Dating is getting to know someone while enjoying their company on a series of outings & meetings; going to dinner, movies, having picnics, staying up all hours of the day & night on the telephone, etc. The list could go on. Essentially, it's two people enjoying each other's company doing the things they each like to do. The dating phase, pre-relationship is usually about putting your best foot forward & "auditioning" potential mates for the most precious position of "the one". Much like job interviews, people usually look the best, speak their best, and do their absolute best during this phase...because as people we want to be wanted & to feel affection so we want to be THE ONE to land that part, but this part of the dating phase comes back to bite us in the ass during the relationship phase when we've stopped looking, speaking, and doing our best...& turning into someone completely unknown to our partner *enters problems* ....that's another topic.
The relationship phase of dating doesn't begin until two people have mutually decided & verbally communicated that they are only seeing each other after agreeing that there is a stronger than normal potential for a relationship between them to go the distance...whatever their distance is...LADIES sex does not make him your man! The start of a relationship must be communicated not assumed & their is NO time constraint on when a relationship should come to be! That is a personal choice between the daters...fast or slow, in dating, best practice is to COMMUNICATE & HAVE FUN!