It's a Date

When I was in high school, I had a male friend, Joey. We often went to dinner together or movies together. One night, for my birthday, he took me out to dinner. We often took each other out for dinners on out for special occasions like birthdays, graduations, awards. Now up until this point Joey always had a girlfriend, but Joey's latest had just broken up with him. Half way through dinner, Joey referred to the evening as a date. "What do you mean it's a date?" I asked. "I'm taking you to dinner," he responded. "But we're friends," I said. "But friends can date," he said. "Didn't you watch when Harry Met Sally? No we can't." And on it went until finally I said "You know what? It's not a date unless both parties agree that it's a date."

When I was in college, a male friend of mine, who was in the closet, said to me "You know I think we should date more." I responded with "Uh, yeah of course, isn't that what we are trying to do each weekend?" And he said "No, no date each other." To which I almost fainted. I asked him to clarify and his idea of a date was basically what we were already doing, going to the movies, dinner, concerts together. There was no mention of romance or physical intimacy. So what the exact shift would have been was unclear.

Conversely, earlier this year a man I had met once called me and asked to take me to the movie "Down With Love." He actually said on the phone "But this isn't a date." I was kind of surprised by the statement because it was clear from his phone message that he was very attracted to me. I thought to myself "If taking a girl that you find attractive to a romantic comedy isn't a date, then what is it?"Still I accepted the premise and went. He paid for the movie, drinks at a bar afterwards, and the cab home, but was it a date? Does paying for it make it a date? ( He did ask me out again. So would that have been our first "date" or our second?)

This weekend I met a guy on saturday, and we made a date for Sunday. For me part of the date concept is that it has to be a pre-arranged meeting. On the date, I made some comment about the evening being our first date. "No it's not" he said "yesterday was." "I met you yesterday by accident." "Yeah, still I think of it as a date. If it makes you feel better it was one of the best dates I ever had." So we discussed what constitutes a date, and I told him my Joey story. Again my date disagreed with my definition of date. That both parties have to agree, he stipulated, was not actually a requirement. "But it does help" he conceded. He could offer no alternative definition. Apparently, much like the Supreme Court and pornography, he can't define date but he knows one when he sees one.

To me a date requires that both parties agree on a pre-arranged meeting time and possible itinerary of activities ( the itinerary may change or be vague) for the purposes of exporing a social relationship-most likely to establish compatiblity for a romantic and or sexual relationship. Other types of dates, such as lunch dates or business dates, are usually clearly denoted by the attachment of a clarifying words (ie business date) to make the type of date clear.

Still that there are "types" of dates indicates there is a several species of dates that I have left out. What about you all? What makes a date for you?

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