9 Popular Types of Casual Relationships

A man and woman cuddling together in bed

Casual relationships represent a physical and (rarely) emotional connection with someone without being formally or officially labeled a couple. A relationship can offer simply all the joys (and joys only) without feeling the stress or pressure of being in an actual relationship.

Furthermore, casual relationships don’t require you to constantly be in contact with your partner or even have only one partner. You can date as many people as you like and still have the time to focus on yourself and your needs.

The best part is that there are no hard feelings. If you don’t feel a connection with your partner, you can end it, and no one will be hurt.

However, all casual relationships are different. We made a list of casual relationship types that will help you find the one that fits your lifestyle best (if you are new to casual dating) or help you determine the kind of your current casual relationship.

1. Open Relationships

Open relationships are characterized by having multiple partners at the same time. That isn’t polygamy since you are not in a serious relationship with someone or even married to someone.

Open relationships are widespread these days. This relationship type will allow you to experience new things with different people.

That is essential if you want to find a long-term relationship in the future because you can find out what you like or dislike about your partner.

If you feel stuck on just one type of person, open relationships will make you want to try to date different types of people, ultimately helping you know what you want for the future.

It is essential to get out of your comfort zone. You might have been hurt by someone you loved and want to find someone similar, but we all know we are all different. Don’t try to look for someone in other people, and try your best to date people that are not your type. Maybe you will find what you need where you least expect it.

Being in an open relationship may take some time to get used to because it differs significantly from ordinary relationships. Don’t worry, once you get a hold of it, you will enjoy it immensely.

2. Physical Relationship

As the term suggests, a physical relationship focuses on physical touch. The whole relationship revolves around physical intimacy and no emotional connection.

If you feel like you have been under too much stress or want to take a much-needed break from emotions, physical relationships might be the perfect choice for you.

You can enjoy the pleasures of physical touch and not feel like you owe your partner an emotional reaction.

We all know that physical touch has many benefits, so a relationship that is based on it can make you feel calm and relaxed.

3. Emotional Relationship

Emotional relationships (or attachments) are, unlike the physical ones, based on emotions only. There is rarely any physical intimacy involved. You feel more like friends than like lovers.

If you need someone who is sincerely going to listen to you and give you good advice without running off to tell their friends everything you’ve told them, an emotional relationship might be the type of casual relationship you need.

We often need to talk to someone and feel heard without expecting something from them in return. Many people want to have a good emotional connection with someone; it can sometimes mean the world.

You can share your happiness, sadness, anger, and other feelings with your partner in an emotional relationship. You will feel more respected if you know that someone will listen to you.

That doesn’t mean that there must be no physical touch, but your relationship is based on sharing your emotions. You behave like friends that can have some sort of intimate connection.

Remember, anything beyond an emotional connection in this relationship is just a bonus.

4. One-night Stand

Topless woman covering her face with her hands

When you go out somewhere and meet an attractive person but don’t want to get to know them deeper or start a relationship with them, you might want to consider a one-night stand.

This type of “relationship” is only a couple of hours long, and you get to enjoy the physical or emotional connection (or both) during that time. You can enjoy the perks of a relationship for a day, and that’s it.

If you have been stressed, nervous, or just sad for some time, having a one-night stand is an excellent way to vent. Plus, there are no feelings attached.

You may run into someone that makes you feel the butterflies in your stomach, but you know that they won’t last that long. Anyway, you might feel connected to this person for some time, and the connection disappears as soon as you split.

Maybe you aren’t ready to step into a relationship or want to have a good time, and one-night stands’ purpose is to fulfill your needs quickly.

5. Situationship

The so-called situationships are those relationships where you can’t define what you and your partner are. You might have been in a situation where your friends ask you about a certain someone, and you don’t know what to answer. Are we in a relationship? Are we just going out?

If you are in a relationship where you behave like you are in a more serious relationship, but you still try to keep it casual, you are in a situationship.

Situationships are tricky to define, so if you feel confused about your relationship status, you are probably in a situationship.

In this type of relationship, you enjoy both physical and emotional pleasures, but you don’t want to make it official – and you don’t have to. It is all about having fun and being happy together.

Take your time with this person, and feel free to communicate with them. If you think it is becoming something more than casual, you need to be straightforward and tell them about your feelings. Maybe they will be mutual.

