It may be serious or casual, straight or gay, committed or open, short-term or long-term.
At loveisrespect, we define “dating” as two (or possibly more than two! The relationship may be sexual, but it doesn’t have to be."On sort ensemble" is something you'd say in Quebec (loosely translated: "we go out together"), but no one said anything of the sort in France. Yes, the guy really planned to have me serenaded, on our first date, along the Seine River."I give advice to people who go out together," kind of worked, but most people didn't understand how or why I had a job. I lost my credit card and was two hours late, so instead we met for wine and cheese. That relationship ended because the gent couldn't communicate clearly with me, and kissed another woman at a party repeatedly knowing that I'd never take him back if he did. I'm still grateful for the experience, because it showed me just what dating was, and wasn't.One of my biggest takeaways while exploring Western Europe for six months was a conversation I had with an Austrian couple. What struck me the most was that there isn't a word in many languages for what North Americans call "dating", and that, in fact, few cultures around the world actually "date". And how to other people get to know one another before committing, having casual sex, or something else?Within a few minutes of meeting in an Irish pub, the lady of the couple asked, "So, is dating a construct of Hollywood? These were the most pressing questions my friends back home wanted to know, so I went out in discovery of answers.