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I want more from a casual relationship

 I want more from a casual relationship (Photo: iStock)

Hi Chris,

I have been in a casual intimate relationship with a nice man for a while, and to be honest, I have started to want more. But I am pretty sure he won’t agree. What should I do?


Chris says,

Hi Unsatisfied!

These days, with men and women working and socialising together as equals, there’s quite a fashion for casual, no-strings-attached sex. Especially with so many films and novels insisting that friends can hook up without any problems. But staying friends with benefits for any length of time is quite a challenge in real life.

It can work for a while if you are both single and emotionally stable. But usually one of you starts to fall for the other, who doesn’t reciprocate, and so someone ends up getting hurt.What should you do? Well, prepare for the worst. If you suspect, he won’t agree then you’re probably right. But talk about it anyway, because you never know.

And if he doesn’t agree? Best you end the relationship, and start looking for someone who would like something more committed. Because lots more things can go wrong. Like him not being honest with you and getting involved in other hook-ups.

People who prefer hooking up in more committed relationships often end up with several sexual partners and try to keep them secret. Rates of sexually transmitted infections and accidental pregnancies are also high in casual relationships. 

While a few couples do manage to go on from friends with benefits to something more monogamous and committed, cheating is extremely common even in these longer-term relationships. So they also tend to end in disappointment.

Because the more people cheat, the more likely they are to cheat in the future. Patterns set in casual relationships tend to spill over into their more committed relationships, and even into marriage. 

But despite all the problems, casual relationships are becoming increasingly common. So don’t feel bad about yours. Remember the good moments you’ve had together, but also accept that one of the partners usually ends up disappointed, one way or another. Just as in yours.

All the best,


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