Opening a Can of Worms…Casual Relationships


Top: YL (T) | shorts: Lucky Brand DIY | purse: unknown (T) | booties: Colin Stuart |watch: Target

Alright, well…this is one of those posts that may raise a brow for some and initiate some self exploration for others, but ultimately I hope it will spark some conversation and allow an exchange of ideas, thoughts and experiences.  Here we go…

Borrowed from Baggage Reclaim (with some minor changes).  Hop on over there and read more.

“A few weeks ago, I wrote about casual relationships and how so many people don’t recognize that they’re in one because they see the hallmarks of a relationship, such as being together over a period of time, being introduced to family members etc, but they don’t recognize that there are crucial landmarks missing such as commitment, consistency, intimacy, progression and balance.

One of the biggest sources of angst from readers is the whole question of starting over, dating again, trusting again, and ultimately knowing if they’re ready for a relationship/to start dating again. What I find particularly interesting is that while the minority will avoid dating and attempting to forge connections with other people while they are hurting/rebuilding, the majority of people I come across are eager to restart even if it is patently clear that they are not over their ex or are just not emotionally ready to date.  This is why there are so many casual relationships masquerading as full on relationships: Because too many people don’t want to do the emotional work and take enough time to heal from previous relationships and/or get themselves emotionally ready.  Instead we, as is often the case, try to take a shortcut and we decide that we will date because we want some attention, we want to feel validated, and actually, more importantly although we often won’t admit it, we want to avoid dealing with the feelings about ourselves or the previous relationship.

What happens as a result is that you get half interested parties who are more than happy to pass time. The person on the receiving end is like a stopover/layover, or even a rehab. Sometimes both parties are.  We end up knowing they’re not The One, but we see benefits to staying in the meantime or fear having to start over. Maybe we hope to convince ourselves into it being right. Of course, in feeling this way, your relationship will lack the landmarks of a healthy relationship.

People who avoid doing the emotional work assume that if someone is that special, they will get over their ex or their problems will magically disappear. It is not the job of others to get you over your ex – you have to get over them. You have to sort your problems or your relationship becomes your problem and you’ll likely make shady choices based on your frame of mind.  People who avoid doing the emotional work assume the right to find themselves an emotional airbag to cushion any uncomfortable feelings. This is using someone.  People who avoid doing the emotional work are often attention hungry which is why dating sites end up being so popular as it’s a quick fix. You’re not going to be emotionally available again if you persist in seeking short-term fixes and avoiding feeling out your feelings by dousing yourself in attention.  People who avoid doing the emotional work are often willing to date a few people at a time, or have someone in reserve somewhere in case the current one doesn’t work out. Don’t treat someone like an option!

We live in instant times. Instant attention, instant connection, instant money (well not so much since the credit crunch), quick, fast, shortcut everything.  It’s like getting over a relationship isn’t the done thing anymore.  It’s like people can’t hack being single – they have to be dating.  Somebody, somewhere has to be giving us attention.  A lot of us are selling ourselves short and not stretching ourselves and getting uncomfortable.

I’ll be honest with you – you don’t need to be 100% ‘healed’ from whatever your issues were to be ready to date again. I know I wasn’t. But you do need to be far enough along, i.e. the majority of the way, that you are 1) over your ex or even ex’s and 2) you are emotionally available and 3) you are actively working on yourself, after all, we’re a work in progress.  You need to be able to have an honest conversation with yourself, know your values and boundaries, and be willing to date from an honest place which means you’ll be uncomfortable being in a dishonest relationship.  I felt safe to try again because I was willing to be emotionally available which included allowing myself to be vulnerable, being willing to feel all my feelings and not avoid anything, and it is part of the fabric of my life to ensure that every single day, I remain committed to treating myself with love, care, trust, and respect with my boundaries, values etc. And yeah, obviously I was over all of my ex’s.

Doing all of these things gives you the freedom to go out there and live and love again. By being willing to be honest with yourself and treat you decently, if issues arise, you’ll deal with them. You’ll live to love another day. Sometimes you can’t know till you’re in it that you have stuff to deal with and that’s OK – the problem arises when you do nothing.

