Dating and being in a relationship are two different things entirely, but they’re also two things that many people confuse when they’re in the thick of things with their partner.
Even though they might seem similar, there are some important ways in which they differ – ways that can affect both the way you approach your partner and the way your partner approaches you. Here are some of the main differences between dating and being in a relationship to be aware of as you move forward in your own romantic life.
What is dating?
Dating is the process of going out with someone. This means, typically, getting to know them through communication and meeting face-to-face for various activities. The goal is for two people to get closer and eventually decide if they want to be together as more than friends. Once this has been decided, the person who wants something more moves on from the dating phase into a committed relationship or a new chapter in their life altogether.
What is a healthy relationship?
An unhealthy relationship is one where partners constantly fight. It’s when arguments are all that you ever do and you can’t remember the last time you said I love you or had an enjoyable conversation with your partner. All this fighting eventually brings up feelings of anger, resentment, guilt, depression, and sadness. These feelings don’t make for a healthy relationship. A healthy relationship is one where there are disagreements but they’re dealt with maturely to minimize hurt feelings on both sides. A healthy relationship is one where communication flows smoothly so that all needs can be met. It’s the type of relationship we all hope for!
Differences between dating and being in a relationship
Dating is often seen as an experiment. It’s more about having fun, whereas relationships are more stable. When you date someone, it doesn’t feel quite like anything serious; the idea is to have a good time with another person or have some cas*al s*x. With relationships, it’s all about commitment. You promise to love this person forever and that you can build something meaningful together with them. Often times when you date, feelings don’t develop as quickly because there is less investment than in a relationship. That being said, sometimes feelings do develop quickly on a date because people may go into it without any expectations at all.
What happens if you do things that don’t fit into the definitions of dating, love, or relationships?
Dating is more social and casual. You might go on five dates with the same person before deciding to take it to the next level. When you’re dating, it’s just about having fun. Whereas being in a relationship means there are more rules and commitment is more significant. With dating, if one person’s not feeling it, they can let the other know pretty easily—or at least make their exit without being held down by long-term expectations or fears of hurting someone else’s feelings. But when you’re committed to someone for life, you need some assurances that this could be the one before you spend your whole life with them.
Some final words...
In the end, it’s up to you to decide what you want out of a relationship. Maybe your idea of love has changed, or maybe dating is all you’ve ever known. It’s normal to feel scared or frustrated, but at the end of the day don’t forget that there are two people involved with each decision. Make sure both people are satisfied, so that neither person has any regrets.