What is Dating?
Dating is a stage of romantic relationships in humans whereby two people meet socially with the aim of each assessing the other’s suitability as a prospective partner in an intimate relationship. It is a form of courtship, consisting of social activities done by the couple, either alone or with others.
Dating Vs Relationship
When two things share a lot in common, sometimes, it can be tedious differentiating between them. Such is the case of the relationship vs. dating. Almost everyone today seems to confuse dating with being in a relationship because when you are in a relationship with someone, you often go out on dates with them. Again, both dating and relationship in some cases, involve two people enjoying the company of each other and probably having sex. So, since similar activities also take place in both situations, only a few people get to draw the line between them. But here is the bombshell (to some really): being in a relationship and dating are not the same thing. There are lots of differences between them. One surely outlive the other. If you think of a relationship as a universal set, dating is just a subset. In other words, all relationships involve dating but not all dating lead to a relationship. Better to set the records straight by giving the precise definition of these two terms and that is exactly what we shall be doing here.
So, What Is Dating?
By way of definition, dating is the casual process by which you get to know a person or group of people which you may eventually have a romantic relationship with. It’s a friendship kind of a thing between you and the opposite sex (es) you find attractive, and you want to know more. It involves engaging in a number of mutual activities such as seeing a movie together, going for a dinner, attending a seminar or conference together or just simply taking a walk together. Here, there is no commitment, and it is clear to the two of you. You are not even sure of what your feelings to the other are and as such, no deep commitment. If the person you go out on a date with today sees you with another person tomorrow, he or she is not going (or is not supposed to) raise an eyebrow because you haven’t made any commitment to each other yet. It, therefore, goes that dating can take place between you and different people at a time. You’re just having fun and enjoying yourself. In some instances, this “fun” may not exclude enjoying sex, and though that is one level or degree of closeness, it isn’t a relationship yet. The transition from dating to being in a relationship takes effect when your fun and every other thing you both do and enjoy together becomes exclusive, and you begin to take offense when those things are shared with multiple people.
Now To Being In A Relationship
You are in a relationship with someone when you both have agreed to it. The idea of casual relationship does not exist. No, that is only obtainable when you guys are dating. Here, you now refer to each other as either boyfriend or girlfriend, and in fact, where a smooth transition is taking place, you may as well consider each other as future partners. That is being in a relationship. Stated differently, being in a relationship with someone would mean you are in a committed romantic association with him or her. And note, a true and healthy relationship is usually monogamous. You don’t go into it with multitudes.
What Dating And Relationship Have In Common
Dating itself is a type of relationship with a lower level of commitment than that of people in a full-fledged relationship. It is a stage, the very first one, of getting to know someone which eventually may or may not lead to a relationship. The two concepts share some similarities which perhaps, is the reason behind many of the misconceptions surrounding it. Some of these are:- 1. Both can be romantic only that the degree of commitment differs. In fact, with some, sex is often involved at both stages. 2. Both involve going out together and doing things in common with parties involved. Even while in a relationship with someone, you still go on dates. 3. In most cases, both involve friendship with someone of the opposite sex to yours. It’s not so common to plan a date or go into a relationship with someone of the same sex as yours. 4. With both concepts, there is a kind of attraction and admiration between parties involved. 5. Both can transit and also come to an end. If you are in a relationship with someone, that can progress to marriage or break up. Also, when dating, you can find the attraction growing into love and as such, moving into a relationship proper. Dating can equally end. So, in this sense, both are similar
Now The Difference
From the definition of dating and being in a relationship already given, several differences stand out between the two easily confused terms. And here are they:- 1. Dating can involve several people at the same time whereas being in a relationship means you are now focusing on one person. The level of association has now changed from poly to mono. If you’ve once kept dozens of friends, you use to go out with, once you sign in to a relationship with someone, your closeness with those friends would have to be shelved. 2. There is a greater level of commitment to a person you are in a relationship with compared to when you are still doing the dating thing. You know what that means? Exclusivity. Whatever you both did while dating is now reserved for you and it’s not going to be something you want to share with everyone. You no longer sleep around with everyone (if you’ve been doing that) because now, your commitment is to one person 3. Your status in a relationship is not the same as when you were still dating. At the dating stage, the best you can call your partner(s) is/are a friend(s). They are not yet your boy or girlfriends, and you certainly cannot claim they are your future partners. No, that is only obtainable in a relationship. 4. When in a relationship with someone, there is a significant level of trust you give and are expecting from your partner. You feel they owe you their trust and you are equally obliged to give yours. You don’t hold back anything in your life from the person you are in a relationship with because he or she now is your confidant. You share some information about your vision, families, and past events with that person you are in a relationship with, something which would mean going too far in an ordinary dating. 5. The concept of love in its true sense is absent in a dating setting. What you have then is at best, admiration or attraction for each other. Forbid yourself from thinking or saying you love the person you are dating because that would mean an abuse of this concept. The idea of love sets in when you are beginning to withdraw from your many friends and putting your affection which you once distributed to many people on just a person. This takes place only in a relationship setting. Here, you talk about loving your partner because he or she is the only person you want to think about. This love thing makes the romance and fun in a relationship deeper than what you get in a casual dating setting. 6. When you are in a relationship with someone, you both start considering the possibility of a lifelong future together. She starts bringing up the idea of marriage and having a family, and you start giving it a serious thought too. And that’s reasonable because you’ve both come to realize you want to be an entity. Talk about having a family with your date, and he or she is going to laugh you to scorn. It amounts to putting the cart before the horse. It’s simply unreasonable. 7. Dating can be kept secret; relationships cannot. This is so because of the level of commitment and passion in a relationship affair. Your friends would know just the same way your parents would be aware of you both going together. And anything that is known by more than two parties is no longer a secret thing. With dating, you can keep multiple friends with each not getting to know the other, but in a relationship, this is next to impossible. 8. There is usually lots of packaging and pretense in dating many of which are difficult to carry out in a relationship setting. You do all within your power to cover the “ugly” part of you while dating and the other person is almost viewing you as an angel. But then as you graduate from dating to being in a relationship, both of you now start showing your true color. You start to see “he’s not such a nice man as I thought” or “I never knew she could be this rude!” While this is happening is because you both are now enjoying a comfortable level of familiarity which has made you throw away the garment of pretense you’ve been wearing all this while.
Dating precedes most relationships and most likely continues in it, but it isn’t the same as it. A transition has to occur before dating can proceed to a relationship and this transition is usually marked by a greater level of commitment, love, and affection between the two parties. That is what the definition of both concepts has revealed. It is hoped that having gone through this article, you are now better informed as to the correct meaning and usage of these two commonly misused terms. Again, you should be able to determine by now whether you are in a relationship with that guy or girl or you both are just in a casual dating thing by carefully considering the differences highlighted above. Knowing what one is into surely makes a lot of difference in how one does that thing. Hope you’ve been informed?