The etiquette of dating is confusing, especially if you do not have much experience. One of the first dating challenges is the simple matter of determining whether the relationship is exclusive. Under most circumstances, asking someone on a date does not mean that you are now dating. But every date that you go on afterward is one step closer to building a relationship.

Dating Defined

Asking a girl on a date might include a night at the movies, accompanying her to a dance or spending time with her at a party. Until either of you broaches the subject of dating exclusively, you can also see other people. Dating is a way of getting to know someone to determine if you want to be in a relationship with them. There is a difference between asking someone on a date and simply hanging out with them, points out psychologist Stephen W. Simpson in the article, "Dating vs. Hanging Out" on the LifeWay website. Unless you actually ask someone on a date, you are not taking initiative and run the risk of being seen as a friend.

Committed Relationships

Becoming someone's boyfriend or girlfriend does not have a specific time fame. Some couples may go on one or two dates and realize that they don't want to date other people. Others may date for months and see several other people before deciding to date each other exclusively. Whether you feel compelled to ask the question after your first date or your 20th, you and your date should agree to exclusivity before calling each other boyfriend and girlfriend.

Advancing the Relationship

The process of building a relationship should happen gradually, writes psychologist Jamie Long in "10 Dating Do's and Don'ts From 6 Therapists" on Psychology Today's website. Even if you enjoyed your first date, it may not be appropriate to tell her how much you like her so soon. As you continue to go on more dates, Long recommends gradually revealing your personal story. Hopefully, your date will begin to do the same. After you feel comfortable sharing your thoughts, talk about how you would like her to be your girlfriend exclusively.

Signs of Interest

There are signs to look for before updating your social media relationship status. If you notice that she is making the effort to reach out to you or if she pays attention to you more than others around her, this might be a sign that she is interested in taking your relationship to the next level. Other signs include making eye contact, trying to make you laugh or smile and finding any excuse to touch you.