How to Tell If It's a Date or You're Just Hanging Out
When we meet someone, who becomes a reason for pleasant feelings in our souls, we subconsciously “try on” a person as if they are a shirt. We start weighing all their pros and cons, deciding on whether this person can suit the role of a beloved partner. So, when you are offered to meet for coffee, you can easily start building castles in the air, imagining the most interesting scenario in which you are happy together with this person, having a honeymoon somewhere in the Maldives. In other words, preparing for a meeting, you can be sure that you will have a date. However, the reality can be different, and it can turn out that a person was initially going just to hang out with you. So, on the one hand, it seems that your meeting doesn’t have any romantic undertone, but on the other hand, there is a place for compliments and ambiguous jokes in your communication when you are involved in single ladies online dating. In such a situation, it's pretty easy to doubt the hanging out vs. dating difference, especially if you hope that your feelings are mutual at least a bit. Well, it’s necessary to mention that very often people don’t know the answer to the question, “What is considered a date?” Someone believes that if two people of the opposite sex agree on a meeting, then it automatically means that they have a date. However, everything is a bit complicated.
Why the Frames Between Date and Hanging Out Are Sometimes Blurred?
If you don’t understand whether you are going to have a date or hanging out, don’t worry, you are not the only one. Many people cannot get the difference between these terms because some play with concepts, not wanting to say everything straight. They believe that if they don’t call things by their proper names, they will be able to have a backup plan and ability to shy away from the continuation of the meeting if something goes wrong. Thus, some people offer to hang out meaning dating. However, you should better not use this term because it suggests that you aren’t going to move your relationships to a new level and start a long-term committed one. So, if you find a woman online and uniquely treat her as a potential partner, then it is better to clarify the situation from the very beginning. Doing that, you can avoid unnecessary misunderstandings and awkward situations when two people expect the opposite results from the same event.
It seems it’s not necessary to find out whether it's dating vs hanging out if you have a great time together and enjoy each other’s company. However, you risk running into a very uncomfortable situation. Just imagine that you were hanging out with a girl, had fun and stuff. You took her home because you are living not in the safest area in the city and then offered to repeat such a cool evening someday. The next day you heard about “your date with that girl” from a mutual friend. So, while you were hanging out, the girl had a date and started already perceiving you as her boyfriend, besides she told some of your friends about that. It will be not very pleasant to find oneself in such a situation.
It's pretty common for people who are in a romantic relationship to say that they are going to hang out somewhere together, so sometimes the boundaries between these two concepts are blurred. The only place where all participants of the meeting understand the real purpose of it is online dating. People who use online dating sites point out what they are looking for at once, so if they decide to meet in real life, they both understand whether they are interested in a one-night stand or a serious relationship.
How to Determine for Sure It's a Date or Just Hanging Out?
Now you understand a bit better that it is pretty easy to find yourself in such a situation, especially if you don’t know what constitutes a date. So, if you have acquaintances of the opposite sex with whom you would like to date, but there are high chances that they perceive you only as a friend, it’s time to pass “Is it a date or hanging out quiz.” If you don’t know how to tell if it’s a date or hanging out, below you will find ten signs that will help you determine the level of your intimacy. The first five signs will be devoted to dating, while the other five will tell you about the likelihood of hanging out.
There are only two of you
The first and foremost feature of dating is that only two people participate in this event. So, to have a date with someone, it’s necessary to be alone with them, otherwise, you just spend time together or in other words, hang out. Can you imagine a situation when your beloved partner with whom you have been having a romantic and intimate relationship for several months offers their friends to join your company on a date? If they do that, it will mean that you have big problems in your relationship because nobody in their right mind will bring a third wheel to date with a beloved person. If you decide to meet with friends then you don’t start asking the question, “Is it a date or just friends’ gathering?” Usually, two people understand on a subconscious level whether it’s an ordinary meeting or something bigger.
