The Daters' Dictionary
11 definitions to help you navigate the dating world
Want to know the true meaning of commonly used words in the dating arena? Read on. Dating expert/writer Nancy Davidoff Kelton reveals what's behind the standard definitions.
Get more dating tips in the AARP Leisure Newsletter.
Date: an appointment to go out with another person.
Per Nancy: an appointment between two people that often leads to one or more of the following
- a second appointment
- a kiss
- more than one kiss
- more than mere kissing
- phone calls to friends for sympathy
- wedded bliss
- a date with someone else
Blind date: an appointment between two people who have never met, arranged by a mutual acquaintance or through an online ad.
1. an appointment between two people during which it becomes clear that one or both were described with a pack of lies
2. an appointment dreaded more deeply than public speaking or a root canal
3. an appointment that can kick off a grand adventure
Perfect date: an appointment where everything clicks and not a single gaffe occurs
1. an oxymoron
2. an appointment that is customarily a figment of one's imagination (until the right person comes along)
3. an appointment where it turns out that the right person thinks you're not
Dateless: a condition that grants you time to sort out what you want in life
1. a condition that grants you time to give yourself a henna rinse, convert your photos to digital format and giggle with your friends about the jerks you've dated
2. a condition in which you ask yourself why no jerk is calling now that you've rinsed, converted and giggled
3. a condition to avoid in the last 10 minutes of Dec. 31 — or on the ramp of Noah's Ark
Foreplay: intimate acts between two people, designed to kindle sexual desire, arousal and activity
1. to men, any of the following:
- turning off the television first
- lowering the volume
- a mysterious practice that may require gentle instruction
2. to women (and some men), a long, sweet process that includes:
- shedding clothes (yours and his)
- flinging said garments about the room
- heavy breathing
- more kissing
- more touching
- to some women, all of the above — plus dinner!
"I'll call you, OK?" phrase uttered by a man to a woman on parting, whether they had sparks or a snooze
1. To women, "I'll call you" means just that
2. To men, "I'll call you" can mean:
- "Maybe you'll hear from me, maybe you won't"
- "Expect to hear from me sometime between tomorrow night and next summer"
- "I'll call you after the playoffs"
- "I'll be in touch — unless I lose your number or my nerve"
Party: a social gathering that includes refreshments and conversation
1. a social gathering that includes the above, plus gathering intelligence on which single guests are available — and which married ones are about to become so
2. a social gathering that makes people without partners:
- wish they were somewhere else — anywhere else
- truly sorry they dumped their spouses
Rejection: a refusal to accept something offered
1. an invitation to take a flying leap (can be issued anywhere from at first sight to years down the pike)
2. any form of public humiliation, put-down or abuse (all are bright-red flags)
The two main types of rejection are:
- disappearing without a word
- disappearing during dinner, a conversation or in bed
- a look that lacks warmth
- a lack of interest in closeness
- a lock that's been changed
- rushing around collecting all the CDs, underwear or whatever else you left at his or her place
- "It's not you, it's me"
- "I need space"
- "I need time"
- "I need a spreadsheet to figure this out"
- "I hope we can still be friends" (Ouch.)
Retread: to make over or try again
Per Nancy: trying once more because:
- the other person is available again
- the other person is still available
- after other dates and relationships, you've realized that, in the grand scheme of things, the other person isn't such a creep
- you've grown weary of the grand scheme of things
Space: an interval of time
1. an interval of time, preferably forever;
2. a living area for an ex, preferably in another state or on a different planet
Keeper: any person with whom you click, fit, wish to build a relationship and possibly even marry
Per Nancy: my second husband, Jonathan, whom I met online at 60 after decades of dating
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