Source: There are times when a couple who is casually dating decide to take things to the next level.Maybe they've spent so much time together that they've realized that they don't need or want anyone else, or that no one else measures up to that person.One of my biggest takeaways while exploring Western Europe for six months was a conversation I had with an Austrian couple. First, I had to come up with a way to describe what I do for a living.Within a few minutes of meeting in an Irish pub, the lady of the couple asked, "So, is dating a construct of Hollywood? In North America, I say I'm a dating columnist.
I've been a semi-fluent French speaker since my youth, yet trying to share what I did perplexed most French, Belgian and Swiss folks I encountered. My male friends scoffed, my female friends swooned.Honesty does not equal seriousness if that isn't what you want.You're simply being respectful of the other person's feelings and giving that person the opportunity to change course if it turns out your feelings have changed.Yet none of these are "dating." There's no courtship, there's zero determining if you're compatible romantically or long-term. So let's call dating what it really is: a way to get to know a complete stranger to see if they're a possible romantic partner for the long haul.You're just bumping the naughty bits, and that's why we North Americans have so many, varied terms for what is essentially a no strings attached sexual relationship. It isn't an excuse to "test the merchandise," or "see how I feel in six months."."On sort ensemble" is something you'd say in Quebec (loosely translated: "we go out together"), but no one said anything of the sort in France. Yes, the guy really planned to have me serenaded, on our first date, along the Seine River."I give advice to people who go out together," kind of worked, but most people didn't understand how or why I had a job. I lost my credit card and was two hours late, so instead we met for wine and cheese. That relationship ended because the gent couldn't communicate clearly with me, and kissed another woman at a party repeatedly knowing that I'd never take him back if he did. I'm still grateful for the experience, because it showed me just what dating was, and wasn't.Maybe they've realized that despite the parameters they set for their relationship, they broke the rules and fell in love.For this reason, some people may ask "what is a casual relationship?Conversely, maybe you see yourself falling for the person, and you feel like you're taking advantage of them by sleeping with them without the promise of something more.Just because the relationship is casual does not mean that you can't be honest with that person about your feelings at any point in the relationship.