I’m so excited to have my new friend Drew sharing today – in case you missed it, I was over on his site earlier this week!
We’re talking casual dating and it’s been a blast. I’m fairly confident he’ll make you laugh.


Please: Keep it Casual
A male’s perspective on casual dating and Adele song titles

 

Rumor Has It
I went to a smaller-ish college in California. The females outnumbered the males two to one. Those are pretty good proportions for a kid from a state full of relatives or old people (Oklahoma).

So I would ask a pretty girl in my class out on a date – just all casual and chill, like a pair of sweats in a refrigerator, you know? We would go out and eat food and have a nice time of it. I would drop her off afterwards, we would each lay our heads down in our own beds, and we would dream blissfully of the “chillness” of it all.

Then, like Frankie Muniz and Hillary Duff in Lizzie McGuire, the entire school would find out the next day. “So,” someone would nudge me and say in a hushed voice, “You and Victoria/Mel/Geri/Melanie/Emma, huh?” (To be clear, these are the names of the Spice Girls, and I did not date any of them.)

Suddenly the world had blown up and the girl I had casually dated the night before was my bride-to-be. We vowed to each other we would “keep it chill” and continue to date casually, but the writing was on the wall. How can two people keep it chill when they are sitting on the rim of a volcano named “Couple-Notoriety?”

When it ended, it left me wondering whose fault it was.

Is it the fault of guys who are too afraid to go on dates, or is it the fault of girls who are unwilling to go on dates themselves? It’s like some Avengers Civil War or something.

Now, just like a Nickleback fan club, I know casual dating exists but I’m not sure where to find it. It seems pretty small and secretive.

Everyone wants to talk about it but no one actually practices it.

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Hello from the Other Side
I am tempted here to speak for the entire male species. Sadly, I cannot. Whitney Houston may have been able to be every woman, but I cannot be every man. It is not all inside me. I am only Drew Brown. I can only speak for myself.

Drew Brown: 5’8’’, theology student, Oklahoma native, occasional tree-climber.

I can only speak for this guy. So, in this guy’s perspective, it is too easy for me to become obsessed with “finding the one” (the absurdity of this idea is for an entirely different article). On a blind date, I will too often be thinking about matters that belong to the fifth date: where does she want to grow roots, what is her ideal dating “timeline”, does she like to read books out loud (an oddly high quality for me). Those aren’t questions and concerns for the first date.

There has to be an easier way than treating a first date like an interrogation. There must be another option.

Enter: Casual Dating.

 

All I Ask
Let me define it (this is my official definition…for now… it could change for all I know): Casual dating is getting to know someone better. It involves awkward laughter and some small talk as well as hometowns and inside jokes. It is not physically minded; it does not seek to sleep around or take advantage. It seeks to get to know the person on the other side of the table/mini-golf hole.

Casual dating, as well as any dating, can be initiated by a male OR a female; it’s not some male-centric hunting game. It is two people with butterflies putting themselves out there.

It is non-committal, there are no lines to sign on, and there is no need to shop for wedding rings beforehand. It is practicing the art of getting to know a member of the opposite sex for who they are. It is getting to know someone in a romantic setting, whether that romantic setting be a white-tablecloth-dinner (if you’re a super rich human being), a Chuckie Cheese (not the best idea because the topic of children will inevitably come up), or a California Pizza Kitchen and hipster coffee shop (if you’re Drew Brown). Casual dating need not be complex and intricate. It is not one big Hunger Game. You are not trying to discover who can survive your games and questions. You are not looking for Katniss or Peeta.

You are a human with feelings and thoughts and butterflies, and you are eating unlimited breadsticks at Olive Garden with another human with feelings and thoughts and butterflies.

That is casual dating.

 

Someone Like You
Casual dating is beautiful. It’s kind of like the pilot to a TV show: watch it once, test it out, and decide whether you want to stick with it or switch over to The Voice.
It teaches you courage. It teaches you to be an active listener. It teaches to reach beyond your comfort zone.
The sun will still rise the next morning if it doesn’t work out. And if does work out, the sun will rise nonetheless.

