The main difference between dating and being in a relationship is the level of commitment and an honest conversation with your partner. When you're casually dating someone, you're getting to know them and exploring if they are the right fit for you. The halfway point between casual dating and serious relationships is usually a gray area of exclusively dating. This is a great time to determine if your partner is the one for you. You may not be ready to commit to the long term yet, but both of you can agree that you won't see other people for the time being.
Jonah Feingold, a 29-year-old man from New York, says he hasn't been clear with the people he's dated, which has caused mismatched expectations. Even if there are sparks on every date and you have an amazing connection, it doesn't guarantee that you're moving past the stage of just seeing each other. Generally, women date in search of commitment and relationships, while men date for fun, companionship, and attention. Two people can still date others even if they want to be exclusive, according to House. This is because they both wonder if it's too soon to have the conversation or if the other person feels the same way.
If the other person doesn't want a full relationship (or even an exclusive date), you can decide to keep it casual or end it and move on. People often make assumptions about the exclusivity of the relationship that their dates may or may not share. It's also a great time to explore what life would be like together, go on dates, try new things, and be vulnerable with your thoughts or concerns. You'll see each other for a few months, along with a few other Tinder candidates and swipes, until you finally decide that your crush is the person you want to be in an exclusive relationship with. If you've stopped going on dates but theirs are still alive, that may be a sign that they're still looking to find out what other fish are in the sea, and that could mean it's time to cut and run.
If you and a new partner have friends or connections in common, you'll have to be very careful not to parade dates in front of each other, according to Lindsey Metselaar, dating expert and host of the millennial dating podcast “We Met at Acme”.