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Dating for companionship vs. romance

Jul 9, 2012, 8:29 a.m.

There are many reasons for dating and age rarely ever plays into the equation of happiness when people date someone with whom they enjoy spending time. Having a successful dating experience sometimes depends on what each person is searching for in a relationship.

Dating for companionship and dating for romance each have different characteristics as well as separate levels of communication and comfort levels. Determining which level you want in a dating experience can leave you happy, secure and fulfilled in a relationship. Some people search for a companion to out to dinner with, or to the theater, or a walk in the park. Others may want an exclusive relationship where there are no other dating partners involved. Then there is the romantic relationship involving only two people who are passionate and want a romantic, physical exchange in addition to having a companion.

Most long-term relationships begin with a friendship. Dating and friendship really go hand-in-hand in a successful dating relationship. If the couple wants a close friendship with no expectations of a more serious tie, such as marriage, a companionship or friendship experience will work. This type of friendship offers companionship without the drama or turmoil and most likely will not include a sexual relationship.

A romantic relationship is usually accompanied by feelings of love, sexual chemistry and deep compassionate feelings. The couple has probably spent extended time together as this type of relationship evolves. They are not only close friends and companions, but they love each other and want to spend their lives together. A romance does not necessarily involve having sex. Many couples who deeply love each other may offer each other physical affection without the act of having sex. Being romantic, hand-holding, kissing, hugging and snuggling are all part of showing love on a physical level.

If the reasons for dating someone is to find good company or companionship, friendly partnerships are also quite comfortable. In a companion-only relationship, romantic tactics do not interest either person, but a close friendship is built on trust and both people enjoy spending their time together. Age is no factor in companionship dating or seeking romance. Throughout life, people of all ages choose to date for one reason or another. Some couples in their 20's are only looking for a companion, while other's well into their 80's have been known to be sexually active.

Whether searching for a companion or romance, many people pursue activities they personally enjoy in order to meet someone. If dancing, traveling, visiting museums or seeing a show are favorite hobbies, continuing these activities regularly could cause you to meet someone who also enjoys them.

Being in a relationship with someone is healthy for the heart and soul. Whether you are single, married, just want a companion, or if you are seeking a romantic, passionate relationship, people are generally happier when sharing moments in life with those who mean a lot to them. Research has determined that people in dating and friendship relationships are less lonely, depressed or anxious than those who are not.

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