Especially today, when there is no formal "asking out" and boys and girls going dutch when the bill comes, the lines between hanging out, dating, and a relationship can easily blur. Is he just a buddy of yours, do you have a slight attraction, or are you full on crushing on him? Does he go out of his way to do things for you, or does he act like all your other friends would?
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You wish it could happen soon but it completely freaks you out. Some people call this dating, other people call it courting — there are likely countless terms you could use for the process.
But before anyone can get married they have to go through the process of getting to know a person and pursuing love for them (at least if you practice the Western tradition of pursuing marriage).
If you've broken down the physical barrier by holding hands or kissing, then you're definitely past just being friends.
After you're in the dating stage for quite some time, it may become mutual that you care deeply about one another and want to be exclusive.
There's a tension between you, and you may be in the dating stage where you're just getting to know the person.