Is Dating And Being In A Relationship The Same?

Posted: December 5, 2013 in Love & Relationships, Single Ladies, Single Men
Tags: , , , ,

My answer to this question is totally subjective and it’s my opinion. The answer is no. It is not the same. I wrote a post a couple of weeks ago, Is Being a Good Man Good Enough?” and a commenter asked this question. I decided to do a quick post answering the commenter’s question because there seems to be some confusion going around.

I see a lot of women get angry and they get their feelings hurt by this assumption. They mistakenly think that because they’ve been seeing a man consistently for a month or two that the man belongs to them. Because they’ve invested the time in getting to know one another and possibly start to develop feelings for this person, they assume they are in a relationship. Even worse, a lot of women assume they are the only one. Women also misunderstand having sex with a man as the beginning of their relationship. Hate to break it to ya, but no. All that means is that you’ve had sex.

Dating is just that – dating. It is the act of getting to know each other by going on dates and spending time together. A person can date multiple people at a time. I don’t see anything wrong with that, personally. Being in a relationship is different. It is beyond the dating stage. Two people in a relationship have an understanding and have made commitments that they have agreed to with each other. Usually in a relationship some type of exclusivity exists. I also think there would be a lot less heartbreak in the dating world if people (women really) understood the difference. Also, having the conversation with the other person to make sure you’re on the same page will eliminate a lot of confusion too. It’s important that you know and discuss whether you’re just dating or are, in fact, in a relationship. Ladies (and gentlemen to be fair), don’t set yourself up for heartbreak by placing relationship-type expectations on a person that you are only dating because there definitely is a difference.


“In its purest form, dating is auditioning for mating (and auditioning means we may or may not get the part).”

– Joy Browne, Dating for Dummies

  1. Bobby says:

    I think you did a wonderful job explaining the difference between dating and being in a relationship. I often hear people using the two interchangably and I am not sure why this is done. I refer to my ex as my ex (someone I was in a relationship with). I would not refer to someone that I got acquainted with by dating as my ex, and vice versa. I just wish more people were clear about the topic as you have explained.

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