The Non-Date Date Illusion

I decided to take a break from dating a few months ago (all the 19-23 year-old males in New York took a collective sigh of relief) but in the two months I was away from the New York dating scene–how much could things have changed? I mean, men are still men, women are still women and the nation still hates Jon and Kate Gosselin–so things are normal, right? Wrong! A few dating bloggers have come up with a new concept–the “non-date date” and I’m truly horrified at the idea.

In Funky Brown Chick’s Post Real Date vs. Non-date Date we learn that the non-date date is: when two people who could possibly be sexually attracted to each other meet to go out, but either: (a) one person thinks it’s a date and the other one doesn’t or (b) both parties aren’t sure whether they’re romantically interested in each other.

According to Single City Guy, in his post, The Beauty of Non-Date Dates, we discover the non-date date to be as follows: It’s when you go out with someone relatively new on a date like activity without any of the dating pretenses (i.e. your not trying to hook up with them, go home with them, etc.) This doesn’t mean you won’t end up naked performing the midnight tango with your NDD, but it’s highly unlikely.

Now, I’m old-school when it comes to certain things like: unplugging the phone when there’s a thunder storm, putting your used batteries in the freezer until they recharge, and abortions are best done out of a van–but when it comes to dating–no amount of reasoning will convince me that there could ever be such a thing as a non-date date.

In both theories, there’s a dissconnect; a piece of the puzzle is missing. In Funky Brown Chick’s theory: Part A: one person thinks it’s a date and the other doesn’t. For the person who thinks they’re on a date–it’s a date. For the one who doesn’t realize it’s a date–they were just hanging out with a friend. So which one would call it a non-date date? Don’t both parties have to be aware and agree to the terms in order to call it one? Otherwise, I just went out on a non-date date with the Asian lady who works at the dry cleaner around the corner. Oy!

And in Part B: if neither party is sure of their romantic interest in one another–why go out? I dated a guy who revealed that he dated someone for two months to finally conclude he wasn’t really attracted to the guy romantically. What? Wash your hair, clean out your medicine cabinet, learn to sew but don’t waste time not-dating your date.

And now it’s time to dissect Single City Guy’s theory which is “doing a date-like activity without any of the dating pretenses: hooking up with them or go home with them”. Well once upon a time–in a place far, far away…like in the 90s, people actually went on date-like-activities without sleeping with one another or having a pretense of sex. With that explanation, isn’t he really defining a “real date” as sleeping together or hooking up in the end?

I was confused so I consulted with another dating blogger; Lost Plum who was just as horrified at the idea as I was. A direct quote from a twitter DM, Lost Plum wrote: “Yeah throw up in my mouth! There is no such thing! Its a date or it’s not!” To read her post about the topic, click Lost Plum here.

With all this non-date date talk, I can’t help but wonder, “When did the concept of dating take two steps back? Or is this evolution?” Isn’t a date supposed to be the time to experience butterflies as you get to know another person and connect with them and their ideas? It’s the perfect setting to laugh, explore, and discover one another’s life’s passion and the driving force in their existence–not just mundane pre-activity until sex. If you redefine something by its original concept–have you really redefined it…or has it redefined you? I know the difference between a date, a hook up, hanging out and a one-night stand. Do you?

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