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Casual thing - responsibility to not end up being an OW

(26 Posts)
BaggageNeatlyPackaged Tue 13-May-14 20:48:55

I've been single about a year and a half after finally leaving an abusive relationship (thank you mumsnet) :-)

I have taken some time to investigate myself, had some counselling mainly trying to figure out why the heck I stuck with it so long... Came to the conclusion I am probably a people pleaser. Stemming from being told as a child that I'm selfish over and over (probably not all that unusual for a 12 year old) ? But I never really shook that, and tried ever since to never ever being selfish again. Missing the point that a certain amount of selfishness is probably healthy?

Anyway, I think I'm ready to be open to a relationship again, but don't want to go actively looking, but kinda see what happens (something else I have never been good at and wanting to explore more)

Sorry it's getting long.....

So at the moment what would suit me is a casual thing. Not fuck buddies as don't like to feel "just used for sex" but more a friends with extras.

Now I've met someone who, for various reasons, I couldn't ever see myself having a relationship with, but I like him, and I like his company but very happy to keep it casual. So is he. And he's happy with spending time without sex, which was also important to me...

Now I'm starting to have doubts if he's really single...

Morally I am very anti cheating and wouldn't want to participate in someone else cheating. But to know for sure I'd have to dig deeper if he told truth, and then it wouldn't really be casual anymore? And not sure I really want to go down that route (quizzing, checking etc)

How much is it my job to make sure I'm not party of someone cheating? Of course I could go the perfectly safe route and 1% doubt get out. But I might also end up totally overreacting if I'm wrong?

So, morally, how much of it is my responsibility?
As far as I'm concerned it suits me perfectly, and I am unsure if I'm over thinking this or if I am underthinking it?

Writing this probably means over? ....

Would appreciate some opinions.. I argue this with myself, but like playing chess with myself, I keep ending in stale mate....


CailinDana Tue 13-May-14 20:53:10

Isn't dating supposed to be fun? Why are you tying yourself in knots about someone you clearly don't trust or want a relationship with? Just get rid and move on.

BitOutOfPractice Tue 13-May-14 20:58:09

Find out if he's single first. Why would you want to fuck and spend time with someone you knew so little about?

AnandaTimeIn Tue 13-May-14 20:58:13

Well, there are 2 ways.

Either find out if he, s married, in a relationship, whatever

Or move on.

It, s not rocket science.

SolidGoldBrass Tue 13-May-14 21:01:00

What makes you think he might not be single? More to the point, what makes you think he might be untrustworthy?

BaggageNeatlyPackaged Tue 13-May-14 21:02:48

Not quite tying myself in knots... But it's made me think.
It's my first "testing out getting back in the saddle" and I'm very happy to keep it casual. It's what I want at the moment...

But that aside, my question remains...
How much responsibility do I have, morally, to make sure I'm not participating in cheating?

Or would that then make "keeping it casual" impossible if I have a responsibility to be sure he's as single as he says?

stripeyblacksocks Tue 13-May-14 21:05:58

What is he doing that makes you doubt his is single?

Itsfab Tue 13-May-14 21:06:30

Seems like you would be fine shagging a married/partnered man as long as you didn't know he was attached.

BitOutOfPractice Tue 13-May-14 21:11:38

Surely it's your responsibility to ensure you don't get yourself unecessarily involved in a complex situation which is easily avoidable.

Why would you?

Find someone you know is single

niceupthedance Tue 13-May-14 21:16:17

Have you asked him? If it's casual most discussions are not off-limits. Maybe you don't want to hear the answer though.

QuintessentiallyQS Tue 13-May-14 21:18:05

You have a responsibility to yourself to ensure the person you become intimate with is emotionally available for you, in case this is where it is headed for you a little while into whatever you define the relationship. At the very least. You dont want the heartache of falling in love with a married/attached man.

squizita Tue 13-May-14 21:22:14

There are plenty of actually single men out there who like dates and sex.

If this is stressing you out, split with the guy. No need for investigation.

Find someone where your FUN is just that...FUN not stressful.

BaggageNeatlyPackaged Tue 13-May-14 21:24:03

He said he was single. Otherwise I'd have not gone there....

Being casual means not digging into stuff... You see each other, enjoy time, go your separate ways, no?

So does that mean if you want to be 100% sure you can't ever do casual?
How do you do casual friends w benefits without the risk?

And if I was fine shagging someone who wasn't single, I wouldn't have posted... I'm trying to get a general idea how you can do casual and quizzing to find out if he's telling the truth at the same time? Isn't it a bit contradictory?

I have mentioned this to a friend and she said stop overthinking and enjoy it for what it is...

I was looking for a general discussion, wasn't quite expecting personal attacks that are a bit presumptuous?
As it happens I have actually put a stop to it when I had doubts! But it made me think that maybe being sure and casual can not work?
And trying to work out how much digging I am expected to do to make sure?

Then would the honest person get freaked out by digging so early on? If someone was digging with me that early in case I wasn't honest, I'd be put off.....

BitOutOfPractice Tue 13-May-14 22:08:48

I don't think it's "digging" to ask if someone is single and get their reassurance that they are. If this is more than FWB, what do you talk about when you're not shagging?

There's nothing at all wromg with casual. That doesn't mean you have to be strangers though nd know nothing about each other's lives beyond the bedroom!

meditrina Tue 13-May-14 22:14:31

If you had no doubts, you wouldn't be asking about this.

Have you met his friends? A sibling? Been to his place? Called in where he works?

It doesn't actualy matter what level of moral reponsibility various posters mention in debate about adultery and the role of the OW. You have said it would make you unhappy, and that you think it is wrong.

