Dating, it is a stage in a romantic relationship when two people meet socially, to assess their compatibility as prospective partners in an intimate relationship, while probably still seeing other people.
“It’s not as if we are dating, we are simply enjoying each other’s company”.
In the dating stage, your partner and you are usually just getting to know each other, so that you can establish a long-lasting relationship and during this time you can also see other people romantically.
Since sometimes, dating isn’t defined or just brushed off, it can be hard to navigate this scene or truly know what’s on the mind of a partner or to tell if you are dating someone or not. This brings the question, what (even) is dating?
We answer that question in this piece.
What Does It Mean To Date Someone?
I wouldn’t call it dating, but we go out a lot” Is this you?
Dating is easily the simplest way for you to gain companionship, with many people, without ever having to commit fully to anyone.
When you date, you are having fun, exploring your options and trying to figure out what you like or who you like. And when you do find someone you like, dating stops being fun and instead becomes a status you need to figure out with your partner.
So, what does it mean to date someone? Be fully committed to them?
How To Know That You Two Are Dating:
If you and your beloved check any of these 3 boxes then you may be dating them.
1. You like them, and you two are getting to know each other better.
2. You’re dedicating more time with them and their interests, in hopes of building a long lasting relationship.
3. You can see yourself and they, settling down in the future. You even moved in together and got to know each other’s friends and family.
How To Know You’re Not Dating Them:
On the other hand, if you and your partner check these three other boxes, then you two are really not dating.
1. You don’t want to be in a relationship with them at all, and you have made it very clear that you two aren’t exclusive and can see other people.
2. The person or people you are going on dates with just want something casual and open, and have made it clear to you they don’t want a relationship.
3. You explore the dating pool, by not seeing the same person or people more than once or twice, before you move on to another partner.
Dating doesn’t always mean that you are dating someone, you could just be going on causal blind dates.
Unless you have defined the relationship and are sure that you’re only building a relationship with one person, then it is dating.
The 5 Stages Of Dating
Just like everything that is attainable, dating also goes through its own stages.
It isn’t something you rush or swipe through impulsively on Tinder, it has to grow through its stages for you and your partner.
To know each other, accept your annoying habits, and resolve conflicts without wanting to break up, your relationship has to be tested through the 5 stages of dating.
The Attraction Stage
At this stage, you’re knowing each other for the first time. The attraction stage entails:
- Focusing on your similarities and ignoring each other’s flaws and bad habits.
- Spending a lot of time together, never wanting to be apart.
- Conflict and argument avoidance.
The Reality Stage
At the reality Stage, problems begin to set into your relationship and you begin to argue a lot.
- The honeymoon phase is over.
- You see your partner’s flaws and behaviours you dislike.
- You wonder if you still love them.
The Disappointment Stage
At the disappointment Stage, you let the arguments take over and you become disappointed in your partner.
- You argue because you’re angry at them, even if you know it’s bad.
- You’re angry because of their flaws and your differences.
If you can push through this stage, your relationship will last.
Communication and understanding is the key to keep your relationship intact at this stage.
The Stability Stage
Couples can only advance to the stability stage, if they make it through the disappointment stage of the relationship. This stage is the final stage to the commitment stage.
- You’ve gotten through your differences.
- You accept that healthy conflicts are a part of relationships and you need to work through them.
At this stage you may crave the excitement of a new relationship, because you get bored, but staying with your partner is how to maintain stability.
The Commitment Stage
Congratulations to you and your partner, if you made it to this stage.
If you are still dating, it’s at the commitment stage that you can go from just dating to marriage.
- You choose to be with your partner, no matter their flaws.
- You don’t crave a new relationship, because all you need is your partner to make you feel alive and in love.
- You have envisioned and started building your future with them.
Differences Between Dating And Relationship
You may have checked the boxes on what it means to date someone, but it takes more than a few boxes to define a relationship.
Dating can feel a lot like a relationship, if you and the person or people you are dating, don’t define it, and this could be confusing.
The first step to this definition of course is to know the differences between dating and relationship.
Dating Vs Relationship:
- In a relationship, your partner and you are mutually committed to each other.
- In a relationship, you have officially declared that you are in a relationship with them.
- In dating, you are looking around and seeing other people.
- In a relationship, you no longer date around anymore or look for a new partner.
- In a relationship, your partner and you make all your plans together, you no longer have to squeeze time for a blind date with them.
- You spend your days together in a relationship.
- In a relationship, you are no longer reserved or shy, you show your partner everything you have been hiding from them during your first date.
- In a relationship, it’s all out in the open, no more modesty.
Read more about what is a relationship here
7 Types Of Dating You Should Know
If after everything you have heard about dating and relationships, you decide that you still want to order off the dating menu, we say here are 7 types of dating you should try.
1. Online Dating
In online dating, you’re basically meeting singles like you virtually via a website or apps like Tinder and you set up a meeting in real life with them.
This type of dating is perfect for you, as it gives you a lot of options for a date you can try out.
2. Speed Dating
In speed dating, you meet up with several dates at once in a quick succession at a location of your choosing.
Speed dating saves time as you can meet up with everyone at once and decide who is worth your time.
3. Double Dates
Are a fun way to add more merry company to your date, especially if you feel uncomfortable meeting a stranger alone.
You can just invite a friend and their own partner or date over, to join you on yours.
4. Group Dates
Just like double dates, group Dates also involve having other people on your date, except here it’s a group of singles of both genders, meeting up in a bid to find love.
An example of a group date would be a single’s retreat or meetups for singles.
5. Blind Date
A blind date is when you go on a date with someone you haven’t met or seen before. You two meet on a social platform, connect and make plans to meet in person.
6. Casual Dating
Casual dating is when you date multiple people as you try figuring what you want in a partner, and the best kind of relationship you want.
In casual dating you can meet many people you connect with for a number of reasons, but you never really settle down till you find the best person.
7. Exclusive Dating
Exclusive dating is more committed and personal than all the other 6 types of dating
In exclusive dating, you are just dating one person as you both try to see how the dating would turn out.
We can tell you that clearly defining your dating status with your partner is way better than picking out the petals on a flower, or hoping that one of you will ask the other out properly on a date to become an item.
Dating may be casual and fun, but you should have rules for it, unless you will get your heart broken, and it’s also something you should do when you’re ready. So, before you delete your Tinder profile, be sure it is what you really want.