When Is A Date - A Date ?

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I read a great post last night ‘It’s Not A Date … It’s A Suggestion’ by The Hopeful Romantic (do follow her on twitter) and it got me thinking about a lot of things.

When is ‘a date’ really ‘a date’ ? Ever since I moved to India almost 4 years ago, my entire perception and notion of dating has had to change.  It’s as if I’ve been thrown into the dating game in a foreign land !  If that’s not bad enough – dating is different across cultures and countries; and then you have the added thought of whether it’s exclusive or not ?

So when is ‘a date’ really ‘a date’ ? and by that I mean a date which has romantic intentions.

Ask You Out With the Intention To Date

The person who asks you out explicitly articulates that they want to go on a date with you.  It could be lunch, dinner, brunch, coffee, dessert, a picnic in the park, a theatre or a play – hell it could even be a long drive for all you know but it has to have the word ‘date’ or phrase ‘will you go out with me’ mentioned so that both parties are clear that this is a date.

A ‘date’ is something you plan in advance with someone you are interested in getting to know better along with a specified day, time and place.  It’s not a last minute plan. 

None of that ‘let’s hang out’ or ‘lets catch up’ crap because let’s face it – this is something you do with your friends, colleagues and buddies.  And SMS / BB / WhatsApp messages do not qualify for dates.  You don’t do any of this with a potential partner until they ARE your exclusive long term partner. 

SingleCityGuy got it spot on when he said ‘be clear about what you are seeking

dating billTakes You Out i.e. Pays The Bill

The asker generally pays for the (bulk of) the date.  Plus it then feels like you are actually being taken out ! That’s just my opinion.

Having said that it’s common for people to split the bill on a date but it’s polite and chivalrous if a guy pays for the 1st date.  If you want to court a woman – be a gentleman about it.  Once you have established that you are dating someone – then it doesn’t matter if you split the bill or take turns paying when you are out together.

I might be spoiled that way but I’m used to guys (dates or non-dates) paying when they ask me out / take me out / we hang out.  This might have to do with the Middle Eastern culture – guys just don’t let a girl pay unless its a massive group outing. 

Note : just ‘cos a guy foots the bill doesn’t mean the girl is gonna get into bed with you nor does it mean that girls have to feel obligated to ‘put out’ for them

Body Language

This is a bit of a no brainer BUT there are some people who are excessive flirts so it can be a bit confusing for some.

If the guy / girl is leaning into you, constantly making some form of body contact i.e. touch hands, arm, shoulder (hell I’ve even scratched a guys stubble ‘cos it looked so damn good) then the person is interested in you and it’s a date (for them, for both of you or for one of you – depends on the situation but you get my drift)


Chemistry can be mental and physical.  Ideally you want a good combination of both.  If you meet someone online then typically it’s the physical chemistry that attracts you to a person (i.e. their attraction 2photo) followed by their capability to keep you entertained on a mental level.

You and the other person ‘feel’ that attraction, that chemistry, that feeling of ‘wow I don’t want this night to end’ ! and when it does come to an end – you don’t want it to.   There’s a long hug / kiss good bye.  It was a date !  If you couldn’t wait to get rid of the person there was no chemistry and this is definitely not going to lead to a 2nd date for you at least.

The more I think about it, the more I wonder ‘dating ? what’s that ?’ For me, a date is meeting someone who may have the potential of becoming someone you are interested in; in more than a friend capacity which can eventually lead to becoming a couple i.e. boyfriend & girlfriend.

I read somewhere on Twitter that it takes the average person 100 dates before meeting ‘the one’ ! Jeeeeeeeeeez at the rate I’m going – I might have reached the ‘Indian expiry date’ (i,e. read single at 29 with no hope of getting married) and be totally off the market !

What do YOU think should define a date ?

Further Reading :

  1. What Defines A Date ?
  2. What is Dating Really ?
  3. It’s Not A Date … It’s A Suggestion’ by The Hopeful Romantic