I've perhaps been on more dates than most people, as I've always been somewhat of a particular taste. There are those girls that always have a boyfriend, and those that don't. I'm definitely the latter. But I believe in being proactive when you want something so I went on a lot of dates.
This means I got very comfortable with the routines involved with the dating part. but am a little stumped when it comes to moving forward into relationship territory.
The main difference seems to be the switch from living in the moment to trusting a bigger picture. When you're dating you are constantly looking for signs, judging individual moments to try and predict how much they like you (and whether you like them). If they don't call, or don't ask you out again, are all crucial signposts the seasoned dater looks out for.
Once you've entered the calmer waters of relationship-land, you have to learn to relax and stop looking for markers. Real life has to start again, and the fact that they don't call can just be because they've had a busy day at work; rather than not wanting to see you again. I've had to work on learning to trust the thing that is bigger than the singular moments.
I even feel like I'm jinxing it by writing this post! Trust is such a fragile beast isn't it?