How to Know if You Are or Are Not on a Date
Everyone has something they’re good at. For me, it is my innate ability to believe that I am on a date when I am in fact not on a date, or vice versa, to believe I’m not on a date when I so clearly am. I’m not sure where this situation selection talent came from, but if I had to guess I would have to thank my awkward adolescence and vivid imagination. I may have lost the braces and shed the baby weight, but this dated social construction is still confounding. If you're just as confused about ~dating~ as I used to be, I’m here to save all you from the pain of not knowing what constitutes a date and what does not.
Here's are a few telltale signs you're on a date.
- You're not in your dorm, apartment, or house. This is the first sign of a legitimate date. Watching a movie in one of your dorm rooms definitely doesn’t count. Some effort and care should be put into this event. It doesn’t have to be at a five-star restaurant, but it shouldn’t be on the slightly musty couch in their off campus house’s damp basement. That sounds more like a hostage/murder situation than a date.
- The person you're with offers to pay for your meal or activity. Spare me the dirty looks about how this is enforcing gender roles and ruining the world, I get it. I’m on your side. Anyone, regardless of gender, who wants you to see them as more than a friend should offer to pay for whatever activity they’ve asked you to do—it's called manners. The universe will not crumble if someone pays for your taco.
- The person you're with put his or her phone away. Some people are so connected to their phones that they get notifications whenever Steph Curry makes a bowel movement. If your partner puts down the phone and steers clear from digital distractions, they are trying to send you signal—they’re into you. If someone’s really into you they’ll be able to put their phone away for 45 minutes. Again, this is just good manners.
On the other hand, these are a few signs that you are, unfortunately, not on a date.
- The person you're meeting puts shows up looking sloppy. Someone who is into you and wants to show you a good time probably wouldn’t show up to said good time in his or her dirtiest sweatpants. Yeah, they could argue that they feel comfortable around you, but wake up and smell the desperation. Someone who is taking you on a date will put effort and care into how they’re presenting themselves to you.
- The person you're with doesn't seem at all nervous. The best dates have a hint of nervousness to them. Nothing bad, just a little bit of the butterflies. This shows that they’re excited about spending time with you and don’t want to mess anything up. No one gets nervous around a platonic friend unless they have to tell them they got pancake syrup on the shirt they borrowed the other night.
- You don't receive any post-date follow-up. After a date it’s customary to receive a “I had a good time, let’s do this again," or, "this date went horribly I never want to see your ugly face again” text. These texts are a good indicator that the night’s previous activity was a date. Think about it, you don’t text your friends after a night of just hangin’.
Proceed with caution young ones and date away.