How to Go to Formal in Canada Without Hooking Up With Your Date
Formal season is upon us... brace yourselves. Get your heels ready, start ‘date shopping’ on social media, and hope that special someone pops the invite. Formal can be a time of fun, laughter, tears, and sometimes despair. Your fate rests with your date.
Whether the person you're about to spend a weekend with is your best friend, lover, awkward acquaintance, or random setup, it's important to keep your date happy. This is their big event, so just try not to make them regret inviting you. But what if someone who you consider as ‘just a friend’ asks you to formal… in Canada?
A regular date party that lasts a few hours is hard enough to get through if you aren’t interested in your date. A weekend away in another country with someone you have no desire to hookup with is even harder.
In most cases, being invited to someone’s formal is an indication of sexual interest and most dates feel pressured to end the night with at least a make out, unless it was made clear from the start that it was just a friendly invite.
Being invited to a formal in Canada means a lot of money spent, a lot of alcohol consumed, and a limited amount of beds (specifically one per couple) slept in. This usually implies a little more than a kiss at the end of the night, and most Canada trips have a two-night minimum. So how do you say yes while saying no?
First and foremost, make your intentions clear as soon as your date asks you. If someone invites you, that (should) mean they are comfortable hanging out, even in such close quarters. If he/she is a real friend, there should be a mutual understanding of your reasoning to only go as friends. Do not wait until the day before the trip or the bus ride there to drop the FZ (friend zone) bomb.
Secondly, ask around and see if any of your friends are going or interested in going. You certainly don’t want to be the only person you know besides your date. Having friends with you will make it easier to remain true to yourself and not be lonely (because dates have a tendency to wander off with their own pals). It would benefit you to tell your date that one of your friends is interested in going. This will help you gauge if others within that organization are looking for a ‘just friends’ date to Canada as well.
Lastly, do not be afraid to say no at any point. If you are feeling pressured to hook up with your date once you're already there, address it ASAP. Again, it may be hard for your date to understand, especially if the first time you are expressing discomfort is drunk and mid-grinding. Make it clear that despite your moves on the dance floor, you still see this person in a platonic way. If they are unhappy to be just friends, they're probably a bad friend.
Syracuse University’s IFC and Panhellenic councils condemn sexual assault. As a community, we are Greeks Against Sexual Assault. When in Canada (and everywhere else), make your intentions clear and your responses even clearer. But always remember, silence is not consent.