When asked on a first date, Grace Judd, a sophomore majoring in marriage and family studies, did not expect to be kissed within the first five minutes. Or have the guy throw an inappropriate comment her way. But it happened.
When asking a girl out on a first date, a male student, who wished to stay anonymous, did not expect her to divulge personal details about her life or talk about the future they were going to have — within the first five minutes. But it happened.
Just so you know, both of those students are OK now and are trying to figure out how to move forward with dating. All they wanted was just an easy first date, just a chance to try and get to know someone. But that didn’t happen.
I talked with Judd and Marcus Gorman, a sophomore studying business, about dating and what a date is. They both felt like a date should be a planned activity where a guy and a girl go and do something to get to know each other.
Huh. Kinda sounds like “A date is a planned activity that allows a young man and a young woman to get to know each other better” from the For the Strength of Youth (pamphlet) published by the Church. Fancy that.
I understand that once you get to college, a date becomes more serious while you’re looking for someone you want to spend eternity with. But that doesn’t change the definition of it. With that said, I believe we can all agree that the definition we’ve given above is not how a date is viewed here.
“A date at BYU-Idaho has a lot more stock in it then other places,” Judd said. “If you go on a date with someone, you kind of have to explain yourself to why you don’t want to go on more dates.”
She said she did not like that culture here, and this culture makes it difficult to date at the school.
And why is that? Why do we add so much pressure to a first date? As Judd put it, “We don’t owe anything to each other. It’s a first date.”
What Judd said sounds very similar to what a website called BYUiDo, created by Cole Ratcliffe, a home and marriage teacher on campus, and his students said: “That date (a first date) is not a commitment to marriage, engagement, dating exclusively, or even a second date! So why freak out about it? Stop it.”
The website, byuido.org, dives into the dating culture at BYU-I. One of the websites most frequently discussed topics is #justadate. The writers make it very clear that a date is a simple one to three hour commitment with a person of the opposite gender to get to know them. All you owe them is that time frame and to be nice to that person.
But then you get into the foggy subject of dating versus hanging out. How can you tell the difference?
USA Today did a study on this in 2014 and found that 69 percent of males and females were confused about what the difference was. Gorman and Judd had two very differing opinions on this topic.
“I think people just give the label of ‘hanging out’ on what I would consider a date because they’re afraid to say ‘Oh, this is a date’,” Gorman said. “I feel like a lot of hanging out is actually a date that people don’t want to name a date.”
Gorman said it’s important that a guy, or a girl, when asking somebody out, specifies when they are asking somebody on a date.
Judd, on the other hand, saw this a little bit differently.
“I think hanging out is an excuse to not get vulnerable,” Judd said. “I think hanging out is just if you’re not sure or you don’t want to put yourself out there.”
They both touched on the subject of being afraid to call the date what it is.
Long story short, it seems that what a date means is blown out of proportion on campus. Too much stress is put into planning an activity and making sure it’s “perfect.” Sorry to tell you, but a date will never be perfect. Something will always go wrong, and that’s the fun of it.
So don’t stress out so much. Enjoy yourself and you get to know new people and learn more about each other by just simply going on dates.
What do you think a date should be? Send in your thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org.