Op-Ed: Why Date Functions Are Problematic

It’s semi-formal season in the world of sororities and fraternities, and that means three things for girls: panic, panic, and more panic.

Date functions are a seemingly romantic concept formed by sororities and fraternities, but the truth of the matter is that they really cause much more stress than fun the majority of the time. Whether you’re as single as it gets, talking to someone you’re interested in, or in a committed relationship, date functions are problematic in many ways.

It always starts the same: Your chapter announces an upcoming date function to a fun location like a bar in another city, Dave & Buster’s, Universal, or even just the middle of the woods. Everyone squeals with excitement and talks about how fun it’s going to be. After the initial excitement, most girls seem to forget about the upcoming date function, as it is usually at least a month away. That’s so far away, right? Wrong.

For single girls, this month will go by faster than any month in your life. You probably put the date in the back of your mind and totally forgot about it. Before you know it though, the date function is a week away, and you have no date or any idea as to who you are going to take as a date.

Perpetually single girls know about the phenomenon of the “random” date. As a perpetually single girl myself, random setups are something I am all too familiar with — and they rarely workout for the best. The process starts with the “Oh no, I don’t have a date and I don’t talk to any boys” realization. Next, you will frantically text all of your friends asking them to find you a date. Usually at least one of your friends’ dates will have a friends that wants to come on a free function, so you’ll get set up.

The problem here is that this “random” date is essentially a blind date (minus the blind aspect since stalking social media is a thing), and if you don’t hit it off with your date, you’re stuck with them for five hours.

Aside from the terrifying random date situation, there’s nothing that makes single people feel more single than date functions. Personally, I never have any problem with my relationship status or desire to be in a relationship on any other day of the year other than the week before a date function. Not being able to find a date or getting rejected by boys you ask, however, has a way of making even the most secure single person a little insecure. How could it not? When you sometimes can’t even think of a person that might have interest in spending a night with you, it’s near impossible to not question if something is wrong with you.

There aren’t just issues for the single people, though.

Date functions bring up unnecessary problems for those who want to bring someone they are talking to or hooking up with, too. The main issue that usually arises is defining the relationship when it doesn’t need to be defined. Things might be perfect between you and your interest until the date function brings unnecessary attention to the question, “What are we?” So much — that it might even ruin a good thing.

Date functions might only be fun and stress free for people in relationships, but I have no experience in that realm so who knows?

While date functions are meant to be a fun and exciting perk of being in a sorority or fraternity, the reality is that they really cause a lot of girls stress and self-confidence issues. On my last date function, I found myself having an emotional breakdown on the floor of my room two hours before we were scheduled to leave as I had three dates cancel on me and even more boys tell me they couldn’t go. If that doesn’t show what’s wrong with date functions, I don’t know what does.