The main difference between going on a date and dating is that going on a date is usually known as casual dating (early stage), which means you are free to date different people at the same time and there’s no exclusivity or commitment involved.
On the other hand, dating usually means you only see the same person exclusively (late stage) and you are much closer to being in a relationship with the person you date.
What does going on a date mean?
Going on a date or casual dating means that you are going out with someone to get to know them better. This usually happens when two people have been talking for a while and want to spend some time together in a more intimate setting. There’s romantic intent involved, but you are very far away from being in a relationship with your date.
And, when you go on a date, it does not mean you are committed to them. So, you are free to date a few more people to see who is more compatible with you.
What does dating mean?
When you are dating someone, it usually implies that you are dating that person exclusively. This means that you only see that person, and do not go dating someone else.
In addition to that, dating usually also means you have been seeing each other more regularly, and you have the intention to turn that dating relationship into a committed relationship shortly. In other words, there’s a high chance the person you date exclusively now will become your boyfriend or girlfriend soon.
Four Major differences between going on a date and dating
The four major differences between going on a date and dating are a time commitment, level of interest, exclusivity, and the nature of the relationship.
1) Time Commitment
When you go on a date, you usually spend less time together, such as two hours for brunch or dinner. Not only do you see each other less frequently, but also the date invitation is usually more spontaneous. This is not the case with dating, where you might need to schedule time for dates, for example, a romantic dinner, a small escape from the city, or a visit to an attraction point near your city. It can take up a whole day. Dating also means you see each other more frequently, and you often plan the date in a detailed manner.
2) Level of Interest
The level of interest is also different. When you go on a date, you are usually interested in the other person and want to get to know them better. When you are dating, you may be more interested in developing a potential long-term relationship.
Exclusivity is another key difference. When you go on a date, you are usually not exclusive with the other person. You may go on dates with other people as well. When you are dating, you are usually exclusive with the other person, meaning you are not seeing other people.
4) Nature of relationship
When you go on a date, the relationship is usually more casual. On the other hand, when you are dating, the relationship is usually more serious and committed. You see each other as a boyfriend or girlfriend.
The benefits of going on a date
Going on a date or casual dating is normal at the early stage of the relationship. It is the time when you get to know each other and see if you are compatible with each other.
Here are the 5 major benefits of going on a date:
- Meeting new people: Going on a date allows you to meet new people and expand your social circle. You may meet someone who introduces you to new hobbies or interests, or who introduces you to their own network of friends.
- Learning about yourself: Going on a date allows you to learn about yourself and what you want in a relationship. You may discover new things about yourself and your preferences through the dating process.
- Having fun: Dating can be a fun and enjoyable way to spend your time. It can be a chance to try new things and have new experiences.
- Improving communication skills: Going on a date allows you to practice your communication skills and learn how to effectively express your thoughts and feelings. This can be valuable in any relationship, whether it is romantic or not.
- Building confidence: Going on a date can boost your confidence and self-esteem. It can be a chance to feel desirable and appreciated, and can help you feel more confident in yourself and your abilities.
The drawbacks of going on a date
There are a few potential drawbacks to going on a date instead of dating exclusively:
- Lack of commitment: When you go on a date with someone, there is usually no commitment to continue seeing each other in the future. This can lead to a lot of uncertainty and anxiety, as you may wonder where you stand with the person and whether they are seeing other people.
- Emotional turmoil: Going on a lot of dates with different people can be emotionally draining, as you may have to constantly adjust to new personalities and dynamics. It can also be difficult to invest emotionally in someone if you are not sure where the relationship is going.
- Time consuming: Going on a lot of dates can be time-consuming, as you may have to spend time getting to know each person and figuring out if you are compatible. This can be especially challenging if you are busy with work or other commitments.
- Confusion: Going on a lot of dates can lead to confusion about what you want and who is the right person for you. It can be hard to compare different people and decide who is the best fit, especially if you are not sure what you are looking for.
The benefits of dating exclusively
The first benefit of dating exclusively is the sense of commitment and security. When you are in an exclusive relationship, you know that the person you are with is not seeing anyone else and is committed to building a relationship with you. This can provide a sense of stability and security, and can help you feel more invested in the relationship.
The second benefit is the opportunity to build a deeper connection with the person you are with. When you are not seeing other people, you can focus on building a strong connection with your partner and getting to know them on a deeper level.
In addition to that, exclusivity in dating can also allow you to be more open and vulnerable with your partner, which can foster greater intimacy and trust.
Finally, exclusivity can save time and energy, as you do not have to worry about dating multiple people or trying to juggle multiple relationships.
The drawbacks of dating exclusively
There are a few drawbacks to exclusively dating someone. For one, it can be very stressful. You may feel like you have to check in with your partner all the time or get their approval for everything you do. This can take away from your independence and make you feel suffocated.
Additionally, if you’re not careful, exclusive dating can turn into a possessive and controlling relationship. One person may start to feel like they own the other, which is not healthy for either party involved. It’s important to communicate with your partner about your needs and respect each other’s space and autonomy.
Lastly, if you’re not careful, you can end up in a relationship that’s not right for you. You might find yourself stuck with someone who isn’t your type or doesn’t share your interests, and it’s much harder to get out of the relationship.
What’s best for you: going on date or dating?
There’s no right answer to whether you should date or date exclusively. It ultimately depends on what’s best for you and your relationship. Here are some things to consider that may help you make your decision:
You may want to date Casually if:
- You’re not ready for a committed relationship
- You want to meet new people and explore your options
- You’re not sure what you want in a relationship
You may want to date exclusively if:
- You’re ready for a committed relationship
- You want to focus on one person and get to know them better
- You’re looking for something long-term
Ultimately, the decision is up to you. Consider what you want out of a relationship and what you’re looking for in a partner. If you’re not sure, it may be best to date around a bit before committing to one person.
How do you know if you’re ready to start dating?
First, ask yourself how you feel when you’re with your partner. Do you feel happy, safe, and comfortable, or are you constantly on edge and feeling anxious? If it’s the latter, you may not be ready to take things to the next level just yet.
It’s also important to consider how well you communicate and get along with your partner. Do you find yourself constantly arguing or feeling like you’re never on the same page? If so, exclusive dating may not be right for you. However, if you generally feel good when you’re together and you’re able to have open and honest communication, it’s a good sign that you’re ready to move forward.
Trust is another key ingredient for a healthy exclusive relationship. Do you feel like you can trust your partner and feel confident that they’re being honest with you? If not, you may want to hold off on making things official.
Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide whether you’re ready to start dating exclusively. If you’re feeling good about your relationship and you’re ready to take things to the next level, then go for it!
What to do if your partner refuses to date exclusively
If your partner refuses to date exclusively, it may be time to discuss what you’re both looking for. If you’re interested in a monogamous relationship, it’s important to communicate that to your partner. They may not be aware of your feelings on the matter, and it’s important to have an open and honest conversation.
It’s also possible that your partner is simply not ready for a committed relationship. Or, they may enjoy dating multiple people and don’t want to limit themselves. In that case, it may be best to respect their wishes and move on.
Remember not to take it personally. They may have valid reasons for wanting to keep their options open. So, just let it go. This way you can heal faster and date another person who can resonate better with you.