Journaling Through Relationships: About Dating 2

WHEN IT COMES TO RELATIONSHIPS, what is dating? Does dating even fall under the term “relationship”? What if you’re not serious about the person and only dating casually?

What’s the difference?

If you perform a search on the internet about dating and relationships, most articles contend that you’re not in a relationship until you have made a commitment of some kind to each other, for example of exclusivity. Or you’ve mutually acknowledged that you’re at least looking for a long-term commitment and considering each other for that position.

On the other hand, what is “casual” dating? What if you really like the person and enjoy spending time with him, but you happen to enjoy living alone and aren’t interested in marriage or living with someone? Does that mean you are not in a relationship?

I would argue that every contact with another person, however fleeting, is a relationship. And each contact provides an opportunity for us to reflect on who we are and how we relate to others.

If you currently live in the world of dating, because you’re young or just happen to be single, the journaling prompts below will help you define and clarify what dating means to you.

And if you’re someone for whom dating is a distant memory, writing about this topic — this way of relating — can uncover hidden attitudes and judgments. Just imagine that you are suddenly thrust into the status of singledom and find yourself dating again. Answer the prompts from this imaginary place.

Remember, there are no right or wrong answers to any of the following prompts. Everyone is going to have different answers, and writing is simply a way of exploring your own attitudes toward the complicated topic of dating relationships.


Journaling Prompts

  • What’s your preferred way of meeting potential dating partners? Do you use online dating apps? Join clubs and community events?
  • What constitutes a “real” date? For example, does it mean going out for dinner, a movie, a picnic? Or does just hanging out together work for you?
  • When you’re attracted to someone and think you might like to get to know them better, do you take initiative and ask them out or do you wait until they give you signals that they’re interested and/or ask you out?
  • In your mind, what is the difference between “casual” and “serious” dating?
  • Do you define “dating” as not exclusive and “relationship” as exclusive? Why or why not?
  • What is the purpose of dating?
  • Could dating be a term for a relationship that is just beginning? Or is there some other interpretation?
  • What do you enjoy most about dating, and what do you dislike most about it?
  • What would your ideal date (the event, not the person) be like?
  • What is your response to the following statement: “Dating is for people who are not interested in commitment.”
  • Is emotional intimacy possible in a dating relationship? Why or why not?
  • How do you know when a dating relationship is becoming more serious or heading toward a partnership? What are the signs?
  • What have your dating experiences been like, past or present? Perform a creative cluster using the word “dating.” What surprising images and themes arise?

When it comes to relationships, how do you approach the topic of dating?


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2 thoughts on “Journaling Through Relationships: About Dating

  • sara etgen-baker

    If I were single, I’d find these prompts helpful. I guess back in the day I probably asked some of the same questions. But journaling wasn’t a “thing” then…wish it had been. I don’t think I could handle the dating scene in today’s world…just sayin’ 🙂