One of the dumbest misconceptions that still lurks around the dating landscape is the idea that all women are desperately seeking serious relationships. But news flash — there are plenty of reasons we might not want to lock things down with the first person who shows signs of interest in us. The reasons that some
women prefer casual relationships are as varied as the women themselves: Some are prioritizing other goals, like kicking butt at work or focusing on self-care after experiencing heartbreak. Some don't want or aren't currently ready for a long-term partnership. Some are DTF but just not feeling cheesy romantic vibes.
It's not 1958; the concept of women enjoying no-strings-attached, casual, mutually satisfying sex shouldn't blow people's minds. And yet, you've probably read at least a few pearl-clutching headlines about the doom and gloom of millennial hookup culture, right? Yawn.
It's perfectly normal and healthy to want a little
something something without pretending to care about your date's brunch plans for tomorrow morning. Men have been doing it since the dawn of time. Below, nine women explain why casual relationships are the right choice for them at the moment, and how they navigate their sex lives.
This woman doesn't want to be tied down.
I enjoy the freedom of not being tied down to anyone, I like being able to do what I want, when I want and having them over on my schedule and not whining about me being busy. Within the first week, I always express what I want and if they want more then I typically move along but if not, it works and we cut it off when someone 'catches feels.'
— Taylor, 22
Casual hookups are the happiest, most freeing option for this woman.
Currently, casual hookups feel like the right fit for my life right now because this is the happiest I have been in quite some time. I'm excelling in grad school and my career, I have an amazing group of friends, supportive family and adding a relationship into that mix right now seems too risky. I love that casual hookups/relationships provide me with the freedom to carry on with my life without adding any extra weight, messiness, or time.
— Eleanor*, 25
This woman likes having FWBs because a more serious relationship isn't a top priority for her right now.
It's not that I'm avoiding a relationship — it's that other things are more of a priority right now (my career, my social life, my family, my physical health). And while 'dating' has fallen down the priority list, sex hasn't. I tend to look for a 'friends with benefits' situation where there is a physical and mental attraction, as well as mutual respect and understanding of the situation. I prefer an ongoing hookup (let's be honest, the sex is better than a one-night stand). I find as long as both people are clear about their intentions, it can be really great. It's not for everyone, but I've had several really successful 'friends with benefits' situations.
— Kristine, 28
This woman doesn't want to get seriously involved right before she moves to a new state for grad school.
In the past two or so years, there have definitely been times where I have preferred relationships over hookups. Currently, however, that is not the case. My ex-girlfriend and I broke up a few months ago and I am also about to move to a new state for grad school for roughly the next five years. Timing-wise, casual hookups just fit more into my life right now. I like it because I'm still getting to meet new people and have my sexual wants met. Some of my dates/matches seem to assume I'm looking for more; I'd say more of the women than men I match/go out with seem to assume this. When that happens, I explain that I'll be moving far away soon, and that I don't want anything serious because of that. The majority of people understand, and if they don't or they are looking for something serious, we usually decide not to go out.
— Sabrina, 22
This woman hates how complicated relationships can get.
Seeking casual hookups has always worked for me. This is how I have done relationships my whole life because it’s easier on my trust issues and I hate going on first dates. Casual hookups are a way to sample relationships like trying on new clothes. If you do not like it, you can return it without a receipt or much hassle. When you formally date, it becomes this complicated thing where you are immediately and inexorably entangling your lives. I have come to know myself and understand my wants and needs. I need to have sex and I prefer to do it with the same person or a rotation of a few. Serious relationships are complicated but sex doesn’t have to be. I focus better and am more productive when I have regular sex, but I am clouded by the demands of serious relationships, which makes casual hookups the most efficient for me. The fun of casual hookups is that you’re both kind of always chasing because nothing about it is official. I think that makes it more exciting. I try to have a conversation with the other person at the beginning to assure that [it] is a gamble we are both willing to take. I just ended a two-year casual hookup — well, as casual as two years of your life can be. [The end] hurt more than any serious relationship I had ever been in because there was a lack of definition and closure.
— Allie, 22
This woman likes the variety hookups provide.
Nurturing a relationship is a big investment of time and energy — which at the moment I'd rather divert to my career, side projects, and friendships. Casual hookups provide variety — it's like sampling the whole box of chocolates, or using ClassPass before committing to your favorite studio. I don't think casual hookups can ever replace the true benefits of an intimate, long-term, loving relationship, but for now they'll do just nicely. I'm upfront with my dates early on, in order to avoid mismatched expectations and heartache. I tell them that I enjoy their company and am attracted to them, but am not looking for a relationship at this point in time, and then see if they're on board with that.
— Amelia*, 32
This woman tells people up front that she likes to keep things casual.
I try to be really honest with matches! I definitely have a set list of points I want to get across before I give out my Snap or Insta. Definitely the best hookups for me are the ones where I’m sure I won’t have contact with any time soon, like at a party or a club. The less intimate the sesh, the easier it is for me to laugh about it the next morning!
— Emily, 19
This woman made a pact with her best friend to stay single all summer.
I am currently in a committed relationship, although last summer I made a pact with my best friend that we would stay single the entire summer. I had the best summer of my life, pursuing casual hookups whenever I felt I wanted some male companionship. I enjoyed not feeling like I had to care for someone else when I truly just wanted to care for myself. I was extremely upfront with what I wanted, and stayed true to myself and my pact. I would tell any guy who was interested in me right off the bat that I was just looking for 'a good time.'
— Lizzie, 22
This woman doesn't have time for a relationship.
I find myself saying out loud to friends that I'm looking for a relationship, but when I'm going out, I find myself looking for that casual hookup. As a college student working full-time, there just aren't enough hours in the day to have a real relationship. There's such a stigma around the idea that girls might just want a no-strings-attached hookup. I think guys go in to dates assuming that the girl is over-analyzing everything from the start and looking for a boyfriend to turn into a husband ASAP, but that's definitely not always the case. If a casual hookup or FWB turns into a relationship down the road, that's awesome, but I'm just not in a place in my life right now where I can actively meet people with the idea that they're 'the one.'
— Emma, 21
If you prefer to keep things casual, you're not alone — there are plenty of women cheering you on with every swipe, flirty text, and stride of pride back to your place.
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