Have you heard that some people have casual relationships and you’d like one? Maybe you thought of having a fling or being friends with benefits with someone, but movies taught you that it’ll get tricky? So not true. I’ll give you some tricks on how to not catch feelings.
Falling in love is wonderful, but sometimes we don’t want that. There comes a period in our lives when we want to have someone with no strings attached. Do you think it’s difficult? No, it’s not.
You can have a casual hookup without developing feelings. I was never the type of girl who would catch feelings easily. Even after the first date, I wouldn’t be sure if I liked spending time with the guy I went out with, or if I just liked to hang out with people.
When you start a casual relationship for the first time it will be a bit confusing for you to follow some of these tips. Make sure you can actually stay committed to yourself in the first place and then get busy looking for a fling.
I don’t want to get cheesy here and start talking about how you’ll find your perfect match when the right time comes, nor do I want to share my life story. I’ll just share the things that helped me maintain a casual relationship.
It’s pretty easy to avoid heartbreak as long as you follow these tips on how to not catch feelings.
How to NOT catch feelings
Catching romantic feelings is lovely, but sometimes we don’t have enough time, strength, or emotions to invest in a long-term relationship. Right now you’re busy chasing your goals, but you would like to occasionally spend time with someone.
It’s simple, you need a casual hookup and someone who’ll understand when you don’t have time and won’t be needy. Sounds good? This is your guide on how to not catch feelings for your FWB.
1. Set high standards
If you want to avoid catching feelings set insanely high standards. Yup, I’m not joking. Even if you’re not that kind of person, this will help. Idealize your perfect bae and point out specific things you don’t want him to have.
Let’s say you don’t like it when a guy wears tight jeans, put that on the list. You don’t want him to have long hair, write down that one as well. Make a list of all those random things and traits you don’t want your significant other to have.
This will make it extremely difficult for you to develop feelings, simply because he does not fit the criteria of your long-term partner. However, it makes him a perfect match for a casual hookup. *wink wink*
2. Limit time together
When you start casually dating him, make sure you limit the time you spend together. Why am I saying this?
If you’re spending too much time together, and you want to see him ASAP, the chances that you’ll fall for the guy are extremely high – and that’s not the plan!
So, if this guy is just someone you like hooking up with, make sure you make time for that only. Don’t go out with him during the day, don’t plan your schedule just to see them. You have your own life to live.
Try to arrange meetings with them on specific days in the week, so you can be more focused on other things that require your attention and chill with him when the time comes. That way it’s not going to be tempting for you to organize a casual date.
3. Have a backup plan
I’m not the kind of person who always has a plan B for something, not to mention the other 24 letters of the alphabet. Having a backup plan in these situations, however, can be useful.
If your FWB doesn’t have time to hang out, you’ll always have something else to do, so you won’t have time to analyze why he declined your call.
You can call your best friend out for a coffee, scroll through social media, or invest a bit in self-love and enjoy watching Netflix on your own. Whatever it is, make sure you always have another option available.
4. Create a roster
Creating a roster means having a list of possible guys you can count on for a hookup. It may sound a bit immoral, but as long as you’re not lying to them about being the only guy you hang out with, it’s okay.
This is actually one of the best ways to stop yourself from starting a new relationship. You’ll be spending time with two or three different guys and with other obligations you have, you won’t have time to even consider any of them as a potential partner.
However, make sure you’re staying safe and always take care of your well-being. If you meet a couple of guys that you think are worthy of having a casual relationship with, why not divide your time? Just ensure you’re not feeling lonely when none of them is available.
5. Keep your personal life for yourself
Sometimes you may be angry or hurt and you’d like to vent to someone. Make sure that’s not the guy you have a casual hookup with. This will actually start creating an emotional bridge between the two of you.
In casual relationships, you’ll need to keep your personal life for yourself. It may not be easy, but if you don’t want to fall in love with him, this is going to prevent it.
One of the most common reasons these relationships fail is because people start sharing things with each other. Whether it’s childhood stories or just talking about things you like, it’s a big no. You’ll understand it from one simple, yet complex word – feelings.
6. Expect nothing
Expect nothing and nothing will disappoint you. This is one of the best tips on how to not catch feelings that I can give you. It’s really that simple.
