What is the point of casual dating?

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Interested in casual dating and want to learn more about hook-up sites? Casual dating is essentially a form of dating that allows you to meet other men and women for casual one-night stands without any of the usual strings attached, meaning the point is to simply have adult fun with others.

One crucial point to make about casual dating is that it doesn’t necessarily mean sex but can just be about spending time with someone else. It can involve sex, but this isn’t the only facet of it, which is different from a hook-up site.

Read on to learn more about the difference between casual and serious relationships, how you can discover if casual dating is right for you, and how you can get started with casual dating by using hookup sites that actually work.

Casual dating meaning: hookups and more

Hook-up sites are essentially what they claim to be: a service that is designed to connect users with one another for casual sex with one. This means one-night stands, but it can also mean extended relationships for undefined periods of time where neither partner expects anything.

Not everyone is interested in settling down for a serious relationship, and so for them, the point of a casual dating site is to find someone that they like well enough to spend time with for a sexual fling. Sometimes these flings can last for a single meeting, or they can be off and on meet-ups.

Others are trying to find out what they want in a relationship and want to test the waters with multiple partners. This is a great way to tell you what you want in a relationship as well as what you want to avoid and will give you valuable experience being with someone.

The point about casual dating that we will stress is that it is a way to date people with no pressure or commitment. A casual relationship, even a hookup, can certainly lead to a committed relationship, but that isn’t always the case. This also isn’t for everyone, especially if you know what you want.

If you don’t feel comfortable with the idea of having sex with someone without first spending a lot of time with them, then don’t worry. There’s no reason to force yourself to enjoy casual dating, and there are plenty of serious dating alternatives for a lasting relationship instead.

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Casual relationships vs. Serious relationships

If you still aren’t clear on the distinction between a casual relationship and a serious relationship, here are 7 key points between the two that defines them broadly:

  • Can range from ‘Friends with benefits’ to ‘one-night stand’ – a casual relationship is precisely that: casual. It can have as much attachment or as little pressure as both people are willing to allow. You and the other person can be friends who simply want to enjoy sex with one another occasionally, but neither of you have any real interest in dating the other, or you can just have a one-off fling with no strings attached.

  • Eschewing labels – because of this flexibility in definition, casual relationships can broadly be applied to most relationships that have a potential for sex but aren’t really interested in long-term planning and partnership. They can include singles dating other singles, people cheating, polyamorous relationships, and more.

  • Fun over commitment – the core principle of a casual relationship is thus that there is no intention for commitment on either party’s part. If someone isn’t having fun, then that’s the end to the relationship, no questions asked and no hurt feelings.

So, what does a serious relationship look like? Generally speaking, people who often date seriously are looking to find a partner they hope will settle down with them for the long run. Serious relationships often involve:

  • Emotional attachment is strong – while emotional bonds can exist in a casual relationship, they are often much stronger in a serious relationship and involve love between the two partners that runs deeper than something without any commitment.

  • Labels play a bigger role – you will see labels such as “boyfriend/girlfriend”, “partner”, and more pop up, as it is part of the identification process of a serious relationship.

  • Commitment is key – both you and your partner in a serious relationship are committed to staying with one another and fulfilling the other’s needs and desires.

  • Plans for the future – finally, one of the biggest elements of a serious relationship is that both partners intend to stay together for the long run, and will want to make plans for their future together, including but not limited to marriage, owning a home, and even children.

Discovering if casual dating is right for you

Casual dating isn’t always for everyone, so it might not be right for you. What is important is that you look at yourself and understand what your own expectations are for a relationship and whether you even know what you want out of a relationship. If not, a casual relationship could be right for you.

Depending on what your current relationship goals and personal preferences are, you may even find that you prefer a casual relationship with more options for expanding into a serious one than one that has you locked down right away.

For anyone that is certain that they want a serious relationship and is worried they might get hurt in a casual relationship, then casual dating may not be the best choice for you. In this case, look for a serious relationship to avoid any feelings of being used and left unhappy.

In the end, do what makes you feel comfortable and happy.

Getting started with casual dating

The most important thing to do when using a hookup site or casual dating service online is to find one that is professional and renowned for its service. These tend to be paid services, but many offer free hook-up site versions to give you a taste of what to expect.

Using a good casual dating service can go a long way in helping you to avoid being scammed on Hook up apps, especially by people looking to take advantage of you by taking your financial data or personal data. Some shady sites even make it possible for people to do worse, so be careful.

Sites like Tinder and e-hookups are great for getting started with a casual dating experience, as is something like Zoosk, which offers options for either serious or casual dating relationships.

Find the best casual online dating sites

Take your pick from some of the best casual online dating sites in the UK.

Most Popular Choice
  • Best for anonymous and discreet encounters
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  • Only mature women who really know what they want are members of MilfFinder.
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  • Tailored matching algorithm + localized connections 

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  • Local events and activities 

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  • Thousands of mature singles looking for love, romance, and friendship
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My Mature Flirt


  • Possibility to join local events for exciting encounters with other singles in the UK

  • Cutting-edge algorithms that will create personalized connections 

  • Top priority for safety, with mystery and excitement still in the air 

Adult Friend Finder
  • Best for: No strings attached and open minded individuals
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  • Easy casual encounters with locals
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Ashley Madison
  • Best for open-minded looking for “no strings attached” fun
  • Free membership
  • 54 million users 
  • Large database of Asian and European singles in the UK
  • Full control of your profile to set your desired privacy settings
  • Attend virtual events to meet even more members