What’s a non-date date and should your first date be one?

To commit or not commit, that is the question.

16 June, 2024
What’s a non-date date and should your first date be one?

In the world of dating and relationships, there exist many who are scared of the word ‘date’, of commitment, and of being in a happy, long-lasting relationship. While it’s foolish to get into their reasons because we don’t judge and are firm believers in the ‘you do you’ philosophy, one cannot help but notice the growing popularity of non-date dates. For the uninitiated, a non-date is when two people who could be attracted to each other go out. But, and this is an important but, there is a caveat. One person thinks that it’s a date while the other doesn’t OR both parties are just testing the waters because they aren’t sure if they’re romantically interested in each other. 

Should you consider going on a non-date? Let's break it down for you. 

Reason for its popularity

No asking out, no rejection

People are afraid of being rejected, which is why they might not even express their feelings and ask someone out on a date. In the world of non-date dates, everything is casual and no one does the asking out. This means that no one ends up being sad and depressed because they got rejected. 

Practical and affordable

To begin with, going on a non-date saves one a lot of time and it’s cheap. You’ve arranged to meet up for something that’s casual AF—say catching up for a drink or a coffee post-work, before deciding if you want to spend more time with them. With there being too many fish in the pond (and there being more than one place to fish with multiple dating apps), you are taking all necessary measures to keep things low-key and figuring out if they’re worth going out on a date. Going on such dates is economical compared to first dates that are, for example, a dinner at a nice restaurant or going to a movie. If your first dates are always like this, you’re going to run out of money sooner rather than later (even if you split the bill). And isn’t money saved, money earned? (even more so if you’re not sure about the way you feel). 

Long story short, a non-date first date helps you keep your money and time reserved for the people you vibe with. 

The problems with a non-date

Non-dates are like dates, only no one does the "asking out," and the whole thing must always appear casual to the point of seeming like a coincidence. Imagine a date, then remove any modicum of intention and the risk of rejection—there you go, it's a non-date!

It is one-sided

What works for you, might not work for the other person. Non-date dates become an issue in the case where one person thinks it’s a date and the other person isn’t on the same page. For the former, it’s them going with the flow and seeing things develop. Whereas for the other person, it's just ‘chilling’ or ‘hanging out’. Who gets a say in whether or not it is a non-date is vague as well. After all, shouldn’t both people know what they’re going in for?  

Why go on a date if you’re not interested

The old-school romantics would pull their hair out when they realised that people are going on dates just for the heck of it. Dates are supposed to be the time when you feel butterflies in your stomach as you spend time and connect with a person, their dreams, etc. You met someone for the first time with the idea of finding out if you’d end up being in a relationship with this person. That’s what made first dates so exciting. There are few things better than this setting where you laugh, and learn about what makes them the person they are. If you’re looking for a relationship, going on no date is better than going on a non-date date. You shouldn’t be with a person who isn’t attracted to you. 

Image credit: Netflix

Also read: How to tell if it’s a date or you are just hanging out

Also read: Hi, Pls Read This if You Think You're in Love After Just One Date

Also read: How not to let your first date turn into an interview