When my patient asked me this evening, “Well isn’t it good to be casual about sex and relationships in the beginning?, I reminded her that connection and love and even ‘like’ are damn serious; there’s nothing casual about them. Her point was that it should be better to be casual than to be desperate; but casual isn’t the opposite of desperate: ‘calm’ is. And so if the question becomes, ‘isn’t it better to be calm than desperate in the beginning, then the answer is, of course, yes.
When you choose a friend, or a professor or mentor, haircutter, clergyman, yoga teacher, seamstress, it’s a serious matter. When we do have choice in those things, we actively look for someone who will treat us caringly, respectfully and will take our matter seriously. As absurd as it would be to imagine telling a friend before your next haircut, “hey, I’m not so concerned with whether s/he’s a skilled cutter; I’m just going to go with it for now”, it’s just as bizarre if you tell yourself “hey, it’s no big deal if we just hook-up and it goes nowhere”. So it’s ‘as if’ the person is carefree and casual, thinking “I don’t really care” – but making yourself believe you don’t care is the essence of desperate.
If you’re honest with yourself and probe a bit, you’ll find it’s true.