Dating versus a relationship
For me dating is casual and not necessarily exclusive.You're in a relationship once you've actually sat down, talked about it and agreed that you both want to be in a relationship with each other. The only real commitment you two have made is not to fuck other people and to see if there is a possibility for more.At first we were kinda scared but after a while we said screw it lets just drive aimlessly exploring.
Edit: May not have been the answer you were looking for but meh.Meeting more people in "group relationships" in this era. The difference between them seems to be smaller than here (Germany), thus making a question like yours possible (I was actually confused upon first reading). I am currently in a committed relationship for over a year now, but am also basing this off of my parents' experience as well.Dating and "being in a relationship" are both about getting to know the person.In the olden days of yore, it used to be that relationships were very formal and monogamous. Honestly, I'm losing my mind for the new Kingdom Hearts. It's taking forever for them to give me a release date other than "2014"I sense a potential for cultural difference here.These days, not so much, as long as everyone is honest and friendly. At least in American movies a date alone might not be equal to, but a very very promising step towards a relationship.
But it all depends on intention: does either person want to be "exclusive" or "committed"? Two people causally dating are most likely not ready to handle problems and arguments in a way that can strengthen their bond, although if they can it may help them realize how strong they are together. It's the rare chance to open up and be with each other in a way that is relatively stress-free and enjoyable, without any strings attached.