Do human beings really go on dates?

I have an outside viewpoint, and objective perspective on relationships. Meaning that I have never had a girlfriend. So I can evaluate the "irrational" behavior caused by affection from the outside without being influenced by the effects of affection. So this is not advice I'm seeking, I'm just interested in what people do. :)

So I have a question for people with real relationships... Do people really plan a date with their significant other, for example to go to a restaurant and a movie, candlelight dinner, walk on the beach, skeet shooting... whatever? I mean, I've literally only seen that happen on TV. I actually haven't seen any evidence during my lifetime that this phenomena called "date" isn't just something invented for movies. Every relationship I have observed starts when 2 people randomly fall in love, and then they just spend as much time together as possible from then on. No fancy dinners in restaurants. They just love each other, plain and simple.

Is the whole "night out" -thing overused in entertainment in proportion to the actual popularity of the phenomena? Or is the culture in the part of the world I live in just that much simpler, that the phenomena is unnecessary? Or does that kind of behavior only start after people turn 25 or something?


Most Helpful Girl

  • I can personally attest that people go on "dates." To most people, dates are just a safe/formal/semi-formal way of getting to know someone. For example, if I just met someone once, I don't know if I want to be in a relationship with them, nor do we know each other well enough. So a date, like dinner, or a movie, or something else that is fun but structured, is a good way to get to know the other person. Really, after 3 or 4 real dates, you are either now "dating" or in a relationship...or you two aren't compatible and move on. Don't get caught up on the "fancy dinner" super formal stuff. Most people don't have the money to do that. Most are cheap dinners, and fun/free events.Oh, and about the age thing, yeah, after the whole college "slept with them first and see if you like them later" thing is over, you will go on dates. Also, you know YOU could ask a girl out on a date, instead of theorizing if such a thing happens or not. Asking someone out takes some courage, maybe that's why it happens more when you're older.

    • Thanks for the good answer. People are different in different cultures. Here everything just happens on its own. People meet somewhere by coincidence, hang out together afterward, and thus get to know each other better. At some point it's apparent that they're in a relationship, and there's no "transition". They spend time together but nobody calls any of their mutual activities "a date".

      Oh, and this has nothing to do with me. As I said, I'm just interested in what people do.

    • Well, what you just describe, is dating! haha, though you might not call it that, that's what it is. They go out, and do something, in order to get to know each other is a Date. Of course, you can go to someone's house as well, which can also be a date. And yeah sometimes it is seamless from dating to relationship. I guess the real difference here, is that where you are they just don't call it "date."

    • The difference is that the people I know don't go together in places to get to know each other better. They already know each other well enough, and they just "are" together where ever they go. People just meet, find each other interesting, and then they're together. It's a relationship all the way from the start, with no stop in between. There is no phase where they consciously try to get to know each other better. It just happens over time as they spend time together.

Have an opinion?

What Girls Said 1

  • Honestly, People dating in college don't have time or money for those things. The only time I've had a "fancy date night" was if we plan to go to the movies and one of us treats the other. We've only gone to one fancy restaurant and that's because I had a groupon for it. Don't get me wrong I'd love those walks of the beach and candelight dinners, but at the same time it's not really realistic.

    • Realistic? Exactly. I don't think any of it is realistic. It all seems to be fiction. But I do understand the money issue. Restaurants are expensive, and expensiveness doesn't translate to caring. Well, to sociopathic gold diggers it does, but that's different.

What Guys Said 2

  • It's actually more of a ritual, but kind of ironic 'cause "nothing goes as planned". Sure, one of them obviously wants to get good results (specifically the one that initiates the date invitation) but the other is passive.

    To me, dating is the process in which one shows to the other how much he/she's worth. "Love" means a bunch of emotions, nothing more; scientifically.

    • Hmm... but how popular are these rituals then? Why have I never heard it happen in the real world? Is it a conspiracy? ;)

    • "Popular" you say? No, that's the only way we test other potential companions - see who he/she is. It's something done "naturally" so to speak, dating doesn't mean going to fancy dinners and such. Even going with her/him shopping qualifies as "dating", you can see how picky he/she is for example.

    • I think you mistook "dating" with "a date". It's hard for me to explain because we have two completely different words for both activities, and I'm trying to keep them very separate here.

      What I meant was specifially that when you plan a very special evening with your partner. I'm not talking about "dating" in general. From what I've understood, "dating" is just 2 people spending as much of their time together as possible. For some reason, in my country that seems to be enough.

  • Men date women

    Boys hang out with women

    End of story

    • What the hell does that mean? And if men and boys are both with the women, who's with the girls then? :)

    • Haha. Yeah. :) But if the boys hang out with the women, are the women paedophiles too? Or are they, as South Park says: "Nicccee..."