How Dating in America is Different

How Dating in America is Different

How Dating in America is Different

Dating in America means going out, probably to dinner, with another person with some romantic intention.

The difference between American dating and dating in other cultures is that there is no immediate expectation of beingexclusive with that person. This means that you can dateseveral people at once! Some people consider this to besleazy (“trashy”), but modern culture allows it.

When do you become exclusive/committed to only each other?

  1. When there is some discussion about being exclusive, also known as “the talk”; or
  2. Sometimes if you have sexual relations with the person.

Caution here! Some people consider sex to be an indicator of exclusivity and some people DO NOT! Always use caution and be sure to communicate with the other person. Some consider it okay to date and have sex with multiple people without expectation of being exclusive.

Dating Vocabulary and Expressions

Asking Someone Out on a Date

Traditionally, a man asks out a woman on a date.

  1. “Would you like to go out to dinner some time?”
  2. “Can I buy you a cup of coffee?”
  3. “Can/Could I get your number?” (i.e. telephone number)

Saying “Yes”

Only say “yes” if you really mean it. It’s better not to string someone along and give him/her false hope by giving them false interest.

  1. “Sure. I’d like that.”
  2. “Yes. I’d love to go out to dinner.”
  3. “Sure. My number is….”

Setting the Time

When two people go out on a date, the man traditionally picks up the woman at her home and takes her to a restaurant or event, such as a concert or a movie, etc. (It is possible, however, for the two to just meet at a neutral spot, which is the better/safer choice if you’re dating someone you don’t know well.) To set the time for the date:

  1. “Does seven work for you?”
  2. “I’ll pick you at seven.”
  3. “I’ll come get you at seven.”
  4. “I can meet you at the restaurant at seven thirty. Does that work for you?”

Saying “No”

Sometimes you may get asked out by someone you are not interested in. It’s always best to be polite but direct about it. It’s not always easy or comfortable to reject (say “no” to) an invitation! To politely say no to an invitation for a first date:

  1. “That’s very flattering, but no thank you.”
  2. “Thank you, but I’d prefer if we just remained friends.”
  3. “Thank you, but I have a boyfriend.”
Ladies, even if you don’t have a boyfriend, option #3 is a safe bet if the person seems aggressive or hostile.

Saying Goodbye

At the end of a date, there may be a moment where both of you are wondering if a first kiss will happen. Whether or not this is “expected” is irrelevant (it doesn’t matter)–you should always go with your own standards and level of comfort. Language for concluding the date:
  1. “I had a really nice time. Thank you for dinner.”
  2. “That was a lot of fun. Thanks again for dinner.”
  3. “I had a great time. I hope we can do this again some time.”


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