Do You Think Dating Is A Waste Of Time? When To Consider Casual Relationships

Updated September 6, 2023by Regain Editorial Team

Not everyone feels positively about the prospect of dating. If you think that dating feels like a waste of time, part of that feeling could stem from not being interested in having a serious, committed relationship with someone else at this time. That level of commitment might not appeal to you for one reason or another, but this doesn't have to mean that you don't desire to have romantic connections with other people altogether. For some people who are not interested in dating for a serious relationship, pursuing casual dating or casual relationships might make more sense. If this is something you’re considering, read on for a few ideas and suggestions to keep in mind. 

Navigating Dating And Relationships Can Be Confusing

When You Might Consider Casual Relationships 

Below are a few situations, feelings, or reasons when you might consider whether casual relationships could be a better fit: 

Dating Feels Restrictive To You

Does dating feel very restrictive to you? If so, then you might not be interested in a serious, monogamous relationship. Some people feel like they're trapped in a cage when they're in a relationship with somebody. When you're in a committed relationship, your partner is likely going to have certain expectations of you. They will likely want a certain amount of your time, and they will also expect you to be supportive in some ways. 

If you don't feel like you're interested or able to put that much effort into a relationship, then it could feel like a waste of time to you. Not everyone wants to focus on relationships so much at various points in their lives, if ever. You might be more focused on your career or certain hobbies that are important to you. This doesn't necessarily mean that you don't value others or want to have deep personal connections. It just means that a committed relationship doesn't feel natural to you at this point in your life. Those who don't feel like a relationship suits them well should not feel forced to be in one. If a relationship is only bringing you frustration and stress, then it likely isn’t right for you, at least at this point in time.

You Have Trouble Remaining Faithful To Your Partner

Some people have difficulty staying faithful in a monogamous relationship, and this kind of committed relationship may not feel like a good fit for them. Monogamy doesn't always feel like the right relationship structure to certain individuals. Some people feel more comfortable when they're able to pursue relationships with multiple partners.

If you find yourself feeling very drawn to other people and cannot remain faithful to the person that you're in a monogamous relationship with, then it may be time to reevaluate the situation. Unless you and your partner have an agreement regarding seeing other people, this would be very hurtful to them, so you may need to change your behavior, agree to new expectations, or end the relationship.  

Would An Open Relationship Work Better For You?

Some couples have found success by pursuing an open relationship structure. While the exact structure can vary, an open relationship typically allows both partners to pursue sexual relationships with other people. If you are interested in having a serious relationship with one primary partner while still being able to pursue other people sexually, an open relationship may be a good option if it’s something your partner is on board with too. That said, many people are not interested in this structure, so this won’t work for everyone.

Alternatively, you might find that you would be better off breaking it off with your partner rather than creating an open relationship with them. Pursuing casual relationships without having a primary partner could make more sense for you. It just depends on whether your current partner (if you have one) is someone you love and want to keep in your life, and if you are interested in the level of connection and commitment you both have agreed to.


Things To Keep In Mind When Having Casual Relationships With Others

If you feel like you want to connect with others without focusing on other aspects of a relationship, then casual relationships might be better for you at this point. 

Some casual relationships might be solely focused on sex, and others might also be more romantic. Expectations for a casual relationship can vary, but it's important to ensure that you're on the same page with the person or people you're dating. To do so, you may want to have a clear, honest conversation about what you’re both looking for, what you expect from this set-up, and what your boundaries, wants, and needs are. This can help you to avoid any misunderstandings and keep things running smoothly. 

In addition to having open communication around expectations, practicing safe sex can also be important when engaging in casual relationships. Being in a casual relationship doesn't necessarily mean that you're sleeping with different people, but this can be common, so it’s important to keep in mind. If you're sleeping with people casually and you have more than one partner, it can increase your risk of getting an STD. The people you're casually dating might see other people as well, so practicing safe sex can be very important as you date around. 

Finally, it’s also important to be honest with yourself and others about what you want. And remember, this can always change over time, too. 

Navigating Dating And Relationships Can Be Confusing

How Online Counseling Can Help

If you are feeling frustrated with dating, dissatisfied in your relationship, or unsure about what you want romantically, meeting with an online counselor can help. Research has found online therapy to be effective for improving both relationship and individual functioning, so it can be a good option for both you and your potential partner.

Plus, if you are dating casually, you and the person you’re seeing may be in different locations, and it may not always be easy to do counseling together in person if you’d like to do sessions as a couple. With online therapy through Regain, you and your partner can join the same session remotely from separate locations. 


For some people who are not interested in having a serious, committed relationship, pursuing casual dating or casual relationships might make more sense. For instance, some people might be more interested in focusing on other aspects of their lives or find serious dating to feel too restrictive. If you would like help navigating these and other dating concerns, you can connect with a licensed therapist online for support. 

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