Dating and being in a relationship are two different things, and understanding the difference between them is key to having a successful relationship. Dating is about getting to know someone romantically, while being in a relationship implies that couples have already committed to each other and intend to cultivate their connection. One of the main differences between dating and being in a relationship is having your own idea about what the two of you are. While relationships are based on mutual agreement and trust, dating is not the same thing.
For some, casual dating isn't mutual. The idea of exclusivity while you're with someone may differ. Some people like to date each other exclusively, while others like to date other people and don't want to commit to just one person. 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 line between a relationship and dating, but there's much more to it than that. A key difference between dating and a relationship is how you each feel about where you stand with the other person.
In relationships, both people are on the same page regarding the question, “What are we?” However, in dating, the idea of exclusivity while being with someone may differ. Certain people like to date exclusively, while others like to date several people at once and not just commit to a partner. 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. From the jitters on the initial dates and the light in your eyes when you look at them to the sheer electricity you experience around them and the first kiss, everything seems perfect. 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. Choosing to date someone exclusively means investing more energy and time with them.
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. In relationships, both people have decided not to date anyone other than each other, whereas in dating, you have decided to take things seriously and move forward to staying together or being alone together. 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.