If you’re friends with benefits, he doesn’t have to be there for you when you’re falling apart. He doesn’t have to cuddle with you during movies nor like your every social media post.
Don’t let your mind think, even for a second, that you could be more than friends, because that may lead to developing romantic feelings which is another huge no.
He’s not obliged to do anything for you and vice versa. If you lower your expectations you’ll also lower your (his as well) chances of getting hurt.
7. Set boundaries
Like any other relationship, this one requires some boundaries, too. The first thing you have to do when starting a casual relationship is to establish some ground rules that have to be followed.
If you want it to keep going for a longer period of time, you’ll need to invest some time in deciding what’s inappropriate and what to expect from each other. This will prevent unnecessary anxious feelings that may show up.
Whatever makes you uncomfortable doing, put it down on the list and make him do the same.
8. No PDA
For the sake of Cupid, don’t allow yourself PDA with your buddy. Whether you’re comfortable with public displays of affection or not, don’t do it. No holding hands, no hugs, no kisses. Nothing.
What is the first thought that crosses your mind when you see someone holding hands on the street? If you answered anything but “they are in a relationship”, why are you lying to yourself? Maybe you’ve started developing feelings for him?
If you don’t want anything serious right now and you want to keep the relationship low-key, then please, keep PDA under control.
9. Put yourself first
You have to put yourself first, always, not only in these casual relationships. If you do not care about your wants and needs, no one will.
So if you notice you’re putting him as a priority, you better stop. You are not expected to be available at any time and you don’t have to explain why you’d rather spend time on your own. He’s not your boyfriend and you’re not dating.
Being flexible and adapting your schedule to his, and at the same time neglecting some of your obligations is another big no.
Don’t do things just to make him happy, because you’re putting yourself at risk of heartbreak and we’re trying to avoid that, remember?
10. Don’t take him to your fave place
I can bet my life on it that you have your fave restaurant or coffee place, where you like to be alone with your own thoughts. Don’t take your new bae there if you want to keep things completely casual.
It can become a part of their daily routine to go there as well because they fell in love with the place. They felt the coziness you were talking about and now they don’t want to leave.
Great job, now you don’t have your special place anymore.
11. Don’t introduce him to your friends
I’m not saying that you should keep him a secret, but if you start introducing him to your friends and inviting him into your social circle, you’re screwed.
This means that you’ll have to spend all of your free time with them, even if you don’t want to. Your friends may like him and they can ask him to come over for that BBQ you guys arranged for the weekend.
If you don’t want anything serious with this guy, or you’re not ready to explain the “relationship” to your friends, then avoid proposing some leisure activities with your group of friends to him.
12. Don’t take him home
This is another thing that actually initiates you want something serious. To keep things as casual as possible, don’t invite him to your home, especially if you live with your parents or other family members.
I mean, how “casual” does it sound when you invite him to your personal territory? When you’re in a serious relationship you’ll want everyone to meet your significant other and for him to be familiar with your life.
Do you think that your family won’t be curious and ask a bunch of questions about how and when you guys met, and so on?
So, if you met a guy on Tinder and you want to take him home, don’t. Save both him and yourself from those uncomfortable situations that may happen.
13. Don’t text/call him often
This is rule number 13 on our list of how to not catch feelings, don’t text/call him often. It’s not a serious relationship and you don’t have to know if he had lunch or who he went out with.
You don’t have the right to know (unless you agreed otherwise) if he’s staying in tonight to study for an extremely important test, or if he went hiking this morning and he won’t be available throughout the day.
Contact him only when you want to arrange a meeting. Doing otherwise can cause a lot avoidable of problems. If you’re constantly texting him about what’s happening at your workplace or if you’re asking him how his day went, things may take another direction.
However, I’m not saying that you cannot exchange a text or two from time to time, just remember to keep it casual.
14. Mutual respect is important
Not only do you need respect in romantic relationships, but also in casual relationships. Every single relationship has to have mutual respect and I can’t emphasize its importance enough.
In this situation, you have to respect each other’s private lives, obligations, and needs. So if he doesn’t answer your call, or he says that he can’t hang out at the time that suits you, don’t get mad.
Pay attention to, also, respect those boundaries you’ve set when you agreed to start this casual thingy. You have to feel respected and appreciated in any relationship you choose.
