relationship rhetoric

What Is A Date?

This post was inspired by a post I read on Black Girls Are Easy, a guilty pleasure of mine, called “Dating vs. Come Over and Chill.”  After reading it, I asked myself a recurring question in my mind and among my peers – what is a date?

Some time ago, after going on a mediocre first date with a guy that I wasn’t super excited about, I asked one of my girlfriends if what we did should be considered a date.  He was a gentleman, albeit a little rough around the edges, but a nice guy nonetheless.  I had gotten all dolled up thinking we were going to a bar where there’s at least music, drinks and fun, but we ended up at a quaint deserted Italian food eatery (not restaurant) which boasts the “best pizza in town” and cheap wine.  My date wore sweats, sneakers and a t-shirt, and looked as though he had just rolled out of bed.  Clearly, he had not put much thought OR effort into choosing his attire for the evening.  I was insulted.  Part of me wanted to leave just on GP, but I had already wasted my gas driving to meet him, so I decided to at least try to “break even.”

I wondered if I was selling myself short by going out with a guy who was self-sufficient, but who obviously couldn’t afford to “treat me” in the manner in which I had grown accustomed.  However, even if he could not “afford” to wine and dine me, does the fact that he did not try, by any means necessary, to scrape up enough money to take me on a fabulous date mean that he didn’t feel I was worth it or was he just doing the best he could with what he had?

Recently, on an episode of Say Yes To The Dress, a woman was engaged to marry a man she had never met in person.  These two were so confident in the relationship they built in cyberspace over a matter of months that they waited until their wedding day to actually meet for the first time.  Does this mean that their online courtship was not dating?  In this context, is chatting online or Skyping a date? Is talking on the phone ever considered a date?

I have been invited to “chill at the house” as a first date, but I declined.  The only reason I never consented though was for safety reasons (unfortunately, I saw For Colored Girls…), not because I didn’t consider an invitation to “chill” a date.  I’m still not sure how to classify the proposition to “come over and chill” though.  Is it a date only if he cooks?

Men who don’t make a great deal of money seem to be the ones trying to capitalize on the “come over and chill” date, which leads me to revisit a question incited by a letter from one of my readers, Should Broke Men Date?

What is the definition of a date?  In order for time spent with another to be considered a date, what must occur? Some activity?  The spending of money by the courter, not the courtee?  Does food have to be involved? Must it take place away from one’s residence?

Guys, can a woman tell how “into her” a guy is based on what their first date entails or is there no real tell-tale sign?  Ladies, would a guy who put in minimal effort on the first date get a second date?  Does a man have to spend a certain amount of money for him to be considered dateable?


16 thoughts on “What Is A Date?

  1. TT:

    Regarding the question that you addressed to men, “Guys, can a woman tell how “into her” a guy is based on what their first date entails or is there no real tell-tale sign?”, I believe that what one’s first date entails could be the result of several things which can include the following; (1) He’s not that into her, (2) Has limited resources, (3) The level of his standards, (4) Arrogance, etc.

    Note: This list is by no means exhaustive.

    A woman will obviously have to listen and watch closely to determine the motive behind what their particular first date entails, and throw whatever it is that is interesting about that person out of the window in order to accomplish this (This applies to men as well).

    Lastly, I think a guy without disposable resources should not be shot down by women if he is working hard towards something. A number of men, me included, want to know that a woman wants to be with them for who they are and when resources flow abundantly figuring that out gets a lot trickier. I purposely have found the most boring and discrete way of honestly informing women of what I do (Only when asked. I do not volunteer this information) and it is laughable how quickly they often receive the most important text in the world. Haha. I am not saying that women should date lazy men but one’s present situation shouldn’t ALWAYS be a deal breaker.


