The Pros And Cons Of Casual Dating (And Where To Get Dating Therapy Online)

Updated August 18, 2021


If you've heard someone say they have a "friend with benefits,"- you already know a little about casual dating. Casual dating is becoming a more popular way for people to meet and connect for various reasons, including casual sex or "hookups." The goal of casual dating in these short-term relationships is immediate fun and gratification. This article provides insight into today's casual dating sites and answers the question, "What does casual dating mean"? It provides information on safe casual dating. Let's start by answering the question.


What Is Casual Dating?

Some people have never even heard of casual dating and wonder - "What does casual dating mean?"- or what is casual dating? The days of prim and proper dating and courtship have come and gone. Today's dating and relationship seekers have more options to date their way - and they are doing just that. Casual dating is a non-serious and short-term form of dating where both partners enter into the relationship with a short-term mindset and no-strings-attached requirements.

This means that casual daters aren't interested in falling in love with their romantic interest or forming a long-term relationship. Casual daters are in it for as long as the fun lasts. After that - they're gone. Today's casual daters are meeting online and turning virtual hookups into real-life one-night stands, and turning fantasies into realities by dating with no expectation of commitment. Casual dates can be arranged online, as blind dates, and in using online apps. Today's casual daters even subscribe to casual dating sites.

People who are looking for long-term serious relationships don't mesh well with a casual dater. A casual dater's interest is short-term, and they normally let you know this upfront. Many people in rebound relationships did so as a result of a casual dating arrangement. People may fall into short-lived relationships with casual daters accidentally (or on purpose). Regardless of the choices you make, be sure to understand that casual dating relationships rarely lead to anything serious. Having expectations of anything more can leave you with serious emotional scars.

We'll talk more about the effects of casual dating later. For now, let's look at casual dating sites and apps online.

Casual Dating Sites Online

Casual dating sites have become popular with people who are looking for something other than monogamy in their dating lives. People can log in to these dating sites online, create a profile and gain access to thousands of other daters who are interested in a similar lifestyle. Casual dating sites have a variety of themes that facilitate non-monogamous relationships and often openly support activities that are frowned on in serious relationships like cheating, affairs, casual hookups, and promiscuous sex.


Casual daters visit these sites to find quick love, romance, or fun. Some casual dating sites are subscription-based sites that require a membership fee to join. Membership fees can range from a few dollars to hundreds of dollars to become a member depending on the dating site you join. When you search online for "casual dating sites," you'll find results for websites that offer hookups, friends with benefits, one-night-stands, fetish sites, and more. Not all casual dating sites online have a sexual undertone - but many of them do.

When it comes to using online dating sites and apps, there are some risks involved. People who participate in casual dating also have an increased likelihood of participating in casual sex. While this may seem like another casual component of dating, there are often consequences to having casual sex like sexually transmitted diseases, unwanted pregnancy, domestic violence, sexual assault. Women especially have to be precautious when participating in an online hookup or short-term relationship dating as they become the victims of sexual assault much more often than men. Sexual promiscuity is another potential outcome of casual dating, where strangers meet solely to establish short-term sexual relationships with no longer-term goals.

The Pros And Cons Of Casual Dating

While short-term dating may not be the choice for everyone, it is a viable choice that works for some people. People who enter short-term relationships often do so with the awareness that they aren't ready to commit to a serious relationship and are simply seeking companionship and someone to spend time with intermittently. When casual dating is used in this way, we can easily see why some people choose this route as an alternative to pursuing a serious relationship that will inevitably lead to nowhere. In casual dating, the agreements made are normally mutual, transparent, and everyone involved understands that the relationship isn't meant to last.

Conversely, when people engage in casual dating without clear goals, the results can become disastrous as miscommunications and false expectations begin to cause emotional harm to the casual dater and their chosen counterparts. When casual daters aren't clear or honest about their expectations, people looking for something more serious can confuse. They want something more. A casual dater may also find themselves confused when they enter any relationship without a clear set of boundaries and rules.

If you find yourself caught in destructive relationship patterns that are out of control - it's time to get help.

Getting professional advice from a therapist can help you learn the rules for safe casual dating that keep you mentally and physically safe on dates. If you have an ongoing issue resulting from casual dating or casual dating is starting to cause negative outcomes in your life, you can talk to a relationship therapist to gain insight and an unbiased perspective to help you see your situation from another perspective. People who have had bad experiences with casual dating may need to speak to a therapist to learn new dating and relationship skills to prevent a repeat of past dating mistakes.

Get Relationship Therapy Online

Now that you understand the concept of how online dating works and you've identified potential issues, you can ask more effective questions when getting relationship therapy with a therapist online. Relationship therapists are licensed and certified professionals trained in counseling couples on the subjects of dating and relationships. When you meet with a relationship therapist online, you can learn how to recover from casual dating's negative effects. Your therapist can also help you learn strategies for staying safe from domestic abuse or sexual violence in casual dating relationships.


Domestic abuse and sexual violence are important factors to consider when participating in casual dating relationships. Having an encounter with someone you don't know very much about isn't always the safest bet. Regardless of the duration of casual dating relationships, the danger of potential domestic violence and sexual abuse are always present between strangers. If you've been a victim of domestic violence or sexual assault due to a casual dating relationship, your therapist can help you work through mental health-related concerns like anxiety, depression, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

How To Find A Relationship Therapist Online

When you're ready to find a therapist online, most people start with a Google search for "relationship therapist online near me." Leading therapy platforms like and are known for providing relationship therapy, couples counseling, and marriage therapy with a licensed therapist. The platform staff thousands of licensed and board-certified relationship experts available to provide therapy and counseling services online 24-hours a day.

ReGain is one of the only platforms dedicated solely to providing marriage and relationship therapy with a dedicated therapist. is another top therapy platform that provides its users with access to a wide-variety of board-certified therapists and licensed mental health counselors. Clients on the BetterHelp platform have access to licensed marriage and family therapists (LMFT), licensed professional counselors (LPC/LPCC), psychologists (Psy. D/Ph. D), and licensed social workers (LCSW). These certified mental health professionals can help casual daters get to the bottom of dating issues and manage symptoms of related chronic mental illnesses like depression or anxiety.

Online therapy platforms like these are options you will find when searching online for dating therapy or using therapist finder and therapy matching sites like MyTherapist can help you find the best licensed mental health therapist for you in your state - at a cost that you can afford. Today's online therapists and subscription-based therapy sites offer affordable therapy options with plans for and starting as low as $40.00 - $70.00 per week. Many people opt for less expensive therapy options online as the national average for in-office therapist visits can cost as much as $200.00 per visit.

Final Thoughts

Casual dating is a short-term form of dating, where people mutually agree to form convenient relationships. While choosing casual dating is a viable option, there are potential dangers involved when casual dating relationships are formed for the wrong reasons. Domestic violence and sexual assault are potential concerns in these short-term relationships.

Casual daters should seek therapy to learn more about being safe while dating casually - or if they have developed a mental health concern resulting from participating in casual dating relationships. If you're ready to learn more - contact a relationship expert online now.

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