How to Have a Casual Relationship Without Getting Hurt

Discover the rules of a casual relationship and how to have a casual relationship without getting hurt! Learn my 10 ultimate tips for hooking up and how to handle a casual relationship from the start.

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So, you fancy trying casual relationships? BUT you really don't want to get your heartbroken? And, that's ALL you hear about when someone mentions hooking up these days- someone always gets hurt when there's casual relationships happening!

But it doesn't have to be that way, actually a lot of people have awesome casual relationships; they just know the rules of casual dating.

For some people casual relationships fit their lifestyle and they're extremely fulfilling; the difference between them and you is merely they know how to handle a casual relationship. And that's what you're going to learn in this blog- how to have a casual relationship without getting hurt.

The rules of a casual relationship simplified.

The Rules of a Casual Relationship

1. Work Out What a 'Casual Relationship' Means to You

When you're first thinking about having a casual relationship you need to think about what casual means to you.

What are you looking for when you say 'casual'?

The first step to learning how to handle a casual relationship is about working out what you want from your relationship. This is essential for all GOOD relationships and, particularly, for ensuring that you have a casual relationship without getting hurt.

Defining what casual means for you BEFORE getting involved with a partner is super important.

You may think casual means all fun and no stress but you need to define it a little more than that- is this a one time thing? A friends with benefits situation? Is it casual for now but with the aim of going somewhere?

2. Make Sure You're Being Transparent in Your Casual Relationship

One of the biggest rules of a casual relationship is honesty- make sure all parties are on the same page at the same time!

Don’t let, or leave, each other to fill in the blanks.

Once you’ve worked out what you want and what casual relationship/s mean for you then share this with your partner/s. Transparency and honesty is key in ensuring that you have a casual relationship without getting hurt.

As I mentioned at the start, hook ups get a bad name because not enough people are honest- we’re all adults here, once you’ve worked out what you want share this with whoever you want it with!

3. Remember, A Casual Relationship Doesn’t Mean There's No Feelings

We’re all human so having casual sex relationships doesn’t mean zero emotional involvement or impact. In connection with this, having casual relationships doesn’t mean you have to accept bad treatment or disrespect.

Learning how to handle a casual relationship isn't about learning how to ignore your emotions or 'suck it up'- it's about being an adult, being self-aware and getting some PLEASURE on your terms.

Make sure you set your boundaries appropriately and your standards high- just because you want to hook up doesn’t mean you need to prepare to be hurt or accept it if it happens!

Related: Top Tips for Getting What You Want in the Bedroom

4. Accept that Casual Actually Means Casual

Don’t start a casual relationship because you’re looking for commitment- this is the ULTIMATE rule of casual relationships!

To repeat the above- work out what you want, share it with your partner, be HONEST and don't pretend in any of this!

As much as movies and books love the ‘good girl fixes bad boy’ storyline; this isn’t reality. Listen to what your partner/s are telling you when they describe what they want and be honest with yourself and them about your intentions.

You won't be able to handle a casual relationship if you expect more than what is being offered- you just risk being disappointed.

5. Be Aware That a Casual Relationship Might Not Work for You

A very important disclaimer, that may be hard to accept: CASUAL RELATIONSHIPS AREN'T FOR EVERYONE.

Some people work well in casual relationships; they suit their life and emotionally it’s what they need at the time. But, casual relationships don’t work for everyone and that’s absolutely okay!

We all show affection differently and our experiences shape our wants and needs- don’t enter into any sort of casual relationship that doesn’t serve you because this is a one way ticket to hurt (and trust me not everyone is hooking up anyway!)

6. Pay Attention to Red Flags in Casual Relationships

Particularly when using dating apps or online dating, the little things that pop up in conversation that make you think ‘HUH? Weird’ those are the red flags you should be paying attention too.

It’s easy to disregard these signs because this is a casual relationship but the little red flags are giving you hints about who someone is- lesson number one on How Not To Get Hurt In A Casual Relationship? Take notice of red flags!

In connection with this- sorry to be such a Debbie Downer- but in this world you need to think about the information you’re putting out there and not just on your dating profile but when you actually meet this person.

When you first start a casual relationship be SAFE.

Think about about everything from where you meet them (don’t let them pick you up at home) to what you share about your life (like where you work and your friends names).

Casual relationships do go wrong so it’s protecting yourself from the fall out and making sure you don't get hurt.

7. Use Your Casual Relationship As a Time to Learn What You Want and How to Ask for It

Casual relationships are like a blank canvas you can use to your advantage long term; they’re a great space to experiment and try some of those things that you’ve been too nervous to do with previous partners.

Particularly if you have a ‘Friends with Benefits’ situation going on, so it’s happening more than once, you can use this time to help you work out what you like and what you don’t like AND practice asking for those things.

We’re all guilty of not advocating for our own pleasure and speaking up about what we want but having a casual relationship is a great time for building your confidence and trying new things as well as practising asking for them.

8. Have Realistic Expectations in Casual Relationships

In particular it’s worth knowing that sometimes the preparation for the sex is better than the actual sex. Some people are better on the phone than face to face; some people like I’ve mentioned above are using casual relationships to practice their skills so they aren’t all the way there yet.

Regardless of what it looks like in the movies and what you’re hoping for the sex isn’t always brilliant during a hook up or a casual relationship- it takes time to know each others bodies, needs, wants etc.

You can still have a great time and connect with someone new in a casual relationship but it’s just about managing those expectations!

Related: Discover the 6 tools you NEED to guarantee an awesome sex life!

9. Remember- You Can Do It! You Can Have a Casual Relationship if You Want!


Seriously, you don’t need to keep having the sex or relationships you’ve always had; you don’t need to be in solitary confinement with your vibrator and you don’t need to wait for a serious relationship or one that you think is “going somewhere” to justify seeking out a new mate.

You can go after what you want and you can have a casual relationship- even if you’ve labelled yourself “not that type of girl” previously- there’s no shame in casual relationships.

10. Don’t Underestimate the Power of Sex

Okay that sounds a bit Star Wars-y doesn’t it? Seriously though, regardless of who you’re having sex with and how “casual” you deem it to be things can get pretty serious pretty quick where sex is involved.

Stay safe and be aware- casual relationships don't mean zero responsibilities.

Use condoms with new partners, put your big girl pants on and have the adult conversations as mentioned above, make sure someone knows where you are. If you’re online dating- talk to them on the phone beforehand, see them on snapchat, check out their social media handles... This is all vital preparation that you should be doing to have awesome but safe time.

Final Words on the Rules of Casual Relationships:

Casual relationships can be super empowering and you don't have to worry about getting hurt- you just need to remember that casual relationships still need adult conversations!

The biggest piece of advice I have for anyone wanting to know how to handle a casual relationship is being honest about your intentions.

I feel like if you’re honest about what you want, and so is the person on the other end of that conversation, then not much can go wrong in between in regards to hurt feelings. Just lots of fun, fun, fun!