What does “dating” mean?

Im confused about what people nowadays consider to be “just dating”. I came of age in the early ‘70’s, and I was what you’d probably call a bit of a hippie. Back then we just met someone we clicked with and shortly thereafter we’d be living together. Not dating. We shared costs exactly like married people. I’ve been married more than once. First one not so long, second one 20 years. The “dates” with the 2nd one were a few dinners out, but because we both had kids by then, it was often including them. Finally, after the marriage ended, I met a childless person who had also never been in a committed relationship. We were in an off/on relationship for about 20 years. One of the biggest issues I had was the fact that no matter that they virtually lived with me most of the time (always keeping their own place but staying with me for the majority of the time without ever paying housing costs), they always characterized our relationship as “dating”. We almost never went anywhere on anything I’d consider a date. They behaved as if we were in a committed relationship in that we rarely ever did anything other than what spouses would do. Hanging out at home (always mine), going on outings like hikes and bike rides, but nothing else. No nice dinners out, no trips, no movies, not much of anything, because they didn’t like doing those things (seriously cheap). But always, in their mind, we were just “dating”, because they had never actually made any kind of formal commitment even as far as genuinely living together. I ended the relationship finally some time ago, but ever since I’ve wondered if anyone else considers that type of situation as “just dating”, or if they’d think that it was much more than that? I personally think I was just a fool for love.


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Peanut gallery

Apr 23, 2019 at 7:12am

When you were in a jam, were they the first person to help you? When they were in a jam, were you the first person to help?


Apr 23, 2019 at 12:03pm

Dating is a foreign concept to me too. I came of age in the 70s too, graduating from high school in 1971. I don't know if I can say I ever dated, well maybe three times in my life.

I moved in with an older woman when I was 17 and we broke up when I was 20. Then while traveling I met a woman in LA whom I met through mutual friends when she told them she was going out to get laid. To save her the trouble they introduced us so we met for sex.

Then I saw another woman once for coffee whose number I got off a university bulletin board in Montreal looking for new friends. Once. Then also in Montreal I called up a girl I'd met three years before on a cross-country hitchhiking trip. We went to a concert together.

Then I left Canada, went to Japan and met a European woman and this being the 1970s, we jumped in the sack at the first opportunity. That was in December 1973. We woke up together this morning.

Dating? What's that?


Apr 23, 2019 at 4:24pm

It's always nice to hear lucky stories like yours. But there are many in your generation who are divorced and broken, too. I know of someone who throws herself at a certain singer (who's not single) whenever he comes to town only because they hooked up back in the 70's.

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Welcome to the Vancouver Housing scene

Apr 23, 2019 at 8:01pm

as I’ll admit that I had such a tryst in my past with a woman who had her own home where I spent a lot of time at including my laundry & internet needs. Made lots of breakfasts/dinners and special occasions ensuring housing near Downtown rent free. It may be all the other issues you’ve raised or maybe it’s not. Life lessons learned.


Apr 24, 2019 at 3:24pm

I think I might not have been clear enough in my post; I’m wondering what people consider to be “just dating”. Was I wrong in thinking that the amount of time and intimacy that we shared was much more than what I’d consider to be a “dating” relationship. To me dating is a casual relationship, not a serious one.

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