17 June 2009

All right, I need your help because I can't figure this out on my own.

In the last couple of months or so, my life has been a bit...ridiculous. I'm single for the first time in a really really long time. I'm even happy about it. It's nice to be out there living my life for me. My last relationship/breakup was a rough one, as you may know if you've been hanging around here for a while. But two months ago, the clouds lifted and I realized just how much better off I am. And just how great it is to be me. I've never really been one to mind being alone (as in not in a relationship) because I have a whole slew of wonderful friends to love. Suckas. I'll lick your faces.


I've gotten completely off-track. And no, I'm not using the delete button. I like being off-track. Sometimes the most interesting information is there.

Anyway, the point of all of this is, that I accidentally ended up on a date without really realizing it was a date. And now I wonder this: What is a date, exactly?

Here are the answers I've gotten. Some are more obnoxious than others:

"He pays." - Who does this any more? Everyone is gainfully employed and besides which I don't want you thinking I owe you something because you bought dinner. I don't.

"A member of the opposite sex asks you to do something." - Really?!? Anything? Um...I'd rather not be the idiot who thinks I'm on a date when I'm not.

"I don't like to put labels on things." - Well, that just screams "I have commitment problems because I can't even commit to calling this thing we're on a date, much less anything else." Although, okay, there are some labels I can live without.

"Any guy who is talking to you is trying to get in your pants." - Yeah, I really hope that's not true. I also really hope that this doesn't work in reverse because I talk to strangers all the time with no interest in getting in their pants. Hmmm...

"I don't think you kids go on dates any more." - Thanks, Mom.

According to my mother, a date is when a guy calls a girl on the phone (no, texting is not allowed. Actually, I agree with this one for the first date) and asks her to do something (I'm assuming out in public. I don't think my mom knows anything about the booty call). He then comes to pick her up at her place. And he pays. For whatever it is. At the end of the evening, the guy takes the girl back home and they part ways. I'm not sure if a kiss is acceptable or not. Plans to hang out again should be scheduled at the end of the date, if both parties are interested.

Yeah, no. This doesn't really happen.

According to, a date is "a social appointment, engagement, or occasion arranged beforehand with another person." Which means, if that third date rule still exists, I owe a lot of friends some booty.

I think the date status has something to do with intentions. And I guess if there's a kiss at the end of whatever it is, it's kind of a date. Maybe.

There are just no circumstances under which I can say, "Oh, right. That's absolutely clear. It's a date." unless the guy says, "Hey, do you want to go out on a date with me?" And who says that?

So I'm putting it to you, dear readers. What's a date and how do you know when you've been asked on one?


Jeff said...

i'm going to have to go with the dictionary definition, because "dates" can happen between friends, want-to-be-more-than friends, significant others, fiances, and husbands/wives.

but i think what you're asking is when does "going on a date with someone" turn into "dating someone". that seems to be a little bit trickier.

Organic Meatbag said...

Well, being married for the last 10 years, I may be way off on what the current definition of a date really is, but I agree with Jeff and the dictionary in a sense too, because dates can come in so many different forms... and ultimately, it will mean something different to everybody, particularly by gender:

An afternoon meet-up for coffee may scream "date! date!" repeatedly in the guy's head, but to the girl, it may JUST be coffee...
It's in other words, I just wasted a lot of your time and didn't have much to offer as far as apologies, ma'am... hehehehe...

Antelope said...

I have to abstain here since on my first date with my husband we ended up in a confusion over whether it was a date, despite the fact that he asked me out, drove and paid, because he made the mistake of telling me "My mother told me I should take someone out."

Yeah, I married him. What?

Travis Sloat said...

I think you should make a "Is this a Date?" book. It could be like those pick your own destiny books back in the day. The first page says, Is this a date? If yes, turn to page 6. If no, turn to page 13. And if they successfully navigate to the end of the book without gettin killed, yeah, you gotta give it up. said...

I love dates! And to me a date is when they (or I) set up specific plans to go out- ie; let's go to a movie, let's go out for dinner, let's paint our faces bright orange and have sex in the kitchen.
Oh wait. Forget it.

adriana said...

