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I think it's time to define relationships

Jessica Downey

Coffee addict. The serial single girl. Jessica will give you the what’s what on single life and dating in Chicago.

Young couple lying in bed

Relationships are tricky and generally, what works for one person doesn't necessarily work for another. Let's face it, dating will never be that cut and dry. Which is why I am a firm believer that people should define their own relationships. There are, however, certain core ideas that make up different kinds of relationships that are usually the same across the board. After many conversations with various people I have met, I have realized that many people really don't know the difference between these types of relationships

Let me add in here that I use the term relationship kind of loosely here because I am not necessarily talking about butterflies and singing birds here. I am simply just talking about any of the relationship-y type of stuff here; sexual or the heart felt kind.

There are four basic kinds of relationships: sex buddies (or fuck buddies if you would rather call it that), friends with benefits, casually dating, and seriously committed. A lot of people confuse some of these and people even often think you can do all of them with the same person at the same time. Well, that's probably why your dating life is a total catastrophe. Just sayin'.

Sex buddies

This would be the relationship you have where it's simply for sexual gratification. Generally these sorts of relationships come from that date you had with the really hot guy who just didn't quite have that whole conversation thing down. Sometimes it's the ex that you stopped wanting to date but still want to see naked or it could even just be a random guy. You don't really know intimate details about each other's lives because let's face it you don't really care. Really, the only dialogue you have consists of dirty words or drunken slur on your way home from the bar. Simply put, you get in and you get out.

Friends with benefits

Ah yes, something that is most commonly confused with the good old sex buddy arrangement. They are not, I repeat not, the same at all. The key difference here is that you do kind of have a relationship - a friendship. There just really isn't a romantic sort of connection here. You have actual conversations with each other and may even hang out and do things together. Occasionally you might even stay the night. I generally like to think of it as two people who enjoy hanging out together who also enjoy fooling around together as well.

Casual dating

This one can be a little fuzzy because sometimes people casually date just to casually date. Other times people casually date because it's the whole getting to know you process which leads up to the serious dating. Now, I know it might seem like this is similar to friends with benefits but there is a huge difference here. Dating means there is a romantic connection which means you try to create a little romance (read that as you actually go on dates). You do not just pal around with each other and occasionally shack up. Which coincidentally is why I personally think that friends with benefits is a recipe for disaster and almost never works, but that's a whole other blog.

Serious Dating

Ok, this one is pretty obvious and I am hoping I don't really need to explain. Granted exactly how you do it might not be the same for everyone. Though, never the less, the core of it is still the same. You are dating just one person and they are dating just you. Oh and you are not just having sex or clowning around but there's that whole romantic thing.



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Lauren Strec said:


Sometimes it's cool to not "label" anything and keep it casual but, overall, I believe defining a relationship keeps your emotions in check and prevents confusion. It's a contribution to having good communication with everything in your life. This entry is featured on today's "Hot on ChicagoNow:"

callout said:

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So I'm just curious. What experience do you have that makes you the authority on dating? Every piece of your "advice" so far can be found in self help books...perhaps your own?
Let me guess, you have a rather extensive library at home. You sit around in your pajamas eating ice cream all night reading though your newly aquirred "piece" highlighting all the "oh, this is good, I can use this in my blog!" articles, maybe even skimming off of someone else's dating blog hoping no one will notice. Maybe stay up until 2, 3 AM trying to cleverly re-write said articles so you sound experienced. Come in to work the next day tired, hopped up on coffee and, judging by your photo, a few donuts, telling everyone you were on some date with some random guy the night before...because after all, you're "experienced" right?
I have yet to see anything with personal advise. All I see is the same shit straight off other websites and books. For someone that titles themselves a "serial single", perhaps you should switch blogs to "How to be single and happy." Leave dating advise to the folks that have some.

Sarah Koz said:


Friends with benefits can be rough once the benefits package runs out. But if the friendship is real, it actually helps with making truly hilarious dirty jokes. Especially around other friends that didn't know about the benefits!

Jessica Downey said:


Totally agree, it is rather messy. That's a great point about the dirty jokes. Why didn't I think of that?? :)

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