What does dating mean?

“Dating” and “seeing each other” are two of the most loosely held terms I know of. There is such a broad spectrum of what this means to different people, that there literally are polar opposite beliefs. It’s like talking about God, or money.  Some people think dating is going out with a multiple  men or women in any social or private setting.  Some think dating happens anytime a man and woman are out together alone.  I know of countless women who think that dating is about going out and having a man buy things for them like food, alcohol and purses.  I hear that work’s out rather nicely for them.  Some still, believe it means you’re sleeping with different people while others believe you’re just seeing what’s out there and spending time with the opposite sex.

In my opinion, simply spending time with the opposite sex does not constitute dating.  However, you’d be hard pressed to find a man who asked a woman out as ‘friends,’ who doesn’t have ulterior motives… if given a chance.

When a woman says shes been “seeing /dating this guy lately,” do you really think she’s talking about her fantastic new platonic relationship she has established with this man? Is she really referring to the hours of neutral phone conversation she’s been having?  Would she really be so excited about the new guy she’s seeing if all they’ve done is have coffee and spoken on the phone?

I believe people have come to purposely keep several words in our repertoire, so that we can create confusion for others or soften the sting or guilt that is usually associated with promiscuous behavior.  It’s like when we say we’re “sleeping” with someone.  We seldom mean we’re hopping under the covers and dozing off.

I believe that people who say they are dating a lot, are really in fact just exploring  their sexuality with different people in the quality and quantity that they feel most comfortable with.  I have found that some people think making out with several people its dating.  Many girls do everything but have sex, and I mean everything.  But, but, but, they don’t feel promiscuous or guilty because it wasn’t ‘that.’

So, I  put forth that when you’re dating, it generally means you are being intimate with others.  As in more than one. Because, really, what else could dating possibly mean?  When you just  go to dinner with someone, are you dating? When you just have a great conversation with a man or woman in a public place, are you dating? When you go to a concert or movie or event and do nothing more than just occupy the same space at the same time, is that really a date? Yes, by dictionary terms, it’s a “date” but it does not constitute dating. We can go on several kinds of dates, without being intimately involved with someone… A dinner date, a movie date, a lunch date, a business date… anytime you are going on any kind of outing like this with a member of the opposite sex and not being intimate, you are not dating, you are friending.

A lot of women use the phrase, “hooking up.” Ask a dozen different woman what this word means and you will get 12 different answers. For some it’s cuddling and kissing, for others it’s letting your hands explore,  and for others still it means sleeping together, I mean having sex.

So how much intimacy is appropriate when dating?  No one wants to go out with a man or woman, have an amazing sexual experience with him or her, and then discover that they did the same thing the next night with someone else.  We all want to be that one and only special one.  I am not an advocate of being promiscuous.  But, the paradox here is, dating is the way we clarify who and what we want by means of trial and error. It’s the contrast of the good and bad that helps us choose what we want.  It’s the full buffet platter.  It’s the way we figure out what we like and what we don’t like. It’s the way we learn what we will tolerate and what we won’t stand for. Dating is in fact an outstanding way to clarify what you truly want in a man or woman. In fact, the more you date the more keenly aware you are of your likes and dislikes. So how can something that helps you grow, expand, and clarify what is important to you, be wrong? It’s not.

Why then, does it feel so painful if you feel a connection with someone, and that person is continuing to explore their own full service dating buffet? I can fully acknowledge both sides here.

I think both men and women alike have a deep need to feel special and to be the only one as well as things going on in our instincts that are coming from a purely genetic level.   The caveat here is that many men would feel perfectly comfortable being with different woman but be absolutely disgusted if they’re woman is with another man.

But, can you ever say to someone that you were so happy to be with them, that they’re so special to you, if they’re the only person you’ve ever been with and the only thing you’ve known?   How can you know what you don’t know? How can you even know what it’s like to be kissed well if you only had a handful of kisses, or worse yet, attract a certain type of man or woman into your life who has a certain style or way… such as being aggressive, or supersensitive, or too sweet, or too strong.

I think having sex with someone can be part of the dating process. Better said, it’s part of the clarification process to clarify our chemistry, pheromones, way of touching and way of loving.  What about the way they touch? Some people don’t like to be touched and just aren’t ‘touchy’ people. Others find cuddling and intimacy to be the crux of a good relationship.  Sometimes someones method of kissing, or their love strategies are so different they are incompatible… but they really like each other.

I think it’s important to really have a great, beautiful, connected experience to see if there is chemistry with another person. And in most cases, you really don’t know how compatible you are until you have experienced intimacy on more than a handful of occasions.  Isn’t it important to know if that type of chemistry is there or not before you get too involved?

Many say sex isn’t the most important thing.  In a relationship, it’s about love, trust, commitment,  the person, their personality traits. And I could not agree more… if you’re looking for a new best friend. And certainly those beautiful qualities have to be there to make a relationship work.  But what’s the one and only thing that differentiates a friend from a boyfriend? A female friend from a wife or girlfriend?  It’s the fact that you do sexy stuff together! You can have all kinds of intimacy with a platonic friends.  If you really go inside yourself you may discover that your closest friends know more about you than your own husband or wife.  You can do anything with your friends: grow close with them, share your deepest darkest secrets with them, tell them everything… but if you’re not having sex, that person is not your partner. And if you’re not being deeply fulfilled in the sensual reallm with your “one,” then why would you want to choose them as a  monogamous partner in the first place?

Pause.

Let me know what you think in the comments below!

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