A large number of the emails I receive from readers ask me to define what a "date" is. If the guy at work asked me to coffee, is it a date? We hang out almost every day, but haven't kissed yet - are we dating? Does having sex mean we're now a couple, or are we just dating?... and so forth.
A recent discussion in the forums (The Definition of Dating) also debated this same question recently. What on earth is a date? And does the definition of dating differ depending on the circumstances of the two people involved? (i.e. sexual orientation, age, culture)
In my opinion, a date refers to an activity two people share together with the intention of getting to know each other better on a potentially romantic level. This differs greatly from 'hooking up' which usually describes a casual get together between two people that may or may not be sexual in nature. Two people who are "dating" therefore, have shared several dates together and have made it clear to one another they are interested in more than just a friendship - even if so far the exchanges have been purely friendly in nature. Dating is, essentially, getting to know someone over an extended period of time to determine if a relationship is something worth pursuing.
Still, I am curious. I'd love to hear from the readers of this blog what their definition of dating is, and why.