Dating 2011: Are you dating or seeing?
This is part of a Tiger Print series on the dating culture.
I friend of mine was seeing a guy every weekend for over a month. They would go out at least twice a week, text frequently and talk on the phone occasionally. I asked her if they were dating. Her response, “We’re seeing each other.” Um… yeah, obviously.
It might seem like semantics dating, seeing, whatever. But there is a crucial difference between the two terms. When you are seeing someone that means that you’re likely seeing other people – or are at least open to it. There is no commitment to a relationship between the two individuals. Rather it is about experimentation; seeing if they are compatible. On the other hand, dating usually refers to some kind of committed relationship in which both parties plan to not see other people while they are together.
The tricky part comes in when the girl or guy is not sure if they are just seeing the other or if they are dating. My friend Gen is always saying, “you have to DTR – Define The Relationship.” Having that defining conversation is no easy thing. Attempt it too soon in the ‘seeing’ process and you are likely to scare the other one off. Especially today, in a world that values freedom and personal choice to an extreme extent. Then again, if you wait to have the conversation until you are already fully committed, in-over-your-head, could lead to heartbreak and rejection.
To tackle the issue from the beginning, it’s important to be open from the get-go. As soon as the relationship is getting to the stage where you are looking for more than a casual spur-of-the-moment date do as Gen says, go ahead and DTR.
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