What is a Relationship Without Commitment Called

June 22, 2012 by  
Filed under Commitment Issues

As someone who has seen many relationships due to my line of work I can say that I’ve seen it all. Almost. And the most common question that I hear from women who want to settle down in a healthy committed relationship but seem to have trouble doing so for one reason or another is what is a relationship without commitment. In this article I wanted to summarize the characteristics of a non-committal relationship and provide some of the most common examples and definitions, so get ready to learn! And if you are a guy who accidentally stumbled across this page (since I am writing it mainly for women), please do share your thoughts on the subject in the comment section down below!

If you are not sure whether you are in a committed relationship or casual, read these signs of a relationship without commitment, and the more signs are applicable to you, the more casual your relationship is.

Whether you are looking for information in search for answers to burning questions, or are just browsing this site out of curiosity, I invite you to participate in the conversation!

So, here are the most common signs of a relationship without commitment:

– You and your partner are NOT married/engaged

– You and your partner date other people

– You and your partner do not have responsibilities and obligations of a committed relationship toward each other

– You and your partner do not have the rights of a committed relationship

– If one of you were to accept a date invitation from someone else, the other would have absolutely no business knowing about that

– You or your partner, or both of you have active publically visible profiles on one or more dating sites, and you are open to meeting someone through them

– You and your partner do not include each other in important life decisions, and each of you doesn’t consider the other when making life-changing decisions such as where to live, whether to buy a house or a condo, whether one of you should take a job that requires relocation, etc.

– You and your partner do not ask for advice or an opinion of the other when it comes to making decisions

Do you want to add to this list? I’d love to hear from you!

And here are the other names for a relationship without commitment.

Booty Call – typically a booty call will originate from a late-night horny guy looking to get laid quickly and bail. A booty call is more of a one-night stand repeated over time with the same person. There is no emotional involvement in this type of arrangement. Typically a man will assume that if the woman goes along with this type of arrangement, it is consensual.

Casual dating – typically the kind of dating that determines which way the relationship will go. This is the phase of dating when two people are getting to know each other. This is when they evaluate each other’s fitness for a potential relationship.

At this point, the relationship is not yet committed. If one or both partners are looking for a committed relationship, they are likely to explore such possibilities within their relationship. If one or both people are looking for something casual, this casual relationship will always stay casual (unless, of course, you check out my book Guide to Commitment 😉 )

Then there is also something we can refer to as hooking up and hanging out, as Toby Keith says in his song I’m just talking about tonight. This is basically a type of a relationship in which you and your guy periodically get together at his house or yours, watch movies, eat popcorn, make out on the couch and have sex. You sorta hang out, and yet, not really a committed relationship. Basically, you and your guy do not have any responsibilities of a committed relationship toward each other, and each of you has his or her own life.

I hope you enjoyed this article. If you want to add something, or leave a comment, or even ask a question, go ahead and do so in the comment section below!

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48 Responses to “What is a Relationship Without Commitment Called”
  1. Olatunji Modupe says:

    my parent mandate someone i should marry for me, and i don’t like the guy in team of non-educate, not capable to be a man, and he doesn’t have money and i don’t love him deeply. But he love me, he care for me and he can do enything to make me happy. But am thinking……… should i marry him may be i will develop interest on him. thanks

    • admin says:

      Only you can decide whether you should marry him, my dear. I can’t make this decision for you. Personally, I wouldn’t marry someone I don’t love. My friend married someone she didn’t love 24 years ago and got divorced. Now she is in her late forties and feels like she wasted all those years being married to someone she didn’t love and didn’t feel attracted to. She only married him because she didn’t feel pretty enough to attract a man and when her ex husband proposed she felt that was the only chance she had at getting married. Now she is much older and doesn’t have a man in her life, and it is getting progressively more difficult to find somebody for her.

