JDate and ChristianMingle discover nobody really knows what ‘dating’ is

What the heck is a 'date' anymore? Whether you're Jewish, Christian or otherwise, nobody seems sure.


EJ Dickson


Posted on Jan 21, 2014   Updated on May 31, 2021, 8:44 pm CDT

If you grew up in a religious household, your parents might have discouraged you from dating outside your faith, on the grounds that you would have “nothing in common” with people from other religions. 

The results of a recent interfaith dating survey prove those parents were wrong in one crucial respect. When it comes to modern dating, people from different religions—in this case, Jews and Christians—have one thing in common: They both don’t know what the hell they’re doing

Commissioned by the dating websites ChristianMingle and JDate.com, the survey asked respondents to define “dating” in the digital age. More than 2,000 singles aged 18 to 59 responded, and the results indicate that there is some confusion over the term, to say the least. 

While 80 percent agreed that a date is a “one-on-one hangout,” 24 percent defined dating as “a planned hangout with friends,” while 22 percent defined it simply as one person asking another person out. When it comes to defining what constitutes a “date,” a good percentage of singles appear to have just thrown up their hands and admitted defeat: at least 69 percent of the survey’s respondents said they’re at least somewhat confused about whether an outing with someone they’re interested in is a date or not. 

To those navigating the murky waters of the dating world, the study’s results aren’t exactly surprising. In an age where people regularly initiate sexual contact via emoji, it’s a pretty well-established fact that there’s a lack of consensus regarding what “dating” actually entails.

It doesn’t exactly help that the “experts” quoted in a USA Today article on the survey seem just as confused as we do, spouting aphorisms instead of giving substantive advice. “A date shows some special interest in a special person. A date takes it to the next level,” one woman is quoted as saying, sounding less like a dating expert and more like a cross between a pre-K teacher and a P90X instructor. 

Fortunately, there’s a simple solution to the question of whether or not a potential romantic encounter can be classified as a date, and that is to embrace one of these two options: 1) to not give a hang what it’s called and just enjoy spending time with that person, or 2) to just stop being a f***ing little baby and ask if it’s a f***ing date or not.

 If nothing else, the results of the survey prove that whether you’re Jewish or Christian or Muslim or Zoroastrian, everyone in the dating world could benefit from a little straightforwardness and clarity. 

H/T HyperVocal | Photo via Emily Rachel Hildebrand/Flickr

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*First Published: Jan 21, 2014, 8:32 pm CST