Someday you’ll sit by a fire cuddling with your spouse and you’ll tell your children, “And that’s what dating was like when we were young.”

 


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Drew Brown knows how to roller skate. He’s an Oklahoman currently living in California and loves theology, tree climbing, and Chick-fil-A. He works with amazing college sophomores as a job and watches “Fixer Upper” as a hobby.

You can find more of his work at DrewBrownWrites.com!

2 thoughts on “Please: Keep it Casual

  1. This is a good post. Sometimes, I wish that I had been born in my grandparents’ era (this style that you are writing about was the norm in the 40s and 50s). However, wishful thinking is fruitless. I want to take more risks and be open, but I’m still old-fashioned and would prefer that the guy ask me to coffee (or whatever else). I’ve had guys ask me to go out, but then never define that it was an actual date. Casualness+clarity=a wonderful date ?

  2. To be upfront, I am no longer in the dating scene and haven’t been for almost 25 years, but my perspective still is valid to your post. For background, I was in a serious relationship as a teenager, but it ended when she tore out my heart and stomped on it. For almost three years after that relationship, my dating was trying to replace what I had lost.

    After an introspective conversation with myself (and it was out loud), I realized I had to try something different. No one was the same person as the one I lost.

    I would go on dates with an expectation, as many men do, but mine wasn’t for physical activity, it was to fix a broken heart. I’d go on a date to have coffee, which I don’t even like, and talk, but there was nothing more than the conversation. It was good conversation, but nothing deeper. Next!

    I would go dancing. Let’s be real. My profile: white guy who loves heavy metal in the late 80’s to early 90’s. It was early hip-hop and I was no Bobby Brown. In fact, I was more like Charlie Brown. I didn’t stand a chance in this scene. I wanted to find someone, not hook up. Let’s just say it worked well for my friend Kirk. I’d draw them in. He’d scoop them up.

    I watched a lot of movies, but the funny thing is, movies aren’t great for getting to know someone unless it’s opening night and there’s a long line to stand it before the movie started. Thing is, I had a friend at the theater and we would be let in before the theater was open.

    I’d try dinners out, which was difficult. I didn’t have a lot of money and no car. What did I need a car for? I lived in Hollywood and stayed in Hollywood most of the time.

    My approach failed me time and time again.

    One day, I was at work in front of the Chinese Theater in Hollywood. I used to book the TV audience for really bad shows: The Pat Sajak Show, The Rick Dees Show, The Arsenio Hall Show (okay, this one turned out to be good), etc. On this particular day, a young woman was waiting by the front corner. Right away, I noticed her and noticed that she must live locally. You see, in front of the theater, if you’re visiting, you put your hands in the hand-prints. She didn’t.

    In between trying to hustle tourists into going to a bad show, I would casually talk to her. It was small talk. Nothing too deep, but the same type of talk you might have on a casual date. We got to know each other a bit while she waited. We had a lot in common. She was in college and I was desperately trying to find a way to go. We liked music. She seemed normal, which you don’t find a lot in Hollywood. She wasn’t an artist, an actress, a musician. She was a person and I wanted to meet people again – real people; normal people; simple people; anything but fake people.

    After about 2 1/2 hours, she left. It was a nice encounter, but it was over. I would cherish the moment and dream of meeting someone like her in my dating life.

    A week later, she walked by. I yelled her name and she stopped to talk. I had a friend performing later that week and asked her if she’d like to go. She agreed.

    It is almost 26 years after that encounter and our 24th wedding anniversary will be in a month.

    Here’s my lesson. I was authentic and without expectations. Our conversation was real. We clicked. She didn’t smell desperation, which many young mean wear like cheap Axe fragrant spray. It was just to get to know someone. It took courage. She was stunningly beautiful and out of my league, but wasn’t afraid to explore what was going on because it didn’t trigger her defense mechanisms.

    Guys, be real, not a persona of who you think girls want. Ladies, drop the list. There is no Mr. Right or Ms. Fantasy. We’re all imperfect people saved by Grace. Show your imperfections, be authentic and enjoy casual dating until you encounter someone real that you want to grow with.

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