For example, carbon dating is used to determine the age of organic materials.
Once something dies, it ceases taking in new carbon-14, and the existing carbon-14 within the organism decays into nitrogen at a fixed rate.
These changes typically occur so slowly that they are barely detectable over the span of a human life, yet even at this instant, the Earth's surface is moving and changing.
Short Answer: Both relative dating and absolute dating are tools used to give temporal characteristics to a sequence of events.
A fossil can be studied to determine what kind of organism it represents, how the organism lived, and how it was preserved.
However, by itself a fossil has little meaning unless it is placed within some context.
Both are attempting to get information on the history of events.
The primary difference is that absolute dating assigns an actual time or age to an event or object.