I warn you to be careful of rushing to date and ‘love’ again because time and again I see people who are 1) not over their ex 2) emotionally unavailable and 3) not actively working on themselves. With the latter, some will go part way, but not all the way, and the moment that it gets too ‘honest’ for them, they’ll say it’s too hard or look for a shortcut in someone else. This is how they end up in relationship insanity.  There is no fire. It will not kill you to take a few months and put the time and energy into focusing on yourself, dealing with any cobwebs and excess baggage that are getting in the way, and get yourself genuinely emotionally available for a relationship. Trust me, you’ll help the dating pool.”

Your thoughts?


39 thoughts on “Opening a Can of Worms…Casual Relationships

  1. I am going to send this blog post to tons of my friends. we could all learn a lot from this!

    LOVE those boots. size 8.5. perfect. hope its not too late!

  2. Hey Les,
    Great post! I have so much to say in so little space 🙂 But to sum it all up, I totally agree that people need to work on themselves before getting into any kind of reltationship, whether it be casual or not. Many people don’t understand what it takes to be in a relationship, and also continue to maintain it.
    ~Oh, and I’d like to win those boots too-lol

  3. I know alot of people that go from relationship to relationship without taking the time to consider why the previous relationship didn’t work. They say you should look at yourself and ponder if you would want the same person from your mate. If not then you need to work on becoming a better you.

    I would love those shoes… they are the perfect size for me!! But I just may be too late!

  4. An extremely engrossing topic, couldn’t have been said any better.
    Causal relationships are usually the source of rebound. People tend to seek closure and attention in others (usually doesn’t help) when they need to seek attention from themselves, pay attention to the feelings they are having, seek healing within themselves before jumping into another relationship which ofcourse would be nothing but casual because they haven’t fully recovered from their previous relationship. People need to take “breathers” and analyze their relationship style life, pray about it, it will help. People need to stop running away from their selves. Superb topic had me visualizing somethings in a different direction.
    P.S. Just love your style Ty :)Rock Your Wear!! 🙂
    *Don’t we all wanna win those boots, may the own who deserves it, wins it*

  5. Since i’ve never worn anything in my life 🙂 i figured why not try your giveaway i might just get lucky! And the boots are a beauty! That’s a plus! good luck to all! And I am trying my best to not let shopping have such an addictive hod on me! 🙂

  6. I believe we find what we need if we are in tune and listening at an ordained time. I’m single. Been single a long time. Spent a year in and out in and out. I thought my issue was that I wouldn’t fight and help him realize I was worth it. Your post helped me see I AM worth it and my well being is centered in knowing when to fold em. I’m no longer bothered when someone asks me why I’m single with all the things I have going for myself. I know that a relationship without “commitment, consistency, intimacy, progression and balance” isn’t for this divamom. As TP said in one of his movie’s no need to mix up seasonal people trying to force them into a lifetime position. I think you should give away an entire look. Don’t you just appreciate your readers ideas? I want the shorts. Are they my size?

  7. I love the booties and will wear socks so they fit (I’m an 8) anyway, the relationship situations. Relationships make my head hurt. I thought I would be married with 2 babies by now and it sucks that ppl who had little interest in marriage or kids are doing that stuff right now. I know that he is out there…I just wish he would hurry up!!!

  8. I don’t know how I missed this but you have hit the nail on the head once again! I have been broken up with my ex boyfriend for over a year and still don’t feel as though I’m over him but I miss being in a relationship. I am going to print out this post and look at it when I think I’m ready to commit again…(I have a little folder of dating/relationship stuff that I revisit from time to time.) I want to be ready for my Boaz…

    Oh and I want those booties! I also tweeted the link!

  9. I have a lot of mixed feelings about this post. I get the gist of the post, but sometimes I don’t need to hear the unabated truth, lol! I want these booties, though! They are just my size as well, lol!

    1. Hi there!

      I hope you had a great weekend! Thanks for your email!

      I agree with you. We spend a lot of time “putting on our faces”, but not nearly enough time with God or nurturing our inner man. I feel like it’s a social issue. Here in America we’re so fixated on bigger and better and that next great thing that we don’t have time to sit and be thankful for what we have. I am a believer that if you can’t be content with what you’ve got, you’ll never be content with more. We’ve all got work to do.

