Break-ups suck. Even between the most mature of adults, there are bound to be some hurt feelings in the mix, even if only temporarily. Often we resort to a casual rebound hook-up just to get our bearings back. Sometimes, these rebound hook-ups are a total disaster, but truthfully, they’re not all bad. Here are 4 things that casual flings actually get right.
It helps you remember the rules of the dating game.
Realistically, casual flings and long-term relationships should follow pretty similar rules. Yet, for some reason, we don’t always follow the same rules for both situations. We tend to think that one woman – the one we’ll never see again – somehow deserves less respect than we gave our exes. Or, on the other side of the coin, we feel more comfortable being unapologetically ourselves in front of the ONS, because we can just go ghost if things don’t work out. (Long-term relationships take a little more effort to leave.)
The truth is, you always need to keep your expectations reasonable and honest. Exactly what that means may be different from one to the other, but the core concept is the same. Treat her with respect, don’t lie to her, and be open about your intentions. You should also be using proper protection, unless you are completely monogamous and have been for at least six months. Don’t take unnecessary risks with your sexual health!
It helps build your confidence back up.
We all know we shouldn’t place our sense of self-worth in the hands of another person. Yet still, many of us need some reassurance from time to time, and that’s a normal human instinct. It’s always nice to feel wanted and appreciated, and a well-chosen casual fling can provide just that reassurance. Not every fling will give you that security, but it usually doesn’t hurt to try.
Just remember that you do have an obligation to tell the other person if you’re just using them for the ego boost. Not everyone minds this implication, but they deserve the respect to choose if they’re okay with it or not. You can look out for your own happiness without sacrificing someone else’s.
It gets you out of the house.
When you’ve got someone to hang out with, you’re more likely to get out of the house… Even if you’re just going to their house. In a post-break-up funk, it can be hard to remember to get your daily sunshine. A casual fling gives you somewhere to go, something to do, and a reason to take care of your hygiene. While it’s best if you remember to do those things anyway, your casual fling just gives that extra little push.
Going out with someone can help you get out of your head, too. All too often we get hung up on everything that’s gone wrong in our lives. Since you barely know this person, you won’t be so tempted to just unload on them, like you would with your friends. (And, if you do get the urge to tell your life story to the girl you just met at the bar… Don’t give into that urge.)
It takes some of the stress out of dating.
I like to think of casual flings as the “training wheels” of the dating world. It’s nothing serious, and yet it has all the same qualities as a good serious relationship… Minus waking up to morning breath every day. Since the expectations are generally lower and it’s easier to communicate without those pesky feelings getting in the way, it’s way less stressful to have a casual relationship than a serious one.
Of course that’s not to say that serious relationships don’t have their place, too. No matter how heart-wrenching and life-affecting serious relationships are, most people will find themselves drawn to be in one at some point in time. You might end up being drawn to a serious relationship with your casual fling – my current girlfriend and I were just supposed to have a one-night stand, almost three years ago. You can’t always predict the way things are going to turn out – but you can give yourself permission to go with the flow.