In the good ‘ole days – or at least as I imagine them – a man would squire a woman with spoken, confident intent. He would locate said woman, who was likely doing something ‘womanly,’ and say something like “I desire for you to be mine” or “let’s begin a scripted march toward marriage.”
And flattered to an unspoken degree, she would agree, because holy crap, a man just offered to rescue her from her poor, aimless life as a woman without a man!
Well, things have changed. As Danny Trejo once said in Anchorman, “women can do stuff now!”
Now, men and women date casually. They have one night stands, or several night stands, or they just stay in loveless relationships for the complacency and companionship. Hell, some women even believe in having ‘guy friends.’
Suffice it to say that dating is much different now, from whenever these imagined ‘ole days were taking place.
So it begs the question – what exactly is a date in modern times? I mean, now that it’s culturally uncouth to tell a woman that she’s going to be yours, how does a modern man pursuit a modern woman? And similarly, how does she know if it’s a date, or even ask for the date, should she feel so compelled?
For starters, if you’ve explicitly mentioned the word ‘date,’ or used contextual words like ‘go out’ or ‘take you out,’ you’re looking at a date. Case closed. Beyond that, though, things get slippery.
Like when someone innocuously mentions a certain activity or event that’s taking place and extends an invitation your way. “Hey, there’s this thing on Saturday and some of my friends are going. Would you care to join?”
In addition, there’s the “someone cancelled at the last minute an extra ticket became available” situation. Does that equal a date, since you technically weren’t the first option? Or was this just the perfect opportunity to ask you out?
And what about the “hey, I’m gonna be in your area later, would you wanna grab coffee?” situation. This doesn’t feel very planned and romantic, but maybe that was the plan? To get the ‘date’ without placing too much pressure on it?
(Side Note: If it seems like I’ve thought of all of the angles here, it’s because I have thought of all of the angles here. And I’ve tried them.)
Granted, I can’t be the authority for all men, but I think I speak for enough of them when I tell you that in each of the above-mentioned scenarios, it’s highly likely that you’re being asked on a date.
I say that because to some degree, if a guy is only after sex, then his focus is typically only on pro-sex activities. You know, like text you after 10 p.m. on a Wednesday just to ‘see what you’re up to.’ (In his mind, he thinks this will work.)
Outside of that, if a person of the opposite sex is seeking you out for the purpose of actually enjoying your company, you my friend could very well be looking at a date.
And that’s great news if you’ve been hoping for it! If not? That’s great news, too! You get to practice the awkward art of polite rejection. Have fun with that.
David Berry is a Miami-based dating writer and entrepreneur. His upcoming debut book, ‘The 10 Phases of Dating,’ will be released October 1, 2016, and he is the founder of DB + Partners, a marketing/advertising agency with clients that include McCormick, Barceló Hotels & Resorts, the YMCA and others.
His straightforward, punchline-a- minute writing style drives several thousand readers to each of his blog posts, and has landed his dating perspective in the pages of the Miami Herald, the Miami New Times, Aventura Magazine, and a snippet in Cosmopolitan, as well.
Berry has an MBA from Florida International University and draws passion for his craft from a wide base of interests, as he’s also an aspiring amateur boxer, former stand-up comedian and volunteer, having won Miami Children’s Hospital’s 2012 Volunteer of the Year award while raising more than $200,000 for the hospital’s Radio Lollipop program.
To join the pre-order list for ‘The 10 Phases of Dating,’ send your name and personal email address to firstname.lastname@example.org.