      I think we all carry baggage from one relationship to another. I know I’m guilty of it. It’s more common than not. We tend to use our past relationship experiences to guide us into our new relationships. That can be a good and a bad thing. The key is to take the good and learn from the bad. When we carry the negatives from the past into the potential positives of the future, that’s when we cause problems and sabotage our relationships before they even start.
      You can’t pour milk into a cracked glass and expected to ever have a full glass of milk. The glass needs to be repaired completely before it will ever serve its purpose and remain full. Only then once it’s full will you ever have a full glass that you can then share with others. You have to be made whole.

      I pray that you will receive wisdom and discernment and that you will be made whole. I pray that any inadequacies that you are ashamed of that you will forgive yourself and be able to grow from them.

      Take care, Doris!

  10. I’ve never been a casual relationship type girl, that’s why I’ve been with my husband for almost 16 years. I like longevity & stability… I would LOVE to win these booties!

  11. Where was this post a year ago?! It took me a long time to get over my last relationship. I can’t explain how great I felt once I truly let go of that situation/person. So now i’m ready and back in the phase of testing the waters. I’m not big on dating, so i’m not exactly “looking” but it feels really good to be able to leave myself open to whomever He decides to place in my path.

    As for the booties, I fell in love with them in the post! Very much my style…I would wear these everywhere and nowhere, lol! Crossing my fingers for a win! 🙂

  12. Im a skinny fat girl that loves to eat and be wine and dined so I love casual relationships :-)… Just as long as we’re both of the same page…. But just as much as I love to be wined and dined, I love sharp shoes… So gimme those boots :-)….

  13. My advice for dating (and anything else for that matter) is to consult God. He always gives a timely and perfect answer. Also I want the COLIN STUART BOOTIES!!!!

  14. ‘Casual relationships’ It’s interesting how when in a ‘relationship’ we as women tend to go from zero to 60 in two weeks. (I’ve done it). I’ve started asking myself What’s wrong with a casual relationship? I’m not trying to make every man I date my man. I’m not sleeping with them either. I’m a go with the flow type chic. lets see what happens. it is what it is. but you can not have my goodies…LOL oh BTW I NEED THOSE BOOTIES!!!!!! THANKS

  15. I am totally a relationship type of girl. So I don’t care to much for casual relationships. Btw, I love your outfit :). And I would love to win the booties!

  16. Another email I wish I would’ve received regarding relationships *sigh* The thought of seemingly starting from scratch is one that is nerve wrecking & cause a lot of apprehension mainly in the trust area. In past I’ve been the one who actually wanted the relationship but he was more on the casual end which is also a big problem today too.

  17. Les, I can’t tell you how much I needed to read this today. Today is my first day back on FB after a month of just doing me. I ran to your page because I knew I would find something uplifting and inspirational. Words cannot describe how I felt reading this. It’s crazy how somethings upset you when you read them because you’ve been afraid to confront them. Thank you…Thank you..thank you!! I will call you later to explain how your post hit home. I think you already know this but…I LOVE YOU!!

  18. First, you look so cute! Second, we live in a world that sends two messages. You have to be with someone and be having sex, to be fulfilled or happy and you don’t have to have comittment, just move in together until you get sick of each other. I don’t even want to go in too much on this topic, but I feel this societal shift has had a tremendous negative impact on the world.

    1. YES, YES, YES all around. I agree with you. While I’m certainly not pointing the finger, I know from personal experience that in a lot of cases, when you live together before marriage, the road to marriage, the wedding you’ve always wanted, etc. gets very delayed if it happens at all. Again, speakiing from personal experience, I have to say it’s a result of settling for the okie doke and not demading our other to prove himself because we deserve better.

  19. Oh boy… I could write paragraphs on this subject. People in casual relationships… people jumping in to so-called “real” relationships when they’re no where best ready for them… people in real & casual relationships at the same time… with two different people… (sad but true!)

    I will share this, because I know many people who could benefit from this post! Thank you!

  20. Love the outfit! It says “I’m out to conquer!” — the message in the post…EXCELLENT! It needs no other words.

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