    Posted by Mark | June 7, 2012, 8:16 AM
    • Mark,

      It is so funny how you get different responses from different men. I’m not sure if you read the article linked that sparked this post, but the male author clearly thinks that if a man is really into you, he will not simply want to chill at the house or take you to a fast food restuarant for dates. However, I have heard the opinion that some men will intentionally refrain from wining and dining a woman until they know she likes him for who he is, not what he can do for her. And, also like you point out, some men are just lazy and know that what one woman won’t put up with, another woman will (arrogance). What’s a girl to do? lol

      Posted by 30thoughts | June 7, 2012, 8:51 AM
      • TT:

        Lol. That’s a tough question. I think the best thing to do is have standards and do not deviate from them regardless of how attractive, financially stable, funny, etc someone is.

        I read the article that you referenced above, and while it was a little vulgar for my tastes, I agree with a lot of what he said. That being said, I do not agree with the comment “If he spends time getting to know you, then puts in the energy to see you and put a smile on your face, he’s committed to something. It could be getting the pussy or it could be getting a girlfriend, it doesn’t really matter initially, as long as he’s showing that you have value.” The motive(s) behind someone’s actions always matters.

        I, like him, believe it’s starts with a woman’s self worth. There in lies the root of the problem. No self worth = compromise = low expectations = disappointment. Where there are no standards, there are millions of people looking to kick down the door and walk right in. I remember occasionally going out with some of the guys I knew back in college. One in particular had a way of just speaking to women and hitting that sweet spot consistently. He would sometimes end the night with 10-15 numbers. By the next day, that number would be down to 2-4. I called him out on it one day (not in a confrontational manner), and told him that he narrows it down after speaking to all of them and identifying those that would offer the least resistance (if you will) to him achieving his ultimate objective. He replied with laughter and said “man you already know”. That was over 10 years ago, and I truly believe that if that was today that 2-4 number would be 6-9 because of the steadily decreasing standards.

        In conclusion, the writer had some excellent points and I hope that many men and women learn some things from it. I hope the standards gets raised on both ends. If we take one parents out of the equation and apply this to individuals who are already adults (by age not maturity), the change has to start with the women because most people (men in this instance given that we are normally the one in pursuit) have a tendency to do just enough to obtain that which they are in pursuit of.


        Posted by Mark | June 8, 2012, 2:42 PM
      • It’s a little vulgar for me too, but he gives great advice, so I continue to go back for more lol. “No self worth = compromise = low expectations = disappointment.” This is probably the gist of it. I think we should revert back to the days of group dating. It’s much more telling than sitting across from each other having dinner and asking questions and having random conversation. Anyone can fake it and mask their motives.

        Posted by 30thoughts | June 8, 2012, 7:57 PM
  2. Guys, can a woman tell how “into her” a guy is based on what their first date entails or is there no real tell-tale sign?

    I don’t know how to answer that question. It’s 2012, so the game has change so much. My sister is older(35) and I remember when she was in high school, girls and boys had to go together to get some. When she started college, she was dating and had dudes bending over backwards to talk to her. There wasn’t really casual sex as much as there is nowadays.

    I didn’t start having sex till I was 18 in ’04. Even then text messaging hadn’t popped off yet, you still called house phones to kick it, you actually had to take girls out to hang out. Now everything is so casual. Men get what they want so soon and easy. We don’t have to invest in getting to know you before we taste the cookie jar. Once in the cookie jar, that’s when women know their value to men. If we call, want to meet without sex, make an effort to impress you, then you know he is truely interested. I am 26, never been in a true relationship, but I still separate the girls I am interested in from the jump-offs by the amount of time I invest in the relationship. If I see you as a jump-off, you get that come by and chill text. If I am interested, you get that let’s go to the zoo, I’m headed to a party tonight, we should get dinner and a movie PHONE CALL.

    To answer you question though haha, I say no not really. Alot of my peers don’t put alot of effort into dating. So he could be feeling you, but show up in sweats and a tee. One thing I will say though is I reside in South Texas. Never dated on the East Coast, so I can’t speak for East Coast dudes.

