Dance or Date

Dance or Date

Ella Milakovic, Staff Writer

About a week ago I was asked a very interesting question. Does a dance count as a date? My initial reaction was, “Of course!” I mean you plan it out like a date, you go on day dates, and it is paid for like a date. But upon further reflection I began wondering what other people thought. When they got asked to a dance were they thinking “date” or just a couple of friends going to a school activity together? This question was stewing in my head for many days, and I decided I needed some outside perspective. This is where you guys came in: we put up a poll on Instagram to ask your opinions.

The official results were 30 votes agreeing that a dance is a date and 3 votes for not a date. So it seems we have a clear winner with most of your replies agreeing with my statement or stating that if you do all the “steps” meaning a day date, dinner, and dance then you can count it as a date. But what if you don’t do all the steps? Could it still be a date? 

Well, now that I have put this question in your head it is only fair of me to answer it with my perspective. However to answer this complex question, it needs a complex answer. From the date stories I have heard and the experiences I have witnessed here are my top 2 observations on whether or not it is a date. 

First off, how were you asked? Did they take the time and energy to ask you in a fun, possibly elaborate way? Were they considerate enough to ask you in advance, so that you had ample time to respond and plan out your side on the activities? If you answered “yes” to any or all of these questions chances are it was intended as a date. They took the time to ask you and put in the effort to do it in a meaningful and memorable way. But what if you were asked last minute? That could go either way. I have observed people get asked last minute for a myriad of reasons, so don’t go too deep into this one. If you find this happening to you look at the other signs to tell if the vibe feels like a date or not. 

The next thing I would look for is how the person acts during the pre-dance fun, meaning the day date, dinner, photos, etc. From my experience a proper date would be with you through the whole activity, sit next to you at dinner, and stand by you in the pictures. Beyond that they should want to spend the time with you and be genuinely interested in you and want to have a genuine conversation with you. 

So what do you do if your date does not seem like a proper date, but you hoped it was? Check your own behavior: are you in a good mood? Are you trying to start or carry on a conversation? Are you being the best version of yourself? If you answered “yes,” then unfortunately, this is not much else that you can do to help. Just be kind and remember that this night will not last forever. And the way you choose to handle this situation will build your character. 

At this point, if I were you I would be wondering, “Well, what if I can’t figure out if it is supposed to be a date?” The best advice I have for you is to not spend too much time worrying—I know I know not the advice you wanted, but hear me out. If you spend the whole time analyzing the situation you are not spending enough time living in the present, which as teenagers is already limited. Just have fun, be yourself, and remember that friends can have fun too. They would not have asked you if they didn’t want to have a good time with you, whether as friends or as a date.