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Author Topic: What exactly is dating in the US?  (Read 1549 times)

That lab tech

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What exactly is dating in the US?
« on: 17 May 2015, 01:13 »

Could somebody please enlighten an Euro: What do Americans exactly mean when they are dating?
Is it a date when you meet somebody one on one, for whatever reason?
Is it a date when you just want to hang out with a friend and have a good time?
Is it a date when you meet someone of opposite sex just to hang out and have a good time?
Is it a date when you meet your (unconfirmed) love interest to find out if you would fit together?
Is it a date when you meet your confirmed girldfriend/boyfriend?
Is it a date when you have a business lunch with some business partner?

I'm afraid I used to ask the wrong people for a date when I just wanted an appointment or a meeting...
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Re: What exactly is dating in the US?
« Reply #1 on: 17 May 2015, 04:38 »

'Dating' is the most watery term in the English language. It can be ANYTHING, and then you can double or triple the implications when you factor in American English and English English.
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Re: What exactly is dating in the US?
« Reply #2 on: 17 May 2015, 11:48 »

The only time that my fiance and I have ever gone on a, "date," is when we first met. We had lunch at a restaurant, walked around downtown, and then watched a movie at my house. After that we've only ever watched movies together at each others house before we became boyfriend and girlfriend. After that we still went places, but we never really called them dates.
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Re: What exactly is dating in the US?
« Reply #3 on: 17 May 2015, 12:23 »

There's also the fact that going on a date and "dating" someone can mean entirely different things. Generally people go on at least a few dates before they start dating. It's really confusing if you think about it too hard.
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Re: What exactly is dating in the US?
« Reply #4 on: 17 May 2015, 13:15 »

We need more terms. Everyone gets confused so easily by the word "dating". There's always a follow up.

"Oh, so when you mean dating do you mean, like, you've been on a few dates, or are you going steady and blah, blagh, sdjfnfsdf".

Had the conversation just the other day in fact...
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Re: What exactly is dating in the US?
« Reply #5 on: 18 May 2015, 00:32 »

A 'date' in the traditional sense is going out for dinner and a movie.  Maybe wearing casual formal.  Dinner is at a sit-down place.

Me personally though, an ideal date would be just hanging out doing whatever; videogames, fencing, walk around an art museum, Netflix binge, drive the backroads shooting the shit, etc.
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Re: What exactly is dating in the US?
« Reply #6 on: 18 May 2015, 02:49 »

Dating (person unspecified) - Actively looking for a person with whom you wish to get into a relationship. A loose term that acts somewhat as a coverall for things you do as part of looking for someone to get into a relationship with.

Dating (person specified) - A narrower term that covers those physical encounters where you are working on getting to know a prospective relationship partner better to see whether you are mutually compatible.

Dating (activity specified) - A slightly contradictory term to define those acts of meeting people in date-like scenarios for then enjoyment of that encounter with no intention of forming a long-term intimate personal relationship.

A date - a specific arrangement to meet and enter into an activity agreed by two or more people that forms part of dating.

Date Night - a specific arrangement to meet and enter into an activity agreed by two or more people already in an established relationship in order to enjoy each other's company in seclusion, rediscover each other or simply break up the mundanity of daily life as it tries to wear you down into a bitter shadow of your former self.
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Re: What exactly is dating in the US?
« Reply #7 on: 18 May 2015, 03:08 »

I'm afraid I used to ask the wrong people for a date when I just wanted an appointment or a meeting...

In a business context, there should be no problem.  I find nothing odd with saying "shall we fix a date" or "we have a date arranged" when a meeting is appropriate.  My guess is that one would fairly specifically "go on" a social date, and that phrasing is sufficient distinction - but it might not be quite the same in the US, I realise.

