Casual Dating vs Friends With Benefits: The Casual Clash

Doublelist Team

April 26, 2024 6 minutes read
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If you’re familiar with the dating scene, you’re familiar with casual encounters and one-night stands. A modern-day romance! A lot of the time, people are looking for something casual and without commitment. Two situations that often blur the lines are casual dating and friends-with-benefits arrangements. 

Casual dating vs. friends with benefits: Which one is right for you? Don’t get us wrong; these two dynamics are similar. However, at what point do their differences show? In this blog, we’ll explore the two in more detail, uncovering their features. So, caught in a “situationship” that you can’t quite figure out? You’ve come to the right place! 

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Casual Dating Meaning: Definition and Benefits 

Let’s explore the casual dating meaning. As we mentioned earlier, casual dating is a familiar setup in the world of online dating. With the emergence of dating and hookup sites, it’s easier than ever to find a like-minded dater. But what actually is casual dating? To put it simply, it’s an emotional and physical relationship between people without the commitment of a long-term relationship. The site Gitnux discusses Refinery29’s Sex School survey. According to the survey, 24% of the respondents were in a ‘casual relationship.’

Essentially, casual dating is a light-hearted approach to dating without intense pressure. So, you can enjoy someone’s company, but you don’t have to meet their parents together on the weekend. The whole point of casual is that there’s a mutual agreement that two people will hookup regularly. You can enjoy dates together and spend time outside the bedroom, but there are no ties, pressure, or commitments. 

The Benefits of Casual Dating 

The benefits of a casual relationship depend on your preferences. However, a lot of people enjoy the laid-back feel of this arrangement. Here are some reasons why:

  1. Freedom. Do you want to explore connections with other people? Casual dating caters to that! There’s no guilt in exploring something else, as there is no pressure to stick with just one person. 
  2. Emotional connections. A casual setup differs from hookup culture as you can still grow a connection with someone. If you agree to be casual with someone, you’ll most likely meet up regularly. It’s not strictly about sex. 
  3. Lack of expectation. A lot of people find the constraints of a long-term relationship too difficult. Casual dating takes away the expectation of meeting parents, buying presents, and relationship vibes in general. Instead, you can set your own rules. 
  4. Sexual exploration. A causal dynamic and lack of ties give you the freedom to explore your sexual desires with one or multiple people.

Many people enjoy this type of relationship and use it to develop their dating and sexual confidence. Without the long-term commitment, they can enjoy the relaxed nature of the arrangement while still enjoying someone’s company.

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Friends With Benefits Meaning: Definition and Benefits

Friends-with-benefits, again, is a popular choice for people navigating the world of dating. This dynamic is for people who are seeking regular sex without the pressures of a committed relationship. Typically, there’s a mutual agreement between friends to engage in sexual activity and hookup with each other.

In most cases, these people are friends first. However, some dating and hookup sites cater to this option and dynamic. People in a friends-with-benefits situation tend to set out ground rules to help avoid any lines getting blurred. 

The Advantages of Friends With Benefits 

If someone’s seeking physical intimacy without the constraints of a relationship, they might opt for a friends-with-benefits dynamic. Here are some advantages of FWB:

  1. Sexual connection without emotional attachment. If you’re feeling in the mood for a hookup without going for a steamy date first, FWB is ideal. You can get it on without having romantic feelings or an emotional attachment. 
  2. Solid friendship foundations. If you and a friend decide to go down this route, you can avoid hooking up with strangers. You might feel more comfortable with a friend and more able to explore your desires. 
  3. No exclusivity. Successful FWB situations require a mutual agreement that is not exclusive. So, if someone else catches your eye, you can explore that, too. 
  4. Lack of drama. If you decide to embark on a FWB dynamic, you’ll avoid typical relationship drama. The lack of attachment means you can enjoy hooking up and leave drama, expectations, and emotional attachments at the door. 

For some people, this sexual relationship dynamic works well. They can enjoy a physical connection without ties, drama, or commitment. Plus, they can relax into the fact that the friendship foundations are strong, creating comfort for potential exploration. 

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Casual Dating vs Friends With Benefits 

People often group casual dating and a FWB setup. It’s time to compare the two! Ready to explore friends with benefits vs casual dating? 

Here are some areas where they differ:

1. Emotional and Romantic Attachment 

Even though both dynamics revolve around a laidback and causal approach, they differ in their attachment possibilities. Casual dating allows space for dates or quality time. This can trigger romantic feelings that develop over time. Because of this, in some cases, casual dating can turn into something more. 

On the other hand, FWB runs on a mutual agreement that it’s a sexual arrangement only. Not a romantic relationship! The people tend to remain friends outside of the bedroom and don’t go on dates. Generally, FWB situations aim to keep emotions and romance at bay. 

2. Commitment Levels 

Despite both the arrangements lacking commitment, the levels differ slightly. Casual dating usually involves going on nice dates and spending time together outside of the bedroom. The commitment levels are low, but they’re not non-existent. 

FWB focuses on hooking up, and that’s the basis of the relationship. They have their friendship, but they also sleep together. Other than that, there’s no commitment or ties. 

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3. Boundaries 

Boundaries are where the two arrangements tend to differ a lot. Casual dating requires being a lot more open than FWB as you see where your connection takes you. There are boundaries in place in terms of relationship status, but a causal relationship is usually open-minded. 

Alternatively, a successful FWB situation requires strict boundaries. This is to help prevent one person from developing feelings and getting messy. Boundaries need to be in place to ensure neither partner leads the other one.

Understanding and recognizing FWB vs dating is essential if you’re considering embarking on a casual situation. While they’re both laid back by nature, being aware of the expectations, the boundaries, and the commitment levels are vital. Casual dating vs friends with benefits both require open and honest communication. So, you can enjoy the freedom of the lack of ties and enjoy the fun and free dynamic. 

Looking for Casual Dating or a FWB Situation? Try DoubleList! 

If either of these situations spark your interest, try searching on DoubleList. This open-minded site caters to a wide range of arrangements, and no request is too much. From one-night stands to threesomes and more, you’re free to explore your preferences and follow your desires. Can’t decide between casual dating vs friends-with-benefits? Try DoubleList and try it all! Sign up today and get your fix.

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