An hour later, we had finished the bottle. The conversation continued for an hour after that. I glanced at my watch. “Oh, it’s late, I have to go!” He walked me outside and hailed a cab. “Thank you, I enjoyed meeting you.” I said. He looked down and smiled, took my hand and kissed it and said “It was one of the best dates I’ve had in a long time, and I look forward to seeing you again.” As the cab driver took me back to my flat in Chicago, I couldn’t help but think about what he had said. A date? But that wasn’t a date. That was a just a…meeting? My date had stood me up. This guy…that wasn’t a date. Was it?
Recently, I asked for you, my loyal readers, to submit questions to be answered by all of the fabulous experts contributing their time to this blog. (Jess McCann, Dave Elliott, Natalie Marie, Jeffrey Platts and many others). One question was asked more times than any other. “What constitutes a date?”
I asked the members of Singles in the Suburbs what their definition of a “date” is and, while I received many responses, they all answered consistently. According to those responses, here is the definition of a date from the SITS members: “A pre-planned meeting, initiated by one, between two people who are interested in exploring romantic opportunities with the other, in which the person initiating pays the full cost of the outing. The outing should involve dinner or drinks and should end with a kiss goodnight.” That’s quite the definition!
Webster’s defines “date” a bit differently: “An engagement to go out socially with another person”. That sure does sound easier to find than the SITS definition, doesn’t it? Personally, I’ve seen my definition of “date” change substantially over the course of this 35/35 Project. Before Date 1, I completely believed that a date was a pre-planned activity between me and another male, for the purpose of exploring a romantic spark, initiated by the male. Now I view a date, at least a first date, as nothing more than an “introduction”. Simply meeting a person. No “romantic potential” yet established, necessarily. The introduction initiated by either party. The introduction happening in advance or on the fly. Under my new definition of “date”, it is quite possible to have multiple dates in a day! You sit at a table with someone at lunch and strike up a 20 minute conversation. You just had a lunch date! You are at a bar and turn to the person on your left and before you know it, an hour has passed with fabulous conversation and flirting. You just had a date! By taking away the pressure of making a date about uncovering romance, with rules and traditions of how it has to come about and how the evening has to go, you are able to just focus on the important part – meeting someone and having fun! After that, the rest will just fall into place! Without that, there will be nothing for you to sort into any place at all!
It’s with that definition of “date” that I found myself on Date 23 – with approximately 25 different guys! The Soundry and Singles in the Suburbs sponsored/hosted “Pick Up a Stand Up”. 25 comics performing their stand up routines followed by two rounds of speed dating. I normally associate “speed dating” with pressure. But not under the new definition of “date” and not in a room full of comics!
My friend, known on this blog as “Pukes Rainbows”, came along for the crazy night – and walked away having had 25 dates herself! Date 23 was about showing that a “date” can be whatever you make it! You control your dating life! Make it what you want it to be! Get out and have fun! See what results!
I’d love to know what your definition of a date is and how it has, or hasn’t, changed over time. Leave a comment and let the discussion begin!
“I don’t know the first real thing about the dating game. I don’t know how to talk to a specific person and connect. I just think you have to go to person by person and do the best you can with people in general.”
– Jason Schwartzman