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How do you define a date?
Old 12-18-2006, 11:20 AM   #1
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How do you define a date?

Hi all,

I am recently divorced and am interested in forming platonic friendships with women but am not interested in forming romantic relationships with women.

So being the dorky engineer type, I looked up it up on www.m-w.com and found this:

4 a : an appointment to meet at a specified time; especially : a social engagement between two persons that often has a romantic character

To reiterate, I am interested in everything before the word "especially" and in nothing after it.

So, people, here's the question: What makes a date a romantic date as opposed to just meeting a female friend for a social encounter? Are there any bright line definitions? To me there are a bunch of factors, such as:

1. Whether it is called a "date" or not.
2. The marital status of the parties involved.
3. Who pays.
4. The activity/activities.
5. Whether the activity is a group activity or not.
6. Whether or not the parties are attracted to each other.
7. Other?

I would appreciate feedback from women in particular because I want to be respectful of my female friends' feelings. I particularly do not want to mislead them even accidentally. And at the moment I particularly feel like I don't understand your half of the human race very well.

Also, any tips on maintaining relationships as platonic? I am concerned that I might be "playing with fire", so to speak. What say you on the possibility and wisdom of men and women having just friendships without them going further, particularly as it applies to single people?

And just a mild rant from a person in my position: It's hard to accomplish what I am wanting -- women who are single and in my peer group quite quickly look at me as a target husband, women who are married in my peer group quite rightly have husbands who should wonder about me and my intentions. Also, I have not seen much success around me of divorced people who wish to remain divorced maintaining relationships with married couples.

2Cor521
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Re: How do you define a date?
Old 12-18-2006, 11:38 AM   #2
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Re: How do you define a date?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SecondCor521
Hi all,

I ...am interested in forming platonic friendships with women but am not interested in forming romantic relationships with women.
If "platonic friendships" between a single guy and a woman can include sex, then I'll go along with the above statement.

If not, do you still believe in Santa Claus?

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Re: How do you define a date?
Old 12-18-2006, 11:42 AM   #3
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Re: How do you define a date?

There are a lot of things I might ask of this community in order to become better informed on a topic -- insurance, taxes, wills, investments (stocks, bonds, real estate, . . .), cars, house repairs, dryer sheets, volunteer work, . . .

I am willing to spread my own ignorance about many of these topics. This is not one of them, but good luck.
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Re: How do you define a date?
Old 12-18-2006, 11:57 AM   #4
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Re: How do you define a date?

Quote:
Originally Posted by REWahoo!
If "platonic friendships" between a single guy and a woman can include sex, then I'll go along with the above statement.

If not, do you still believe in Santa Claus?

In my case, no to both. sgeeeee, thanks for your reply too.

2Cor521
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Re: How do you define a date?
Old 12-18-2006, 12:05 PM   #5
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Re: How do you define a date?

Hmmmm, I think you may have an easier time if you try forming friendships with members of a group that have common interests. Belong to a club, church, volunteer group, etc.? Then you likely have a stable of things to do with peopleof both sexes as part of a group. That would break the ice and make you less threatening/less like someone looking for a partner.
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Re: How do you define a date?
Old 12-18-2006, 12:19 PM   #6
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Re: How do you define a date?

Try group activities like hiking or bowling or what ever you enjoy doing. Too many men & women appear to just want to "hook up" which to me is why I keep a hose for the dogs! It can be a challenge to find like minded friends of the opposite sex who only want friends. But, you can always befriend the gay ladies!

It can also be a challenge to find romantic intrests who are not simply precious metal excavators!
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Re: How do you define a date?
Old 12-18-2006, 12:19 PM   #7
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Re: How do you define a date?

Ditto. I agree with Brewer. As I see it you're setting yourself up for gloom, despair, and excessive misery by setting up parameters that virtually guarantee failure. With Brewer's ideas all the personal expectations that usually show on a date never develop because you both have a larger, innocuous goal--like pizza pie afterward .
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Re: How do you define a date?
Old 12-18-2006, 01:25 PM   #8
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Re: How do you define a date?

Brewer and other posters' group suggestion is goodóif youíre always in a group, then itís not like youíre seeking time alone with any single female friend in the group.

But then, if you want to do things alone with a female friend, it would be OK to ask explicitly to go on a ďfriendly dateĒ or to state that you are doing something ďas friends.Ē With repeated outings with any single female friend, you could open up and say if itís the case that you do like her friendship but want to be clear that you are not looking for romance at this time in your life. (If someone kept asking me out to do things, I would think he was interested romantically unless he tells me tactfully that he is not.)

At this point, some women will drop your friendship if they are more focused on finding mates and want to concentrate their time and efforts on romantic possibilities. But itís still better to be honest with your nothing-beyond-friendship intentions for their sake and for yours; you both are able to move on to relationships that suit your (differing) purposes.

