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Let’s face it, dating, love, relationships, sex — they are all part of life. As such, some people tend to simplify them, others tend to unnecessarily complicate them. The truth of the matter, however, is that pragmatism stands a better shot at bringing you to the real essence of human relationships than anything else.
This is not to say that one should take a cold and indifferent approach to matters of the heart or to matters of physical desire. Rather, it means that one should be open to the realities of the human condition and not lead oneself — or worse, be led by others or society in general — down idealized paths that will lead to nothing but false expectations and eventual disappointment.
Different Segments of the Same Road
Take as an example casual relationships versus serious long-term relationships. You might say that they are two entirely different things. On some level, you would be correct. After all, the casual relationship is intended to sustain your physical and sexual needs. Meanwhile, the long-term romance is meant to sustain your long-term emotional stability, you need to be wanted, you need to sustain another, and your overall need for companionship. To put it more succinctly, one is more feral and physically based, while the other is sentimental and governed by emotion.
If you don’t stop at the superficial differences, if you dig deeper — you will find another layer that might enhance your opinion regarding the connection between casual and long-term relationships. This layer is fueled by the innate human ability and needs to transition.
We are all in a constant state of flux. Socially, professionally, spiritually — we are changing and adapting. Many factors come into play with this type of change. Age, personality, personal growth — the list is endless. This is not due to a state of confusion on our part. Neither is it due to ignorance of what we want or need. It is simply a natural state for us as we progress through life. Some might call it part of the maturing process, we prefer to refer to it simply as the path of life.
Seen this way, casual relationships and long-term relationships, in essence, are simply different segments of the same road. They don’t lead to different locations. Eventually, they all lead to the same place — your personal fulfillment.
The Normalcy of Transitioning Relationship Styles
You should not feel conflicted when you feel a preference for one relationship style over the other. Neither should you feel obligated to seek one relationship style merely because you are at a particular stage in your life. The reality of the matter is that you will naturally transition from one to the other — probably several times. In the majority of the cases, the younger you are, the more prone you will be toward being attracted to the procurement of casual relationships. The older you get, the greater the propensity for you to seek a relationship that is stable across a wide range of factors and by consequence being more enduring.
Of course, there are also outlier examples. One of these would be couples who meet when they are relatively young and marry before they get a chance to do much outside dating. Another example would be someone who left a long-term relationship after several years and then begins to reenter the dating pool.
It is not uncommon for us to be inundated with information and claims from the media, society — even friends and family — that advocate for the superiority of one of the relationship styles over the other.
Who hasn’t heard a comment from a close family member earnestly suggesting that you should settle down — that marriage brings unimaginable blessings? Likewise, who hasn’t heard one of their friends commenting on how marriage will certainly cramp their lifestyle? How it will turn them into boring individuals. How it will suck the joy of life out of them. Comments and opinions are plentiful. They may be based on small kernels of truth, but rarely can they serve as sound advice. At best, they are merely personal observations or generalized analysis by those giving them. At worst, they are empty platitudes that distract us from what is best for us.
Avoid the Distractions, Follow Your Gut
When we listen to these external forces instead of following what we feel in our gut and know to be right, that’s what often results in a series of failed relationships. This, in turn, can lead to personal feelings of anguish, disappointment, and even disenchantment with the whole dating and relationship scene.
In order to maintain a healthy outlook on human relationships, it is important for you to follow the path that is right for you. If at this moment in time that happens to be seeking casual relationships, so be it. If you have reached the point in your life when you have met someone with whom you mesh well — someone with whom you have developed natural and organic sentimental bonds — then you should feel satisfied and confident to take the plunge into the long-term end of the relationship swimming pool. Don’t let external opinions guide you away from what you feel to be right.
Transitioning Relationship Styles Demonstrate Growth
Transitioning relationship styles are an indicator that you are growing as a person that you are advancing on your path of life. Provided that the reason that you transition from a casual to a long-term style of dating or vice versa comes from your own internal set of changing desires and that it is not motivated by an attempt to conform to what others classify as a normal — you are fine.
Modern Dating Sites to the Rescue
As with any of life’s activities, having platforms and portals to help you advance the dating style of your choice is essential. Fortunately, when it comes to selecting either a casual or long-term dating style, modern-day dating sites and hook up apps can be an invaluable tool. They can help you meet the sort of partner you are seeking — one who is like-minded.
There are dating platforms to cover every niche imaginable under both the casual hookup and long-term relationship umbrellas. Age, lifestyle, sexual orientation, ethnicity, social status — many of the factors that often limited or impeded one’s ability to get out and enjoy their preferred dating style are entirely removed thanks to online dating platforms. This helps to minimize situations when one partner is seeking something casual while the other is seeking something long-term and both wind up having a negative experience.
Just Follow Your Own Path
The important takeaway is for you to keep in mind that changing dating styles are perfectly normal. If you are in a casual phase of dating you should not feel that it attaches any negative connotations to you. Likewise, if you are in the process of exiting a failed long-term relationship there is absolutely nothing wrong with re-entering a casual style of dating. Also, if you are happy with long-term serious dating, you should not submit to any sort of peer pressure that attempts to devalue the significance of what you feel to be right.
Follow your own path. Change dating styles only when it feels right to you. Never feel guilty for this type of transition. Remember that it is normal. As long as you follow a dating style based on that premise it will never be a step backward. It will always be a step forward.