Is a date by any other name still a date? That which we call a date by any other name would still be as ambiguous. Ok, it’s obvious I’m no Shakespeare, but I’m a JDater who has lately been wondering: Is this to be or not to be a date? That is the question! In the past couple months, either my friends or I have experienced the following scenarios:
- Guy asks girl out to dinner. Picks up girl. Talks about what a gentleman he is. Asks to split check.
- Guy asks girl to an event. Asks her to meet him there because he invited other friends along.
- Guy makes plans to meet up with girl. Gets too drunk to leave the house and meet her; she is stood up.
- Guy meets girl at event. They separate from group to get food. He pays.
Which of these is a date? All? Some? None? A (very) informal poll yielded some expected results: Most people think that a date involves someone asking another person to do something particular at a specific time. The meeting should involve two people who show up with a smile and some conversational skills. More generally-agreed-upon identifiers of a date: The daters actually show up, they don’t bring extraneous people, props, or animals (unless there is a specific pet-centered activity involved), they aren’t obviously perusing JDate during said activity, and they aren’t donning sweats. Unfortunately, there are plenty of people out there who need these clarifications!
Slightly more controversial characteristics are transportation and the bill. The more progressive among us may say that a date is still a date if two parties meet and split the bill. But a more traditional gal might interpret this situation as an unromantic business dealing. All this ambiguity leads to conclusion jumping, frustration, and general exasperation! And what happened to the art of an actual date? After all, this is JDate, not JHang or JLaze.
To solve this pressing issue in the dating community, I’m calling for an international charter of defining the date. Let’s just all decide to assume something is a date if two, and only two people, agree to go somewhere together under the presumption of romantic interest, and the guy at least offers to drive and pay. Ladies, it’s up to you to accept these offers. This is a very open definition, but under this interpretation, more of us will have a date this weekend, so I’m just trying to help the cause!
Examples of date invitations under the international charter:
- “Would you like to come hear my friend’s band play next week?”
- “Do you want to grab dinner?”
- “Do you want to walk your dog with me?”
Probably not a date:
- “Can you babysit my little brother?”
- “We should meet up sometime…”
- “Would you please stay late at work to finish that report?”
I like to establish guidelines and definitions to make sense of an otherwise chaotic situation. Oh, and my personal definition swings more toward the traditional end of the spectrum, so you can pick me up for dinner at 8. 🙂 But, your mileage may vary… This above all: to thine own self be true.