Dating is a lot of fun. Depending on how you do it (with everyone approaching it differently, of course) you get to meet a boatload of people and have a lot of good times!
However, one thing is for certain, no matter how great your dating life is going… EVERYONE goes through an awkward phase of dating.
Picture the scene – or maybe you don’t have to… maybe this is you at the moment… – You’ve gone on a few dates with someone, maybe even had a sleepover a couple times and you think all is chill… Then, out of nowhere “So, we’re dating right?”… “Yeah I guess?”… “Right, well are you dating anyone else?” “Umm… been on one or two other dates”…
Them: “Oh. I thought we were dating seriously…”
You: “Oh haha… we not just hanging then?”
As always, COMMUNICATION IS KEY! However, it doesn’t help when everyone uses different terminology to define the exact same awkward phase where no one really knows what’s going on.
Are you dating someone? Are you seeing them? Are you just chilling? Are you hanging out? Are you tuning (g’day to all our Aussie readers)? Are you linking with someone (shoutout to growing up in London)?
But also, DOES IT MATTER?!
For a lot of people, it’s a definite issue. For some, it is immediately titled as “dating someone” as early on as two – three dates in, as opposed to anything less serious. For those people, the idea of being referred to as just “seeing someone” might feel like a slap in the face.
On the other hand, someone who might use “seeing someone” in passing might just be needing more time to adjust to someone or work them out, rather than wanting to play the field.
To break it down:
Dating – Implies something not confirmed as a relationship yet, but definitely getting towards something serious.
Seeing – Something very much not confirmed as a relationship and more open to becoming less serious, if need be.
Here’s some advice for those struggling with terminology:
Make sure your dating profile specifies what you might be interested in or looking for
If you’re able to specify on your profile that you are in fact looking for something serious, then it will make it easier for you to match the right people. Anyone equally looking for something serious will know to try and get your attention. Whereas those who very much aren’t will be less likely to waste yours and their time.
If you are looking for something more relaxed, let the person know who you’re dating early
It is very much ok to be looking for a very chilled and potentially non-committal relationship, but my goodness don’t string someone along! If you’ve been “seeing someone” for a while, then it may be worth having a conversation to keep up to date with how you’re both feeling about your relationship.
If you could be looking for something serious but need more time to decide
Once again, communication is your friend. You may be going through a tough spell at work or home and need to prioritise that rather than your relationship, but still want to be with the person. Just talk it through with the person you’re “seeing” and if they get it, then all is good. If they don’t… then probably best trying to find someone that does.
The awkward juggling of terms is part of the awkward phase of dating and more often than not, unnecessary. Don’t let lack of communication or using the wrong term spoil what could be a really healthy thing you and a special someone got going.