Dating is hard. Eli and Josie want to make it easier for you to get back in the game, with the help of Hulu’s new show, Casual.
This post is brought to you by Hulu’s Original series Casual. Join the conversation; check out the latest episode of Casual on Hulu.com! New Episodes Wednesdays.
Dating is hard. It can be especially hard if you’ve been out of the game for a while. Technology has changed dating a ton, with texting and online hookup sites ruling the dating pool. But at its core, dating is always just about two people seeing if they like each other.
Whether you’re new to the game or been dating casually for years, sometimes you need a friend to give you an honest opinion. In Hulu’s fantastic new show, Casual, Valerie’s brutal truth comes from her teen daughter, but also from her brother Alex, whose cynical examination of life and dry wit isn’t always what she wants, but is probably what she needs.
For everyone else, we here at She Said He Said have offered you a few handy guidelines for getting back into the dating game. We promise to be honest, too. After all, telling people only what they want to hear never did them any good. Now, if only someone would tell Alex what he needs to hear.
1. Is it REALLY okay to have casual sex?
She says: Yes, it’s really okay… if it’s okay with you. But don’t trick yourself into thinking that sex is no biggie. For most people, sex is a big deal even if it’s casual, so make sure you’re in it for the right reasons.
He says: Casual sex is totally cool… As long as you’re honest with yourself, know you can handle it, and communicate clearly with your hook-ups (before the sex!) that you’re not looking for anything too serious.
In Casual, Alex is obviously not being all that honest, and just wants to notch his headboard with beautiful women. But as we see on his date with the Paleo girl, that shallow focus adds a lot of frustration to his life. What does he really want, and why is he hiding behind his libido?
2. Can I be a real man even if I’m not into one night stands?
She says: The only criteria for being a “real man” is that you call yourself a man. Real men cry, real men eat quiche, real men love babies and kittens. It comes as a surprise to Alex to hear his new friend Leon say he might not be into one night stands. But why? Guys aren’t solely defined by being horndogs!
He says: No! Impossible! Check your pants immediately! Kidding. Of course you can. Your view on one-night-stands has no reflection on being a real man. Just be real, Man. Being true to yourself, and honest with your dates, is plenty sexy.
3. Am I over-texting? How many texts is too many?
She says: Great basic rule for text messaging: If you don’t know the person super well, send one text at a time and wait until you hear back to send another. Don’t be the person who keeps hitting “send” and wakes up with regrets!
He says: Six texts in a row on your end may result in a “give me a little breathing room” on their end. Don’t do all the work. Let them bring something to this table for two. There’s a reason why Alex tells his sister that she probably scared away the guy she texted six times in a row: She’s being too eager, and it looks desperate.
4. There’s chemistry, we’re both into it, and I can even sorta see a future together. Should we sleep together on the first date?
She says: Talk about it and decide together! If you can’t talk about the sex you want to have and the relationship you see (or don’t see) in your future, you’re not ready to sleep together. Valerie thought she was ready for a one-nighter with Leon, but the results were a total disaster. Be honest with yourself, and the other person.
He says: Nothing wrong with some first date sex (with protection). Especially if you enjoy each other’s company. Just make sure YOU can handle it being a one-night-stand, if that’s what it ends up being.
5. When is it too soon (or the right time) to drop the L-bomb?
She says: Basic rule of thumb? You should know someone for six to eight weeks before telling them you love them. That doesn’t mean it can’t happen earlier, just keep an eye out for signs your love feels the same way, like giving you a key to their place or introducing you to their parents.
He says: The only right time is right after the other person says it. Kidding! Seriously though, it’s never the wrong time to use the L-word, if you truly can’t hold out any longer.
6. How young is too young when it comes to a dating age difference?
She says: Obviously your hookup should be a legal, consenting adult. Beyond that, find yourself an equal – even for sex. What matters to you in a partner? Intellectual and emotional compatibility? Shared life experiences? For Valerie, it was all about mutual physical attraction when she hooked up with the younger bartender, and that’s okay too. But if you feel like you’re being a creep, you probably are.
He says: Are you just hooking up? The less serious the relationship, the less age should have to factor into it (assuming you’re both consenting adults). But if you see this hook-up with potential for a relationship, you need to be honest with yourself about what you want in a partner. If you’re not on the exact same page in life, that’s okay. If you’re in two totally different books, you should probably keep browsing.
7. How soon is too soon to sext with someone I just met?
She says: It’s never too soon to send a sext—if it’s consensual. How do you know? Ask first! Say, “Can I tell you something sort of naughty I was thinking? Or would you rather I not?” and take it for there. And even if you’re already sexting, ask before sending a graphic photo. A photo of your genitals is not something to just spring on someone.
He says: Like the L-word, once a sext is sent, you can’t take it back. Also, if you put all your eggs in the sext basket, you run the risk of having your relationship being only about sex. A little mystery can be just as exciting. But if you’re feeling it, go ahead and get your sexty on (but only if you’re a responsible adult)!
If you need a break from dating, sit down with Hulu and Casual and watch the hilarious and cringe-worthy situations Alex and Valerie get themselves into. The great thing about Casual is that it’s on Hulu, which means you get to watch it on your terms: when you want, where you want, and on your schedule—with no pressure to look pretty or perform!
It’s also more than just a silly sex-romp. Alex and Valerie are strong, well-written characters with depth. Now, isn’t that a step up from dating? Join us for #CasualWednesdays on Hulu