What Makes a Date?

I recently had this conversation with a male friend of mine and it came to my attention that the term “date” is relatively subjective.

He had plans to meet a previous work friend for an afternoon of gallery hopping, followed by dinner and drinks. Sounds like a date right? But what if there has never been any romantic or sexual overtones? Maybe the flirting was one-sided? Maybe she likes him? Maybe he likes her? So I started asking him some questions based on the last time they got together outside of the office.

1. Did you pay for it? Then I realized I have been out with platonic male friends that always pick up the bill. Could be simply the gentlemanly thing to do.

2. Who instigated the plans? Well, she mentioned it but then he actually planned it. So that doesn’t help.

3. Do you flirt with one another? He thought they flirted. But when it comes to office friendships with the opposite sex, there is a thin line between flirting and friendly.

4. Does she like you? Do you like her? He couldn’t speak for her, but he respects her and enjoys her company. The fact that she is attractive is a bonus. Again, not enough to decide.

5. Do you want to have  physical contact with her? And what would make you pursue or hold back? He admitted would, but the signal from her would have to be so strong, the flirting so obvious, that there would be no room for misinterpretation. So unless she’s hanging on him, he’s not making a move.

So I ask, based on the above scenario…..is it a date? What makes a date? And most interesting, is it possible for one person to think they have been on a date while the other believes they had an outing with a friend?

Does sex or sexual intention determine whether a date has occurred?

Food for thought…

6 responses to “What Makes a Date?

  1. That scenario seems like a total gray area to me. If she and he aren’t on the same page, then sooner or later one of them is going to get hurt.

  2. I don’t like trying to define “dates.” I have had outings with friends that I consider dates, but not in a sort of relationship way. It’s hard to explain, but I think a date is just hanging out with *one* person who you could be romantically interested in and in an environment where you enjoy each others’ company while learning more about each other.

    If I had later gotten into a relationship with any of my friends, I would have considered our first time going out as our “first date.” Since I haven’t actually done that (yet?), I still consider them dates, just not of the romantic variety between two lovers.

  3. your wildest dream

    definition of date: 2 people who do something socially together wherein neither one has ruled out the possibility of a long term relationship with the other person.
    everything else is one of the following: friendship, hook-up, friend with benefits, killing time, one-sided, etc etc