You find someone you’re really interested in, but are you dating or seeing them? In a relationship, it can become really confusing if you don’t clearly know specifically what these terms mean.
Plus, you should establish with your partner that they understand these terms to be exactly as you know these to be (otherwise #WillandJada).
Everyone has different definitions and views on terms, and things can get icky between you and your partner real soon if you don’t see eye to eye on what it means to date someone or see someone.
Luckily, I’ve got the definitive answer on what is the difference between dating vs seeing someone.
Definition of Dating
Dating is when you and someone you are interested in are going out and spending time together with the possibility of a romantic relationship that will lead to a more exclusive relationship. In a dating relationship, you are trying out someone whom you are interested in.
When you are dating someone, there will be events that we casually call “dates.” These dates are a cause for excitement, stress (#willhelikeme?), and also the development of intimacy.
The progression of dating usually leads to real signs of intimacy such as holding hands, sitting close enough to touch, leaning on each other, hugs, kisses, and finally sexual intimacy. Though, these signs of intimacy need not happen in this order for dating to happen.
Dating is a process where you find out about the person you are interested in establishing a relationship with. You ask about their life, their interests, and what they like or don’t. You also start to like them more and more (or less and less, and in this case, the dates will grow fewer and farther apart until they are #nomore).
You need not date only one person at any given time. Like taking cars for a test drive, you will likely try a few.
Therefore, you can date a couple of people without any commitment to them for a future together. You are under no obligation to exclusively date one person only until you have decided not to continue a relationship with them.
However, if you are dating other people (even online), be upfront about this.
Definition of Seeing Someone
Seeing someone is the next progression from dating.
It’s when you have dated someone, and decide you really like them and they really like you, so you both decide to start spending more time together. The intention is then to find a partner who you can choose as your life partner or who you find suitable for marriage.
Though this definition may seem rather clinical, it’s exactly what seeing someone means: you have tried them out with dating, and finding them worthy, you are now pursuing a long-term future with them.
So What Is the Difference?
It may seem like there’s little difference between dating and seeing someone, but the distinction is that dating someone is a non-committed trial period while seeing someone is a serious commitment to see how deep your relationship connection can run.
When you date someone, you put your best foot forward, keeping your real self in reserve. You dress up fancy to go to dinner with the person you are dating. They also present their best side. Essentially, you are like two peacocks flaunting your stuff to impress the other person.
Eventually, the preening and fancy display will begin to lessen as you get to know the other person. If you still want to spend time with them after several dates and you’re interested in a long-term relationship, you start seeing them more regularly.
When you see someone, you stop the pretense, and you show them your real feathers. You are no longer trying to woo them into liking you, and they also stop showing off, as you have both decided to go the long distance and see if the relationship will turn into a marriage or life-relationship.
You start discussing things like whether you want children and where you will settle down. You no longer feel like you have to impress your partner. Dinner can be takeaways on the couch in your PJs where you are both comfortable spending time together.
Deciding Between Dating and Seeing Someone
You may wonder if it’s worth dating or seeing someone. Not all dating material is seeing material. While you may like someone, it may be a case of merely liking to do the dinner and movies thing with them, but you don’t necessarily want to wash socks with them and change nappies with them down the road.
So deciding what kind of relationship you want, whether dating or seeing someone, is about how deep your connection goes.
Some relationships never move out of the dating phase into the seeing phase. And that’s okay too. It’s fun to do the movies, dinner, and fancy dressing every so often with someone you like but just don’t love.
Dating is fun.
It’s a great way to learn about the person you’re interested in.
They learn about you, and when you both feel a strong connection, you start seeing each other. While the terms dating and seeing someone are considered interchangeable, these concepts aren’t really the same.
You may date someone and never get to the point of seeing them, or you may find the first few dates very agreeable and decide to start formally and exclusively seeing each other.