Report: That One Couple “Really Not Dating”


We at The Defendant pride ourselves on bringing you the hottest takes in satirical news. So when we get a lead from one of our loyal and adoring fans, we are always grateful and eager to follow the scent until we reach the stink, if you catch my drift.

The most recent of such leads came in the form of an anonymous question posed via email from sportygirl589@hotmail.com: “Dear Defendant, are [male JBU student] and [female JBU student] actually dating?” For the sake of privacy, we have decided to keep them formally anonymous. Formally is the key word. Not actually anonymous. You know who they are, they know who they are, and we know who they are (and not just because we have the email with their names in it). It’s obvious who we’re talking about. For the sake of this article, we will refer to them as “that one couple.”

You know that one couple. The one you always see walking together in the quad, watching Netflix together in the Hutch lobby, or “studying” together in the library. If you’re the curious type, you have probably at some point asked yourself the same question that sportygirl589 asked us.

Well lucky for you, we sent our best investigative journalists on a harrowing quest to find an answer, once and for all.

Our first step was observation. By hacking into JBU security cameras and hiring some trusty snitches, err, informants, we were able to monitor the couple for nearly a week straight.

As we all know, that one couple hangs out together quite a bit, but until now we had no idea of the true extent. It goes much deeper than we ever imagined.

In our initial research, all signs pointed toward the elusive and coveted status of “dating.”

With daily visits to the famed two-person tables in the Caf, consistent long walks on the quad, and multiple visits to local dining establishments, the “time spent together” category was certainly up to quota.

Next, we sought to see if the couple in question fulfilled all the necessary requirements in the “group interactions” category. Much to our surprise, they did not fulfill them.

They exceeded them exponentially.

Our first noteworthy observation was that each member of the respective relationship, err, friendship (don’t want to jump to any conclusions here), nearly always invited the other to social gatherings they hosted, regardless of whether or not they belonged in the particular social group. Secondly, those closest to them reported that their average eye contact with one another in a group setting exceeded that of any other two members of the group by a whopping 43 percent. Thirdly (and slightly less scientifically), one source near the couple reported, “I mean, he’s a pretty funny guy, don’t get me wrong, but even when he says something super dumb she laughs. It’s kind of annoying actually.” If you have taken JBU Dating Culture 101 (an enlightening class we highly recommend), you know that this is a quintessential telltale dating sign, third only to actual engagement rings and seat-saving in chapel. If that’s not romance, I don’t know what it is.

The final segment in our research was the “electronic communications” category. Thanks to our generous donors and a friendly manager at AT&T, answers were not hard to find. The “average text response time” between the students in question was a mere 4 minutes, and this steadily decreased as text conversations extended past the midnight hour. Secondly, the “emoji per text character” ratio between our two lovebirds was nearly double that of any of their respective conversations with other people. If that didn’t seal the deal, the “average overall texting effort given” (it’s a complicated algorithm, don’t ask) was off the charts, 79 percent above the national average. Sheesh, I feel like I’m writing a Nicholas Sparks novel right now. Love is in the air, people.

At this point in our investigation, all signs still pointed toward a positive answer for sportygirl589 (positive, that is, unless she likes the guy...). Just as were about to make the final decision to proudly christen the couple with the title of “dating,” one of our staff members made the annoying and seemingly unnecessary suggestion that “maybe we should ask them first.” To our investigative team, this seemed equivalent to asking whether Thursday nights in Mayfield are chaos or whether snacks in the Cali are overpriced. But out of a humble desire not to offend anyone (clearly our ultimate goal), we consented.

In any case, we thought conversation would be easy and confirm our results.

Boy were we wrong.

We first approached the female in question and, well, asked her the question. “Oh, no, we’re not dating!” she exclaimed, “We’re just friends!” When we politely exposed her seemingly farcical answer with the whopping evidence to the contrary, she remained unyielding: “Sure, we hang out a lot. I guess you could even say we’ve been on some dates. But we’re really not dating.” We then proceeded to ask whether she would be upset if he began going on dates with someone else. “Uh, of course,” she retorted. When we responded with the wrinkled-browed stare of bewilderment we are sure you are imitating right now, she appeared uncomfortable. “Uhhhh, gotta go… I’ve got class,” she sputtered before shuffling away.

Dazed and confused, we hoped her partner in crime would provide us some clarity.

Wrong again.

“Yeah I guess she’s right. We’re not dating. Hanging out, yeah. Talking, maybe (but don’t tell her I said that). But definitely not dating. Look dude, dating isn’t just about going on dates, getting to know each other, and spending a disproportionately large amount of time together. It’s more than that.”

We thanked him for his accidental but rather concise and accurate definition of dating, shrugged our collective shoulders, and went on our way.

So now we have come to the end of our investigation.

Sportygirl589, we are sorry to officially report that that one couple is officially not dating.

Date-ing? Absolutely. But not dating.

Trust us, we are just as confused as you are.

Yours truly,

The Defendant investigative team.

Be sure to tune in next time for a helpful tax-season conversation as we discuss how owning a home does not, in fact, make you a homeowner.

The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author. They do not claim to reflect the opinions or views of The Defendant or its staff members.

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