Dating vs Talking: What’s The Difference?

Have you wondered what the difference between dating and just talking is? We did too, so we decided to dedicate an article explaining the two definitions. 

Relationships are complicated more often than not it seems, but they all start the same way: by talking. This term is thrown around loosely nowadays, yet means many things. If you’ve just started talking with someone and see a potential relationship down the road, then it could be a possibility that you’re only talking — for now.

After the “talking” phase goes on for a while, though, you may both decide to make it official by dating. This is where a bit more commitment comes into the equation, taking away your opportunity to try other people like you could while simply talking with someone.

These terms can be a little confusing sometimes, at least in terms of deciding where you’re at on the spectrum. This is why we’ve created this explanation guide, to make it just a little easier to understand your position in the relationship. 

Dating vs Talking: What’s The Difference?

Dating Someone

What is Dating?

dating vs talking

The term dating has such a broad spectrum in the definition. Some are very serious about this early phase, while others just play around until the next person catches their eye. Dating gives each person a chance to get to know each other, to understand their ambitions. It’s sort of a try-out period to see if you’d both be a good fit for each other.

A perfect example of this is the typical date. This usually consists of meeting up at a local coffee shop or movie theater, and talking to each other about their hobbies, academics, careers and more. It also gives them both the opportunity to showcase their best self, to have fun and explore each other.

It’s usually low-key most times, and both individuals typically do not introduce each other to their families and friends in the very beginning. It’s an intense, yet relaxed style of relationship. It’s reasonable to think of this type of relationship as a temporary state, at least during the first few dates.

Common Dating Activities?

As mentioned before, dating is normally more low-key and not so serious, so it’s typical for them to want to have an abundance of fun. They’d likely exchange ideas and agree to meet at a certain location. This meet allows them both to get to know each other.

Typical popular dating activities range from visiting the beach, a movie theater, comedy club or other fun activities, like the zoo. There isn’t any particular requirement as to what is recommended, but it should ideally be something both parties enjoy.

You’ll notice that these activities are short in nature, and this is because the dating stage is meant to be temporary and not last forever. They need to quickly distinguish if they’re right for each other, hence the fun, yet short activities. 

What Does Talking Really Mean?

What is Talking?

Talking is typically what happens before they both consider dating. It’s the discrete type of deal where even though there may be a spark going on, it’s probably not enough to call for an actual relationship just yet. During this time, they may mention the person they’re talking to, to a friend or two.

A common exchange during this time is usually just talk of each other’s hobbies, careers, or any other aspects that are relevant to the conversation. FaceTime is actually pretty popular during this period too.

Talking means that no one’s serious at this point, so they normally aren’t too intense about it and are still open to checking out or communicating with others too. It’s a trial period, if you will, a time to learn the basics of each other before climbing the ladder into dating territory.

What Do You Do?

This requires such a complex answer because talking consists of so many different things for people. For some, it might very well include the attendance of dance clubs, parties, and other various highly extravagant activities.

For others, however, it would be more typical to meet each other at a local coffee shop or friend’s house. There isn’t really one particular or “right” thing to do, it’s just more light-hearted stuff to get you both included into each other’s lives. It depends a lot on their interests.

If you have not dropped the “I love you” bomb yet, haven’t really introduced them to family or friends, and typically talk more than ‘do’ things, then you’re likely just talking. As previously mentioned, dating is a bit more serious, and comes after talking.

The Spectrum: Where Are You?

Determining where you are on the spectrum is actually pretty simple, you’ll just need to analyze the current situation you’re in. Simply “talking” to the other person, as mentioned before, is typically very discrete and basic. You’re likely just talking over the phone, but you may have gone club-hopping together a time or two. 

By contrast, dating is a tad more serious;  this means that you’ve both officially chosen to exclusively date each other. You’ve both cut off other prospects, and you’re probably in it long-term now. Introducing them to family finally seems like a great idea. 

It’s also possible to be a little in-between the two, meaning that you’re not quite sure where you’re at. If you’re at this stage of confusion, just wait it out a little longer, and you’ll more than likely see that the stage you’re currently in changes into the dating end of the spectrum.

Final Thoughts 

If you’ve been wondering what the differences between the two terms are, we hope we have laid out quite the explanation. While the two terms may have a few similarities, they have entirely different meanings. 

In many cases, when a relationship is in both the individuals agenda, they’ll usually start talking. This could be online, such as on an online dating website, or the result of each other meeting at a pub or through a friend. After they start talking for a while, they may decide to make it official by dating. Talking isn’t nearly as serious as dating is; it’s more of an introduction to each other than anything else. Now that you know the differences of the two, we wish you the best of luck in your future endeavors! 



Chelsea King
Written by Chelsea King

Chelsea has been a direct victim of romance scams herself losing over $35,000 in a span of a year in 2015. She joined and took over operations of RomanceScams.org in 2015. She brings first-hand experience in studying romance scams, and also experience in vetting dating sites for legitimacy. Read more of Chelsea's articles.

Other Related Articles