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Is it possible to “casually date” today? More importantly, is “casually dating” synonymous with “casual sex?” To be completely honest, I’m not sure. My feeling is that when I say I’m casually seeing someone, it means that we have a good thing going that isn’t necessarily on the fast-track to marriage. We like each other, we have fun together, but it’s not serious or hot and heavy. Yes, it usually means we are having sex and, believe me, I would not see someone casually unless the sex was incredible. If you’re not serious with someone, why stick around casually for mediocre sex?

Anyway, it’s my belief that a casual relationship (read: no commitment) can naturally lead to a serious relationship eventually. Although, I’m starting to think I might be the only one who believes this is possible. In men-language does casually seeing someone mean “this is a friend I have sex with?” And if that is the case, is it possible for men to move someone from “the friend zone” to the romantic zone?

I bring this up because I seem to have a pattern in my life of engaging in a string of casual relationships with people. Some last longer than others (anywhere from a few weeks to a year or so). Eventually they fizzle and we part ways, amicably. Truly, it’s the ideal situation. I hold on to the belief that one day one of these casual relationships will stick and develop into something more. Something meaningful.

Yes, I do, on occasion, find myself growing attached to whoever I am involved with. But, that’s only natural, right? I get attached in a habit sort of way, though. Not in a lovey heart-aching sort of way. I think I would be strange if I didn’t get attached. And I believe that the men get attached too. Depending on the man, that’s usually when it ends, albeit temporarily.

The nice thing about casual relationships is that it takes the guessing out of the mix. Both parties know that this isn’t going to be serious up front so, there is almost no pressure. It’s easy getting-to-know-you activities, talks, and of course, sex. There is no pressure to call, unless you want to. There is no pressure NOT to call, unless you are busy. You can have a life, have plans, go out, and have fun with or without involving whoever it is you are seeing. No big deal.

But, do men want women to be more demanding? Demanding of their time, of their emotions, of their commitment? Do men want needy women? I know men like a challenge, but who wants to be backed into a corner to be serious with someone you just met?!

I can’t be like that. It is completely against my nature or proclaim my love for someone who barely knows me. I am a reasonable woman and I want someone to get to know me before they decide if they want to be with me seriously. Is that so strange? It must be.

Or maybe I’m too hard a nut to crack. I know I don’t open up very easily, but when I do, I come spilling out. Maybe men get tired of waiting for me to open up, or maybe when I do finally let them in, I’m too much for them.

How are these my problems though? I have to believe that there is someone out there who is perfect for me. Otherwise, why get out of bed everyday and meet new people? What would be the point? Therefore, I am mentally putting the most recent man I have stopped seeing aside for the night , and going to a dinner for “young professional singles.” I’ll be honest, though, I kind of hate the contrived dating scene. Situations designed to introduce people to other people for the purpose of finding love put a lot of unnecessary pressure on me to be what someone is looking for. They make me feel like I must be really desperate if I came to one of these events; and if I’m so desperate I should lower my standards to be more accommodating to the masses. It’s a contradiction in terms for me. It feels like you have two options: “you can want a relationship and lower your standards to have one/ or you can want to stay single and keep your standards where they are.” I would like a little from column A and a little from column B, please.

Why doesn’t the man in the elevator (mmm…elevators…), or the man at the library, or the man reading the newspaper at the cafe ever approach me? I’m sure we would be perfect for each other; even if just for tonight.