Remember people say 'don't sleep with someone until you're sure'; well this is one of the biggies to be sure about.

ChelsyHandy Tue 13-May-14 22:27:04

So basically what you're asking is, is it ok to date someone who might not be single?

No, of course it isn't.

Like any form of dating, it might turn to sex. But even if it doesn't, if you are attached, you aren't meant to date other people.

And for your own self esteem, whats the point in dating someone who is with someone else, and who is prepared to mislead you by saying nothing?

There are loads of guys like this, who I suspect, pride themselves on not lieing about being single (they simply don't say anything) and not having sex (they simply get their attention/kicks out of other women in different ways).

Plus - don't you just find it really annoying?

Wrapdress Wed 14-May-14 03:22:33

I just assume all men are married until proven otherwise. I'm 50 so dealing with men 40+ - the vast majority of whom are married, no matter what they claim.

If it's casual I wouldn't do the "20 questions" thing. He said he was single which may or may not be true. If you start a fling with him and it turns out he's married, you can drop him like a hot potato - no tears and no heartbreak. THAT'S what being casual is to me. You can walk away without hesitation. If he's cheating on someone, it's his problem, not yours.

If you want a serious relationship, you gotta hold back the sex until he's fully vetted. If it's a sexual love affair and THEN you find out he's married, it will be pain and heartbreak and hard to walk away.

Rebecca2014 Wed 14-May-14 05:42:42

I would want to know because what if you fall for this guy? you will get your feelings hurt.

daisychain01 Wed 14-May-14 06:04:31

Cut to the chase here, its your relationship so your boundaries and your conditions of engagement so to speak

If you have or intend to have a physical relationship with someone there's no point beating about the bush about his marital status.

If it bothers you that much just ask him. You can't have it both ways, whatever you want to call it, it's a physical commitment for however long it lasts All this friends with benefits stuff is just a socially acceptable way of describing people who want sex but don't want to commit.

It's not wrong if its 2 consenting adults and if they are single so you need both those conditions to be true and the only way you can find out is by asking.

I think you are putting unnecessary complications and mental restrictions on something that's meant to be all casual carefree and uncomplicated. A bit ironic isn't it!

LettertoHerms Wed 14-May-14 06:06:50

I guess I'm naive. I would assume a guy is single, if he told me his is single, and I wasn't given any signs otherwise... off the top of my head, not being allowed to call at certain times, or only knowing his work email/address, only available at random times, facebook account that says he's married...

Are there things to actually suggest he might not be single? Or are you assuming he's a man looking to date casually, as you are, so he must be married on that basis?

I would also never want to be the OW, and feel there is a certain responsibility to not be - but within reason, I would assume a man is single when he tells me, until I had a real reason to doubt it.

How about you just make sure he asks you round to his place before it gets any further? I think you would notice signs of a wife/kids. And if he makes an excuse to not let you over to his, get rid.

Kerberos Wed 14-May-14 06:58:05

Yep I'm with LettertoHerms. If there is no reason to doubt it, and you are genuinely after no strings then you've done your bit.

BaggageNeatlyPackaged Wed 14-May-14 07:24:50

I think you are putting unnecessary complications and mental restrictions on something that's meant to be all casual carefree and uncomplicated. A bit ironic isn't it!

If it's casual I wouldn't do the "20 questions" thing

This was kind of my point.
Casual and "making SURE he's as single as he says" kind of seemed contradictory...

Yes if I had an interest beyond casual I would want to get to know the person first. And I am happy that I have my feelings in check on the "wouldn't wanna fall in love" thing (subject for another thread).

Like I said in this case I have decided not to go there again as after the last time I saw him, and on subsequent phone calls he got very panicky over who I might tell about him... So for me the doubts have swung into uncomfortable territory. So that's that. The end.

I was just trying to work out how much of the making sure was my responsibility and if for me, not because of possible feelings or hurt, but because absolutely not wanting to be party to cheating, casual probably can not be as casual as its meant to be. Or if I want casual, should I chill more?

Guess it comes down to where is MY line. Doesn't matter if others think I'm overthinking. :-)

I've always been very black & white (I find it more comfortable when its less ambiguous) and trying to be more "grey" but this is probably an area I stick with my black and white ;-)

always good to have a debate. Found it very interesting :-) thank you

Jan45 Wed 14-May-14 12:48:40

Believe me if he is married you will soon find out or will find little snippets of evidence.

Is the relationship not exclusive then? If not, what's to stop him sleeping with other women, you'd still be the OW even in that case.

Nothing wrong in expecting the man you are dating to date you only, even if it is casual.

Norest Wed 14-May-14 12:54:17

You just say 'hey I have had an issue with dating someone who turned out to be married. I don't want to repeat that as I don't want to participate in infidelity. So if you don't mind I am going to need some decent reassurance you are, in fact, single.'

Doesn't mean anything about 'causal' other than you want to protect yourself form being an unknowing part of someone fucking around behind their partners back. Casual doesn't have to mean you know nothing of each other beyond some chitchat and sex. You can be friends and know about each others lives. Casual just means neither of you are looking to move your interactions into 'big romance' territory.

Nothing wrong with that but tbh most guys past 40 who are wanting 'casual' usually mean 'discreet' (I.E a shag on the side). If you get a rare one who is not attached then lovely, but if I were you I would assume they are all attached until they prove otherwise.

DenzelWashington Wed 14-May-14 13:04:45

You don't have to probe endlessly or investigate. You can take your casual partner at his word, provided you don't close your eyes to obvious warning signs.

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