It baffles me how many women have trouble telling the difference between dating and a relationship. I was recently having a conversation with a friend, who thought she was in a relationship with a man. Her and him had only been in a relationship for a few weeks, and now she was telling me that their so called relationship was over and she could not figure out why. And even worse, with just a few weeks he had moved on to someone else. She thought they were in love. As she told her story, her story sounded like so many other women’s story. She could not tell the difference between dating and a relationship. For all those single women looking for relationship advice, I am going to tell you what the difference is. So you at least know where you stand and do not end up like my friend.
It is when a man is going out with you and he is taking you on dates. He may be dating other women. Unless he has told you that he wants to enter into an exclusive dating situation with you, I would bet that he is dating someone else.
This is when a man comes to you and ask you up front if you want to be in an exclusive, one on one, relationship with him and not date other people. Yes it is that specific. If he does not or has not said that then you are not in a relationship. If he tells you that he doesn’t want to be in a relationship but he just wants to see you then you are still NOT in a relationship. In order to be in a relationship it must be said and agreed to by both people.
The fact of the matter is that, anyone can say that they are in a relationship. However it takes true work to be in a relationship. What a relationships is not, is you finding someone, being attracted to them, and calling them your boyfriend or girlfriend. Then after a month or so, you find out you do not really like them or they do not really like you and then you jump to someone else and that person is now your boyfriend or girlfriend.
True relationships are beyond self satisfaction and getting your rocks off for the moment. True relationships can be fulfilling if you let them, I am convinced that so many relationships go bad because people do not know the difference between dating and a relationship.
Relationships are not about you. This is a common mistake that people make. They get into relationships because they want to be fulfilled, because they are looking for someone to make them better, because they want, they want, they want.
Relationships are about a mutual understanding of one another, coming together for a purpose, and enriching each others life. (Click To Tweet).
Does this make sense?
Now that we know what relationships are not, let’s answer the question
“Are we dating?”
So many women have this question, but really it is not hard. Either a man is taking you out on a date or he isn’t. If you want to know what dating a man means, then you should know that when a man really wants to date you he is doing most or all of these things.
- Asking you out on a date.
- Planning the date.
- Paying for the date.
- Picking you up for a date.
And once one date is over, he will repeat these steps. That is how you know if you are dating. And dating usually precedes a relationship.
When He Doesn’t Want A Relationship
To be in a true HEALTHY relationships both people need to have your stuff together. This does not mean that you need to be a millionaire. But it means that you should be self sufficient. For men, this means that you do not need to be living with your mother, unemployed, and no hope or direction for the future. If you are not taking care of your own responsibilities, the last thing you need is a women to add on to more responsibilities that you have. And for women, if a man is not taking care of himself, and his kids, then why would you want to be with him any way.
The bigger issue is that women do not know what to look for. (read my blog in recognizing the counterfeit here). This or that they are too hungry for a man that they are willing to overlook his shortcomings all to say that they are in a relationship. Then they are shocked a few weeks, months, or years down the line when the man disappoints them. Did they not see this coming? He was a disappointment when you meant him? Why did you think you were going to change him?
For men, why look for women who do not take care of their kids or do not have their stuff together. And even worse, have more kids by them and then you are shocked when they are a bad mother. They were a bad mother when you got with them. Did you not see the writing on the wall?
Look beyond the idea of being in a relationship and think, is this person really good for me? Will this person be a good man and potential husband or would they just be an added burden?
Yes they may look good, they may even talk good, but actions speak louder than words (see my blog here). Look at their life, their past history, look at what they do over what they say and this is what would tell you if they are a fit person to be in a relationship with or not.
In today’s world, 50% of marriage end in divorce.
This is for many reasons. But mainly it is because people do not really know who they are marrying. They are so busy putting on a facade, or looking at the physical and do not reflect on if the person fits into their long term plan.
God taught me this lesson and so now I am going to teach you.
“Sophia, why do you even give half these men the time of day? Get to really know them first. Do not pay attention to the nice words they are speaking or what they promise. Find out who they really are, and then you will find out if they are the one of you.”
A lot of relationship issues can be prevented if you refuse to get into the “bad” relationships in the first place, and that is what the dating phase is for. To determine if this man is someone you want to be with. A lot of men would learn to man up if women stop fighting one another over a sorry behind man and leave him alone to get his life together (see blog here).
If a person has a history of having a relationships of 3 months and moving on to the next. This is a red flag. Something is wrong with this. You do not need to waste the next 3 months of your life entering into a relationship with a person where you can clearly see that something is wrong here. If you have to wonder “are we dating” and the guy just brings you to his house and tries to get you drunk and has sex with you. Something is wrong here. And to answer your question NO you are not dating. He does not want a relationship, he wants sex. And if a guy says he doesn’t want a relationship, then you need to believe him, because he doesn’t. You have to then determine if you want to waste you time with him.
When you get into a relationship with someone, it is not your job to fix them and try to mold them into the person they are meant to be. Leave that up to them and God. If God cannot do it for them, then please know you certainly cannot make them into the man or women that you want them to be. You cannot make anyone love you, you cannot make anyone be in a relationship with you, and you cannot make anyone date you. Wasting your precious time and effort on someone trying to make them into a person you want to marry only to be disappointed in the end.