Monday, 9 February 2015

The differences between dating, and being in a relationship.

At one time, the dating world was simple – or so I’ve been lead to believe.
A man would see a woman at the local church social and introduce himself by saying something like, “It’s nice to meet you” or “You’re the prettiest girl I have ever seen.” They would agree to go out on a date. He would pick her up at her house, meet her parents, and promise to have her home early. He would open doors for her, pay for the bill, and if he was lucky, he might cop a feel. They would immediately become exclusive, and one year later they would marry.
Fast forward 50 years, and things have definitely changed a bit!
For example, in today’s world, an introduction occurs when a woman, whose Tinder profile picture is of her and her best friend on a beach in tiny bikinis posing with duck face lips, swipes right and is matched to a man, whose picture is of him posing shirtless, casually leaning against his step-father’s brand new sports car.
He sends her a message in their private Tinder chatroom, something charming like, “ur hawt! R u the blond? If not NBD”. She says, “I am, thanks!!” They check each other out on Instagram, to make sure they look the way they’ve advertised, and then finally exchange numbers.
No calls happen though. No meeting of the parents, just a few texts that lead to drinks at The Keg, followed by coitus in his actual car, a beat-up Toyota.
Perhaps they meet again, maybe they bang a few more times, but that’s all this becomes – a real and common outcome in our new swipe right dating world.
Many men and women struggle to acclimate into today’s dating world. This is especially true for the ones getting out of a long-term relationship or recently divorced.
How could they not?
The dating world they knew has died, leading to the big bang for the one that now exists, while they were changing diapers and falling out of love.
So for all the traditionalists and newly single people out there looking to make sense of what is and what isn’t in the new dating world, here are a few pointers to help you understand.
Dating does not mean you are in a relationship.
This can be confusing.
Much like my mom struggling to understand how the word ‘stupid’ can mean ‘good’, the definition for ‘dating’ has also changed.
For example, people would commonly say they are dating to describe someone they were in an exclusive relationship with, as in “I’m dating (insert name here), they’re my girlfriend/boyfriend.”
Now the word dating means exactly as it sounds.
You go out with this person on dates, you may even have casual sex, but you are not exclusive to each other, and that means they are allowed to date and sleep with other people, just as you are.
Furthermore, if you are dating someone and suddenly you start meeting up more than once a week, don’t assume that makes you exclusive. This is something many people get tripped up about and are shocked to find out that they are not in a monogamous relationship.
Monogamous relationships only exist after the following happens:
-       A conversation in person about being exclusive happens or both parties agree to it
-       All dating sites that both parties are involved in are deleted or deactivated
-       A photo of both parties together clearly as a couple appears on Facebook or Instagram
The significance of a photo is hard for some to understand, but trust me when I say it’s important. The picture is like a bat-signal to your former single dating partners letting them know that you are off the market.
I hope this clears up any future misunderstandings about when you’re in a relationship, and when you’re just dating.

If you have any other questions, email me or tweet me at @MrMooreSays, I promise to answer them all.