How To Not Catch Feelings: Ultimate Guide To Keeping Relationships Casual
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  • Post published:22/11/2021
  • Post last modified:22/11/2021

If you’re going to have a successful casual relationship with someone, you have to know how to not catch feelings for the other person. 

Once feelings are involved, things can become complicated and messy and someone usually ends up getting hurt, especially if that someone ends up falling in love.

In order to have a strictly casual no-strings-attached relationship, you need to know going in that you cannot catch feelings.

For those who can’t help but get attached, here’s a step-by-step guide for how to not catch feelings.

Step 1: Be real with yourself.

You should first ask yourself if this is something you want and can handle. 

Oftentimes you might think you want a casual relationship and then you realize over time that you aren’t the type of person who can have a casual relationship because you catch feelings no matter what. 

You need to go into this knowing you aren’t forming a relationship with this person. It’s all a basic, superficial, and non-emotional relationship based on sex and good times. 

The two of you can, of course, be sexually attracted to one another — but make sure you aren’t letting yourself be romantically attracted to your casual partner. 

It’s possible to not catch feelings if you go into this relationship knowing and setting a goal that you’re not going to catch feelings. 

According to Keya Murthy, a clinical hypnotherapist and spiritual life coach, you have to care too much about yourself to care about someone else.

“You only care about others when there is something in the other that you want real bad for yourself,” she explains. “If you are this person you will not catch feelings.”

You also have to make sure this is a conscious decision you’re making to not to catch feelings when you are out and about or with a certain one, says Murthy.

Step 2: Set high standards for yourself.

When entering any relationship, you’re allowed to be picky and have high standards, especially in a casual relationship where standards need to be set in place.

Set up a list of the things you want out of this relationship so you and your partner can be on the same page. There won’t be any room for miscommunication or for you to put them on a pedestal.

Sometimes setting random standards like being a certain height or having a specific personality or zodiac sign is good as you can view this guy as ‘Mr. Right Now’ instead of a potential boyfriend. 

Step 3: Create a roster.

Who says you can’t have more than one partner while having a casual relationship? (That is, of course, making sure you are using protection as you don’t want to put yourself at risk for any diseases.)

While practicing safe sex, you can have a couple of partners and casual relationships you go back and forth from to switch things up.

Have a guy on the backburner and make a roster of men you could have a casual relationship with just in case a partner ends up having feelings or decides they don’t want to do this with you anymore. 

If you meet a few cool guys that are worthy of a fun casual relationship there’s no problem with dividing your time amongst them equally. 

By doing this you can slow down your feelings for someone as you’re not spending time with only one person and allowing yourself to only think about them.

Step 4: Don’t spend all day together.

When you don’t catch feelings it’s called being emotionally unavailable, sensible, pragmatic, and grounded — and that’s how you want to be in a casual relationship.

“Cold, heartless, and selfish, you have to be a little of that to avoid feelings in a casual relationship,” says Dent. 

Spending the day with a person gives you more time to get to know them and talk to them, which is something you want to avoid. You don’t want to know their feelings and likes and interests as that will further your relationship. You’ll get to know them more which is bad if you end up liking a certain thing you learned about them.

In order to not catch feelings, you have to keep your distance. You can’t spend hours upon hours with this partner because it will eventually cause you to have some sort of deeper relationship. 

Although, you have to find a sweet spot when it comes to spending time with them, because according to Dent, putting distance between the two of you can be risky and ultimately lead to the casual relationship part ending as well.

“You may have to have a discussion with that person to let them know the relationship has changed on your part so you can determine how you would like to move forward,” says Dent.

Step 5: Don’t tell them everything about you.

Oftentimes, you end up catching feelings for someone after you have told them a lot about yourself and you also learned a lot about them. It can create a deeper emotional bond between the two of you the more you know each other. 

“You must avoid matters of the heart,” says Dent. “Once you get to know the person on a deeper, intimate level. Those things combined with a casual relationship can cause feelings to occur.”

The more you tell them about yourself and get to know them you’ll also find the more you two have in common and that is a recipe for disaster. That’s because you might be attracted to the fact they have something in common with you and then that will ruin the whole point of the causal relationship.

You can’t know everything about them and the same goes for letting them know too much about you.

“When you text, stick to words. Don’t use emojis,” suggests Murthy. “Don’t listen to their stories from the past or dreams of the future and don’t share yours either, if you don’t want to catch feelings or slow them down.”

Step 6: Don’t cuddle or be too romantic with them.

It doesn’t matter how long or short you cuddle with someone — doing so releases the ‘cuddle hormone’ oxytocin, a chemical that makes it inevitable to catch feelings. 

Getting physically close to them and snuggling will make you want to be more emotionally close with them. 

“If you have sex with the person, don’t sleep with them before or after. This makes you catch feelings,” says Murthy.

For a lot of people, cuddling is something you do with someone you like or love and therefore it’s something you definitely shouldn’t do if you don’t want to catch feelings. 

Megan Hatch is a writer at YourTango who covers news & entertainment, love & relationships, and internet culture. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.

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