define date

since i have “go on two dates” as one of my august goals, i’d been thinking about the definition of “date.” 

and ironically, this topic came up at work today (though i didn’t bring it up) and my co-workers and i got in a heated philosophical discussion about the definition of a date.  questions posed included: what is a date?  when does a date occur?  who goes on a date?  what’s the difference between a date and just spending time together? can you go on a date when you’re married?  how does “dating” fit into this whole thing? is going to ikea on a saturday a date?

{our favorite wine bar in DC and one of our favorite dates nights: sonoma}

my answer is simple: a date is a pre-planned activity or event with a significant other. i think the advance planning is the key here. part of what makes dates so great is the build-up, the anticipation and excitement over a special activity/meal/event. 

beyond that, i think a date can be anything if both parties are looking forward to it.  and i’d like to add that dates do not include errands or obligations.  there shouldn’t be a “to-do” to check off during a date.

we kind of talked ourselves in circles until we decided this was all just semantics.  but, i’m curious.  what do you think?  what does “date” mean to you and your significant other?  what’s your simple definition and what qualifiers do you add onto it?