Ever since Tinder invented casual dating for the first time ever around 2012, navigating that life has been something of a head-scratcher. How much information do you share? What’s a red flag? What isn’t a red flag? When do you text? How do you text? Where do you text! What is a text!
Emily Ratajkowski can appreciate the everyday difficulties of casual dating. After filing for divorce from Sebastian Bear-McClard, she started dating in a noncommittal, low-key way sometime last year, like you or I or someone we know might. And maybe normal folks out there, ones who are also casually dating, can appreciate the added struggle of doing it when there are men with cameras following you around.
Yes, the paparazzi won’t let Ratajkowski be. They are why we know about nights out with people like artist Jack Greer, date-machine Pete Davidson, and, more recently, comedian Eric André.
She spoke about it on a recent episode of her podcast, High Low: “I’ve been trying to casually date and not get cuffed up, and it’s been hard to do that and be kind of mindful of the people that I’m seeing.”
“Any time I go on another date, everybody knows,” she added. “So the other guys I’m dating see it, and it has been kind of difficult because of course they’re like, ‘Didn’t talk to her last night,’ and then there’s pictures of me out to dinner with someone else. It sucks.”
That sucks! There’s a difference between rationally understanding that the person you’re casually seeing might be seeing someone else too, and witnessing that person lip-locked with some other guy splashed across Page Six.
Maybe a normal person’s version of this is triangulating Instagram Stories from last night, and noticing that this person is out with that person. But there’s nothing quite as off-putting, dating-wise, as a long-lens grainy photo, taken in the style of a private investigation, to make you wonder what exactly you’re doing here in this casual relationship. Anyway, we look forward to the paparazzi chapter in the ethical-nonmonogamy how-to book. It’ll cater to a very small audience, but a grateful one, surely.