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Casual Dating Relationships and Middle Aged Post-Divorce Singles

Casual Dating Relationships and Middle Aged Post-Divorce Singles

Casual Dating Relationships and Middle Aged Post-Divorce Singles
May 10, 2021

I have read that one of the main problems with being a new dater after a divorce is that many of the people who are out there to date, both men and women, only want to do “casual dating”.

What is the definition of casual dating you ask?  Well unfortunately there is no one agreed upon answer to that.

  • Some people think it means just dating but not living together or getting married right now.
  • Some think it means a non-exclusive sexual relationship with no emotional attachments or “polyamory”.
  • Some think it means a little more than a sexual relationship in that it has some emotional aspect.
  • Some people think it means “Let’s just take it slow”
  • One guy told me it meant “I’m not financially responsible for you”.

If you do run across someone who wants a “casual relationship”, or “short term dating” as they say on OKCupid, then you will want to ask sooner rather than later what that exactly means to that person and make sure you are ok with the terms. I personally am not opposed to any of those options on moral grounds, but I have never been one to sleep with more than one person at a time and don’t plan to start now when I am almost 50.

I hear complaints from other middle aged, post divorce women that all they ever get offered is Friends with Benefits (FWB).  To me FWB is the same as casual dating and has just as many definitions and reasons to clarify exactly what both parties think it means.

Why do casual dating relationships happen more now that I am older?  Why are there so many guys asking for FWB now at our age?

  • I think for one it is because it has become more socially acceptable.
  • Many men are going through “the horny phase” of post divorce, the first 6 months after separation, and just want to have some physical intimacy to drown out the pain. They also may have been shut out physically from their former wife since sex is often the canary in a coal mine for relationships.  They may have been dreaming about having lots of sex with lots of women for a long time and are now following through as much as possible.
  • Many people get stuck in the “I never want to get married again” phase of divorce and think that they can still have physical intimacy without ever getting hurt as badly as they did in their divorce by never loving that much again.  I have heard complaints from men that it is not just the women either!
  • Some people have already had 3 or more marriages fail and pretty much realize they are not cut out for it. They are not willing to have a life of celibacy so casual dating is a way to get the intimacy and companionship they need without getting caught up with one person.

The problem is that with most casual dating there is a rush to intimacy. This leads the man to feel trapped, the woman to feel a need to chase and the whole relationship collapses, leaving no one satisfied, according to the book Mars and Venus on a Date.

What can you do if you get offered a casual relationship?

Just say no to casual dating relationships if they are not for you. Don’t be mean about it, but just say that you appreciate the offer but would rather hold out for a potential relationship. Maybe at a later time you will get a call back from that person when they have moved on to the next phase of healing after their divorce.

If on the other hand, you are OK with casual dating, you may want to start a collection of FWBs, which is a kind of polyamory.  My experience with FWBs is that they do not want to see you very often; usually once a week. This can create some erotic distance and lead to some great physical intimacy. However, it can also leave you bored and lonely on a Saturday night when your FWB is feeling need for space. Starting a virtual black book on your phone might be the solution if you are comfortable with that.

What are the moral issues for multiple FWB in casual dating?

For me, the number one moral issue is that you need to tell anyone you sleep with that there is more than one lover in your life. This can get tricky if the FWB relationship is very on again and off again. Do you have to tell your new lover that you slept with someone last month and think they may call again but are not sure?  I don’t know. I guess your conscience has to be your guide.