Sunday, November 11, 2012

Why There's No Such Thing as Casual Dating:

Matthew 5:37

"Simply let your 'Yes' be 'Yes,' and your 'No,' 'No'..."

They'd been dating for about 4 months.  Everything seemed to be going great.  They got a long really well, had similar interests and goals, shared beliefs and values, and simply had a lot of fun together.  But all of a sudden one day, she seemed to back off.  Just like that.  No warning.  No communication.  No answers.  A few weeks later they reconnected, and this is what she said:

"I'm just not ready to commit to this level of dating.  Can we just keep it casual?"

The fallacy of "casual dating" strikes again.  I cringe whenever I hear this phrase.  Though many people use the term in an attempt to maintain space, push off commitment, and implement some distance- in my humble opinion, what it really means is this: I'm just not sure if you're right for me. 

In this day and age, we have a tendency to complicate dating.  I love this verse because it reminds us that simplicity is so important when it comes to our communication with others- including others of the opposite sex.  Let your yes be yes, and your no be no.  If we seriously applied this rule to dating, the "maybe" of casual dating would vanish instantly within the certainty of yes, or no...

Here are a few points to think through if you are stuck at the dead end of casual dating:

1.  Are you past the point of casual?  There is a time and place for casual.  That time is called the stage of the firsts.  First time meeting.  First conversations.  First dates.  In the early stages of dating it should always be casual.  No thinking ahead, no commitments, and definitely no promises.  It's a time of knowing and becoming known.  It's a time of testing interactions, communication, and attraction between two people.  The first few months of dating can be considered casual, because the direction up ahead is still unclear.  But what makes a relationship turn from casual into committed?  The answer is always time.

Within a few months, the very nature of a relationship turns from casual into committed.  The time that you spend together, the conversations you exchange, and the affection you begin to develop can no longer be considered casual.  Once you have entered this stage of a relationship, there should be no going backward.  The future is either a YES, or a NO.  Time should always eliminate maybes, and if it hasn't- then the maybe is actually a NO.

2.  Consider what it is about casual that makes you comfortable:  If you are the one that is longing for casual, you need to ask yourself why.  Either the problem lives within you, or within the relationship.  For some, the baggage of their past brings fears of future, commitment, and permanency.  For others, the relationship itself is not all that they had thought it would be.  They see flaws within the relationship and they're filled with doubts, fears, and worries about the future. 

Rather than helping you make a decision, casual dating keeps you stuck in confusion longer than you were ever intended to stay.  It paralyzes you from making a choice, and keeps you stagnant in mediocre rather than moving forward toward fulfillment.  If you are comfortable in a casual relationship, you need to really consider what it is that is keeping you from moving forward, and be quick to deal with whatever that thing is.

3.  Realize the cost of casual:  For those who are living within the comfort of a casual relationship, there is always a cost.  Relationships are meant to be exciting, fulfilling, and healthy.  They are made to grow, to stretch, and to mature.  They are meant to deepen in intimacy, connection, and in love.  If you are at a stand-still within the world of casual, you have to really ask yourself what you are missing out on.  There is always a cost.  Casual will always take the place of passionate.  Casualty will always win over certainty.

Maybe by holding on to casual you are keeping yourself from a relationship that could offer you so much more.  Maybe by waiting for things to magically change, you are missing out on the change that could be taking place inside of you.  Maybe by clinging to complacency in a relationship, you are saying yes to casual and no to finding true love.

The one thing to remember about relationships is that they are not as complicated as we make them.  Healthy relationships are natural.  Healthy relationships are comfortable.  Healthy relationships progress every so easily, deepen ever so quickly, and develop ever so passionately.  There is no room for the "maybe" of casual when it comes to finding true love, because true love is certain.  Let your yes be yes, and your no be no.

It's time to let go of casual, and step into something new. 

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for your post! I like the simplicity of that verse too, it's encouraging. Unfortunately, often people's minds don't work like that. Question: in the last paragraph you say that healthy relationships are comfortable and progress easily. Could you expand on that? I don't agree with relationships being comfortable, but I am interested in knowing how this view you've put forward works out practically. Thanks! =)


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