What Makes A Date…A Date?

tumblr_lfmmquZ8HI1qfsp0xo1_500_largeI’ve been having this discussion with several (female) friends lately. Well, the single ones anyway. What makes a date a date and how can you tell if you’re on a date (or been invited on a date?). I have a fantastic track record of going on dates that I didn’t know were dates until later. Sometimes months later. Surely there should be some code, some etiquette, to make this guessing game less of a guess and more of a “hey, how you DOIN’?”.

1. Time. Apparently, dinner (when you’ve only known the person a short while) isย always a date. But what about coffee? Lunch? Tea with scones? Ice cream cones followed by a hike? Drinks when it’s just the two of you? There’s a lot of grey area here. How do you know when ‘Hey, let’s go try out that frozen yoghurt bar’ is a date or just a ‘you look like you enjoy dairy, let’s be friends!’ vibe?

2. How long you’ve known each other.ย How long can you know someone before you cross from acquaintance to friend and therefore all invitations to imbibe beverages and chug food go from ‘let’s see where this goes, sexy’ to ‘dudeface, let’s eat’? A month? Four? Even then, how do you know if a friend guy (or gal, depending on your preference) is making the sexy moves?

3. Where you go.ย Is it a date if it’s a classy joint, like Pepenero, but just friends if it’s a relaxed vibe, Gourmet Boerie or Roxy’s? Does the place make it a date? How do you know what’s a date place and what’s a ‘I’m down with the kids so I heard about this cool joint, let’s kick it, as the young ones say’?

4. If he offers you a lift.ย Now, I’m pretty certain that if we’re in the I’ve-only-known-you-a-few-weeks boat and you (as a dude guy), offer me a lift, we’re in the dating stream….right? I think this is the only box I’m certain on. But what if you want to meet there? Are you saying that because you think that I’ll think that if you offer me a lift you’re secretly a serial killer out to collect locks of my hair and then keep me in a dungeon (where I must put the lotion on my skin).

5. Conversation.ย I think, now I may be wrong, that on Real Dates, dudes ask you about yourself, not just talk about themselves (but what if they are nervous and don’t want to seem creepy?). And you kinda ask them about themselves. But if they’re monologuing about themselves, and haven’t even asked the names of your five cats (hey, cats are people too), is he even being a friend dude or does he just want a face next to him to eat with?


And yes. I over think everything.

Can’t we just all say THIS IS A DATE when it’s a date? Things would be so much easier.

7 thoughts on “What Makes A Date…A Date?

  1. In my estimation system, it’s a date if there’s flirting, touching, oodles of intimate eye-contact, sexual subtext and double-entendres in the conversation and/or a kiss!

  2. Gosh, I am in the same boat as you. According to this list, I could have been on LOTS of dates. Which might be why I was always so confused ALL THE TIME. I think ALL of this is grey area, which is why I sometimes like to ask (always in my head, unfortunately) “as a date?” just in case ๐Ÿ˜›

    Case in point – I didn’t ask if it was a date, even though the guy paid (what? but only that one time) and then we hung out (you know who) for like… ever before ANYTHING was even said out loud (and even then, it wasn’t really said out loud until after some great kissing. TMI, sorry.) And you know what, the first time we actually had what I would/could call a date was just before I left for the UK ๐Ÿ˜› Which was like 3 months in.

    This shit is confusing, yo.

  3. This was my question for two whole years, while I was trying to figure out if the time that guy who I sorta-kinda liked (and who I’m pretty sure knew that) asked me to the theatre was a sign that he liked me too, or if it was just because he needed someone to go with and I happened to be around.

    I mean, I payed for my own ticket even though he offered- and the guy paying for things is a date thing to do, right? So maybe he thought it was a date, and then I changed the game by being all independent like…?
    Another thing is, I dressed for the date, while he wore clamdigggers and flip flops. I felt a little foolish about that, but not as foolish (read: confused/frustrated/annoyed at my own gullibility) as I felt for the longest time after that night as I analysed and re-analysed everything that was said and done.
    Mainly: why did he say “this is not our first date, yet…” at the end of the night, then leave me to figure out what on earth that “yet…” meant? Also, why would he leave all those ellipsis and that hope in the air if HE ALREADY HAD A GIRLFRIEND? (Thanks to Facebook’s “always improving” timeline, a person’s shady behaviour is easy to track- with pictures and everything *smh*)

    It was quite an ordeal, but I will admit that the bulk of it was my own doing- because I never actually asked him any of these questions. I’m sure we can agree that working from assumptions in matters of the heart is a recipe for disaster.

    So for me, dinner is always a date and a night at the theatre is what you make of it. But now I know that I need to manage my expectations (“let’s go for drinks” could just be code for “I don’t want to drink alone” and not a preface to “let’s go meet my parents and tell them I want you to have my babies”), and speak up early on to avoid all this brain-ache of trying to figure out what the person is thinking or feeling.

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