Seventeen talked to Audrey Hope, renowned relationship therapist, about how to know the difference between dating and being in a relationship. For some, casual dating is not mutual. You don’t live together, share budget, trap into routine, argue a lot. Other times, the right words are there, but the feelings aren’t. In some sense, the exclusive stage of dating is the sweetest. Dating is tricky. Sometimes, nothing serious is spoken, but serious actions are undertaken. The idea of exclusivity while with someone may differ. It’s the period of learning someone’s likes, dislikes, hopes, dreams, goals, and future plans. If you both enjoy getting to know each other and spending time together during the exclusive dating phase, it will likely lead to the relationship phase. Exclusive dating is like the trial run for the relationship itself. There are all sorts of unspoken rules about what it means to be casually dating, exclusively dating, or in a relationship, which can make it unnecessarily confusing for figuring out where you and your (potential) partner stand.Deciding how to DTR, or "define the relationship," requires answering the most daunting question of 21st-century life: "What are we?" While relationships are based on mutual agreement and trust, dating isn't the same. Although you get a girl’s heart for sure, there is much less responsibility. You are in … [Read: 19 clear signs the two of you are ready for a serious relationship] Differentiating the dating vs. relationship status can be a little messy, depending on the situation. The status of your relationship can be confusing. In a battle of exclusive dating vs relationship, exclusivity still wins.

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