Dating means no serious attachment; a relationship is a true commitment. The level of the relationship you have with another person defines the difference between casual dating and being in an actual, committed relationship. Dating someone allows you to freely spend time with a person but with no promise of a long-lasting and long-term partnership. Dating can be intimately physical; a relationship has deeper emotional intimacy. The focus on the type and level of intimacy you have with another person also distinguishes dating from being in a relationship. While the former is more physical and less emotional, the latter involves higher intensity and expression of both.