Useless (youngwilliam) wrote,

Dateology 101

I'm getting a little sick and tired of the confusion of terms English brings about with the concept of a "date".

Namely, if you meet a person at a planned time/place, mainly for the purpose of hanging around each other, that's a date. Dinner date, date with the dentist's, whatever. Yet it's sometimes hard to set up such a date without the person presuming you're talking about a "date-date" in the romantic (or prurient) sense.

And it really doesn't help if you try to clarify things with addendums to it.

Ex. 1) "Want to meet up for a dinner date? And in case you were worried, the possibility of sex isn't in the top ten rea- well, top three motives."

Ex. 2) "Want to meet up for a dinner date? And in case you were worried, it's not to set up some sort of relationship with you. I mean, c'mon... with you? That'd just be creepy."

...ok, maybe those aren't the most real-world of addendums. Still, I should probably scout around for some common non-English terminology that has a clear difference between dating someone (in the sense of a couple) and dating someone (in the sense of meeting at a given time and date), although if it's French or Italian, I'll probably have a hard time saying it without drawing on a little pencil-thin John Waters mustache and smoking a stinky black cigarette.

I've also been thinking about what I can only call the opposite of swinging. Namely, dating someone (in the 'dating-dating' sense) but with no implications of physical affections going on. After all, would one say some devout Catholic couple wasn't really dating, just because they happen to be holding off any sex-type things until they're married? Or imagine a married couple where one of them is stationed overseas for a few years in Zimbabwe -- are they somehow less married than John and Jane Q. Public?

Heck, one could even combine that idea with polyamory, where the 'couple' is dating without any fooling around between them, but either/both are getting their physical kicks from outside sources!
Tags: etymology
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