Sometimes as matchmakers we get emotionally charged inquiries around the general topic of taking things to the next level after agreeing to the terms of casual dating. It’s a topic that will earn an eye roll from anyone eavesdropping on our conversation unless they are in the throes of navigating new love in the modern dating culture. It seems so easy when you're not the one feeling the roller coaster of emotions - hope and fear, confidence and insecurity, complete smite and skepticism.
What is the right move if you’re casually dating and catch feelings? How do you navigate that next move gracefully and with intention? Our Kelleher International matchmaking team is here to help.
When you sense a literal or figurative fire, it’s always best to remain calm, communicate, and make slow, deliberate decisions. Seems logical, but a twitterpated heart forgets the basics of love and self-preservation.
An essential first step is to remind yourself why you’re casually dating in the first place. Maybe you tend to jump into relationships too quickly and have personal work you’re trying to do. Perhaps you have a track record of choosing the wrong partner and aspire to spend more time getting to know someone before making things official. Or maybe you know what you want precisely and are willing to "casually" date until you find it. The key is to be clear - outside of your feelings for this new love interest - what motivates you in getting what you deserve in love.
“The whole reason to casually date is to find the one with which you do want to spend time. You’ll meet many people and fine-tune your partner selection along the way. When you do finally meet someone with whom things seem to be clicking, it’s important to take it slowly and get to know that person,” Kelleher matchmaker Patty Russell advises.
It’s the disciplined “look before you leap” concept and it requires mammoth self-control. “The mistake most people make is jumping in too fast,” Patty adds. “In my experience it takes at least six months of quality time with a person to get clear on your long-term potential as a couple.”
The heat and excitement of new love are intoxicating which is why an extra helping of self-control is required. “The physical connection and rush of excitement can be misleading,” Patty warns. “I encourage my clients to measure the person and the connection when things aren’t going great in your life. Are they there for you? How do they show up? The physical intensity will wane, that part is inevitable. So take it slow and be present as you both peel back the layers to discover if you’re a match for each other.”
If you’re both feeling the connection, you will naturally start limiting your time with other suitors. Kelleher matchmaker Sonya Robinson says, “When something casual starts to heat up communication is key. It's critical to confirm you’re both on the same page with your respective feelings and your relationship goals.”
Making sure you’re both on the same path won’t feel like an intimidating conversation if you genuinely are aligned. And, if you’re not syncing up - bravo for figuring it out! You can move on knowing you are acing this casual dating thing.
Sonya adds, “Talking about the end game up front will protect both parties from hurt and blame if expectations aren't met in the long run. Communication is the foundation of any good relationship, so talking about something basic like relationship goals should only make a couple trust each other more. Taking each other's wants into consideration will only bring you that much closer.”
Never lose sight of what you deserve and always listen to your gut. If you’d like a team of love experts to join you on your journey, give Kelleher a call. We represent clients all over the world who are seeking love and doing the work to be your perfect match.