Within the JBU culture, for a reason unknown, there is a collective fear of dating. The students have redefined dating and love as soon-to-be married. Therefore, to go to dinner with someone on a “getting to know you” level, is not considered dating anymore. Dating has lost its definition.
So what do we call this stage of “getting to know you for the purpose of possibly seriously dating you in the near future” that so many JBU students find themselves in these days? What is wrong with calling it dating?
The word “dating” is not defined as getting married and having children in the near future. The word for that is engaged. Merriam Webster defines it as “a social engagement between two persons that often has a romantic character.” So when using the phrase “dating someone,” it simply means you are participating in social engagements with another individual. It does not always mean girlfriend or boyfriend status.
Yet, for some reason, few individuals are willing to call it what it is. They instead allow fear to hold them back from being honest and say something along the lines of, “I do not know them well enough to date them yet, we’re just getting to know each other better.” Which is great! Take it slow! No need to rush through any of this.
However, through which avenue does one get to know another better? Most of the time it is time spent together intimately; for example, social engagements specifically with that individual. Or possibly through “group dating” or participating in social engagements with a group of peers to which your “crush” will be attending.
So what is so scary about all of this? Why is it so hard to be honest and call it what it is? Basically, the individuals that are afraid of “dating” are just making up more work for themselves trying to redefine what is so clearly dating. And in college, “ain’t nobody got time for that!”