(Reblogged from my Tumblr and expanded).
I’m done with dating. Dating has never done anything positive for me. Dating is awkward and usually expensive. Dating comes with rules and expectations, and is essentially a game. A confining game. Dating, in my experience, rarely fosters intimacy. I think the game is embarrassing and dishonest, and I don’t want to play it anymore.
Sure, I have felt that tingle of specialness in telling people “I’m going on a DATE!” But that feeling for me was mostly based on the comfort of doing something that is regarded as a common ritual of pursuing intimate relationships. When I date I feel more accepted by society (no matter whom I am on a date with), but I don’t feel relaxed, confident, and open as one should while getting to know a new (or old!) person of interest.
I don’t want to date. I just want to hang out and let my relationships develop as they will. Maybe that means you or I will have to take a chance and divulge our feelings for each other, whatever they may be. It’s not like the word “date” has ever truly clarified anyone’s feelings, needs or desires.
The problem is one of language. As I've stated, the word date implies that a kind of game will take place, and the pressure will be on to win the game, whether that means ending the night with something physical, planning the next date, making a formal commitment, etc. All of these things can happen when you're just hanging out with someone, but when one is on a date it seems that something momentous has to happen in the relationship or you've lost the game. So I feel that if we instead choose to say that we're going to hang out, then that really opens up the meeting for infinite possibilities. You can hang out with a romantic crush and end up kissing and cuddling, you can hang out with a new acquaintance and explore a new side of town, you can hang out with a long-time partner and reconfirm your promises to each other, you can hang out with yourself and fall in-love.