So, what is a "date"? Why are we as a culture so caught up in the words that we use?
I've been having this conversation with my teenage daughter about her "friend that's a boy" and the definitions of a "date" and a "boyfriend". She is very particular about how we refer to her friend, that he is "just a friend". Yet, they go to all the dances together, they eat lunch at school together, they walk the halls together, they study together, they do activities together... and yet, while they've been in school and around other friends, they pretend that they are NOT anything more than friends. But, everyone around them knows that they are a "couple" and that they are the last to know... (I know because I have an inside source that tells me these things :)).
So when is a friend a "boyfriend" and when is a lunch date a "date"? Does romance have to be involved? Is it that simple?
As I drive around and see guys playing tennis together or going to the pool together, or teeing off on the golf course together - is that a man-date? I don't have a tennis buddy or swimming buddy or golf buddy or any other kind of buddy in that sense - at least not yet...
I've read posts recently about guys in this community venturing out and going on a "date", maybe to lunch or dinner with some other guy that they like and want to get to know better. Is it a "date" if one is open to the friendship going further than just friendship? Or can a friendship be more than a friendship and still be friends?
Why are there so many rules of the language we use? Why can't we just be who we are?
I remember once that Will (my young man friend) referred to me in introducing me to his buddies as "just a friend". I later razzed him good about that one, teasing him that after all we shared together and experienced and expressed together, that I was "just a friend?" He blushed and stumbled to back-peddle and clarify that he didn't wan to describe me as his mentor, or older advisor, or church leader, all of which were true, but they didn't have the meaning he wanted to portray to his buddies, that this old fart (me) was first and foremost his "friend", even a "special friend" - and calling me "just a friend" to his buddies made it clear that we were more than mentor/ mentee. That was years ago. And I laugh because he still calls me "just a friend" which now has more hidden meaning...
So, a couple of months ago, I put out the invitation and told the cyberworld that I was looking for a MOHO friend. And he answered the call, and he's come into my life. And we've met together several times now. We've broken bread together. We've gone on a hike. We've done a lot of sharing. And it feels soooo good and wonderful. The wonderful part is in being able to talk and share and be who we are without fear, without judgment, without inhibitions. It is a wonderful thing that this is happening at this point in my life, in our lives. It is strange, but good... oh so good...
I wonder... Is this a "man-date" thing? Is this just like tennis-buddies or golf-buddies getting together, but instead we're just MOHO-buddies? Or is this a "date" thing?
Right now all I can say is... "he's just a friend..." :)