I kind of am with your mom on this. I think a "date" is when a guy (or a girl, date asking can go either way) specifically asks to spend time with you or take you out, in a one on one setting. And I think whoever asks the other on the date pays for the date. :-) Call me old fashioned, but it just never feels "official" until that step.

Anonymous said...

A date, I think, is this: someone asks you out to a social occasion involving just the two of you. It might be a date, at this point, it might not. It's up to both of you. If you ignore its datelike possibilities and show no sign of being interested in the other person in a datelike way, it isn't a date; same if he acts the same way with you. It's usually reasonably easy to tell if someone likes you - if it seems at all possible in your mind that this is more than just friends to him, then you're probably right, he probably likes you.

It's basically a date if you want it to be a date, and if he wants it to be a date, but sadly this is something you have to figure out by basic intuition. And of course it's a fucking massive sign if he leans in for a kiss at the end.

Basically I think the traditional notion of a date is over and done with for most people, though that said I was taken out on a proper date not too long ago and the whole thing was just bloody surreal.

So yes, up to you. Don't be thinking, 'is this a date', be thinking 'do I want this to be a date', because that's a far more interesting question. Then, of course, you may have to have the guts to make the first move from neutral territory into the whole no-mans-land that is the beginning of an actual relationship.

Well, that was a mixture of stating the obvious and total blather, but hopefully my actual point is somewhere in that whole blah...

Phronk said... about a date is when two people go out and call it a date?

On the few occasions when I've asked someone out, I just say, do you wanna go on a date? (more awkwardly than that actually, but including the word "date" somewhere in it). What's the point of dancing around the issue? Just call it a date right off the bat and it saves a lot of trouble with definitions and intention-guessing later.

Asia Amor said...

The definitions of dates have been so varied these times, but maybe when a guy asks you out then you do something together, just the two of you. I don't know, people can usually tell when they're on dates :D

Jay Ferris said...

For your purposes, a date is when a hetero guy asks you out somewhere to participate in some activity with him. Straight up.

LiLu said...

I think you just know if there's sexual tension there or not, you know? But yeah, chances are if a guy you haven't already established a platonic friendship with asks you out one on one... he wouldn't mind getting in your pants. I mean, getting to know you more intimately.

shine said...

Jeff: So I do owe my friends some booty! I knew it!

Organic Meatbag: You married people have no idea what it's like out here now! It's scary. Help!

Antelope: This? Is why I think we might be soulmates.

Travis Sloat: Oh, I'm working on it, sir. I'm also working on "Putting Out: The Rules." Stay tuned! Can we please do that orange face kitchen sex thing? How did you know orange is my favorite color?!?

adriana: Please inform all men in the DFW area of this, stat. Thanks!

standingonthebrink: So basically it's a crap shoot until the moment of possible kissing at the end. That's kind of what I thought.

Phronk: Can we please go out on a date? I'll even shower! Also, this is the best answer by far.

Asia Amor: You'd think, wouldn't you?

Jay Ferris: Now I have to figure out if he's straight too?!? Crap.

LiLu: You meant get in my pants. C'mon.

Jeff said...

you only owe them something if you're a strict 3-date rule person. and i think we've proved here that you can muddy-up the definition of "date" enough that you can put out 10 minutes into your first interaction or 10 years into marriage.

Phronk said...

Yes let's go on a date. We will go eat avocado fries, next time we're both in Montreal. I can't guarantee a shower on my part, but come on, avocado fries.

shine said...

Jeff: I am a strict 3-date rule person. Everyone has to stand for something.

Phronk: I'm so excited I don't even know what to say. Except...I'll probably never be in Montreal. Sad face.

smh2141 said...

Mom is so old school! Was this solicited or unsolicited dating advice?

Personally, I've never paid for a first date, but I have always offered to pay.

The only time I have ever experienced being surprised that an outing turned out to be a date was in undergrad. I was surprised because I thought I had made it clear that I was not interested in pursuing anything other than friendship. I actually thought I was going over to his place for a group dinner and it turned out to be a romantic (with candles and everything) dinner that he made for me. It was so awkward because I had actually started dating David, and I had to tell him. I basically left when he started crying and haven't spoken to him since.

Wow, Im an ice queen sometimes.