I say we were "dating" in the beginning because we were regularly going on dates right off the bat.

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Men who expect you to clean up their dishes, pick up their clothes and take care of them as if they are little children on a consistent basis need a really check, and will likely treat you as if you are their mother for the rest of their lives. While everyone likes a good deal, real men will not make this known when courting a woman. There's nothing wrong with sitting on the couch and watching sports. But this should never trump the responsibilities of a relationship or take precedence over family obligations. These changes in effort can be very foretelling of how he will be a year or two down the road. The I-had-sex-and-now-I-don't-have-to-try-anymore guy. Always play close attention to how a guy's behavior changes once he has had sex with you for the first time. Be very wary of men who talk up a big game of what they plan on doing with their lives.

Be wary of men who constantly look for deals and comment on prices early on in the dating process. Expecting a home cooked meal every single night makes for a relationship that will likely feel unbalanced in the long run. There should be contributions from both parties, even if that contribution isn't always evenly divided. While no man should always be expected to plan five-star dates, at the same time, the romance shouldn't just completely fall off a cliff at once. The opposite of number eleven, the over-controlling guy must know where "his woman" his every second of the day and approve of who she is hanging out with.

While hooking up involves a bunch of late-night booty calls that don't necessarily need to lead up to anything, dating is time spent getting to know someone, trying to figure out whether or not you're going to take the next step and pursue a real relationship.

But, as you can see from these answers, people have some pretty different definitions as far as what that "getting to know you" period entails.

I would say 'dating' is when you are steadily going on dates with someone, not just steadily hooking up with someone.

I would say 'dating' is a little more serious and occurs when you both are actually interested in taking the relationship further to a confirmed boyfriend/girlfriend level.— Taylor, 27All right, so if we're looking for a trend here, a few people from this roundup seem to agree with me that dating is the hanging out period that takes place before you're actually in a relationship.For the greater good of humanity, I decided to ask one simple question: When you say you're "dating" someone, what does that mean to you?Shocker: Every single one of the 23 respondents had a different definition.To be on the safe side, ASK your partner what he or she thinks you're doing. There’s nothing worse than being a relationship with someone—and you realize you define the relationship differently.He's cute, fun, smart and you can't stop thinking about him. These are signs that he will likely be very cheap throughout the duration of the relationship. There is a difference between loving sports and having a childish obsession with them. If he truly cares about you, his good behaviors will grow stronger. Anyone, regardless of gender, who asks for help paying bills early on in a relationship should raise red flags. By paying for him early on, you are setting the tone that it will be this way for your entire future. Some men with no ambition whatsoever like to talk up a good game, but at the end of the day, they are just saying what they know women want to hear. Some men may not like being tied down to a phone, but responding to your text messages or phone calls shouldn't be annoying; it's common courtesy and respect.