Have you been interested in trying out a casual relationship? These flings allow for low-commitment, low-stress fun where you can explore the playing field of the dating world while still enjoying connections with others. But these types of dynamics are notorious for going south fast. Are they worth it?

The truth is that, just like with any relationship, a casual relationship will have its ups and downs, and the people involved have to be willing to cooperate to make the dynamic work.

4 Rules For A Casual Relationship

To do so, here are four rules you should set in a casual relationship.

1. Be Honest And Communicative With Your Casual Relationship Partner

You’ve likely heard plenty of times that communication is crucial to serious romantic and platonic relationships. But did you know that it’s also essential for casual relationships? All healthy dynamics must include some degree of healthy communication, and your honesty is paramount in ensuring drama-free casual dates. So here are some rules to keep in mind:

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  • Disclose Intentions Upfront

If you only want casual relationships, you should be clear and upfront when meeting new people. It can be hard to find people who agree to go out with you if you only want a casual relationship. But it’s much better to connect with those who want the same things as you – it’s kinder, ethically sound, and a much more authentic way to live your life.

  • Get Everyone Involved In The Loop

A casual relationship usually means you continue to date other people – and that’s something the new person should know. However, once you have an established, mutual no-strings-attached arrangement, everyone you want to go out with after that should know that you’re seeing someone else currently, too. 

  • Set Clear Ground Rules

Be sure everyone’s on the same page by setting some ground rules and always abide by them. Someone who wants a casual relationship with you but won’t take the time to lay out rules isn’t someone you want to get involved with.

  • Don’t Ghost

Ghosting is already far too common in serious dating, and you shouldn’t become a part of the problem. While casual relationships aren’t as close or essential to either of you as a serious, committed partnership, they’re also not entirely insignificant. Ghosting is plain rude, and studies show that it can have serious long-term effects on the people being ghosted. Worse still, other research shows that the act of ghosting reflects poorly on you, indicating negative personality traits such as narcissism. So if you want to end a casual relationship, either tell them in person, call them up, or send them a text. Don’t just disappear.

2. Don’t Go Above What Is Expected in the Casual Relationship

One of the biggest pitfalls of casual relationships is how easy it is to start participating in habits and behaviors that are only really suitable for committed partnerships. In other words, to use a vague analogy, you shouldn’t be doing committed relationship things while on a casual relationship’s “salary.” As such, keep the following rules in mind:

  • Don’t Compromise And Don’t Be Controlled

In serious relationships, it’s all about compromising and cooperating with a partner. In a casual relationship, your flings should be for fun and low-stress, no-strings benefits. Do whatever you want, and if your fling partner doesn’t like it, go your separate ways in peace. This goes the other way, too – don’t attempt to control the person you’re in a casual relationship with. If you’re unhappy with something they do, you must either deal with it or break things off.

  • Don’t Bring Them Into Your Circle

Please don’t take a casual relationship any further than it has to. Unless you were already friends or met through family, there’s no reason for a fling to have to meet the people in your life. This means not asking them to be your plus one at events and not introducing each other to friends or family.

  • Don’t Do Favors

There should be no favors, expectations, and “debts” in a casual relationship. Please rely on your friends for favors and have them depend on theirs. This arrangement also means you should always be splitting checks with them. Don’t allow anything that causes the dynamic to become unbalanced.

  • Make No Future Plans

Don’t talk about the distant future in a casual relationship. Even talking about doing something together a few weeks in advance can push it. Stick to talking about meeting in three days and make no further plans. It’s just a casual arrangement, and for all you know, it could be over by tomorrow.

  • Don’t Spend Too Much Time Together

Remember, this is a casual relationship. Your lives should not be intertwined. It would be best if you were not spending whole days with this person, especially not at a regular rate. If people could easily mistake you for a loving couple, then it’s time to distance yourself.


3. During a Casual Relationship You Must Take Care Of Yourself

You shouldn’t lose yourself in any relationship, but you especially should stay independent in casual relationships. Maintain your individuality and put yourself before the fling.

