Think you’re dating casually?
(How to make sure you really are)
I can’t tell you how often people come in to a reading with me and say that they’re dating someone casually, only to tell me that they’re over the moon about their crush and that they want to know the secret yearnings of that person so that they might wed them under a floral canopy one day. This is not the heart of casualness! Make sure you’re not telling yourself a lie or half-truth because you’re scared of what you really want. I’ve prepared some rules to keeping it casual so you can help your self as you help yourself.
1. Always set boundaries at the beginning of a tryst. Be perfectly clear about the two W’s: what you want and what you’re willing to do, and make sure your actions back up your words! If you’re scared to ask for what you want because you don’t think you can get it, you’re already SOL; casual sexual relationships need to be equal in order to feel good to all parties.
Keep your expectations light, and if you find yourself planning your future with your crush, be honest with yourself about it. You need to know when to jump ship because no casual liaison can live forever.
2. Texting, emailing, and/or talking every day, or even every other day is NOT casual. Here’s the guideline: think about how many times a week you talk/text with your closest friend. If the goal is to keep things mellow with your crush, then never ever talk/text as much as that. In other words, if you’re connecting more than three times a week, you’re pushing it; figure out what’s right for you and then stick to it, no matter how cute/charming/sexy your crush is. Everyone is different and if you know from experience that you can be chill, even when you let someone into your life with consistency, then go for it. Most people (especially the Water and Earth signs; Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces, Taurus, Virgo and Capricorn) need to not allow things get habitual in order to remain unattached.
3. SEX. Can it ever be truly casual? For some people it certainly can, but for others, not so much. Be honest with yourself about what camp you fall into and don’t cheat your self by setting yourself up for a demoralizing time. Sex is supposed to be fun! If certain sexual acts are more intimate to you than others, then be creative and enjoy other things. If you’re keeping it casual then you’re also playing it safe- so for the love of God, have safe sex, my friends. That means using condoms/latex. It’s an important sexual boundary, but it’s an emotional and spiritual one too. From a spiritual perspective, condoms are a boundary that is as much about the willingness to put oneself first as it is about sexual health.
And let’s not confuse sex with sleeping. If you fall in love with snuggling and intimate morning rituals, then sleep-over parties are not casual for you. There’s nothing wrong with letting a part-time lover know that you’re not down for spending the night. Put your own needs first so you can keep a good thing on the hook.
Always leave the party when you’re still having fun, my friends, and the same truism works for casual love affairs. If you know that there’s truly no future with someone, you don’t have to wait until you or your lover is hurting before you call it. Seek dynamics that are respectful, fun, and above all else, make you happy.
How to Keep it Fresh in Three Kinda Hard, but Simple and Effective Steps.
I see people in long-term relationships all the time and there are a couple things that I’ve found to be the biggest and most common problems. The first of which is of course that people fall out of love. It’s hard to make a love relationship work without the love, and there’s no magic bullet for that. What’s being “in love”, anyways? The falling part is pretty obvious; falling in love with someone is a magical and buoyant time when everything and anything feels possible. Falling is romantic, frightening and feels amazing. But eventually we land, and the falling stops. Then we are in this terrain of “in love” and it doesn’t always feel awesome- it can’t, because wherever you go, there you are. Life is hard at times and when someone gets close enough to you, eventually they become part of that hardship, or worse, the reason for it. So being in love is not just about feeling good, it’s so much more nuanced, and it changes all the time. It’s hard to know when we’ve fallen out of love, versus when we’re having a hard day/month/year (all inevitabilities). When the love is gone, the work being in a committed relationship requires feels burdensome, and the pleasure of sex and romance falls flat.
Another common problem I see for people in LTRs who are still in love, is that they don’t like the life they’ve settled into. Here’s a trick you should never forget: it’s your responsibility to make your life what you want it to be. It may be time to make new friends, pursue new activities, or just prioritize fun in your life. Before you go racing to fix your partner, try fixing yourself first. Make sure you’re not expecting them to compensate for the ways you’re living that aren’t making you happy. Once your certain of that you can go forth with confidence and endeavor to work things out.
We all have to compromise in order to date someone for more than six months, and being able to do this in a healthy way is key to being a good partner to someone. That being said, it’s important to know what compromises ask too much of you. When you say ‘yes’ to someone, it’s your responsibility to mean it. When your mouth says ‘yes’ but your heart says ‘no’, it’s only a matter of time before you resent the recipient of your intended kindness. Remember, you can always renegotiate what you’re capable of giving - just be open and honest. Make sure you respect the boundaries of what you can give in a healthy way because offering yourself up and then wishing you hadn’t is the pits. It happens all too often that long term relationships are made up of compromises that set the relationship up to fail.
Remember to be interested in your mate! It’s waaaay too easy to fall into a routine with your relationship where you go to work, come home, and eat or watch T.V., complain about your day, and not really bother to connect. It’s essential to keep up with revealing who you are, and what’s really going on in your head/life/heart, and to get the same from your sweetie. We are always changing and growing (some of us more, and quicker than others, of course), and it’s unrealistic to expect that we’re always going to be titillated by our partner, or that we’ll grow in tandem. Asking questions and authentically listening helps! So does sharing what’s really going on in that head of yours.
A common thing I hear from people is that their sweetie just isn’t that interesting, and that produces quite a quandary. If you find yourself partnered up with a boring person and you’re finding yourself bored, then it’s up to you, Captain Interesting, to make your own life more exciting. Pursue things independently that enliven you as well as with them and encourage them to do something new. This is an opportunity to be the change you want to see in your relationship. When there’s a stand still you can lead or get more of the same.
The value of your fantasy landscape cannot be overstated! Sex drying up and fizzing out happens to so many otherwise wonderful relationships, but it doesn’t have to be this way. If you’ve made too many compromises, or are sitting on age-old resentments, it can definitely be a romance killer. Having sexual routines can also lead to a serious tapering off of things. As we grow and change as humans, it stands to reason that our sexuality and sexual tastes change too! Sadly, what I have seen time and time again is that when a person no longer thinks about sex outside of their partnership, and does not enjoy their own sexuality as a component of being a whole, happy human, then sex becomes this thing that you do for your partner instead of with them. Keep your fantasy landscape alive and well, my friends, because it keeps your sexuality active outside of your sexual acts. This can only improve your sex life and your creative life as a whole.