What is a casual relationship? I have been asked that question many times recently and found myself pondering on this as well. Unfortunately there doesn’t seem to be a cut and dry answer to this. Casual can be anything from childhood friends, to friends with benefits, to the relationship that I have with coffee (not an everyday ritual but extremely vital at times). The most common identifier for this term seems to be casual ‘dating’ relationships. This is classified by two individuals that go on dates, but as the recent movie put it “No Strings Attached”. It appears that people have become more prone to these encounters than the super serious, committed, very messy when it goes wrong type of relationships. Some may say that it is a growing fear of commitment or perhaps it is that they simply don’t want the hassle of dealing with all of the proverbial baggage that comes along with commitment. In today’s fast paced world people seem to want simple over complicated, short and to the point over long and sincere. This almost makes the whole idea of casual seem like an insensitive way to go through life. On the contrary, there are some very appealing aspects of keeping it casual. You don’t have to worry about living together and all of the wonderful habits of the other person that you just can’t wait to see, like clipping toenails in the bed. You can truly experience the Gestalt way of life and live completely in the here and now. You don’t have to worry about the future or the past in casual. There is no need for any gory details of that nature. You see each other when it is convenient and if you don’t feel like it then opt out. You won’t be fighting over family, finances, his snoring keeping you up all night when you have an early meeting in the morning or her nagging about his friends coming over or simply the friends in general because of the wonderful mature influences they are on him. (That last one was reeling with sarcasm if you didn’t know). As with any relationship there will be arguments that pop up, but you don’t have the additional stressors that committed relationships have, unless you have a mother that wants to know when she can expect grandkids and making composites of children using pictures of you and your casual partner on the computer. That can be a bit stressful. So there are many benefits to casual and as far as the definition that is left up to you. It can mean whatever you want it to mean, but a word to the wise, make sure it matches with the person you are in the relationship with. If you aren’t on the same page, you may be reading the entirely wrong book.