If this is your first casual relationship, you’ll be entering new territory, which can be overwhelming and confusing at first. Make sure you’re taking care of yourself so you’re not exhausted from keeping up with casual flings. Here are some personal rules to lay for yourself – and, if it seems relevant, to advise your casual partner to use for themself, too:

  • Maintain Other Relationships

It can be exciting to enter a new casual arrangement with someone but don’t forget about the people who were there first. Spend time with family, friends, and loved ones, and don’t get too wrapped up in meeting new people 24/7.

  • Make Sure You Have Me-Time

Don’t get so lost in flings and casual interactions that you forget to get some quality alone time just for yourself. Dating casually should never limit your time to do what you genuinely want to, like engaging in hobbies, relaxing at home, and going on solo dates.

  • Be Aware Of Your Health

Casual relationships often involve much time spent in the bedroom. There’s no shame, but you must stay aware of the potential health risks. Get tested for commonly transmitted diseases often, especially after meeting someone new, and insist that you and your partners use protection.

  • If You Develop Feelings, Call Things Off

If you start to fall for the person you see casually, don’t just brush the feelings aside or ignore them. You will likely need to call the whole relationship off for your health, happiness, and self-respect. It would help if you did not pretend not to have feelings for someone while messing around with them. It just doesn’t work! Remember that you cannot expect your casual fling to have feelings for you, too. Most of the time, you’ll have to go your separate ways – and that’s for the best, especially for you.

  • Be Honest With Yourself

Sometimes, people convince themselves that they can be in casual relationships, even when it’s not a dynamic that works for them. But unfortunately, the desire for human connection can cause you to lose sight of what you want. Don’t choose to enter casual dating as a temporary balm for your passion for a long-term commitment. 

Don’t push yourself to be cool with a fling dynamic just because you’re hoping someone will fall in love with you instead. Likewise, don’t maintain a casual relationship when struggling with possessiveness and jealousy. You have to be honest with yourself first and foremost. If you can’t handle the dynamic of a casual relationship, there is no shame in that. 

4. Never Compromise On Respect With A Casual Relationship Partner

Casual relationships may not require much commitment on either side, but they still need respect. You are two (or more) individual human beings with thoughts, feelings, and vibrant lives. It is imperative that you respect each other and never compromise on that. This rule should apply to all relationships, but it’s even more critical for potentially complex ones like this. Respect must be central. Here are some things to keep in mind:

  •  Never Cross the Boundaries 

Casual relationships only work if boundaries are fully respected. If someone crosses a line or breaks a rule at any point, it may be time to drop the connection. Of course, you can provide a second chance as long as the offending party is quick to course-correct, but in a casual relationship, you might find that second chances aren’t worth the effort involved. Neither person should test boundaries, and if you do, you must be ready to be broken up with!

  • Do Not Tolerate Disrespect

This goes without saying for all relationships. If your casual partner disrespects you or devalues you because of your simple connection to them, do not tolerate it. Be liberal with cutting ties with casual flings.

  • Keeping Commitments Is Common Decency

Casual relationships are often a lower priority for many, but that doesn’t mean you can forgo basic respect and decency. If you’ve agreed to meet for a date, don’t cancel unless something serious arises. The plans you make casually should still be respected. If you’re not interested in making plans with a casual fling, you should reconsider whether you enjoy spending time with them.

  • Regular Check-Ins Keep You On The Same Page

If a casual relationship will continue for a relatively long period, it’s a good idea to check in regularly with each other. Always be open and accepting of communication of any kind so you both feel happy and comfortable with the current dynamic. You should also be willing to re-examine your dynamic if things aren’t working, making changes as you go.

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Final Thoughts On Some Rules To Set In A Casual Relationship

Casual relationships can be much fun if you know what rules to set! Honest communication, maintaining the proper casual dynamic, mutual respect, and self-care are all essential. These types of relationships shouldn’t cause you grief. Dating should be enjoyable first and foremost. When done right, casual relationships can be exciting, provide learning experiences, and be fun.