  2. Zeny says:

    I meet a guy in e-harmony and we meet and click together. We been on for more than a year now. Yet in those time we were still both active in the dating site…i saw him first being active again after 6 months of meeting him.
    But the issue i have is that I fall in love to him… i told him first and he then told me too after. His job allows him to travel often in and out to the US. Then last 2-3 months I saw some changes of him being always on the phone using his magic jack he said, and he told me he is talking to his folks back home and stuff. I spent most of my weekend with him in his place.
    Then 3 weeks ago while I was in his place,he told me something that was like a time bomb to me.
    He told me he wants his ex girlfriend back of same nationality of him, he is from Jamaica and i am Asian.( he is divorced and has 2 kids like me, we are both in our mid forties)…that she’s the one whom he knew for almost 2 yrs and she did something that pisses him off so they stopped talking each other, then he said till the time that she’s like asking about him and stuff and they exchange emails and that last 2 months ago they got talking in the phone and decided they want to give it another try this time.
    He told me that she is coming for a 2 weeks visit in his place, and that he told me he is very sorry and feels bad about this because he is afraid that if things will not work out of them, that he will eventually loose me in the process. He told me that it is very hard of him because he sees me as a very good woman. I asked him if what is it in her that he did not see in me…and he told me that she is a very strong willed woman, that had made an impact of his life before and that she is very spiritual woman also. He told me that if ever it wont work can he find me again?…since I love him I did not say yes or no but instead i told him that because of how i feel to him, that i can’t just stop myself of not seeing him anymore, that it’s gonna be so hard for me.
    I asked him that day we last meet, the 10th of June, if will he be a man enough to be honest with me, if will they be fine together again or what?
    he told me Yes, I will tell you.

    She did came last June 14th, and all those times he was still talking or calling me anyhow, and or I cant resist days to at least send him a text greeting him on that day and stuff.
    So here still holding on… I am on Sunday the 24th is her last day and she is going back to the US already as he told me.

    We agree to meet each other after my work trip to Hong Kong on June 29th, Friday. i know as much as I’m preparing myself for whatever decision he will have then….yet inside me I am praying and wishing that he will choose me instead. My question here is, how do i start the conversation with him on that day? do i have to ask him of what is his decision now and or if she’s his choice?
    How can I win him back, as I so want him back, and love him so much.
    i’m hurt, scared and feel lost.

    Asian Zen

    • admin says:

      Hi Asian Zen,

      Thank you for your question. I feel that your question requires a detailed response, thus I will answer it in a separate blog post, so be on the lookout for upcoming articles. I will also post a link to to the article-response to your question here after I publish it.


  3. katkat says:

    i realy love reading this site, it is very exciting and interesting.sometimes i can relate them to my personal situation.expecialy these days. i know im in this situation of making relation without comitment.but i feel im starting to love deeply this guy but seems he is now startin to stay away from me.it make me confused.- thanx a lot to this site, i learned a lot…

  4. Dalva says:

    what if a man is your boyfriend but no commitment?

  5. Bedete says:

    I am in a secret relationship with a married man. We’ve been together for three years. He comes over a few times a month and we have a great time. He tells me his marriage is not working out but he is staying with her because of the kids and because he would have to pay her alimony and child support if they divorced. He says she was the one who cheated on him first, and they don’t even sleep in the same room anymore. He says he is trying to get her to find a job and to get on her feet before he files for divorce, but it’s been three years since we started seeing each other and nothing’s changed. He says that she tried to get a job but she’s been out of work since their first child was born and her skills are no longer marketable. He wants her to go back to school, which would be another two years at least. I don’t know if I should stay with him and wait for divorce or move on. What do you think? I really hope that it will work out with him. He is a man of my dreams and everything I want in a man, and we get along great, but it’s just killing me and I don’t know what to do anymore.

    • admin says:

      Of course it’s up to you, and you are the one who makes a decision. In my opinion it’s never a good situation to get involved with a married man. He is not available, emotionally or otherwise. And from what I’ve seen women who settle for this type of situation rarely get what they want. It’s true that sometimes it happens, men leave their wives to be with another woman, but do you really want to be with a man who is cheating on his wife? even if what he says is true and they don’t have much of a relationship. They are still living under the same roof, and as far as I understand you don’t know what’s going on when he is with her.

    • Kate says:

      I know this is one of the oldest lines since the biblical days. You are a fool to be involved with a married man, and you know if he did leave his wife, which by the way, he won’t. Or he would have already left, and if he did leave her, hyothetically speaking. You would be next to be cheated on with someone else, by this man. You are in a lose, lose situation, and why would you think so little of yourself, to settle for another womans leftovers? If you really believe they have nothing to do with each other
      in bed, you are very blind, and only want to see what you hope to believe.
      This man, and this story is a dime a dozen, and i do not know why you are waiting on this married man, because you could find, one married man on every street corner, it’s really that cheap of a thing. Wise up to the ways of this world. Someday someone is going to do this to you, with your man.

