Noun - a date between two parties wherein one of the parties is unaware that said event is a "date," usually believing the event to be a "group" activity.
Verb - to lure an unsuspecting party into a "date" situation by deceptive means.
The surprise date. Bread-and-butter of the over-eager in the dating world. Most of you have probably experienced the surprise date, hopefully not on the "surprising" end. You really can't make it out of Provo dating culture without this rite of passage.
When I was living in Provo, right before I met the Beard, I was hanging out with this group of guys. They all lived together and were mission buddies. We liked the same shows and movies, and they liked to cook, so I liked hanging out there. I've always been most comfortable with a group of all guys. I was good friends with all of them and really enjoyed hanging out there. One of the boys I suppose took a liking to me, and started being more proactive about inviting me to stuff. But it was always "We are all ...." or "Me and the guys...." or "A bunch of us got tickets to...."
Until he stopped delivering on those invitations. After a couple of weird one-on-ones, he asked me to go to his mission reunion with him AND THE GUYS. At first, I thought nothing of it. I was good friends with these dudes, and I'd heard their stories about other mission people for months now. Then he asked if he could introduce me as HIS GIRLFRIEND. Um, exclamation point?
From that point on, I was careful. Or so I thought. He would invite me to come watch a movie, and I'd make sure they were all going to be there. But I'd show up and then, as though by previous command, all the guys except the Surprise Dater would leave the room and we'd end up watching a movie alone.
From that point on, I was cynical. I only hung out one more time - a dinner at a sushi restaurant for one of the guy's birthdays. It was guaranteed that this was a group thing, and I confirmed with several other guys before showing up. Surprise Dater had conveniently reserved the seat next to him for me and then, at the end of the meal, proceeded to embarrass himself completely by DEMANDING that he pay for my dinner as well. Everyone else was on separate checks. I assured the waitress I would pay for my own. He literally stood, handed his card to her and stated in the most terrifying tone
"IT. WOULD. BE. MY. PLEASURE."
Are you serious? Clearly, that was the last time I hung out with the group. It simply wasn't safe anymore. Between the forced Facebook photos, deceptive "movie nights," and any other conceivable attempt to date me, I couldn't risk it anymore.
Surprise dating is a real thing. It is an obstacle in the gauntlet that is the Provo Dating Scene. It is a real ailment and I don't even know how to help you avoid it.
Who else has been Surprise Dated? Share your stories here, on the Facebook link, or email me and I'll share. :)