We sometimes forget that dating doesn’t have to lead to a serious relationship. Here are five benefits of dating “for now” and not “forever”.

1. Dating “for now” gives you an opportunity to learn not only about the person you’re with, but also yourself. Sometimes we think we’re ready for a relationship but maybe we’re not. With casual dating, we may realise there are things we want to do for ourselves before committing to another person.

2. Dating “for now” helps you figure out what you do and don’t like in relationships as you’re experiencing more than one way of doing things. Some people believe in the “what you don’t know, you don’t miss” philosophy, but some prefer to know what they don’t want in a relationship and casual dating will help with this.

3. Dating “for now” helps you develop better communication skills as you’ll often need to adapt to each individual person you go out with. Understanding different ways of communicating is an important skill in both romantic relationships and in other relationships. It’s essential in a serious, long term relationship so use casual dates to hone your skills.

4. Dating “for now” might make you more comfortable about going on dates while dealing with baggage that needs to be sorted out. No-one wants to go into a serious relationship with baggage (whether it’s jealousy, trust issues, anxiety, or financial troubles). But it doesn’t mean you have to become a recluse. Spending time with someone casually will often help to sort out issues without any long-term expectations.

5. Being open to “for now” may just accidentally morph into “forever”. Getting serious with someone is not as mysterious as some might think. It’s nothing more than becoming comfortable with someone, opening up and increasing your connection through shared experiences together. Over time, this can happen without you even noticing!

While there are loads of benefits to just dating for now, you shouldn’t let that stop you going for it if you really like a person! Just don’t feel pressured to settle if you’re more about having some fun.