  6. Subie says:

    Stumbled on your brilliant site. SO here it goes, 41 yr old woman,divorced for 11 years, been out of a relationship for almost 6 years. Ventured into something new, Long distance relationship!! Wonderful guy who was a friend first & we connected great. Deicided early this year more so on his part to take it to the next step. We have been seeing each other monthly & going on a long trip in a week. He has planned it all even to stay at his families home. I belive when you chosse a relationship with a person, you have to like them for their core values but not say after, “you are not the same spark you were when i met you” well, we now are a couple and there are responsibilities that now comes to light that is not revealed when just friends because it is personal.
    He works in the bar business and has loads of women around him and i while a bit possesive am reasonable. All i ask is, respect the relationship and hide nothing and all will be well for both sides.
    HIs mood changed after he left visitng me in APril and the sweet text stopped, the emails stopped and so on. Everytime i spoke, he seemed less interested and then the suspicion peeked on my part. I notice one particular woman who use to post crap on his FB wall is now MIA. I knew she was behind the radar now which is what pisses me about women, You know the man has a girl & this is how you play the game but i have to take a look at my man first. I asked him flat out and he got mad and said that he got tired of walking on egg shells (since when)and yes he kissed her 1 week before coming to visit me for the first time in january before proclaiming is interest in me. In may, he i am certain went to dinner with her and invited her back to his place to write these reponse notes to this nut job that was leaving notes, which he promised to do with me.LDR, nothign much of else to look forward too.She was a cop so he used that excuse to say how she was intrigued so i got tossed aside but he never told me this until i asked. Now she sings at the bar often. He had his first art show that i poured my heart out watning to be there for and he told be the practical aspect of it because of distance and money so i settled but my heart was heavy. She got invited to be there and help him. She is everywhere and he was suppose to call me yesterday but lately had been open about mentioning her name, that she wanted to meet up as her friends may want to buy his art so he went to meet her telling me that he may call me later. I responded that i needed him to call sooner because i had other plans. I am sorry but i am not going to be seconday & we only speak 2 or 3 times a week. He never apologised or even realize that i was so hurt about the Sunday art show or that he could have told her that he would give her the art samples the day she comes to the bar which is every other day but instead, i find it hard to digest that it had to be a private meal for his art sample that he claims the art is not a serious thing but for fun. My heart is heavy because i feel something is happening and he is not sharing but asking over the phone is going to cause a disaster before the trip but i am trying to give the benefit of the doubt and pray that it was i that am reading into things due to my past relationship that had infedility and brokey my soul. It is said that thinking negatively only invites these but some how i do not think that i conjured up this woman and the thoughs only came about after.
    This is killing me. Lenghty I know
    Thank you

    • admin says:

      You have two options here in my opinion… I am not sure what you mean by “decided to take it to the next level”, but if what you meant by that is that you two had a discussion about your relationship being serious, exclusive, committed, basically you two had agreed to be girlfriend and boyfriend, and then he did all those things, you have the right to terminate your relationship… what he did was cheating.

      If, however, you two were just casually dating (I understand it was long distance) then what that means in his book is that he has the right to date whomever he wants… You are not exclusive as far as he is concerned and you have no right of a committed relationship that you would be entitled to.

  7. Carina says:

    really a great post and valuable information.

  8. Kate says:

    Why bother? with scared little boys.

  9. thulsie says:


    Met with him last year during christmas time,we fell so in love each other and everything was great and we were so happy together..then 2 months down the line we started arguing a lot over silly things like now and again..then he said told me that he needs some time out at first i told him that l don’t believe in taking breaks in a relationship so because I love him so much twisted my arm and agreed to that “time out”thing..now its been nearly 5 months he doesn’t call but sms me now and again but whenever I talk about our love and ask him if there any way from this he will just say to me..”l truly love” it breaks my heart coz I feel like we losing out in life and am also afraid that we will grow apart but l call him now and again wenever l miss him and at tyms I send him messages but at times he just reads then and not reply..whenever l wanna meet with him..he always comes out with excuses so haven’t seen him for the past 4 months and I haven’t stopped loving himm..but he keeps saying he still wants to be with me and he still loves..so help me am confused

  10. Celeste says:

    if you don’t have a commitment in your relationship you are just dating and your man is probably sleeping around

  11. Andressa says:

    I am in this kind of relationship. When we first met he told me he had a girlfriend but I was not looking for anything serious because I was going through divorce myself. Now I am just a booty call but I have fallen in love with him and I want more. What should I do? How can I get him to see me more than just a booty call? BTW he is still with the same girlfriend…

    • admin says:

      Getting involved with a man who has a girlfriend is nearly the same as dating a married man.

