What is Dating All About?

A man and Woman going on a boat ride in a river inside forest

The number of people getting into dating has been increasing lately. It was purely a western thing earlier. Now it’s spreading around the world. However, many are still confused about its real definition.

When you ask somebody “what is dating?”, you get different answers. It’s mainly because the term itself is confusing. From hanging out together to hooking up or meeting often to know each other, there are many meanings to the term dating.

What is Dating- The Real Definition

The actual definition of dating refers to a period where two people are socially connected to know more about each other. It’s more like seeing somebody exclusively to find out if they both are compatible to get into commitment – long term relationship or marriage.

On the other hand, going on dates is also called dating – casual dating. Here, a date is simply meeting or hanging out or hooking up with someone. Whether or not they meet again is doubtful here. But in many cases, a casual date can lead to serious dating and relationships too.

What are the Types?

Dating for Fun

Goal – Enjoyment

When you are dating somebody with no strings attached, you are into it just for fun but nothing else. Everybody needs somebody’s company that they can enjoy. It’s totally fine as long as both of you are expecting the same out of your relationship. There are no pressures or demands involved in this as both of you are not serious about it.

Dating with Purpose

Goal – Knowledge

You are dating someone with a purpose means you are dating to find where the relationship will lead to. However, dating with purpose can also include speed dating, online dating, and blind dates.

You are a little deeper here compared to dating for fun. You talk deeper – your future goals, your idea of an ideal marriage, how many kids you want, your family background and more.

Though it may not lead to a real relationship, it will give you a chance to let the other person know what you are expecting out of your future relationship. There is a chance of you both getting into the serious side of dating later.

Dating for Marriage

Goal – Deciding Yes or No for Marriage

As the name says, you both are dating intending to know your compatibility for marriage. The perfect term for this stage of the relationship is courtship. It may not necessarily be a public affair that involves community and family. However, you will be in an exclusive relationship here.

As time passes by, you will introduce your date to the other important people in your life like – parents, siblings, extended family, friends, and others. There are lots of ways that decide if you both are marriage ready – you can try living together, go on frequent vacations, seek counselling and so on.

Dating within Marriage

Goal – Growing together

Dating is an ongoing process even after the wedding. This is different from pre-wedding dating. You are already committed for the long-term, almost like forever. Therefore, you have to work on nurturing and growing the relationship.

Satisfaction is something that doesn’t happen naturally in a marriage. You need to take time and put effort into it.

So, dating after marriage is very essential. It gives you both an exclusive personal time and space. This way, you both get the attention you have been looking for. This is the perfect time to talk about things that happened recently in your life, take important decisions, observe how your relationship is going on, have fun and more. Many marriages fail mainly due to a lack of personal time and space.

Woman sitting on a man lap watching a river view. Both spending time together

Dating outside Marriage

Goal – To experience the missing elements of the marriage

There are times when you are happily married, things go well for some time and suddenly you both lose interest in each other. Sometimes, you try to patch up, and things work well again.

However, sometimes, nothing gets back into place how much ever you try. Maybe you both have already lost the magic forever, and the compatibility is no more working well.
In this case, either of you or both of you decide to start looking for someone for emotional or physical connection.

In most cases, the married couple still stays together as wife and husband for some reasons such as making their kids happy, for the sake of society and family, and so on. Many studies reveal that extramarital dating is happening at a very significant level around the world.

There are different reasons for different people to get into dating – they may be looking for friends with benefits, simple companionship or serious commitment or maybe they don’t have any goal at all.

Dating after Divorce

Goal – It can include any of the above 4 goals.

Unfortunately, not all marriages work well. Some lead to separation and divorce. When you start dating someone after a failed marriage, you don’t feel comfortable with the dating concept anymore like before the wedding, because you were once committed to somebody for a while and now you have lost them. By now, you usually stop trusting in the concept of dating and relationships.

When you are dating after separation or divorce, you are more likely to see your relationship with much more patience and diligence to get that attention you lost in your previous marriage. Here, you will take more time than to get into the commitment stage.

Top Romantic Date Ideas

It can be your first date or you are already into dating, going on a date is always amazing. Following are some of the romantic date ideas. You can choose one depending on your interest and comfort zone.

  • Candle Light Dinner Date – Looking at each other while having dinner in a dim candlelight is something any person would love. Another reason that made candlelight dinners so popular is, maybe, because you look more elegant and romantic in candlelight.
  • Coffee Date – Coffee and conversation always go hand in hand. Personally, this is my favorite. When you get no words to start the conversation, you can start sipping your coffee, and gradually get into the comfort of talking.
  • Movie Date – Going to movie date is an ideal first date only if two of you are introverts or need time to feel comfortable talking to new people. As you watch the movie, not only will you enjoy it together but also get a topic to talk about.
  • Beach Date – When you both prefer going little on the casual side, beach date is the perfect one. The feeling you get when you both are walking on the sand, holding hands and listening to the waves is speechless.
  • Impromptu Date – You don’t always need to plan a date. Depending on your date’s comfort, you can just call them and meet up promptly without prior intimation. Unplanned meetups are always amazing. Here, you can expect things falling into place on their own.
  • Double Date – You can plan going out on a date with another couple that you know for a while. By talking couple to couple about love and relationships, you celebrate your life. Additionally, you get a chance to know about how other couples move together, their romantic sense, gestures and more.
  • Picnic Date – Spending quality time outdoors with your loved ones is a feel-good moment. You can plan it for a whole day. It gives you ample time to know about each other.
  • Long Drive Date – Going on a long drive with your date is an instant mood lifter for you both. Long drives give positive vibes in general too. Playing your favorite music in the background is an added romance here.
  • Music Concert Date – Yes, some people die for music. Sometimes, they get their type of person as a date. Lucky, they are. If you are one of them, a music concert is a perfect date for you. You are cheering, making the moves together, holding hands and enjoying the whole moment. It gets you both into a super good mood that you will start enjoying each other’s company instantly.
  • Special Moment Date – You can plan a date to celebrate a special occasion like your birthday or their birthday, Valentine’s Day or any such. Occasions are a perfect time to plan an exciting moment. It makes the special moments more special.
  • Travel Date – Take a break from your routine, pack your bags and take off to a beautiful place that you have never been. Experiencing new attractions together is so romantic and lively. You will never feel bored together as you keep exploring.
  • Sports Date – Just like the Concert Date, you can go on a sports date too if you are a sports lover. You can both cheer up and go wild. The energy gives you positive vibes.
  • Friends Date – Call your friends, gather them, have a barbeque and arrange things as a couple to celebrate your togetherness in their presence.
  • Stay-at-Home Date – Nothing else can beat this one. Of course you both need to be in a complete comfort zone here. Having us-time is amazing. Lock yourself at home, turn off the gadgets, cook together and eat, watch a movie, turn on the music and dance, and do anything you both wish to. It’s your private space.
Man and Woman over a candle light dinner

Above all are just some of the date ideas I am aware of. It’s all about your creativity, likes, interests, and hobbies. Some go on trekking too on their date. So, plan it interestingly to impress your date.

Final Words

Many people fail in their relationship because they both were actually looking for two different things and somehow fell into something they never expected to be in.

Overall, it’s very important to know a little bit about the concept, dating, before you get into a relationship. It offers a clear idea of which type is suitable for you both depending on your likes, interests, hobbies, lifestyle and more. Happy Dating!

Please feel free to contact me if you have anything more to add to this list. I will review and add them.

Thank you!

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