Defining dates and first date goals: Generalizing from undergraduates to single adults

Paul Mongeau, Janet Jacobsen, Carolyn Donnerstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


College students and single noncollege adults defined the term date, differentiated dates from going out with a friend, and described their reasons for going on their most recent first date. Responses indicate that single adults vary more in their orientation toward dating (e.g., an emphasis on a lifelong relationship) than do college students. Sex differences in first date goals appeared only in the college sample. College men were more likely to report sexual goals, whereas college women were more likely to report goals reflecting friendship, date-to-date, and having fun. Results highlight the importance of several forms of uncertainty reduction, shed light on an application of predicted outcome value theory, and suggest that the nature of commitment may differ across age groups.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)526-547
Number of pages22
JournalCommunication Research
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2007


  • College students
  • Commitment
  • Dating
  • First dates
  • Sex differences
  • Single adults

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Communication
  • Linguistics and Language


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