"Shall we fix a date?" - business;
"Shall we have a date?" - borderline, more likely in a business context;
"Shall we go on a date", "Do you want to come on a date?" - social.
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Re: What exactly is dating in the US?
« Reply #8 on: 18 May 2015, 04:25 »

Then there is "dating yourself", which is entirely different. For example, stating, "I remember when John Lennon died" means you are of a particular age that you were old enough to understand the significance of the event. Thus, the casual observer could infer your age from the statement - in this case, someone over the age of 40.
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Re: What exactly is dating in the US?
« Reply #9 on: 18 May 2015, 04:46 »

Carbon dating - where anti-robot bigots restrict themselves to dating a gene pool that only has genes.
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Re: What exactly is dating in the US?
« Reply #11 on: 18 May 2015, 06:12 »

Is it a date when you meet somebody one on one, for whatever reason?
Yes.  Play date, coffee date, lunch date.  Its time you set aside for someone.
Quote
Is it a date when you just want to hang out with a friend and have a good time?
yes.  See above.
Quote
Is it a date when you meet someone of opposite sex just to hang out and have a good time?
yes.
Quote
Is it a date when you meet your (unconfirmed) love interest to find out if you would fit together?
yes.
Quote
Is it a date when you meet your confirmed girldfriend/boyfriend?
yes, but usually after you are confirmed as a couple (i.e. going steady) dates typically are special time set aside for one another or a special event for the couple.
Quote
Is it a date when you have a business lunch with some business partner?
yes.

"Date" really depends on the context of how you use it.  "We went on our first day yesterday" usually implies a romantic type of date to get to know an unconfirmed love interest.  "I have a lunch date with Johnson today so we can discuss the spreadsheet" is a professional capacity date and does not imply there is any romance at all and is strictly business.
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Re: What exactly is dating in the US?
« Reply #12 on: 18 May 2015, 14:48 »

 Speaking of words that can mean business and/or romance, the word "partner" can be just as confusing as the word "date"!
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Does anybody really know what time it is?
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Re: What exactly is dating in the US?
« Reply #13 on: 18 May 2015, 23:25 »

Partner - never before has an attempt to break away from the heteronormative resulted in something so bland, devoid of emotion and inappropriate to the circumstance.
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Re: What exactly is dating in the US?
« Reply #14 on: 25 May 2015, 12:29 »

Eh, I like referring to the person I date as my partner. I feel like it really captures what I am looking for in my relationship dynamic.
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Method of Madness

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Re: What exactly is dating in the US?
« Reply #15 on: 25 May 2015, 22:17 »

...businesslike?
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MR ARCHIVE-FU MADNESS
Does anybody really know what time it is?
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Re: What exactly is dating in the US?
« Reply #17 on: 26 May 2015, 18:24 »

...businesslike?

... equals in relationship standing?

I'm not a huge fan of being referred to as someone's girlfriend. (or wife, for that matter) Saying their "my other half" implies that alone I am incomplete.

Partner says to me that we are equals, of equal dominance in the relationship, is delightfully gender neutral, and doesn't carry all of the baggage that girlfriend, wife, boyfriend, husband, or snookums have.

And yeah, part of being in a good relationship is a little bit businesslike, at least for me. Planning meals, working out finances, living arrangements, making compromises....
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Re: What exactly is dating in the US?
« Reply #18 on: 26 May 2015, 19:20 »

I prefer partner to boyfriend/girlfriend. I don't call my husband that now, but I felt juvenile saying "boyfriend" and I hate the term "fiance". I usually just call him by name anyways and rarely refer to him (verbally) as my husband. He's my Michael.

Saying their "my other half" implies that alone I am incomplete.

And that's why I also hate the phrase, "my/your better half." Not only are you incomplete, but you suck without the other.
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Re: What exactly is dating in the US?
« Reply #19 on: 26 May 2015, 19:24 »

Yeah, I always preferred using names rather than titles. Also it kind of bugs me when people refer to their whatever as "my (whatever)" instead of just saying their name if they know I know the person's name.
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MR ARCHIVE-FU MADNESS
Does anybody really know what time it is?
(╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻

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Re: What exactly is dating in the US?
« Reply #20 on: 07 Jun 2015, 10:06 »

I like partner because it implies that they have my back in a shootout which is absolutely something I expect.

