What is the Difference Between Dating and Living Together

The main difference between dating and living together is that the level of commitment. Dating, which involves going out with someone, is usually the initial stage of a relationship. Living together, as the name suggests, is living with another person without being married.

Dating and living together are two stages in a relationship. Dating is the initial stage where two people get to know each other while going out. Living together is often the next stage of dating.

Key Areas Covered

1. What is Dating 
     – Meaning, Characteristics 
2. What is Living Together
     – Meaning, Characteristics
3. What is the Difference Between Dating and Living Together
     – Comparison of Key Differences

Key Terms

Dating, Living TogetherDifference Between Dating and Living Together - Comparison Summary

What is Dating

Dating basically refers to two people meeting socially for companionship, typically with the intention of evaluating the other’s suitability as a partner in a romantic relationship or marriage. In other words, dating involves getting to know a person for a possible romantic relationship.  Dating does not usually involve serious commitment as this is just the stage where a couple gets to know each other.

Main Difference - Dating vs Living Together

Dating allows people to freely spend time with a person without the promise of a long-term partnership or commitment. It is when they spend time together and start to get to know each other that commitment begins to grow. Since there is no commitment or a relationship between the couple, there are also fewer expectations from each other. It is as the relationship between the couple grows that expectations also start to grow. Sometimes, dating may also involve physical intimacy. When the couple goes on many dates and gets serious about each other, they may move on with the relationship. 

What is Living Together

Living together is the stage in a relationship where two people are not married but live under the same roof. They are usually engaged in a romantic or sexual relationship, in the long term. Living together is becoming increasingly common in the western world. In western societies, living together is often a natural step in dating. Many western couples also choose to live together before marriage. However, there are also people who live together because they do not believe in marriage.

Difference Between Dating and Living Together

There are many reasons for living together. The main reason being the ability to spend time together and testing out their relationship before marriage. Couples may also live together in order to save money due to the convenience of living together or the need to find housing.

However, living together may also have disadvantages. Although living together is more committed than dating, it is not as committed as marriage. Nor does it have legal power. Unmarried partners who live together, even for many years, are not entitled to legal rights enjoyed by married couples. Furthermore, most religions frown upon non-marital unions and claim that living together is a sin. Besides, more traditional societies find cohabitation as a taboo practice. 

Difference Between Dating and Living Together

Definition

Dating is getting to know a person for a possible romantic relationship, but living together is a relationship where two people are not married but live under the same roof.

Stage

Dating is the initial stage of a romantic relationship, but living together is the step that follows dating.

Commitment

Two people who are dating may be less committed and less serious, but two people living together are more serious about their relationship and have more commitment.

Expectations and Future

When a couple is only dating, there are fewer expectations and hopes for the future. However, two people living together may have more expectations.

Conclusion

In brief, dating is getting to know a person for a possible romantic relationship. Meanwhile, living together is a relationship where two people are not married but live under the same roof. Thus, This is the main difference between dating and living together

Image Courtesy:

1. “2616675” (CC0) via Pixabay
2. “Happy young couple sitting and watching TV at home” (CC0) via Pikrepo

About the Author: Hasa

Hasa has a BA degree in English, French and Translation studies. She is currently reading for a Masters degree in English. Her areas of interests include literature, language, linguistics and also food.

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