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What Is Dating?

“Dating” means different things to different people, particularly across generations. At, we define “dating” as two people in an intimate relationship. The relationship may be sexual, but it does not have to be. It may be serious or casual, straight or gay, monogamous or open, short-term or long-term. The important thing to remember is that dating abuse can occur within all kinds of intimate relationships.

Types of Dating
You and your friends may use the word “dating” or you may not. People describe relationships in different ways. Whatever you call it, we want you to understand and feel comfortable with whatever type of relationship you are in. Some of the most commonly used words to describe dating are:

• Going out • Together • Being with someone • Seeing each other

• Hubby/wifey status • Just friends • Friends with benefits • Hooking up

Regardless of the label you use, you and your partner should both accept the same definition for your relationship.

Who is a Partner?
Simply put, a dating “partner” refers the person you’re in a relationship with. A healthy partner is:

• Respecting    • Dependable • Trustworthy    • Supportive • Honest

Whether you’re in a long-term, committed relationship or looking for casual dating experiences, you can still experience abuse. People who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or queer/questioning (LGBTQ) can be in abusive relationships too. In fact, studies show that dating violence occurs at the same rates in same-sex relationships as in opposite-sex relationships.

Everyone has the right to a healthy relationship. If you’re “dating” someone now, take our quiz at and check where your relationship falls on the relationship spectrum.

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