Originally Posted by BlackUnicorn
However, dictionary definitions of terms don't always cover all the shared cultural understandings of a term. If I were to tell people I'm dating my mother - we have regular dates, after all - it would give a very wrong impression of our relationship.
The above terms mean for me that there are mutually acknowledged romantic feelings, a commitment to each other and shared future plans. That leaves out a myriad of other relationships which include sex and/or intimacy but lack the commitment component; NSA relationships, FWBs, fuckbuddies, romantic friends...
Of course the dictionary definition is not going to encompass all of the meanings we, as individuals, put into words in general. LOL, I most certainly would not assume that you were "dating" your mother just because you had regular "dates". That was my point... that the definition of date and dating are very simplistic and any meaning other than that we choose to attach to it is ours alone (or maybe shared with others in our group).
See, for me personally, dating does not imply any committment. It just means you are going out together and have some attraction for another. That has been the way it's been used around where I live, during the time I grew up (LOL). When I was younger, if you didn't have a boyfriend, you were "dating"-- either one person at a time, or several, whatever. Having a boyfriend/girlfriend was committed, dating was what you did to find people to be committed with. And actually, now that I think about it-- dating was an implication of NOT being committed to anyone yet. Because once you were committed with someone, you were no longer dating-- they were your boyfriend/girlfriend, fiance/fiancee, husband/wife.
So you can see how different the meaning of dating can be depending on where you live, what age group you are in and what your group of friends/people you grew up with choose to bestow on the word.