Relationships 101

What does dating mean to a woman?

Woman on date

Dating from a woman’s point of view could be the beginning of one of the most romantic and fulfilling experiences in her life. But many times, it could even be a recipe for disaster since it involves two individuals with different thought processes or motives. A woman may get too involved or attached emotionally in the beginning only to find out that a guy is not that much interested in her. To avoid such a heartbreak and lead the dating phase successfully into a courtship, here are a few dating dynamics women need to understand and use it to their own advantage.

Dating dynamics for women

Dating is considered as a stepping-stone to a romantic relationship. In its initial stages, it is seen as a form of courtship where two people with a mutual attraction meet casually. They may try to understand each other’s personality, or sometimes with a view to assess each other as a prospect for a more intimate relationship in the future. For many youngsters, the concept is a great way to add colour to their social life.

girl on date
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Dating is a relatively recent social phenomenon that has gained equal prevalence and importance in the life of a woman. In this liberal society, dating for woman is no longer seen with the frowned eyes, as a taboo. Instead, it is fairly normal for a woman to meet the guy and find out if he fits the bill of her expectations or not. Her gut feeling and emotional compatibility with the man is considered the most important, even in the arranged matches.

Related reading: 10 fab dresses you should wear on your first date

Dating v/s Relationship

It has often been said that dating leads to a successful relationship. So, why are they pitted against each other? This is done to clarify the dating vs relationship definition dynamics for the understanding of many women like you. So, let’s get going and find out how different both are.

  1. Dating is casual whereas relationship is driven by commitment
    Yes! Commitment is the basic parameter that differentiates between a relationship or a casual dating. Ladies, you can’t just rush into a commitment wave with a man you met for like two-three times. Dating phase just introduces both of you to each other. Over a period of time, you can mutually decide to move into a commitment space
  2. Exclusivity is ‘rare’ in dating, but ‘common’ in a relationship
    Exclusivity is a thin-line to ascertain whether a guy is serious about you or not. Most women avoid meeting a number of guys at the same time, whereas dating rules for men differ strongly. They may meet many women frequently to find out the right ‘one’. This makes ‘exclusivity’ a major denominator in differentiating dating phase with a relationship.So, if you and your man are exclusively bound by a mutual commitment of seeing each other, then this is a stable way of being in a relationship. But, if any one of them is having frequent casual flings, or is not committed to the date exclusively, then the relationship may or may not have a future
  3. Dating is ‘individual’ whereas relationship is ‘mutual’
    Dating is all about I, me, myself where you will just focus on your expectations. Your conversations with the date are more about your career, education, family, etc. But once it graduates in a relationship, all the ‘I’s become the composite ‘We’. You soon find yourself in a conversation about mutual future goals and settling the compatibility quotient if you are in a relationship zone. In short, both of the sweethearts are aligned to be on the same page in a relationship, whereas dating phases reveals a dichotomy between both the personalities
  4. Dating is pretentious, but a relationship is real
    We all know dating is all about dressing your best and casting great first impressions, but trust us, real love transcends beyond good looks. If your anxiety in his presence is over, and you are comfortable with him in conduct, then this shows your comfort level with him. You are not shy about your real self in his presence. This ‘real’ zone is what makes up for a committed relationship
  5. Dating is independence, whereas relationship is reliance
    While dating, you value your independence and take your decisions alone. You are quite vocal about your views and opinions as well. Even in the times of need, you still hesitate whether he would turn up or not. That doubt in depending on him is what defines the ‘dating’ phase. You both are still exploring your compatibility with each other, and may/may not be able to trust each other completely.But while in a relationship, you seek opinions of your partner actively and even ask him to help you without any hesitation. You know he will be there when you need him. This is the beginning of a healthy couple relationship

How do women get a date?

There are many ways to get a date. The most common is to meet through mutual friends or a common social circle. This gives a sense of security to a woman about his background. While this could be a safe way to date, there is a word of caution. Don’t expect too much from your ‘date’ in the beginning, else it could even spoil your friendship with the mutual friends.

online dating
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Related reading: How to date on Tinder?

