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Types of Casual Relationships: NSA, FWB, and More, Explained


For those new to the world of casual relationships, navigating the waters can be a bit tricky. Casual dating isn't limited to one specific type of relationship. There are many different casual relationships that you can have with another person, and ultimately any relationship can be as "casual" or as "serious" as you want them to be. As long as they work for both parties, it doesn't matter what you call them. Of course, trying to find the right relationships is difficult if you don't understand the different casual dating options.


From NSA to FWB and every acronym and euphemism in between, you'll get a lot further in your casual dating if you know what your options are and what to expect. Below, you'll find the most common casual relationships and what each one typically entails. However, remember as you're reading that any of these relationships can be redefined based on what you want from them, as well.


NSA (No Strings Attached)

Typically, this will be a one-time encounter or an ongoing sexual relationship where two people meet up, enjoy their pleasure, and then go back to their lives. There are no expectations, no obligations, and many people don’t even bother learning that much about the other person’s “real life” because it’s not relevant to their interests.


Booty Call

Booty calls have been around for generations, and they're relatively self-explanatory. These refer to the people that you call, usually late at night, when all you want is a little sexual encounter before you retire for the night or when you can't sleep. The most significant difference between this and an NSA encounter is that your booty call might be a friend or an old flame, or someone that you already know in your everyday life. Most times, an NSA relationship is between veritable strangers.


Friends with Benefits (FWB)

This is another that’s pretty self-explanatory. In this case, you might have a friend that you hang out with on a strictly platonic basis, but then you may also have sexual encounters or help each other out with sexual favors from time to time. Whether it’s an old friend with new benefits or a completely new relationship, the foundation here is friendship, and typically that will remain even if or when the benefits end.


Casual Dating or Sex

Although similar to a "no strings" encounter, casual sex and dating may have a certain amount of strings. This relationship has more room for interpretation and can be just about anything that you want. Some people casually date for the enjoyment of the company more than the sex. Others are just looking for someone to take care of their sexual needs when they don't have the time to commit to a relationship. Regardless, it's all about keeping it casual and detached.


Just like romantic relationships, casual relationships can be just about anything that you want them to be. If you feel the need to label them, the ones listed here are the most common. However, if you're looking for a good time, does it really matter what you call it?

Casual dating may start as a fling. People who are in a casual dating relationship probably don't have standing weekend plans or invite each other to everything.
She’s not referencing a choice to try couples’ counseling or get a puppy.