      • Ms P says:

        I totally agree with you. being in a relationship with a person who has a girlfriend its like being with a married man, especially if he is living with her(staying together)… its like settling to be the second best!!!

  12. Beritiana says:

    i agree with you

  13. Kate says:

    Men add up to the same story’s anymore. Time out, or when a guy say’s, he needs space. You can translate that into a guy just ” letting you down easy”- Really these story’s are selfish style guys, that want to have the whole candy store. They create very interesting ways to manipulate women who have a loving heart. If their were not so many women, that were so willing to give up the whole candy store to men. Maybe we would have a society with men that would have more respect for the female race.

  14. Kate says:

    Love consists of this————Passion, Commitment, Intimacy————–I appreciate a man i can trust, who is loyal. I bet their are alot of people who do not even know the definition of these words.

  15. Aureliana says:

    yes, this article is very good. it explained to me the difference between a committed relationship and dating

  16. Edineusa says:

    how do i make my boyfriend commit to marriage?

  17. Winnie M. says:

    Well done, dis site is so educative and it is an eye opener for ladies who are lost or ignorant. I luv it. Thanks.

  18. Maria Moura says:

    awesome website to read, i like the concept taken in it.

  19. Kate says:

    Their are no written in stone guarantees to getting a man to commit, let alone MAKING him commit. Anyone who says they have books and videos, that will seal the deal, well then, i have some cheap property in China i would like to sell you, west of the Hu Chi Mun Trail! Listen, all you can offer is the genuine person you are, with work on improving upon who you already are. The best you can offer up is, passion, intimacy, commitment, loyalty, and being trustworthy. Now if a man is going to reciprocate these quality’s, is totally up to him, and who he is. You cannot make a man commit. You can only show him who you are, and maybe, he just might love all that you are, but remember, there is nothing wrong with having your own standards and values, on the type of man you will even let in your life. It is not all about what he is looking for in a woman. Women need to set their own bar at the level they would like a man to reach, and accept nothing below that bar. Instead of offering yourself up as some sort of human sacrafice, so to speak. Have your own value system, based on your hearts desire, and your minds knowledge of who you are.

  20. Agar says:

    thank you for being so good at writing and giving information, you do it very well, and your website is very good too, congratulations.

  21. Camila says:

    nice thank you for sharing most informative ideas and also your good view

  22. Ruby says:

    I met a guy 2 weeks ago, we went out on our first date on friday and we had sex. We went out for lunnch the next day and we had sex again. We really like each other but lm afraid he will never want to have a committed relationship with me because of that. Can he commit to me after we’ve already been intimate?

  23. Cecira says:

    I always learn something new about relationships when I come to your blog. This is just another great advice article of yours! Please write more often! I love reading your dating advice for women

  24. Dantela says:

    your article is what i have been looking for a long time. it contains lots of useful information i need. thanks so much and i hope you will keep posting these good information

  25. Carina says:

    cool article. It explained to me the difference between committed relationships and dating

  26. Laura says:

    I am in a similar situation. My relationship is relatively new and we have not talked about commitment yet. I want to ask him how he feels and where this relationship is going but I am afraid I am going to scare him off.

  27. Kim says:

    Thank you for the good article. My man tells me that he just wants to be friends but he does all the things a good boyfriend does – he helps me with money and some other things, he always comes over when I need help with something, like I recently had to move into a new place and came and helped me pack and drove my furniture to my new apartment. When I talk about our relationship he tells me that I should start dating other people because he can’t give me what I want, which is a committed relationship and he doesn’t want to be my boyfriend. I think he loves me very much and is just waiting for me to get my life together and to get a job. We had our issues in the past and I think I drove him away due to some of the things I did, but he is still around and I can call him any time day and night, and he’ll be right here for me. I really have the feeling that he loves me but doesn’t want to admit that.

  28. Denise says:

    a relationship without commitment is a one night stand or a booty call… other than that it is friendship if it doesn’t include sex…. a real relationship always always has commitment

  29. Clarice says:

    wow…it’s amazing i like this article!

