The “I don’t know if it’s a date, date”

By. R Theodora Appleton

Dating couple scene, love confession
Dating couple scene, love confession illustration from Google Images

When you enter the adult world, there’s no doubt you’ll encounter this situation. Especially with the complete incorporation of cellphones and social media into our lives, it’s easy to miscommunicate on, well- anything really. I am going to explain the “I don’t know if it’s a date, date.”

First off, what is an “I don’t know if it’s a date, date” and how should you deal with it? I’ll get to those answers soon.

To be honest, I am not a regular dater. I don’t really get asked that much. It could very well be my age. Maybe it’s a dying activity in my generation.

I went out with a guy that I met a couple months earlier  in class. It was a lab, and I didn’t really talk to him much, until the day I decided to follow him out of class to start a conversation. (SHHH It’s not as creepy as it sounds.) I forget what I started with…ah yes! It was an introduction. I just told him who I was and then we talked a bit about random stuff. He ended up giving me his number.

Now this is interesting because he left it all in my hands. I could have texted him that night but, I didn’t want to seem like a lot… Yeah I was slightly drewling over his appearance, he dressed nicely, spoke well…DAMNIT. At that moment I made up all of these stories of who he could be. I ended up with he’s 1) gay, 2) in a serious relationship, or 3) a CRAZY MURDERER that happens to dress nicely.

No matter which number he was, I was glad I said something. It’s always better to say something than to keep it in.

I didn’t text him at all. Not sure what it was. I was busy with a show… maybe I gave up on the idea. I didn’t see him in class after that until a couple months later at the performance.

That was when I realized he actually lived with someone I worked with. A small world it is, even at a huge University. I didn’t talk to him. He was with a girl, someone I sort of knew. Not really though. I assumed they were a thing automatically. You know when do guys have girls as friends… ha.

Yep, the next step of this story was me adding him on Facebook. You know, going out on a limb, trying to not seem like a creepy stalking woman.

He messaged me after that and then we and eventually texted. We mutually agreed to meet up. Please pay attention to the phrase “meet up” I use that phrase because it’s exactly the phrase you use when you don’t know what to call it. Is it a hangout? Meeting up? A Date? I’m not sure what makes up either activity.

We went to a regular restaurant bar and I got there early. Yeah I was a bit anxious. I bought myself an enormous margarita with the hopes I didn’t look like a crazy alcoholic.

He got there and greeted me with a hug. It was a great evening, good conversation. But then the end of the meal came. The bill came and we paid for our stuff.

I told some close friends and they were all like “AH DITCH THIS GUY!” “what he didn’t pay?” “oh, man that sucks!”

That was pretty disappointing, how could I color a guy as a cheap-o or uninterested based off of if he pays or not? Well apparently it’s a thing. But I decided to ignore the social norm and pretend like it wasn’t a thing anyways.

In that moment I felt a bit defeated honestly, but I’ll tell you all what to do in this situation if you get to experience one.

First off, social norms are based off of traditions in your culture but that doesn’t mean they are right or wrong. So don’t write off someone based off of a norm, that’s just unfair.

Secondly, if you are happy and confident with yourself, you won’t have to worry about whether someone else is interested in you. It is the other person’s loss if they don’t want a piece of this!?!!. (Confidence BABY!)

Thirdly, you never know what another person is going through. What if he goes out with a bat shit crazy woman, should he really have to pay for that in a social way and a monetary one? Eh, I don’t think so.

Fourthly, communication is super important and after a couple meetings with someone, you should figure out what you’re looking for. If you expect someone to pay for you and you really need this to be called a date, then let that person know. They can decide if that will work for them.

The beauty of going out with new people is you learn what you like and what you don’t like about that person and even yourself. There’s nothing to lose, and there is everything to gain.

So it might feel like you’re getting denied when you have a not-so-datelike-date, but don’t think of it like that. First dates are first dates for a reason, right?

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