Casual relationships and close relationships

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A relationship is any connection between two or more people as a result of a shared mission (e.g. being classmates, course-mates, co-workers, etc. striving to achieve organizational/academic objectives), shared interests, values, or goals, and a sense of belongingness. A relationship may also be formed as a result of the need for intimacy, security, authenticity, and autonomy. Furthermore, it involves the interdependence of people on one another to aid in the achievement of their goals. By extension, people engage in relationships because they want to live an easier, happier life. If there was nothing to benefit from a relationship, people wouldn’t consider it in the first place. 

Now, a close relationship is a type of relationship with a long-term goal of lasting connectedness, consolidated by the ability to trust and to be trust-worthy. It focuses on the longevity of cordial connection between two or more people, endless support for one another’s goals, and genuine concern for one another’s welfare. In other words, a relationship is said to be close if it possesses the following features 

  • People expect it to last for a life-time
  • People are at ease to trust one another
  • People can rely on one another in times of need
  • People are safe to be their authentic self without feeling shame
  • People genuinely care about one another’s well-being

 Types of close relationships include 

  • Relationship between parents and their children
  • Relationship between spouses
  • Relationship between siblings
  • Relationship between best friends
  • Relationship between romantic partners

 In casual relationships, 

  • No one cares if the relationship dies. No one expects it to last anyway.
  • The connection has been made to foster your own ambitions and meet your needs, regardless of whether it is parasitic (self-centred) or symbiotic (mutually benefiting). 
  • There may be mutual assistance and cooperation, but it is void of authenticity and intimacy.
  • There is no genuine concern for the other person. The person’s welfare and needs are not even among the least of your priorities.
  • There is tendency to be envious and competitive, because other people are not part of the in-group, but of the out-group.

 Types of casual relationships, 

  • A casual everyday relationship with acquaintances
  • Interest-related relationships (e.g. party-friends, crime-friends, fellow gamers, sport enthusiasts, course mates, etc.)
  • A fling
  • Exploitative relationships
  • Friends with sexual benefits

 Why do some people enjoy casual relationships? 

  • There are people who have what you need, but who you may not find likable or trustworthy. This can lead to casual relationships.
  • Personality differences, incompatibility issues, and disinterest in making another close relationship, despite having to work with other people may bring about casual relationships.
  • Casual relationships are not necessarily bad. Many people are comfortable with them, as long as there are mutual benefits.
  • Extroverts are naturally wired to enjoy casual relationships, because they particularly enjoy being in social gatherings.
  • People who have casual relationships also have close relationships. But they tend to have a lot of casual relationships.

 Now, while extroverts tend to engage in far more casual relationships (because this is how their brains have been wired naturally), introverts tend to focus more on close relationships (that’s how their brains have been wired too). It is easier for an extrovert who wants to engage in casual relationships to misunderstand an introvert who has no tolerance for casual relationships. For this reason, an introvert may be considered arrogant, awkward, or uncooperative. It is also easier for an introvert who only sees value in close relationships to misunderstand an extrovert who enjoys casual relationships. The point here is, we don’t all have our brains wired the same way. We must learn to appreciate and accommodate the differences between one another.