Something happened in the past twenty years or so. The word “date” disappeared. When it disappeared “let’s hang out,” “we should chill,” and “you and I should do something soon” came in and took its place and now it looks as though those sayings are here to stay. And frankly I hope I am not the only one really annoyed by that.
It’s as though men and women somewhere in the early 2000s decided that the term “date” was too much commitment, too intimidating, or too controversial and the only rational decision was they would axe the entire word altogether from their vocabulary.
The problem is we didn’t axe the idea.
As far as I know, whatever your sexual preference is, people still from time to time want to hang out with one other person, go out to eat or do something active with that person and hope that it becomes romantic or physical at some point during their time together.
The problem with “let’s hang out” and other generalized statements like it is that when people ask out someone else this way the person being asked this question usually never knows what they are being set up for. Most of the time they are left wondering who is going to pay for the movie tickets and whether or not they should wear that outfit they look the most attractive in.
This makes for many an awkward moment during the course of the hang out, and gives the impression that the person inviting you to “Netflix and chill” might not even be that interested – you’re just another friend to fill up their weeknight no matter how much courage it took for them to actually see what you are doing. That’s just what happens when you ask a hot guy or girl out the way that you would invite your friends to get Chipotle with you.
Yes, you can say “let’s hang out” to someone you have already been dating. You can say that to someone you met on Tinder or on a dating website because hell it is a dating site, you both know what you are there for! But for that new person you are interested in? I am sorry but you just can’t. Unless both of you are so obviously aware of what you are to each other don’t do it. Chances are you both are skeptical anyway.
I say this to both men and women: why not just gather the courage to go up to the person you like and say “I would like to take you out on a date sometime.” Once you get over the shock that you did just that, a wonderful thing happens. You either get a yes or a no. And you know that is based on if the person likes you enough to possibly see themselves sticking their tongue down your throat. Which means in the end you don’t have to end up paying for a few drinks and dinner only to have the person across from you say “oh, I just never could see you like that.”
What we’ll end up doing is eliminating the overanalyzing conversations with friends, the frantic Google searches to see whether or not the tone in how they asked you to hang matters, and the embarrassment of now knowing whether or not you are on a date.
And if the word date seems a little circa 1950 how about: “I really like you, and want to hang out just you and I some time if you would like?” This is better, much better.
But for now I will still hold out for the word “date” and help it on its comeback.