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An Expert's Guide to Casual Dating | Man of Many

We’re in an era of ease when it comes to dating. We’ve got apps like Tinder, Bumble, Hinge and more. There are services like Kopi Date and Elite Introductions. You might meet someone cute at your local coffee shop, on the second floor of your office, while on holiday in Europe, or in your section at the NRL. You can ask a mate to introduce you to a friend of a friend.  A nice way to step into the casual dating scene is to lean into whichever of the above makes you feel most comfortable. You don’t have to do them all at once, but it’s nice to remember there are a load of options out there for meeting people.

Decide Where to Find Dates

Now you’re interested in someone, and they seem to be interested in you. Awesome! What’s next? Give good chat. That means, go deep with your conversation. Outside of the usual icebreakers – ‘what do you do for work?’, ‘what do you do for fun?’, ‘do you have any siblings?’ – think about some unusual conversation starters that will make you stand out from the rest.

Communication, As Always, is Key

There is nothing worse than digital dating that drags on for weeks. You know the type, the mindless texting and flirting that seems fun at the time but not when you have several people on the go, a full-time job, a sports league, friendship circle, family commitments… Who has the time?

Get to it and Ask Them Out

Now you know you want to ask them out, the question is ‘where the heck to?’. A good rule of thumb is to invite them somewhere you can do an activity together, but where you won’t be nervous. If you’re not good on your feet, an ice-skating date probably isn’t right for you. But an evening tour of the local aquarium or observatory might be.

Pick Your Location

Once you have your location locked, think about what you’ll wear. Again, you want to be comfortable so don’t feel you need to rush out and buy a whole new outfit. Instead, think about what makes you feel confident and wear that.

Dress the Part

It’s always important before a date to know what your boundaries are, and to stick to them. Decide going in if you want to sleep with them should the opportunity arise. Understand what you are comfortable disclosing about your current and previous dating history, as this may come up. If you don’t want anyone to know you’re dating, tell your date straight up.  Of course, your date may have boundaries of their own, so be sure to discuss and respect these throughout the time you’re together – and afterwards.

Know Your Boundaries – and Theirs

It’s 2022. There really is no excuse for not using a condom to protect from STIs while casually dating – there are a range of sizes and textures available. Get over the awkwardness of it all, pull one out, slip it on and keep it on.

Use Protection (Seriously)

As with tip three, don’t delay on the follow-up communications. The old game of waiting three days before calling is from the 90s when we weren’t attached to our phones 24/7. Now there’s no reason to wait. If you’re not interested in seeing them again, tell them right away. Save them the anguish of waiting around and save yourself some annoyed texts or social comments down the track. A nice way to let someone know you don’t want to see them again is to say, ‘I had a nice time, but I am looking for a spark and didn’t feel that with us’. This implies it’s not them, it’s the two of you and that you’re simply not compatible – hard to get upset at that.

Follow-Up Quickly

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