How to transform a casual relationship into something more meaningful?

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For many singles, online dating is a convenient way of meeting a diverse range of prospective partners in a short period. Having so much choice at your fingertips – literally – often leaves the members of these sites with a sense of impatience. While they’re getting on well with another user, they might already be growing restless, wondering if there could be an even more interesting profile around the corner. On the other hand, large numbers of singles sign up to matchmaking sites because they are eager to connect with a long-term love interest.

A crucial topic to address is what happens when you wish to transform from the former state-of-affairs to the latter. A recent questionnaire at cupid.com shows that more and more people over 30 want to turn their casual relationship into something more serious. To understand how easily this can be achieved, several points need to be addressed.

Why do people start a casual relationship?

To a significant number of singles, the main reason for using online dating isn’t searching for a love interest. It’s because they’re drawn to the excitement of getting together with potential partners and arranging encounters in as streamlined away as possible. A lot of sites aren’t about providing the building blocks for a meaningful relationship. They’re aimed at making it as simple as possible to arrange close encounters of the sexual kind.

The functionality of matching websites is becoming smoother. Where browsing through profiles once demanded a degree of care to be taken when reading over personal details, now site users can race through the possibilities, instantly dismissing the least appealing site users with a casual swipe. There are also algorithms built-in to websites that will offer a list of potential dates based on no other criterion than how close they happen to be to your current location.

When it is worth going seriously?

Dating is all about bringing people together romantically. Although site members will each have their perception of the ideal pace to develop connections, the prize at the end of the small talk and online flirting is to arrange a date, with a view of becoming intimate. But even individuals enjoying a fantastic physical relationship can grow disinterested if there’s not much of a rapport beyond the bedroom.

When there’s also an emotional connection, that’s when a couple can start thinking about taking their attachment to the next level. Singles seeking casual sex have to accept a trade-off between the anticipation of as many no-strings-attached encounters as they wish to indulge in, and being on their own for the greater part of the time. Going steady means the physical side of a relationship is pretty much guaranteed to be not only exciting but also regular.

Casual relationships are by their very definition transitory. What happens when you’re drawn to someone during your one-night of pleasure, only for them to shrug their shoulders in the morning and depart without so much as a backward glance? If you’re secretly longing for a partner who’ll be there every morning, then the time has come to avoid the flirty websites and track down online resources catering to serious daters. Once you take this step, the thought of returning to the treadmill of meaningless encounters and ‘cattle market’ nightclubs will become so much less appealing.

The benefits of a monogamous partnership

Having a regular partner will do wonders for your self-esteem. When you rely on informal arrangements, there will be a greater likelihood of jealousy – the person you’re with might be inclined to chat with other singles showing them attention. In a meaningful relationship, you can forget about all those tedious mind games or fretting about the competition. Instead, you can focus on your significant other as you enjoy intimate conversations in a secluded corner of the bar or restaurant of your choice, oblivious to the manic toing and froing of the singles desperately trying to catch each other’s eyes in the background.

Most importantly, you’ll be in the frame of mind to think about planning for the future. In the casual scene, singles rarely look beyond the next weekend, meaning their social lives are reduced to a series of ultimately soulless encounters. For couples who are committed, a whole new world of possibilities will open up. The closer they are drawn to each other, the more exciting these projections can become. When they are completely enamored, they might anticipate weekend breaks in romantic hotels in the countryside. Funds can be put aside for holidays in more far-flung locations, or for moving in together. Eventually, they might get around to discussing raising a family. All these considerations will keep the respective parties in a positive frame of mind.

How to change your relationship?

The key to making this transition is communication. There’s no point in even attempting to progress what you have if this aspiration is one-sided. Both of you need to have a firm idea of what you are looking for from the other. Keep discussing the possibilities of a much longer-term commitment. Become more adventurous in the bedroom. Tell your partner exactly how you feel about being in their presence. Arrange to meet their friends and family, as entering their social circle is integral to changing from a casual set-up. It won’t be long before that four-letter word is a permanent fixture in your conversations: love.

Why sometimes it is impossible?

For some, the temptation of the alternatives is too overpowering. Even the most ‘loved up’ an individual can find their pulse quickening when there’s a new start at the office, or someone behind the counter at their favourite coffee outlet is constantly flirting with them. Some people simply balk at the thought of too much commitment. Perhaps they’ve been burned in the past. It might purely be the case one person in the relationship is less mature. This is why it’s so crucial to keep the communication channels open at all times.

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