Dateline: "France makes figuring out if you're on a date more confusing..."

We're collecting stories about your most entertaining dates. Send your time-stamped dating stories to dateline@nerve.com; don't forget to include gender and age for you and your date.

Male, 23, Student
with
Male, 26, Teaching Assistant

9:00 p.m. - This isn't a date. I'm in France, and I'm waiting in the rain without umbrella. I am undersized and my brown jacket is oversized; I'm afraid my head looks like a tiny pale root vegetable peeking out of the mud. I try to imagine ways that this could translate to "good first impression."

9:05 - Not-date shows up five minutes late and kisses me on both cheeks. French cultural tendencies make differentiating between a date and a not-date infinitely more confusing. Not-date asks me what I want to do. I say "eat." I mean "bone." He's the teaching assistant on my study-abroad program. Boning would be far sexier and more illicit than eating. He asks where. I point to the nearest restaurant.

9:09 - At restaurant, eating a croque madame. We talk movies, music. Not-date shows me the contents of his iPod. I admire his discerning taste. 

11:05 - Not-date asks what I want to do next. I wonder if this means our not-date is actually a date, as a not-date wouldn't normally extend this late. 

11:25 - Not-date recommends a club. I say "great." I think, "date." Date tells me all of his best friends will be there, and it'd be nice for me to get to speak the language and mingle with locals. I think "not-date." I'm just the victim of this not-date's campaign to secure a full-time job in my program through professorial overachievement. Not date. Mentee. And does mentee pay for his own croque? Indeed. 

11:45 - At the club. Gay club. So he's gay? So date? But his friends are here, and he's salaciously dancing with them. So not date? Then he gets closer to me. Date?

11:46 - He starts joke-dancing and showing off moves from his amateur hip-hop classes. But maybe he's not joking. Is he a good dancer and a joking not-date, or a not-joking-bad-dancer date? The layers of this equation keep piling on, but the problem remains unsolved. I drink. He doesn't drink. I ask why. He says drinking makes him drunk. Fair enough.

5:00 a.m. - Hours of dancing. Hours of flirtatiously getting closer, then coyly distancing ourselves from one another with heinous dance moves. I'm drunk. He's not drunk. Drinking makes him drunk. 

5:10 - He walks me to my bus. Waiting at the stop. I try to kiss him. I lunge or wobble towards him.

5:10 - He backs away. 

5:10 - I'm flabbergasted. He reads it on my face. He says, "Oh, I was worried you might have thought it was a date."

5:10 - "How was this not a date?"

5:10 - "I thought about maybe telling you it wasn't a date, but I was having such a good time, and I have this problem where I can't stand missed opportunities. I have a problem with frivolity — this urge to be rational and this opposing urge to experience everything. I've had a boyfriend for two years. I'm very much in love with him."

5:20 - We talk. I've missed my first bus. I'm leaning on the wall of a building.

5:40 - I miss my next bus. 

5:45 - I'm sandwiched between the wall and his lips. We kiss until the next bus arrives.

6:00 - I get on the bus.

6:05 - I get a text. A Jean Cocteau quote. "Frivolity is the most beautiful reaction to fear." Date?

Send your time-stamped dating stories to dateline@nerve.com; don't forget to include gender and age for you and your date. Need a date to write about? Check out Nerve Dating.

Commentarium (17 Comments)

Apr 17 12 - 1:09am
ibg

That was amazing! I loved it.

Apr 25 12 - 11:58am
KH

Ditto! So well-written.

Apr 17 12 - 8:36am
boop

I've never been a fan of your dateline pieces until this one... bravo

Apr 17 12 - 11:44am
marine bersirj

I third that emotion. Also, bravo for bringing up cultural differences without resorting to clichés. Bien joué!

Apr 17 12 - 6:28pm
Francine

I love this Dateline feature, really good stuff and easy format.

Apr 17 12 - 3:06pm
cf

I just had a non-date that went a bit like this last weekend, myself.

Apr 17 12 - 6:41pm
Paulyboy

That's not a cultural difference, that's a guy ambivalent about cheating on his partner. Seems universal to me.

Apr 17 12 - 7:26pm
6

If he truly is very much in love with his partner he has an odd way of showing it by kissing another guy...

Good job with the account; that back and forth between, "is this a date or not," is a situation I'm sure a lot of people have been in (myself included), though I have to dock you points for helping him cheat on his boyfriend

Apr 17 12 - 9:05pm
7

We are not the policemen of other people's relationships. Points reinstated.

Apr 17 12 - 9:32pm
6

so it's okay to cheat?

Apr 18 12 - 8:01pm
8

Not okay at all. But the cheater is the one cheating, not the single, hopeful guy he's kissing, who isn't lying to anyone.

Apr 19 12 - 11:32am
2

But if he knows the other person has a boyfriend and still kisses him... I would feel guilty about helping someone cheat. Just sayin

Apr 19 12 - 9:53pm
Jesus Christ

So, now I'm responsible for the other person's moral decisions?! No thanks; I've got enough of my own to look after.

Apr 18 12 - 12:06am
ep

this was way good.

Apr 18 12 - 12:59pm
Murphy

I loved it, thank you!

May 02 12 - 10:53pm
Eliza

Lovely, Sir. Pip, pip. I quite enjoyed it, very well-written in it's simplicity.

Jun 26 12 - 2:44pm
Jack

It's a "date?", with a question-mark on the end, pronounced with rising intonation to indicate question-ness. I think "dates?" like this are part of queer life - I've had some before. (Most recent: I went to a new friend's house to see her vacation pictures - I'd helped her with her itinerary before she went - and she took it as a BDSM make-a-friend invite. I showed up with cookies tucked under one arm expecting tea and holiday pix, and she was waiting for me in a leather corset. Awkward.)