Commitment is the key in a relationship, that's why it's a relationship. People commit to staying together and hoping for a future together while dating (mostly) lacks commitment of any kind. The main difference between dating and being in a relationship is a level of commitment, and generally, an honest and open chat with your partner. It might seem like there's a fine and annoying line between a relationship and dating, but there's a lot more to it than that.
So now you may be wondering, what is the difference between dating and being in a relationship? Dating can be an adventure that involves casual sex and fun, but a relationship is a more serious and romantic affair. Dating doesn't imply exclusivity, but a relationship is based on loyalty. There's more love than lust in a relationship and being your “stupid careless self” is OK. Let's now review the differences between dating and being in a relationship.
They go out to find out if there is a possibility for them to enter into a serious and committed long-term relationship with each other. In the first, both of you have decided not to date anyone other than each other, whereas, in the latter, you have decided to take things seriously and move forward to staying together or being alone together. It starts with the online texting stage, the first date and then deciding if one wants to continue with this or not. Even if you're the type of person who knows whether or not they want to continue seeing someone after the first date, it can be an awkward balancing act between showing your feelings and trying to play it cool.
Going on dates exclusively means that the two of you have decided to take your relationship one step further and agree to only date each other for a while. Exclusively going on dates means that you and your partner have talked about your future and have agreed to go out just for the time being. Previously in your stage of dating, there are no conversations about “us because you don't plan to build a future together with the person you date. Some people may date solely for sex, while others may date with the goal of finding a serious, committed relationship.
You may not know the person well enough after a month and a date or two, or you may feel like you know the person well very quickly. Maybe you schedule an appointment right after a visit to the gym and have no intention of showering first. You can decide to be sexually exclusive, but still, date others, sexually open but only date each other, or participate in a completely exclusive relationship where the physical and emotional aspects of the developing relationship are reserved for each other. They can see each other on regular date nights, but ultimately, they spend more time cultivating their lives outside of each other.
So at what point does the difference between dating and relationship stop mattering because they become one and the same? When do you know that this is it and now there is nowhere to go but up in this relationship? It states that while you were dating, you both saw the qualities in the other that you were looking for in a long-term partner.