Of course, your actions should follow your words. If you are really seeking just friendship, then certain boundaries are best not crossed, i.e., no sexual intimacy, and symbols that can be misinterpreted are best avoided, e.g., flowers, chocolates, perfume, or other gifts usually associated with romance.

People are different and sex among friends is probably not rare, but usually sex is part of romance, so if you donít want complications beyond friendship, itís better to refrain from such advances.

As far as paying for meals and events, go dutch or once in a while, offer to ďtreatĒ so that itís not a matter of expectation that you always pay.

I think that if your married-couple friends have been your real friends for a long time, they would understand and include you in their life. It might be hard if you and your ex-wife were both their friends because they must feel loyalty to each of you.

To make new friends, join groups that pursue the same interests as you, as previous posters have suggested. And Iím still repeating them: cultivate more than a few friendships. Not all of them need to be close and deep friendships. You would then have different people in your life to share your different interests and activities.
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Re: How do you define a date?
Old 12-18-2006, 03:37 PM   #9
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Re: How do you define a date?

Thanks to all for your replies.

brewer et al., group activities could work to avoid the "dating" issue. I will consider that option. Interestingly, even the church singles group I am aware of turned into a meat market because people were looking for others of like faith and values, so sometimes that doesn't work. I even thought I saw signs of it in my church-based divorce support group.

crazy connie -- How would I find gay women? I can just imagine: "Hi, I'm a divorced guy looking for female friends...are you gay?" LOL.

flipstress, I think your post nailed most of what I was talking about and thinking. How to tactfully tell a female friend that I enjoy her company but that I don't want a romance? I think it would be hard to do without possibly implying that she is unattractive or unappealing in general. Also, I would not think of sex, chocolate, flowers, etc. for a female friend at all. I do think going dutch is safer in terms of avoiding thoughts of dating. As for our married friends, mostly those were family members, and both sides -- my ex-wife's and mine -- are being really good about it...they don't approve of the divorce, but they still care about both her and I.

2Cor521
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Re: How do you define a date?
Old 12-18-2006, 04:41 PM   #10
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Re: How do you define a date?

Do you have a dog? I have found that it is relatively easy to make friends with other "dog people" that you see out walking their dogs. There is a 70 year old lady in my building that I go to coffee with a couple of times a month and a gay guy that I have become close friends with - both relationships started due to our dogs. In fact, now that I'm thinking about it, most of the people I know around here I started talking to when I was out with my dogs (whether they have a dog or not)

I bet it is hard to be friends with married women, I can't really see my DH being to thrilled with me going places with straight guys.

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Re: How do you define a date?
Old 12-18-2006, 05:01 PM   #11
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Re: How do you define a date?

shiny,

No I don't, and I can't because my middle son is allergic to pretty much anything with fur (except rats, so we have four of those). Good idea though.

And your comment about your husband is exactly what I am concerned about.

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Re: How do you define a date?
Old 12-18-2006, 05:08 PM   #12
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Re: How do you define a date?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SecondCor521
How to tactfully tell a female friend that I enjoy her company but that I don't want a romance?
They know your divorced status, right? So you could work it into the conversation at some appropriate time that you are still recovering from your divorce, taking stock of your life, healing or something similar and say you are not looking for romance.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SecondCor521
I think it would be hard to do without possibly implying that she is unattractive or unappealing in general.
They will be OK. They'll cope unless they really do not think they are worthwhile. I don't think your gentle reminders of friendship-only will devastate their self-esteem. My "out" before went like "So-and-so has got to be gay and that is why he is not interested in me."

I agree with shiny that it is hard to be friends with a person of the opposite sex who is married (or of the same sex who is in a committed relationship, depending upon sexual orientation of folks involved). The third (single) person is most often perceived as a threat and there are grounds for that. Often enough, love develops out of friendship and lots of togetherness, so a committed person spending lots of time with a third party is placing himself/herself near "temptation" and probably stressing his/her partner. After all, that valuable time could be spent with his/her partner or spouse, and the conversational and active pleasures shared are customarily due to the partner/spouse.
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Re: How do you define a date?
Old 12-18-2006, 05:36 PM   #13
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Re: How do you define a date?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SecondCor521
No I don't, and I can't because my middle son is allergic to pretty much anything with fur (except rats, so we have four of those).
I know there are some cute rats (those that I saw in a magazine that ate all the stuff that is in red wine sure were cute, and healthy) but I just had to laugh at the thought of you taking your rats out to meet people - on four little harnesses. Well, maybe you wouldn't attract the kind of friends that you are looking for! tee hee

Anyway, Dh and I have lots of single male friends (he works in high tech and started young, so there are lots of guys) and we do stuff with them together. So maybe you can make friends with couples and the wife might have some non-married friends for you to be friends with too.