Online dating is also a thriving meeting place for potential dates in India. There are numerous free dating sites where one can browse through a number of profiles and select a perfect date based on common preferences. Many women have found their right partners while dating online. For example, while surfing dating sites where you can chat free of cost, you might discover someone who loves the same books that you do. Blind dates are also a popular way to find someone, where a friend sets you up with a potential partner.

What do women look for in a date?

Women may look like mysteries, but they are crystal clear on their expectations from a date or a relationship. Their realistic expectations ease out the complications in dating. Whether its communication or compatibility, independence or indulgence, their parameters are always clear in the dating dynamics. Some of the much-desired date attributes are enlisted below.

  1. Prefer go-getters: Women like confident men who are upfront in their words and know what they want and how. Brooding type of men may attract your attention, but again to engage and know you further, he should initiate real conversations. If he doesn’t do that more often, then this is a sign he may not be as much into a relationship as you are
  2. Loyalty matters: ‘One woman man’ gives you the much-needed security, peace of mind and relief from relationship anxieties. In the initial dating phase, you may take cues from his behaviour and body language to ascertain his loyalty. If he is a great listener, keeps your secrets, gives you full-time attention and takes initiatives to stay in touch, then he definitely is a loyal partner
  3. Value honesty: Honesty is synonymous with the commitment for many women like you. In fact, many of you value it more than that of his good looks and attractive personality. So, honest conversations between a couple around relationship expectations will definitely strengthen your relationship in the long run
  4. Respect your views: As a modern, independent woman; you expect your date to be respectful of your time, values and opinions. Simple gestures like turning up for a date on time, or splitting the bills/letting you pick up the check reflect his respect for you in many times. Even in the times of disagreement, such a gentleman can present his views graciously to avoid hurting you
  5. Brings consistency to life: Consistency is what you value in your date and any difference in his behaviour, conversations or personality could raise doubts in your mind against his intentions. So, try to find out if he is genuine in his conduct and is consistent in his words and deeds before committing to him in a relationship

Dating rules for women

There are no fixed rules of dating, and the traditions vary from country to country. In Western countries, dating is widely prevalent and accepted, whereas in some countries of the Middle East dating is not socially accepted. In some cultures, it is more common for the man to ask a woman out, though the reverse is also not uncommon. Women in India are quite vocal and assertive about their views and expectations these days. Some of them even take an initiative and ask a man they like for a date which is fairly a normal experience these days. From meeting a number of dates to group hangouts, modern women like you are ready to make the right proactive choices.

Related reading: Best online dating advice

dating rules
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  • While trying your hand in dating and relationships, a woman like you may have a lot of choices. You may meet a lot of men while dating. The phase might test your patience as well. Accept that finding a ‘perfect partner’ could take a lot of your time and energy. And then take charge of the dating process
  • Contrary to the popular culture, a lady can definitely ask a man for a date. This can make him more interested in you
  • Don’t go for a date with great expectations in mind. Your potential date may or may not be the man of your dreams. So, keep your expectations low and go with the flow during this casual meeting set-up
  • While being on a date, remember checking out his body language. Is he checking you out or is a decent guy? Does he make a confident eye contact? Is he conversing with you actively or just surrendering to it with hmmm’s or ya’s! Keep your observation game strong to find out whether this ‘date’ holds promise or not
  • Expecting him to pay the bills is so old-fashioned. Many of you are financially independent these days and can offer to split the check comfortably. But do you know, this gesture will also ensure that you are not just looking for a date to ‘finance’ your lifestyle
  • Wait to see how he follows up after a date. Did he call or message you next day after the date? If not, then chuck him out of your list

If you start seeing him regularly, then understand that the dating is just a beginning and it will take considerable time to know the other person. ‘Going slow’ with the process may help you mature the relationship with great promise.

Don’t invest your heart and soul during this time. First find out whether he is ready to commit or not. Our Bonobology relationship experts suggest you to identify whether you are in a consistent, reliable and a trusted zone with him or not. If yes is the answer, then congratulations! You have successfully crossed the bridge between dating and a relationship. This clarity in the initial dating may well translate into a solid couple relationship that is ready to face all the major challenges.


Published in Relationships 101

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