[LIFE ★★]


Online Dating

(P1) Dear Eva,

(P2) I am pretty young, in my early 20s, and I have been using online dating apps for a while now. My problem lately has been knowing the APPROPRIATE time for a date.

(P3) Usually a guy will ask me out and then plan to meet, setting a date and a particular time. But lately I have had guys who will make plans with me and then be AMBIGUOUS about the details. Then I might get a message saying to meet them at 11pm, or in a bar or NIGHTCLUB for a date.

(P4) When I refuse to do this, I get made fun of because I am not doing what “young people” do. I get told that I should be more SPONTANEOUS and LIVE FOR THE MOMENT.

(P5) Maybe I am OLD-FASHIONED but I refuse to go on a date that starts later than 9pm. Especially when it is with someone that I do not know. I guess my question is, what is the appropriate time for a date to start when meeting someone new from online dating? Am I just being really old-fashioned?

(P6) Dear reader,

(P7) When I was your age, I met a man 25 YEARS MY SENIOR who I was really KEEN to work for. A mutual contact had introduced us, and the impressive professional man invited me to meet him in his private members’ club at 9pm one evening.

(P8) “Hm,” I thought to myself, “MY GUT TELLS ME that this seems like an AWFULLY late time for a business meeting in a private members’ club, but certainly there’s no way that this man would be HITTING ON ME, so I guess this is just what he does when he is having serious professional business meetings.”

(P9) Guess who was right? That’s right, my gut! The man who I wanted to work for had asked me on what he believed was a date. As a result, we both left disappointed: him, without sweet romance; me, without employment.

(P10) It sounds to me like you’re SETTING BOUNDARIES that you’re personally comfortable with, and expecting people you date to understand and respect those boundaries. You should be proud of yourself for staying true to what you believe in and what makes you happy. If some people think that what you believe in is “old-fashioned”, then you don’t want to date them anyway.

(P11) This goes for the time of day when you meet, the place where you meet, and any physical contact that you choose to have.

(P12) On a first date, you’re allowed to require the interaction to be in a time and a place and a CONTEXT that you enjoy and which makes you comfortable.

(P13) And I think you’re right, by the way: a person who wants to meet you for the first time at 11pm is very likely to be ANGLING for a sexual encounter. If that’s not what you want, then STICK TO YOUR GUNS.

(P14) Love, Eva

WORDS: 488



If you found the passage difficult to read or had problems understanding specific words or idiomatic expressions, please discuss them with your tutor. The following discussion questions should be answered in your own words and with your own arguments.

  1. Briefly summarize the content of the article in your own words.
  2. This letter and reply are from a newspaper ADVICE COLUMN. Are advice columns popular in your country?
  3. Have you ever used an online dating app? Was your experience good or bad?
  4. Do you think it is hard to meet potentially serious dating partners these days?
  5. Do you consider yourself old-fashioned, or CUTTING-EDGE?


What do the following expressions mean? Practice using each expression in a sentence; extra points if you can use it in conversation.

  • Live for the moment
  • Old-fashioned
  • Years my senior
  • My gut tells me
  • Hitting on someone
  • Set boundaries
  • Stick to your guns
  • Advice column
  • Cutting-edge

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