6. Private Relationship

If your close ones don’t know that you have a partner, that is a private or secret relationship. You see each other frequently, but nobody knows about your connection. It might even be fun to hide it from the world.

If you feel like you need something casual in your life, but don’t want anyone else to know, you are looking for a secret relationship.

You will often hide when you see each other; you want to have fun far from everyone you know. Your partner won’t appear at family gatherings or friends’ birthday parties because most people won’t even know they exist – maybe no one will know.

This type of connection might be more profound since you are so invested in hiding it that the two of you get lost in your private world.

Whether it is a physical and/or an emotional connection, it will be more intense and fun.

7. Friends With Benefits

We have all watched the famous movie “Friends With Benefits” (if you haven’t, you might want to check it out). We have all wondered if the story could be possible in real life. Is that how it genuinely goes? Can that happen between my friend and me? 

The answer is yes, but maybe not as dramatic (it is a movie, after all). This type of relationship begins with a real, honest friendship. Then, suddenly, you feel attracted to this person, but you might feel conflicted since they are your friend.

The best way to save the friendship is to be friends with benefits. You might not want to enter into a serious relationship with this person but want to enjoy your connection on a deeper, more intimate level.

If you are already attracted to your friend and feel that they are probably attracted to you, too, don’t be afraid to make the first move and tell them how you feel. It might even make your friendship stronger.

Who knows? Maybe you will become more than friends with benefits and build a life together.

8. The “Perfect The Way It Is” Relationship

Woman in brown turtleneck sleeveless top lying on man

If you are in a casual relationship and feel that nothing needs to change, your relationship type is “perfect the way it is.” If something were to change, you think it would mess up the flow of your relationship.

This type of relationship might need a little more time to become “perfect the way it is.” Couples in such a relationship have some rhythm or a tempo that they follow, which pleases both partners.

You might have a dating schedule that you follow which works well for you. You have your dates set and know how often you contact each other.

This type of relationship brings comfort and stability because it is something that doesn’t require a change, something that is “perfect the way it is.”

9. On-and-off Relationship

An on-and-off relationship might be confusing to both parties. Sometimes, you want to spend every day with them, doing fun things and going on dates, and sometimes you don’t want to talk to them for months.

On-and-off relationships are relationships where you call someone when you need them and want to have a good time with them. These relationships are not consistent but are full of surprises. You will never know your partner’s next move.

Moreover, these relationships usually don’t have an official ending; you can stop seeing each other anytime. There are no draining break-up conversations; you go your own way.

Sometimes, you might not even be in contact with this person for some time, and then start communicating again as if nothing has changed.

The best part is that you can almost always count on them. You can call your on-and-off partner whenever and vice versa. These couples usually stay friends, even after the end of the relationship.

Pros and Cons of Being in a Casual Relationship

Casual relationships have their good and bad sides, just like anything else. We will go through the lists of pros and cons of casual dating, so you can figure out whether you want to start a casual relationship.

Pros of Casual Relationships

Casual relationships can be an excellent way to relax and enjoy all the perks of a relationship without actually being in a relationship with someone. Here are some of the advantages we find essential when it comes to casual relationships:

  • Having fun;
  • Figuring out what you want;
  • No hard feelings;
  • Freedom to data other people;
  • No tension between partners;
  • Having time to focus on yourself;
  • Ability to experiment;
  • Staying single.

Cons of Casual Relationships

There are many good sides to having a casual relationship, but what about the bad ones?

Nothing is perfect, so here is a list of the disadvantages of casual relationships that will help you decide whether you want to be in one:

  • No future with your partner;
  • Uncertainty;
  • No stability;
  • Being overwhelmed;
  • The possibility of catching feelings.

With that being said, it is all up to you. You decide whether a casual relationship will be good for you. Remember that you need to be honest with yourself. Don’t start a casual relationship if you know that you will develop feelings for someone.


Casual relationships are an excellent way to break free from all the tension ordinary relationships carry without giving up the pleasures they offer. You will be able to enjoy all perks of a relationship and still be single.

If that sounds appealing to you, you will surely want to check out the possible types of casual relationships and find the one that fits your lifestyle.

The only thing that matters is that you have fun on this journey. You will meet and date different people, which will help you know what you want in the future.

Remember, casual relationships are no longer taboo, and many people are in casual relationships currently. They are a fantastic way to have fun and grow as a person simultaneously.