Dating has been defined as a process between two people that is meant to determine if a person is appropriate to be with you. Dating is when two people agree to spend time together so they can get to know each other better by showing and sharing their feelings and grow closer over time. There are two types of dating, formal dating and casual dating. Both types are unique in their own way and the type one chooses depends on his or her own preferences, however, there is a huge difference between formal and casual dating. The differences are evidenced by the different dress codes, dating location and activities involved.
Formal dating has borrowed more from the past, traditional dating scene. It is an interaction between two people who seek to have a committed or romantic relationship. It is characterized by unwritten rules which highly influence where people go, what people wear and what people do. Most people, who like formal dating, prefer it if the have a set of expectations and specifications that they require the other person to meet. The common and most preferred setting for a formal date is a romantic restaurant. Other ideal locations may be a resort or a ball room dance club. Formal dating gives to set an ideal and romantic setting. Most of the settings and locations for formal dates require one to have a dress code. The most common dress code is the formal wear.
Formal dates are also marred with various stereotypes and traditions which can tend to confuse people. The biggest issue is always who will pay for the date and what it means if a man or a woman takes the cheque. In “Will You Go Out With Me” by Laura Ullman, paragraph 5, line 2, “you don’t know if Ill get the wrong idea if you treat me to dinner and I don’t know if Ill deny you the pleasure or offend you by paying for myself.” This shows that it is not clear if the woman should pay for the date or if they should let the man pay for it. Sometimes, a tense moment is created when the bill comes in and the man is not willing or not able to pay it. Traditionally, it’s a man’s role to pay for the date and if a woman chooses to take up the responsibility, it might send the message that the man is not a suitable partner.
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Though there are many rules in formal dating, people who are looking for a person with specific traits tend to like it. Most people, however, don’t like it because of the tense and rigid atmosphere it has to it.
A casual date is an emotional and physical engagement between two individuals who are looking forward to know a person without any commitments or promises. It is more of an interaction between two people looking to know each other better. It should not be confused with a “friends with benefits” kind of arrangement which involves only sex with no strings attached. A casual relationship may or may not involve sex but its main aim is to determine whether a relationship can blossom. It may blossom into a friendship or a serious relationship.
The thing about casual dating is that it is not serious or restricted; both parties can still have other casual dates. Casual dating involves an interaction between two friends mostly of the opposite gender who enjoy each others physical intimacy in the short term, and do not desire a relationship based purely on sexual pleasure. As casual dates involve more of knowing a person, it can take place anywhere and at any time. It can involve any activity as long as the two parties are enjoying and having a good time. It can be a simple thing as playing a tennis game together, a stroll in the park or having a good time in the company of friends. Due to the ‘no rules’ nature of casual dating, people tend to prefer it over formal dating. In casual dates, people are more relaxed and free to say or do what they want without thinking what the other person thinks.
Casual dating is also cheaper. It does not involve the traditional going out to a fancy restaurant, wearing impressive clothes and travelling in luxurious cars to impress your date. It involves common activities that people do everyday. The only difference is that you are carrying it out with a person who may be your boyfriend or not, girlfriend or spouse in future.
Casual dates are also not marred by the stereotypes that formal dates are associated with. In formal dates, it is considered the man’s role to pay for the date. However, as Ullman points out, casual dating came as a relief to her as it put both men and women on the same level. It is no longer considered weird or out of place for women to pay for the dates or for the men to receive roses from the women during the dates. In casual dating, it is no ones responsibility to pay for a date and a girl doesn’t wait for a person to ask her out. Casual dates set a free and relaxed environment where a person’s true feelings and actions are brought out. In most cases, two people become friends and afterwards, their chemistries click and the friendship blossoms into a serious relationship. In paragraph 5, line 2 of “Will You Go Out With Me”, Ullman writes, “My roommate and her boyfriend were friends for four months before their chemistries clicked.”
There has been great transformation in the dating scene over time from traditional formal dating to the casual more relaxed dating. Ullman has highlighted these transformations and has clearly brought out that casual dating is much more preferred by both men and women over formal dating. This is due to the fact that casual dating is cheaper, more relaxed, and easier to bring up and enables couples to form a friendship between them before they get into a serious relationship. It can therefore be concluded that although the dating scene has changed significantly, those changes have improved the dating scene for the better.
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Some people argue that because dating is getting to know a person, his or her feelings and if he or she is an ideal partner, it doesn’t matter if you choose to go for a formal or casual date. However, in order to choose the most ideal partner, one has to choose the right environment and dressing while being budget conscious which is more or less choosing between a formal or casual date. A casual date sets a good environment to know an individual before committment. People can go anywhere and decide to do anything without worrying if they are sending secret coded messages by doing what they are supposed to do or speaking what they want to say.