Dating vs Relationship

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Written By:

Counselling Psychologist - M.Sc. Clinical Psychology

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Reviewed By:

Counselling Psychologist - Ph.D. Relationship Psychology

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Let’s say you have been going out with someone really special. You have met for a couple of dates and have enjoyed the time you spent with each other. It’s all going great and you rush to tell a friend about this and they drop this question as a bomb 

“So are you dating or are you in a relationship?”

What do you say? 

Am I dating or in a relationship?

Dating and relationships are two separate concepts. Let’s find out the difference between the two so you can assess better where you stand with your special someone.

Dating - 

Dating is one of the first stages in getting to know someone. This is a period where you and your partner spend time with each other to get to know your likes, dislikes, preferences and quirks. It is not marked with commitment because you are just trying to see if you really like who this person is and vice versa. 

Often this is mixed up with the relationship stage that is marked with commitment. If you and your partner are not on the same page about this, then misunderstandings can arise. Dating is the initial time you spend with one another so you can assess whether they are actually compatible with them or not. There are 4 stages of this exploring period 

  1. Getting to Know - 

This is when you go out on your first date and begin getting to know each other. You exchange your likes, dislikes, values, views about the future, and general outlook on life. 

  1. Attraction and Infatuation -

If you enjoy getting to know each other you are likely to develop some form of infatuation. Although this can happen before the first date, sometimes it increases as you go on more dates with your partner and spend more time with each other. 

  1. Uncertainty

This stage comes up when you are sure that you like them and are wondering about the future. This is an important stage because it is here that you and your partner should ideally discuss your views for the future and whether or not you would like to take your dating further. 

  1. Commitment

Let’s say you and your partner agree to take the relationship forward, the first thing you do is you commit to each other. Things become a little more official than before and you begin a relationship. 

Relationship -

A relationship is the last stage of dating. It is a period where you and your partner express your desire to be with each other as companions and commit your time and love to them. 

A relationship is very different from dating. Once a relationship begins, you communicate about your thoughts, feelings more seriously than you would when you are just exploring. This stage is mostly characterised by forming a deeper, stronger connection with your partner on all levels. You are willing to be emotionally vulnerable to your partner and you tend to rely on them for emotional support during difficult times. In a relationship, generally, partners expect trust, loyalty and security from each other. 

Relationships can be long-term or short-term. Long-term relationships are those that last for a long period of time. If you and your partner find yourself in a long-term relationship it is likely that you discuss your future plans and goals with them. However, sometimes relationships are short-term. These don’t necessarily have to be casual in nature and can sometimes be short-term because they just don’t work out, or sometimes it is because both the partners differ in their perspectives and goals. 

In both kinds of relationships, communication is a very important element. Partners should constantly strive to be open in their communication with each other so that they are on the same page and are working towards the same goals. 

If you find yourself or someone you know in either of these situations and need some assistance, feel free to reach out to our platform, CoupleBees!

Ms. Priyanka Walia
Ms. Priyanka Walia M.A. Counselling Psychology Counselling Psychologist 05 years of experience

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Ms. Muskan Maheshwari
Ms. Muskan Maheshwari M.Sc. Clinical Psychology Clinical Psychologist 02 years of experience

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Mr. Nishant Sharma
Mr. Nishant Sharma M.Phil. Clinical Psychology Clinical Psychologist 07 years of experience

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Ms. Akshita Bakshi
Ms. Akshita Bakshi Ph.D. Relationship Psychology Counselling Psychologist 05 years of experience

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