Dating-vs-Relationship digital hope

Dating VS Relationship: What’s the difference and significance?

I guess we can all understand when I say that

Relationships are only as good as our compatibility with our partners”


If you have been in love as much as I have, you would know that relationships require a lot more than love to survive

On the other hand dating is very exciting and fun. It doesn’t require the emotional attachment and effort that a relationship requires and it doesn’t hurt us or wound us in anyway even if things go South. 

So, If you are wondering which is better for you, you are in the right place

What does it mean to be dating? 

We all know what dating is right? But there are reports that people have very different ideas on what they consider a date

A date could potentially mean these:

  • Meetups :  two strangers having a casual meet up 
  • Hookups: Some people even call hookups and meetups with sexual intention as casual dates
  • Serious date : It could mean two very interested people getting to know each other with hopes of falling in love and building a future together

Is dating considered serious?

No. Irrespective of how much you like and value the person you are dating, unless you have a conversation with them about this and make it official, dating is generally not considered serious.

Not serious doesnt mean its always casual. There are people who date exclusively but that’s their choice as they choose to stay exclusive and see where things go.

What does it mean to be in a relationship? 

We might be wondering, what does it exactly mean to be in a relationship? 

When the bond between two romantic partners gets stronger and the thing they have grows more deep and emotional and intimate, there will come a point where they confess their feelings to each other and decide that they want to officially be in a relationship

Now again, I didn’t use the word love before since love is different for different people. Let’s just say when the feelings you have for your partner are strong enough for you to start imagining a life with them and actually give it a shot. 

Is love an essential factor to be in a relationship?

The topic of love is complicated and certain people would hesitate to use the word love. 

The fact that your partner wants to give you a serious shot and try and keep you as long as possible itself means their feelings for you are strong and they are probably in love with you.

What is the difference between a relationship and a serious relationship?

There is no difference between these two. People might come up with their own ideologies on how slow or fast they want to progress with their partner romantically and that’s when these terms came into picture.

If you are committed to your partner in a relationship, that itself means what you have is precious and you are serious about it

What are open relationships and are they worth it?

Open relationships are quite interesting. This is a kind of bond where the partners are allowed to date and be with other people without affecting what they have in between them.

Exclusivity is a core part of a relationship and most of us get possessive with the person that we are in a romantic relationship with. 

Romantic love often comes with a possessive attachment

But again, love is not universal

It’s different for different people

And we have to respect that.

Related Article : How to move on from a breakup | In-depth guide

Dating Vs Relationship:

Differences Between Dating and relationships:


This is the most obvious difference that separates dating and relationships. 

One can date multiple partners at the same time but one cannot be in an emotionally invested relationship with multiple people. 

If they can, then it’s not a serious relationship is it? 

Dating can get exclusive as time progresses but if someone says ” We are just dating” It usually means it hasn’t gotten exclusive yet. 

Love and Meaning: Relationships

What one can get out of a relationship is so much more than what one could get out of dating someone. 

No matter how young and casual and totally unready we are, every human aches to be loved. 

Being in love can satisfy us in ways that nothing else in life can, and fulfil us and gives meaning and content in life. 

RELATED BLOGS : Relationship Building activities

A world of experience : Dating

But what one can get out of dating is also very interesting. Dating is exciting and fun. We get to meet a lot of interesting and diverse groups of people that we are attracted towards. 

The possibilities in dating are endless. Every day is a new experience. People can really surprise us and blow our minds. 

Vulnerability and Pain 

Ahhh here’s the world we millenials hate! 

While relationships are so much more satisfying and meaningful,  vulnerability is a core part of it. 

To connect with a person on an intimate and deep level, one needs to open up and be vulnerable. 

And being vulnerable itself brings with it a set of problems and issues that repel people from jumping into a relationship. 

When we fall in love with a wrong person, the toxicity of the relationship can leave scars that could potentially haunt us for the rest of our lives. Breakups can be very hurtful and it takes months to years for us to move on from the person we loved. 

So one needs to take a risk and trust the person enough before they start a serious relationship and let their feelings grow more intimate and deep. 

Whereas dating doesn’t take vulnerability and oftentimes people move on from their dating partners easily. 


The excitement level that one experiences in dating is so much more than being in a relationship. 

