Monday, June 6, 2011

The ever-changing meaning of the word "dating"


What does it mean to “date” in today’s world? Does it mean you’re in an exclusive relationship with someone, going out on dates with only one person, or going out on dates with several different people? A friend and I recently had a conversation about this dilemma and I wanted to see what you all think about it.

Dating used to be defined as being in an exclusive relationship with one individual, but nowadays, the term has taken on multiple meanings, including, but not limited to, the ones just listed. And depending on who you ask, you’re likely to get a different answer as to which definition is correct.

When someone tells me they’re “dating,” I have to ask for further clarification because the statement of the word on its own is insufficient to garner significant meaning from. The same thing goes for the term “hooking up” as well. Depending on who you ask, hooking up could mean anything from making out to having sex.

I think dating should mean being in an exclusive relationship, and going out on dates with one or however many other people should be called “seeing someone” or “playing the field,” respectively. Or at least, that’s how I explain it when others ask me.

It’s important to understand how your potential love interest(s) conceptualizes “dating” because the two of you have to be comfortable with and in agreement about what you’re doing exactly so that you can proceed accordingly.

What’s your take? How do you define dating?

6 comments:

Toni Rose said...

As for DATE (noun): It's simple for me actually.
It when me, and a guy... go out.
I call it a date.

:)

Rule #1 (or so i heard from a movie i cannot remember) .. all dates are official

AS FOR DATING (verb)

I think it is cultural... I grew up in an asian culture, and usually when you say you are dating someone the mutual pair already assumes that the guy is courting the girl, thus being an exclusive thing.

except probably to a few people where they randomly date different guys or girls every week. that's again a mutual understanding that nothing serious is going on. then that wouldn't be referred as "Dating" .. it was just a, "date" ... :)


xx
toni

BonjourMissMary said...

I recently had this conversation too and I actually came to the same definitions as you. However, I think it's odd that many of my guy friends feel that using "dating" and "hooking up" and "seein each other" as the same thing... ::sigh::

little said...

for me, the term dating means i'm going on dates for the person and seeing where it goes. i still date other people though. its when we start having sex that i only date that one person.

http://challengedromantic.blogspot.com/

Brooke said...

Yea Mary, it seems like guys can't/don't even define dating, so it makes it that much harder for us girls to figure out what's going on.

Kelly said...

Agreed. Dating implies, to me, that you're seeing one person. What makes it more confusing is when people say they're "casually dating". Do you mean you're dating one person pretty casually, or that you're dating more than one person??

Cait said...

Great post, I think it is cultural too, in the UK people tend to just date one person, it is kind of assumed to be exclusive quite early on though maybe this is just my opinion on dating (I'm not an expert on the subject).

I love your blog, I have awarded you the Versatile Blogger Award :) http://sailing-to-nowhere.blogspot.com/2011/06/versatile-blogger-award.html

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