  30. Kate says:

    Will he want to be serious with you, if you are easy? Never say never, so to speak, but when you give up all the goods, when you first meet a guy. You are not leaving him anything to work for, or leaving
    anything to his imagination. If you give him the whole candy store from the start, he just may not have a craving for sweets. Listen, a guy wants to know a girl thinks highly of herself, and that he is going to have to work, to have her. It is no challenge to a guy, if a girl is just going to lie on her back, with her legs in the air, pretty much on command. A guy loves a challenge, and a woman, that he does not have to wonder how many guy’s, she has been so easy with. If you put the cart before the horse, what are the two of you going to have in common? You won’t know each other, only each others naked body’s. Get to to the guy for some time, before you bed down. So you have time to know if this guy is even capable of love and commitment. Otherwise you set yourself up to be used and rejected. Stay in control of yourself. This displays self-respect, and confidence. Something that the opposite sex finds very attractive.

  31. Cristine says:

    you said it right, thanks for all the reliable information. a relationship without commitment is just what it is – a booty call. if you, ladies, think a man loves you because he comes around once a week for sex this is not a relationship, it’s just one step above a one night stand. when you are in a committed relationship you know it and you shouldn’t be asking. if you ask what it is then you are in denial and don’t want to admit and see if for what it is

  32. Audete says:

    I met a guy on an internet dating site. He told me from the beginning that he wasn’t looking for anything serious because he had just moved here and was buying a house, and had a new job. He said that he just wanted to date casually. That was fine with me. We went out several times and now he is asking me how come I am still on the dating site. I explained to him that I am looking for something serious and since he is not ready I will continue to search. He now says that because we are dating he wants to be exclusive. I know for myself that I am looking to settle down, and he is not, so why should I stop meeting other men when he is not a relationship potential? I like dating him. I have a very good time with him and enjoy his company. BTW we have not slept together, and I don’t think I am going to because I value my body and sex is not something I share with just anyone, and since this man doesn’t want anything serious and no commitment I am not going to sleep with him and treat him as my boyfriend, so why should I stop dating other people?

  33. Kate says:

    Usually, when a guy tells you he just wants to be friend’s. It is so he will have a license to sleep with others, or keep his options open for something upgraded. Look, when a guy is in love with you, he is not going to want that friend jazz. He is going to want you all to himself, by not leaving the door open to other men. Like he is leaving the door open to other women, by telling you, he just wants friendship. When a man is in love with you, you will not be plucking petals off of daisy’s, saying “He loves me, He loves me not”-Do not make excuses or play guessing games, with emotionally lazy BOY’S {not men)BOY’S. Set your bar high and expect him to reach it, or he is not in your league. Expect these guy’s to man up, or move on. If you settle for crumbs, then that is what you will be eating, is crumbs.

    • Kate says:

      Thank you for this website, where we can come to share and learn from your list, of different stages of commitment, women need a place like this.

  34. Elisandra says:

    thank you for your information, i like the website very much

  35. Cathy says:

    I have been dating a guy exclusively for eight months. We see each other on weekends when he doesn’t have kids and talk on the phone once a week. Because of our busy schedules (his with work and kids) and mine with work we can only talk for hours once a week. I want more commitment from him but he tells me he is not ready. What should I do? thanks, ladies, in advance!

  36. Everalda says:

    wow. great tips! they really help me understand my man better and to know what he wants.

  37. Kate says:

    Sounds like your guy is telling you straight up what he wants. He wants to talk once a week, and see you on weekends. I give him credit for being honest and not deceiving you. Better question is, what do you want? sounded like you said, more commitment. The two of you are wanting different things right now. Are you willing to keep going the way things are set up now? or
    are you in kind of a hurry to push into sealing the deal? Sometimes the journey can be better than the destination. I will tell you what, it feels really bad when you have to coerce a man into coming closer. To me it feels counterfeit. If a man is not going to love me because he wants to, at a high level of commitment, then i just could not settle for trying to make commitment happen, when it is not coming from the depths of his love for me. I believe, either i would do it his way, that’s if i could stand it, and i would treat him well, taking his desire into consideration. Or another option, is to create your own personal agenda, which by the way, would not put him at the top of the priority list anymore, and i would keep my options open for what i really want, and need to be satisfied.

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