    Posted by South Texas | June 7, 2012, 1:31 PM
    • @South Texas – Hmmm that’s interesting and I agree that men have gotten lazier in their approach over time. The sweats and tee thing had never happened to me before, so I didn’t know how to interpret his lack of effort. I’m certainly not a sweats and tees kind of girl, and I’m sure he knew that. Anyhoo, I see what you’re saying. I’m actually on the West Coast in Cali, which is a whole other story. I think west coast guys feel a sense of entitlement if they even remotely have it going on, whereas it seems in the South, men are looking to settle down sooner rather than later, and act accordingly. So, the approach is the same, but the ultimate goal, especially at your age, is different.

      Posted by 30thoughts | June 7, 2012, 8:28 PM
  3. TT:

    I don’t know if this post is the place for it but can you please explain what you mean by group dating? I’m not quite sure I know what that is.


    Posted by Mark | June 9, 2012, 3:54 AM
  4. He probably is just lazy. Guys don’t have to put in effort. It starts in college and gets worse as men get older. Instead of stepping his game up he will just go younger because young girls fresh out of college dont know any better lol. My father taught me how to court a woman because he treats my mom special. That being said not every girl I “messed” with got treated with respect and I knew better. But as a man we get away with what we can.

    Posted by Jerold | June 13, 2012, 7:01 AM
    • Yeah laziness will get you nowhere with a woman who knows her worth. You also bring up a good point. I believe there’s a difference between dating and courting. To me, courting is reserved for women that you could possibly see as a wife. It is a higher level of pursuit whereas you can take any woman out on a date, as cheap or as expensive as it may be. Why wasn’t every girl treated with the same respect though? I have heard some guys say this, and I don’t understand why, if you were taught to respect women, every woman wouldn’t receive the same level of respect regardless of how you feel about her. Granted, you don’t have to try as hard as you would with the girl you’re simply dating but to not treat her with respect is another story.

      Posted by 30thoughts | June 13, 2012, 7:17 AM
  5. I consider this so weird as I was going to write on this topic today before another topic consumed me but you kinda wrote it for me lol. I lived most of my life going out with female friends to the movies etc and never thought of it as a date since I didn’t like them like that until someone told me it was a date. Anyhow, to me a date must be face to face so via text, BBM, Facebook or any other social media I do not consider it a date but that’s just me.

    Posted by petersburgh | July 1, 2012, 2:46 AM
    • @petersburgh – I really am confused STILL about what constitutes a date, and why dating has to be in person (as you stated). After all, you are still getting to know someone by talking on the phone and even just “hanging out” with someone. It still isn’t clear whether women should find it acceptable to be asked over to “chill” at a guys house. I’m trying to get some answers for the ladies on this particular question. What’s your position?

      Posted by 30thoughts | July 2, 2012, 11:23 AM
      • I consider it in person because on the phone is too informal. I look at it the same way I look at one night stands. If you and I were “dating” on the phone for 3 months and we finally meet and have sex on that first meeting I consider that a one night stand. If we look at it over the phone, then most people you meet and are just trying to get to know as a friend etc would be thinking otherwise.

        The problem with the chilling thing is that most men may see that as you wanting to sleep with them especially if you barely know them etc. If you just met and you’re willing to be by his house already then he may think you’re that smitten he can try ting.

        Posted by petersburgh | July 2, 2012, 2:28 PM
      • I see. Wow! You would consider that a one night stand?? Even if we continued to talk over the phone and plan sporadic meetings in person?? That’s how a lot of long distance relationships begin and continue.

        I agree about the chilling thing for a first date, but what about subsequent dates? Still too suggestive to accept an offer to hang out at his house or yours?

        Posted by 30thoughts | July 2, 2012, 9:09 PM
  6. I think that after you both decide where the relationship is headed and are on the same page, then chilling maybe okay

    Posted by petersburgh | July 3, 2012, 2:31 AM

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