I also accept Co-Pilot and XO.
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Re: What exactly is dating in the US?
« Reply #21 on: 07 Jun 2015, 17:45 »

Don't co-pilot and XO both imply being your second in command as opposed to your equal?
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Quote from: Polonius
Though this be madness, yet there is method in't.
MR ARCHIVE-FU MADNESS
Does anybody really know what time it is?
(╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻

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Re: What exactly is dating in the US?
« Reply #22 on: 07 Jun 2015, 18:26 »

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Re: What exactly is dating in the US?
« Reply #23 on: 09 Jun 2015, 05:34 »

Don't co-pilot and XO both imply being your second in command as opposed to your equal?

Good point and well made, except that we both refer to each other as our XO so I guess neither of us is in charge? Also co-pilot as in Jaegar co-pilot. Equals :)
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Re: What exactly is dating in the US?
« Reply #24 on: 09 Jun 2015, 13:26 »

I say Partner, it's what I use to refer to them here and in person when I don't want to use their name for any reason. Sometimes fiance if I'm meeting a new person. It works for us because as well as being in a romantic relationship, we work together and I always prefer a gender neutral term. I've expressed before it usually feels awkward saying, "Fiance" because one, it physically doesn't feel nice to say, something about enunciating it just feels awkward in my mouth. Two, it feels like a big personal bit of info to tell casually. I talked about this in more detail here a while ago. When we're married I'll probably still say Partner or Spouse when appropriate.
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Re: What exactly is dating in the US?
« Reply #25 on: 09 Jun 2015, 13:43 »

I don't think I know a single person who likes the word "fiance". I use it as little as possible, when I do it's for the same reason as you, when I meat someone new etc. It's just such an awkward word! I feel like it's a pretend posh word, I kinda feel like a little kid playing grown up when I use it. Ugh.
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Re: What exactly is dating in the US?
« Reply #26 on: 09 Jun 2015, 14:43 »

When I was engaged, I would say fiancée the first time and "Sarah" after that. But if I had to use a title instead of a name, I liked saying fiancée because holy shit I was engaged and wanted people to know that.
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Quote from: Polonius
Though this be madness, yet there is method in't.
MR ARCHIVE-FU MADNESS
Does anybody really know what time it is?
(╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻

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Re: What exactly is dating in the US?
« Reply #27 on: 10 Jun 2015, 01:09 »

I did the same as Method.
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Re: What exactly is dating in the US?
« Reply #28 on: 10 Jun 2015, 02:51 »

I worked with someone a few years back who couldn't seem to manage the pronunciation of fiance and it always came out as fancy. Oddly, it kind of worked better, kind of the way that fiance always sounds better in the lilting tones of the Provencale. Mind you, she were Derbyshire so she was just as likely to refer to the lad as duck.
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Re: What exactly is dating in the US?
« Reply #29 on: 10 Jun 2015, 03:46 »

We actually call each other "Boyfriend" and "Girlfriend", not just when referring to each other, but to each other's faces too. It started as a joke but now it's just what we do? My sis jokingly said to my boyfriend "she has a name,  you know", to which he replied "yeah I know, it's Girlfriend!". I wonder what we'll start calling each other once we're married...
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Re: What exactly is dating in the US?
« Reply #30 on: 10 Jun 2015, 03:48 »

Some friends of mine call each other "missus" and "fella".
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Re: What exactly is dating in the US?
« Reply #31 on: 10 Jun 2015, 08:03 »

As long as we're not "hubby" and "wifey" I'm good. Barf!
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Re: What exactly is dating in the US?
« Reply #32 on: 10 Jun 2015, 10:13 »

"Mother" and "Father".
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Re: What exactly is dating in the US?
« Reply #33 on: 10 Jun 2015, 11:54 »

That's only in front of the cat...
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Re: What exactly is dating in the US?
« Reply #34 on: 10 Jun 2015, 12:12 »

We think the dog named us Mr. Tallerest and Lieutenant General Cuddles.
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