tell you that there is no need to rush. There are many other ways to take care of all your needs. And to get started, let’s focus on figuring out what does looking for something casual mean, when putting yourself out there in the dating world. 

What Does It Mean When Someone Is Looking For Something Casual? 

I remember my first brush with this term when I was 18. New to dating apps and in a new city, every time I swiped right on a guy, I truly hoped that he was boyfriend material and that two dates in, we would kickstart a beautiful love story that we could look back on very fondly, for the rest of our lives. Three days into swiping on that app, I found a great guy who on our very first date, straight up told me that he was looking for something casual. 

Not fully understanding what that meant, I continued to name our future children in my head as I had my coffee with him. Later when he dropped me home and the heavy dose of infatuation wore off, I went straight to my roommate and asked her, “What does ‘looking for something casual’ mean? Does this guy just want to take things slow?” 

And now, after a few years of dating casually myself, ‘the looking for something casual meaning’ is something I actually do know a little about, and I’m here to share my knowledge with you so that you don’t need a crash-course from your roommate. You can get one right here on what it means when he says he’s looking for something casual.

However, before you jump the gun and start wondering how to say you’re looking for something casual on Tinder just because you think it’s gonna make you look cool, stop. And now read about what you’re getting yourself into. 

Related Reading: Things Guys Do On Dating Apps That Instantly Creep Women Out

1. They aren’t really trying to achieve a goal with you 

Being in a serious relationship is not just about getting to know someone, but also weaving them into your life and basically making them your family. You’re not just going out on dates to have fun; you’re also going out on these dates, because your goal is to be with this person for as long as you can make it work. 

Meeting the parents, talking about whether you should have a baby someday, deciding which city is the best for the two of you to live in, are all factors that are often discussed in a relationship. These are long-term goals that are taken into consideration with the person you’re dating. 

But if it’s just something casual, well then, all this goes out the window. You meet solely because it’s fun, you enjoy each other’s company and you have a few laughs together. Not because you want to build a life with this person. It’s as simple as that. 

2. They will have no expectations from you when it’s something casual 

They’re not going to hang up on you just because you didn’t make time for them last Friday or because you forgot their dog’s birthday. This is perhaps the greatest advantage of having something casual with someone. You get loads of perks such as good sex, somewhat of a friend and someone you just like doing things with. 

But if you’re unavailable for the time being, not in the mood or have something else going on – they’re not going to show up at your house and ask you why you’re being the way you are. If they’re not too attached, they will probably just back off, give you the space that you need and check in on you only if they think something really serious is up. 

But otherwise, if you forget to call them back or don’t reply to the Instagram stories of their vacation, it’s possible that they’re not even noticing. Which gives you plenty of time and energy to just do you!

something casual in dating
Something casual in dating is about fun and not love

3. Looking for something casual, meaning let’s see multiple people 

What does something casual mean? Not a polyamorous relationship, no. A polyamorous relationship still holds a high degree of commitment and accountability to one other. A casual relationship, on the other hand, is much more relaxed in that manner. Not only can you hook up with other people at the same time, but also you don’t have to mention your other casual partners to them. 

When a girl says she wants something casual or a guy says that he just wants a no-strings attached relationship with you, it means that you’re allowed to freely pursue, date or meet anyone else that you want. How to say you’re looking for something casual on Tinder? Straight up tell them that you don’t want any kind of a commitment and that the other person is free to date other people too. 

Sounds like a pretty sweet deal to me if you’re not interested in settling down too soon. 

Related Reading: 15 Best Places To Meet Men (Out Of Dating Apps)

4. Something casual in dating means that they won’t text you every second of every day

Going back home after a date with them and sending them a picture of which PJs you’re wearing to bed that night? Or sending her a snapchat of the flat tyre you noticed in the middle of driving forty miles to your mom’s house? Save them the time and the cringe-face and go do that with your boyfriend or girlfriend, not your casual partner. 

We’re not saying that something casual means that there is absolutely no emotional intimacy or concern in your relationship. They care about you, they do. But not enough to give you too much of their time every day. Those cute good morning text messages? Yeah, forget about those too. 