I know it is hard, making friends in general is. We've moved around a bit, so I've experienced it myself. Then throw the whole gender/non-date dates in and its even more complicated.

Are there some single mom's that go to school with your kids that need a pal? Maybe you could volunteer there and see, but they might be on the prowl, so you'd have to be careful!
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Re: How do you define a date?
Old 12-18-2006, 06:21 PM   #14
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Re: How do you define a date?

all i know is i have my 3 meal rule. i never put out unless im fed more than 3 meals. ha ha ha

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Re: How do you define a date?
Old 12-18-2006, 06:54 PM   #15
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Re: How do you define a date?

Why are you looking for a female "friend"? Do you need someone to take places that you need a "date"?

I'm asking this because my stepson is going through something like this now. Divorce is in the works, he doesn't want to date but would like a woman to do things with on occasion. It has not worked, all the women that he thought were friends ended up wanting more even though he was up front with them in the beginning. One of them ended in a situation where the police needed to be called. They see him as potential husband material, good looking, good job, grown kids, nice house. I've tried to make him see this and give him insight from the womans point of view but I'm not getting through to him. Dh and I can see another problem brewing and he's blind to it.



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Re: How do you define a date?
Old 12-18-2006, 07:21 PM   #16
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Re: How do you define a date?

It sounds like you are fairly young. Many perhaps most young single women would like to get married. They know that whatever you might say, if they can get through to your 'nads, they have a shot. So don't expect that they will tell you frankly what their goals are. Even if a man is married, often enough there are plenty women who would like to help you achieve divorce, as rancorously as possible at that!

Young men still have the energy to do fun things. Why not just concentrate on sports, guys who like to play whatever games or videogames that you enjoy, and whatever group or church based volunteer activities you might like, as suggested by Brewer? If you live in a city, you can always find feed the hungry type activities that need help in the kitchen, or with deliveries, or whatever.

OTOH, if you want some close contact with women, but want to avoid sex, find a community based dance club, and start taking lessons. Many of the men and women are looking for dates, but they are also looking to dance. If you can't dance and don't want to date, if might take a while. But you will get better, and I know a lot of people who use dance lessons and dance clubs as a synthetic social life. It is warm and fun. The only downside that I can think of is that if you break your leg, or get depressed and fail to show up, generally you will not hear from them unless you have made personal friendships.

A middle aged guy I know meets women playing contract bridge. Many of them are married, or older and not necessarily looking for hook-ups. It is pretty demanding though- you have to spend some real effort to get good enough! Book clubs are another possibility, usually there are 10 women for every guy.

Good luck, and please share some of your adventures. I'm sure they will be interesting.

Ha
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Re: How do you define a date?
Old 12-18-2006, 07:30 PM   #17
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Re: How do you define a date?

I think Brewer's response is the best so far. I definately am not one to ask. I'm not really sure that a one on one platonic relationship between a man and woman is possible (with certain assumptions thrown in). Sex, wanting children, wanting a commitment and other people tend to get in the way.

How old are you?



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Re: How do you define a date?
Old 12-18-2006, 10:08 PM   #18
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Re: How do you define a date?

[crazy connie -- How would I find gay women? I can just imagine: "Hi, I'm a divorced guy looking for female friends...are you gay?" LOL.


Heck if I know! I just wanted to get a laugh out of you! I have several single and married male friends from work days (we travelled for work together) and some of the wives refered to me as the "weekday wife". On occasion I get to be their wailing wall and it works.

Once you figure out what works... Let me know as I am looking for more friends that have time as I do. Most married folks get a bit schizoid having us single gals around. It frightens many insecure women who fear the death of a mate or the "BIG D".

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Re: How do you define a date?
Old 12-18-2006, 11:16 PM   #19
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Re: How do you define a date?

I am surprised at most of the responses in this thread so far. As a fellow
engineer, recent retiree, and long time divorcee I have always found platonic
female friends easier to meet than potential dates. Three of my four closest
friends are female, some for twenty years. I have never come across this
magical pool of women who want to lure me into bed just because I offer
financial security.
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Re: How do you define a date?
Old 12-19-2006, 04:10 AM   #20
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Re: How do you define a date?

men are very simple usually men have women friends because they really want to have sex with them but either havent because they havent tried yet, or the man is restrained by a relationship with someone else, the woman is restrained by a relationship with someone else and the mans still hoping or its an ex wife or girl friend and you already did it.

women on the other hand have no problem just having guy friends. in fact some will be your friend but would rather put an eye out than have sex with you. they are better at keeping friends/ relationships seperate than men are i think
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