If we’re being honest, mutual respect is something that will keep this bond really strong and inevitably, it will be easier for you to make a bigger step forward if you decide to do so.
What to do if you start catching feelings?
Did you think that it’s impossible for you not to catch feelings for a guy you met a couple of months ago when you started casually dating? Here’s the most cliche-ish thing I can say (thank you miss Audrey Hepburn): “Nothing is impossible, the word itself says I’m possible”.
Did you think that being in a no-romantic-feelings-allowed relationship will be a piece of cake even though you’re the kind of person that catches feelings easily? Think twice.
I told you in the beginning that it is easy. But keep in mind that this comes from a girl who normally has some kind of a barrier when feelings show up. It’s not a wall like it used to be though.
After some time of (successfully) trying not to catch feelings, you realize that the game is over. There is something trembling inside of you every single time someone mentions his name.
Lucky for you, you came across this article. In the next part, we’ll go through all the things you can do if it’s too late for you not to catch feelings.
1. Shift your attention to other relationships
The best (and the easiest) thing for you to do, if you notice that you started catching feelings, is to actually shift your attention to other relationships. Start hanging out with your friends more often, spend some time with your family or go out and socialize.
Just relocate your resources and start investing more into those people who will permanently stay in your life, because they are worth it. You don’t have to waste your energy overthinking if you should tell him whether you’re falling in love or you feel nothing.
Well, even if you really like him, stay away from him for some time in order to analyze those feelings and figure out how to bounce back.
2. Limit your communication
If you start doubting how you feel about him, limit your communication. You may have started developing feelings gradually and haven’t even noticed it. So, how not to continue catching those feelings?
This may be a tricky task to do, especially if you got used to communicating daily, so he may be persistent to resolve the mystery behind your disappearance.
Keep in mind that I’m not saying that you should hold your tongue (or your fingers in case of texting) and never speak with him again, just minimize it.
3. Step up your self-care
Who’s the most important person in your life, girl? If your answer was not “meeee”, then change your opinion.
When you feel like you’re catching feelings for a guy, just step up your self-care game. Take yourself out on dates, and pamper yourself, princess!
Self-love is really important for everything else to fall in place. Once you start loving the person you are, it will be easier to get over obstacles that life throws at you.
You have to be your own priority so others can take you seriously. Figure out what makes you truly happy and go for it. Take up a new hobby and take good care of your mental health as well.
If you’re a bookworm, take one in your hands and go out in nature to reconnect. You’ll thank me later.
4. Analyze your feelings
One of the most important things that you have to do is to analyze your feelings. Do you really love him, or were you craving some emotional support and he was there when you needed it, so you feel attached now?
Did you fill in some parts of his personality in your mind and now you started falling for an illusion you’ve created? You really have to be clear with yourself if you want to avoid catching feelings for him.
Maybe he told you he started feeling something but he’s not sure if it’s real and here you are, questioning your own feelings.
Everything mentioned above is a real possibility, and you don’t have to run away from it. Embrace it, clarify it for yourself and talk with him about it in the end.
5. Pursue your goals
Hey there lovely dreamer, I hope you’re ready to pursue your goals. It’s always the right time to chase your dreams and goals, especially if you want to take a step back from the whole situation and reflect on your feelings.
Use this time to boost your self-esteem and validate your longings. Take your suitcase and book that ticket. Find a job. Start your own little workshop. Show off your photography skills and finally organize that exhibition you always wanted to.
Do you have that draft of the first book you thought of publishing a long time ago but something stopped you? Go ahead, pursue your goals little one!
6. Be honest with yourself
You’re the only one that is responsible for your own happiness, so work for it. Make yourself a priority, enjoy your own company and you’ll be like a magnet. You’ll easily attract people with good vibes and positive energy.
If you feel like you started catching feelings and you’re not sure why – just take it easy. You’ll need some time to process what is happening. I know it may be weird to see your FWB as your potential bae, but don’t panic.
This may be happening because you started imagining a life with or without him and it literally scared you. A completely normal thing to happen, since you have to drastically change your comfort zone.
So if you feel like you’re catching feelings for him, please be honest with yourself. Admit that it’s happening and then act upon it. Whichever way you’d like to – either move towards a romantic relationship or take a step back.
You’ll have to be the one who chooses. So, choose wisely and don’t overthink your decision.