No strings attached: Pros and cons of casual dating in India

  • Collin Rodrigues, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Nov 19, 2015 19:17 IST
Bollywood films have been portraying the concept of casual dating quite regularly on the big screen. (Shutterstock)

In the changing dynamics of relationships, it won’t be wrong to say that the definitions of love, intimacy and dating have assumed varied connotations. An offspring of this is ‘casual dating’, where people get together, but maintain a no-strings-attached status. In fact, of late, Bollywood films have been portraying this concept quite regularly on the big screen. Even off screen, such relationships are gaining popularity.

“People in casual relationships don’t carry any emotional baggage with them. Long-term commitment isn’t the focus of such associations,” says relationship counsellor, Neeta V Shetty.

Explaining why more and more people are choosing such partnerships, she adds, “One reason could be that these days, people find it difficult tosustain serious relationships, where they need to commit to someone emotionally for long. Others feel that their partner is encroaching upon their personal space too soon. So casual dating, in such cases, is an easy way to find companionship and physical intimacy.”

Echoing a similar stance, relationship counsellor Kinjal Pandya further adds that social media, and a rise in digital platforms, have aided the concept of casual dating in a big way. “Nowadays, with social media being in vogue, and chatting online or on apps becoming so easy, you don’t have to hold on to your emotions,” she says.

Casual dating is an easy way to find companionship and physical intimacy. (Shutterstock)

Ice breaker?

And though most are of the opinion that such relationships do not last for long, in some cases, such partnerships act as the first step towards a lasting relationship, and ultimately marriage. “Marriage is a possibility only if your dating partner’s wavelength matches yours. If the compatibility gets stronger, people start thinking whether they should get serious,” says relationship expert Vishnu Modi.

Good or bad

Even though it does not entail a serious commitment, casual dating comes with its own set of issues, especially if expectations seep in. Modi explains, saying, “Things can go wrong when you start taking everything seriously and expectations increase.” For example, if your partner didn’t take your call initially, you might be indifferent to it, but if you get a little serious about your partner, these small things may become bothersome in the long run.

However, though most people might not have a great opinion about casual dating –– apart from opening your mind to a new avenue of dating in general –– it can also have some benefits. Pandya adds, “Often it helps you meet a person without any prefixed notions. You can also get to know someone without any conditions or set expectations, and the same goes for your partner.


1. You open up as a person

2. You get to see the world in a different perspective, because you meet so many people.


1. When you are in a crisis, the person that you are dating may not be there for you

2. There is no loyalty towards your partner. He or she may be seeing one or two people other than you

3. You may get attached to your partner, who may feel differently about you

4. If you are casually dating a friend, a break-up could destroy your friendship.

Read: How much is enough? Weekly sex makes for happy couples

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