I’m dating a woman now who, evidently, is unaware of it – Garry Shandling
How do you define a date? How do you define dating? As a dating coach I’m often asked what it truly means to be dating someone.
When you’re in mutual agreement about when you spend time together on a somewhat regular basis, that’s dating for the most part.
You might lack commitment and the physical interactions may be limited but its dating none the less. What if there is only physical intimacy but you never meet in public places or have contact outside of face to face meetings? That’s when the definitions start to get blurred.
When it comes to dating it’s important to have a mutual agreement on the basic elements of the relationships.
It’s important that you can regularly count on seeing the person you’re dating when you expect to. Of course there may be schedule conflicts but dating is about a mutual agreement to see each other. If one person, you, is jumping at another’s beckon call, that is not dating. If you’re at the mercy of another’s fancy of when they will see you and your requests for meetings are routinely denied then you’re not dating. Even if you’re consistently sleeping together, unless you have a say of when these rendezvouses occur then you are not dating.
If you’re only texting then you aren’t really dating. Many will argue that the modern world allows for textual relationships but that’s a cop out. If they aren’t calling you then you aren’t really dating.
Our senses play a huge role in our attraction to another person. Auditory stimulation is important in building attachment in dating. Without phone calls you’re missing an important element of connection. Not only should you be communicating openly via calls and texts but it should also be on a consistent basis.
3. Physical Contact
Chemistry plays an important part of building a relationship. In dating, if your courtship lacks physical touch then you are not dating.
Religious beliefs aside there is a level of comfort that has to be established before you can comfortably show another person affection. If that comfort level is not established and you’re not creating physical intimacy such as hand holding, hugging, kissing and general closeness then you are not dating. Physical touch can separate a friendship from a courtship. It builds attachment. If someone is avoiding touching you then they’re keeping the possibility of attachment at bay either for their sake or yours.
Of course this is an overly simple characterization of what dating is. The reality of real courtship is the ability to get what you want out of it without waiting to be chosen or given permission by someone else.
Dating seems more confusing today than ever before because we settle for less than what we want. We take the crumbs in hopes that it will lead to the loaf and it hardly ever does. If you don’t realize that dating is deeper than just spending time together then you’ll likely get sucked into a meaningless relationship.
Dating is about getting to know someone and them getting to know you. It’s an investment of time. Dating is about feeling good about yourself when you’re with someone and them feeling good in return. It’s a mutual exchange of equal value effort, time and interest. Lastly, dating is about finding a match that allows you to express yourself in a positive way. You shouldn’t walk on eggshells of feel like you have to change or be different. The right person helps you to realize your full potential as a partner.
If you have to be anything less in your relationships then you’re dating all wrong.
The most important thing to remember about dating is that if you aren’t getting the results you want there is a better way to go about it. Learn what it is then try again.
I hope this was helpful.