5. What does ‘looking for something casual’ mean? They’re not your 3am call 

Wait, let’s clear that up a bit. 3 a.m. booty call? Sure, I think he’d be down for that. But a 3 a.m., “My parents aren’t proud of me and they keep comparing me with my sister” phone call as you’re drowning in a pool of tears? That’s a complete no-go. Something casual in dating means that the reins are really loose. Which is why you shouldn’t bother holding them too close. 

Call a friend if you’re down or in this case, maybe just call your mom. But do not call your casual partner at all. They’re not a friend in need, no. They’re only a friend ‘in deed’. 

Can Something Casual Turn Into A Relationship? 

Here’s where I’m going to say, a big “Hell yes!” However, if you want to keep your sanity and your heart intact, don’t get into a casual relationship expecting this out of the other person. Adhere to the rules of dating and you’ll stay safe. But if you see some rules bending and are tempted to break a few, it’s possible that your ‘something casual’ dynamic has morphed into something more. 

Something casual in dating can definitely become a more serious affair as the two of you get closer and realize that there’s more than just an exciting chemistry here. If the following starts to happen in your relationship, you might have a few things to think over. So keep an eye out for these signs. 

1. There’s more pillow talk than ever 

stories about dating

Perhaps earlier he would just zip up and walk out and it would make no difference to you that he did. Or that she would immediately start texting on the phone right after you guys were done in bed and you’d just turn over to your side and make nothing of it. That’s it. That takes care of the whole ‘looking for something casual meaning’ for you. But if that has changed, well then you may not be entirely casual anymore. 

Not only are you talking more to each other after having sex, you also seem to be connecting more. Suddenly, he remembers your favorite book which you’d mentioned the last time or she knows all about that one friend you lost touch with while growing up. 

Related Reading: How Has The Perception Of Sex Changed In The Last 40 Years?

2. You don’t really like to think of them with other people 

Earlier, you knew he was getting laid and seeing other women. Maybe you even saw a cute girl on his Instagram story, said ‘wow’ and then closed the app and opened Bumble again. But now he’s walked into the coffee shop to meet you and you’re a little upset that he’s actually got a hickey on his neck. 

Not only are you irritated to see it, but also mortified that he didn’t even think to cover it up for you. Damn, things definitely are on the road to getting serious since you are clearly feeling jealous. Since it’s not your place to say anything about it, you try to ignore it for the rest of your coffee date. 

And when that date is over, you give him a cold hug and end up thinking about what seemed like a hickey on his neck, the whole train ride back home. Clearly, ‘something casual’ is just not working for you anymore. 

3. You can’t wait to be with them 

And not just because you had a long day at work and want to jump right into bed with them but because you had a really long day at work and can’t think of anyone else to talk to about it! Spending time with him is not something you do merely because it’s enjoyable but also because it’s comforting and makes you feel really happy. 

If lately, it has been less about the kisses and more about the romantic hugs, less about the sex and more about the talking or less about hiding each other from your friends and more about proudly flaunting one another, you might just be on the verge of an actual relationship. 

We hope that now you don’t need to go knocking on your roommate’s door asking, “What does something casual mean?” like I did. So when a girl says she wants something casual, you should know exactly what she means. Same goes for when a guy texts you saying he’s looking for something casual.

This dynamic has its pros and can definitely show you a great time if you’re up for that kind of thing. But you’re only human and it’s possible that you may start developing feelings for your casual partner eventually. So don’t lie to yourself if suddenly you’re flying halfway across the country to spend New Year’s with that casual hook-up you had. Then you might be in some trouble. But I do hope it’s the good kind. 

Gee, I wish 18-year-old me could have read this.


1. What does it mean when you’re looking for something casual?

It means you’re looking for a relationship which makes you feel good and not one that ties you down. You want to enjoy their company, their time and have good sex but you don’t mind doing it with other people. Something casual basically means that you two are close, but not enough for any major commitment or expectations.

2. How do I tell someone I just want something casual?

How to say you’re looking for something casual on Tinder? Or tell the guy your friend set you up with for that coffee date that you don’t want anything serious? Be as direct as possible. And make sure you say it right off the bat! Nobody wants to know that they wasted their time.

3. How long should you casually date someone?

Preferably, not too long. It’s always better to cut loose in a couple months as things might just start getting messy. A lot of times, one person gets more involved and possessive than the other. This mismatch can lead to problems so it’s always better to keep these flings short.

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