Apparently, people used to go on dates all the time, and it wasn’t a big deal.

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by Christian Say Until recently, I had a hard time understanding all the attention given to dating. candlelit dinner, stargazing ala A Walk to Remember, etc.).

” “Girls say they want to go on dates, but really they don’t! ” To me, it all sounded like a problem of equivocation that could be solved by simply clearing up our ambiguous use of the word “date.” See, there are two kinds of dates: there’s the “casual” date, and then there’s, for lack of a better word, the “date” date (e.g.

While people still go on “date” dates, we don’t really see casual dates anymore.

In fact, I didn’t even know what a casual date was until last fall.

Hanging out can never replace the casual date because they are ultimately very different things.

Despite superficial similarities, hanging out and casual dating are different because they are characteristic of, and aim at, different kinds of relationships.

This is a truth that has been recognized since at least the time of Confucius; namely, that there are different kinds of relationships, and that these kinds of relationships differ from one another in several fundamental ways. Think, for example, of the difference between the relationship of a teacher and student and that of two friends.

The problem with this focus, however, is that—at least ostensibly—casual dating still exists, we just call it hanging out.

After all, you can hang out with multiple people at once, and hanging out is just another way of getting to know someone without the connotations of commitment and exclusivity.

“Date” for us has come to refer only to date dates rather than the casual dates of decades past, so it struck me as a bit odd and anachronistic to so stubbornly insist on continuing to use “date” in the casual sense: Why not just use “hanging out”?

While I think this is a valid question, it ultimately misses the point.