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What Does ‘Dating’ Actually Mean? We Asked 6 Staffers And Got 6 Different Answers!

We asked six staffers to define “dating” and they couldn’t agree on one common definition. So, what’s yours?

Experience Comes With Age
By Charli Penn · November 16, 2015

Anslem, 38, Digital Content Director
Status: Married He Says: “‘Dating’ to me is when two people are seeing each other fairly regular. They’re going on dates weekly or biweekly and it’s almost an unwritten rule that you’ll see each other or talk to each other frequently. Depending on the amount of time they’ve been dating, they may or may not be intimate (but highly likely if they’re “dating”) and while it’s not BF/GF yet, people know they are an item and heading in that direction.”

Dominique Hobdy, 25, Freelance Beauty Producer/Fashion Writer
Status: In a Relationship for 1.5 Yrs. She Says: “Dating is spending time with someone you're romantically interested in with the purpose of getting to know them. I think I'm still dating my boyfriend. I think it's important to continue to date once you're married or even committed. You know you're dating when you're spending your time with someone on a regular basis; not to be confused with exclusively dating. There shouldn't really be any guesswork there."

Watch 4 NYC Ladies Go On Blind Dates Arranged By ESSENCE!

Deena, 31, Hair and Beauty Editor
Status: In a Relationship She Says: “Dating is actively pursuing or courting someone with the intention of being together, whether that be marriage or another form of long-term commitment. I don't think dating should have a definitive end. But, you're NOT dating if you're not romantically interested and have no interest in being with the other person.”

Watch 4 NYC Ladies Go On Blind Dates Arranged By ESSENCE!

Name: Joslyn, 31, Photo Editor
Status: Newlywed She Says: “Dating is when two people agree they enjoy each other's company, are seeing each other regularly (exclusively or with certain terms in place) and will claim one another in public. You're no longer dating if you stop hanging out or claiming one another in public, stop talking or only see each other to hookup. I know I'm dating someone if we start holding hands in public. It may sound silly, but it's a big deal to me to display closeness for all to see. The first time my husband reached for my hand I knew we were in business. You know you’re not dating someone if he introduces you as his ‘friend’ or ‘homie’ or comes to you for dating advice.”

Watch 4 NYC Ladies Go On Blind Dates Arranged By ESSENCE!

Virginia, 25, Assistant Digital Beauty Editor
Status: In a relationship for 4 years She Says: “I use ‘dating’ and ‘in a relationship’ interchangeably. I think there's an exclusivity attached to dating that is whispered. Otherwise, you're just hanging out with a ‘no strings attached’ policy. There's an implication of romance and an acknowledgement that we've agreed to claim one another, whether publicly or privately, and be exclusive. Though you continue to go on date, you stop 'dating' once you are married, but this could also include the period of engagement. It is possible for two people to be dating with two very different intentions, one of which could be the proposed longevity of the relationship.”

Watch 4 NYC Ladies Go On Blind Dates Arranged By ESSENCE!

Taylor Lewis, 24, Editorial Assistant
Status: In a relationship for 1.5 yrs. She Says: “In my eyes, the concept of ‘dating’ is something that comes with age. Until I graduated college, when I was interested in a guy, we were simply ‘talking’ or ‘hanging out.’ However, after I graduated, I started going on intentional dates. And when I met my boyfriend, we dated for six weeks (and I don't mean ‘Netflix and chill’; I mean dinner dates, museum dates, movies dates, etc.) before we began calling ourselves a couple. I don't consider us to be ‘dating’ anymore. The day he asked me to be his girlfriend was the day we entered our next phase. I don't have a verb for it; I simply say that we are in a relationship. But when we talk about our future, we agree that it's important to never lose the magic that comes with dating.

Watch 4 Single Ladies In NYC Go On Blind Dates ESSENCE Arranged!