How do you know that you’re focusing your efforts and emotions on the right person? Some people who tried to answer this question have accidentally discovered the sometimes subtle but most of the time obvious differences between just “dating” someone and being “in a relationship” with another person.
While these labels don’t really matter for a few, who want to express love and be loved, knowing how to distinguish the two can make a huge difference, especially when setting expectations and recognizing limitations.
1. Dating means no serious attachment; a relationship is a true commitment.
The level of the relationship you have with another person defines the difference between casual dating and being in an actual, committed relationship. Dating someone allows you to spend time with a person freely but with no promise of a long-lasting and long-term partnership.
2. Dating can be intimately physical; a relationship has deeper emotional intimacy.
The focus on the type and level of intimacy you have with another person also distinguishes dating from being in a relationship. While the former is more physical and less emotional, the latter involves higher intensity and expression of both.
3. Dating can be playful and experimental; a relationship is a serious and sincere decision.
Dating can really be enlightening, especially for young people, because they discover parts of themselves that they never knew existed. On the other hand, being in a relationship requires an initial knowledge of the self to make the right decisions and express more sincere and genuine love for another person.
4. Dating can be fleeting and short-term; a relationship can last a lifetime.
The longevity of both of these partnerships is also totally different. Casual dating can be fleeting and doesn’t have the power to last longer compared to a real relationship. Relationships, unlike dating, can even last a lifetime.
5. Dating poses unpredictability; a relationship offers certainty and stability.
Because of dating’s short-term nature, it can be unpredictable. On the other hand, a relationship offers certainty and stability, making it a good stepping stone to lasting commitments that can be sealed with marriage.
6. Dating is ideal for younger lovers; a relationship is meant for fated soulmates.
Young lovers enjoy dating because of the potential and excitements that it offers. However, once these people find their true soulmates, they’ll realize that dating will not be enough to celebrate their destined love – and this is where being in a relationship can give them a better promise of a future together.
7. Dating can be “open” and random; a relationship values loyalty and exclusivity.
There are different types of dating statuses, and one of these is an “open” or even random type of set up. Here, two people can freely see other dates without being tagged as unfaithful. However, in a relationship, it is more exclusive, highlighting the importance of loyalty and fidelity.
8. Dating gives you a range of choices; a relationship leads you in the best direction.
You’ll be presented with many choices and opportunities to suit your preferences when you’re just on a casual dating scenario. In a relationship, it’s totally different. Once you are committed to one person and have an exclusive relationship with them, you already know that you’ve made your choice, and you’re already following the direction that you think is best for you.