Define a dating relationship
The next time he saw her he asked her, seemingly casually (inwardly freaked out) if she really liked this guy. Now, Jake didn't foresee a long-term relationship with this woman but wasn't ready to cut her loose either.
If you are going out with someone on a regular basis, and you and your partner have agreed to date only one another, then you are in a committed relationship.
You might say you have to think about it, and (you guessed it) we're going to be deflated.
Any answer other than an enthusiastic "Sounds great" is ego-crushing.
Here's how you can distinguish between dating exclusively and being in a relationship, because seriously, what the Dating exclusively can happen with or without an explicit conversation — that is a main difference between dating exclusively and being in a relationship.
Sometimes, it is just assumed by the amount of time and energy you are both putting into the relationship that you are only seeing one another.