Relationships are exciting too and can be filled with romance and love but the excitement of a good first date always beats a normal day in a relationship. 

The amazing fact is we can have multiple first dates in a single day or week or whenever we want, provided we know how to secure a decent date. 

I have personally felt that dating around is very exciting and fun and relationships are much more satisfying and meaningful. 

Freedom ( Lack of dependence) 

While people are independent and free even when they are in a relationship, we need to recognize that there is a a level of emotional dependence in it too. 

The level of freedom that one has in a relationship completely depends on their partner and the dynamics of their relationship. 

But even in a very healthy relationship, people have to make life decisions as a team because their life and their partners life can be very intertwined

The insecurity and intimacy might go down in a long distance relationship and hence people usually don’t move far away.

While the people who date don’t have any problems at all. They are free to explore this planet and with whatever they want. 

In relationships, partners often influence a lot of things from choosing what to wear to choosing who to hang out with to the mood we are in. 

These are termed toxic relationships if it crosses a line and is done without reason. 


While alot of people who are new to relationships often think that their love for their partner is more than enough for the relationship to last, it often takes effort. 

Effort from both partners would be required to make sure that they beat the odds and the problems that the relationship could potentially face in the coming future. 

Whereas the kind of effort dating takes is very different ( attention and game) and is often nothing when compared to efforts required in a long lasting relationship. 


For people in relationships, their partners would have certain expectations from us and we would have expectations from them.

From good morning texts, to random video calls and love making session and some deeper expectations like being there for them in the good and bad times and be a really good supportive partner.

Some call it “Expectations” but in love, these become things that we “desire” to fo rather than putting it as things “expected” from us

Whereas expectations among dating partners are not much atall. There might be small things like pickthem up for a date and probably pay if the other person is running short and treat them with respect and try to be completely honest.

When to move from casual dates into a serious relationship? 

This is a puzzle that a lot of us face especially if we have been through a breakup before. 

The main reason people date is to make sure that the person they are with is actually the kind of person they potentially want to spend the rest of their lives with. Right? 

But the idea of commitment and “long term relationship” Has been taking a hit among the millennials. 

These are the things to look for in your partner before you know if you want to take it to the next stage :

The way you feel : 

This is where you have to be absolutely honest with yourself. How do you feel when you are with your partner? 

Do you feel safe? Do you feel loved? And in love? Do you get those butterflies when they are around? 


If there are trust issues then the relationship will not last. It is very important that we trust our partner completely before getting into a serious relationship. 

And wasn’t that the point of dating? To build trust over time? 


Compatibility is something that people often overlook. 

Wait but without compatibility how would people get along? 

Well here’s the thing. If we are into someone the chances are we like them for the person that they are and probably the way they look among other things. 

But there are some deeper aspects that needs to be addressed before taking the big step. One needs to talk about their priorities in lives, their dreams and their deal breakers. 

Let’s say for instance your dreams would give you a lifestyle that is totally different from the one that your partner seeks or desires. Or if you want kids and they are not willing to. These can become big issues in the future. 


This could also be the difference between a healthy and a toxic relationship

Again one needs to be absolutely 

It’s time for the big question : 

Can you imagine living a life in which your partner is not a part of? 

If you can’t then it’s a clear answer that you need to move into this relationship

If it’s not, then take some more time. Sometimes it’s not meant to be. 

Interesting facts about dating:

  • People usually wait for 6-8 dates before they decide to become exclusive
  • One in three teenagers have experienced violence in dating
  • 44% members or from the US have children
  • 39% of online dating ends up in a relationship

Follow Us on Social Media

Interesting facts about relationships:

  • Being in love creates the same neurological response identical to that of cocaine
  • Looking at a photo of a beloved can actually help with physical pain
  • Hand holding and kissing a partner we are in love with reduces blood pressure severely and it is possible for the women to reach orgasm just through kissing. 
  • The happiest relationships and marriages happens between best friends. 
  • The ‘in love phrase lasts for about an year
  • Studies have shown that when people meet in dangerous situations are more likely to fall in love


Written by Sai Subramaniam

Sai has over 4 years experience writing about mental health and productivity. He shares his thoughts about love, life and business in this blog. His goal is to help people become the best version of themselves and is guided by experts in the psychology and mental health field to help educate everyone about lifestyle and productivity

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.