There is a romantic atmosphere
People who mistake the wish for reality prefer to ignore some important factors that have crucial meaning. In such a case, the atmosphere is of great importance. It’s one thing when you meet in an ordinary café to have lunch during happy hours, and it’s completely another thing when you are asked to dine in a posh restaurant that is famous for its romantic atmosphere and “special” menu. It’s obvious that you will not choose the latter option as a place to hang out with friends. So, if you are asked to meet in a place with a special atmosphere or a person tries to create it, then there are high chances that they don’t perceive you just as a friend, but they try to impress you romantically.
You talk on too personal things
Everybody knows that themes which we discuss with friends and partners differ in a way. And while friends can talk about anything while hanging out, people who are dating are focused on each other. How to know if it’s a date? Usually, you don’t switch topics that easy and try to avoid some stupid topics when you want to impress your potential partner, while you have fun and joyful pastime with friends who are ready to support any topic. When people find themselves on a date, they have more intimate talks, focusing on their character traits, experience, and worldview. So, if you are discussing some too personal things, then your relationship is on the next level already.
You have both physical and emotional contact
When we meet people, we evaluate them both from physical and emotional sides. To start even thinking about the possibility of dating someone, we need these sides to coincide, creating an attractive image. When people of the opposite sex spend time together, they are either friends who don’t attract each other physically or they are going to have casual relationships that don’t involve emotional contact. So, if your meetings involve both components, then it’s possible to say that you are rather dating than hanging out.
You have a great mood after each meeting
Nobody is going to argue that you cannot be cheerful after meeting with friends, but you feel more than just joyful after the meeting with this person. This is about a special state of mind, level of inner happiness and aspirations. You may not even understand what makes you cheer up so much, but after your meetings, you definitely feel different. This happens when you have a special emotional connection with a person and enjoy their physical presence next to you. So, when they appoint a meeting, try to sort out the situation. It can turn out that your feelings are mutual, and you waste time, pretending that you are just hanging out as friends.
They limit the duration of your meeting
If your meeting has something to do with phrases, “Are you free in an hour? One of my meetings is canceled, so I have an hour break in my diary, so we can meet.” or “My plans for this Saturday have been partially changed. Would you like to go to the cinema at about 3 pm? I have a meeting at 7, so I need to hang out somewhere before it.” then it has nothing in common with a date. Of course, people who like each other try to use every single chance to meet and spend time together, but if a person offers just a short meeting when it’s comfortable for them, don’t have illusions about it. If you ask yourself, “Is this a date?” you might have already guessed that the answer is negative.
They are talking about other people
If they are talking openly about other people they like and perceive as possible sexual objects, then you are just friends and nothing more. It can flatter you that they are sharing such intimate things with you, but don’t attach particular importance to such conduct. If a person has feelings toward a person they are communicating with, they will avoid talking about other partners, while friends can easily talk about such things. Besides if they are leaving you for a while to talk to other people or dance with someone, then it’s a clear sign that you are just hanging out. You are not together as a couple, so you can do the same.
They avoid romantic places
As we have already mentioned, the atmosphere has crucial importance in such moments. So, to understand everything, its necessary to look around. What do you see in a place where you have been asked to meet? Is there romantic music or dim light? Is this place cozy? How is your companion dressed? Everything has its meaning when it comes to dating vs. hanging out. So, if a person tries to avoid popular romantic places and everything that can hint on a romantic undertone of your meeting, choosing some ordinary or even a bit noisy places, then they don’t want you to think that it’s a date.
They avoid physical contact
This sign is not always obvious because friends can hug each other, sit next to you and touch you sometimes without any romantic undertone. Besides, if a person you are meeting with is shy by nature, then they can be afraid to “reduce the distance” with you even for a moment. However, if a person tries to avoid any tactile contact for several meetings in a row, this is a noticeable way to outline the boundaries they are not ready to cross. Besides, if it's not your first meeting, but they don’t even try to kiss you goodbye, then you are just hanging out as friends.
They offer to bring someone with you
There can be more than two people on a date only if it’s a double date, while all other options are not suitable. So, if you get an offer to bring someone with you to have more fun or gather a big company, then your chances of staying in a romantic atmosphere are zero. So, if a person is getting used to spending time with you only in a company of other common friends, then you should stop trying to fill in the blanks and invent things that don't exist. Such behavior suggests that a person isn’t interested in you as a potential partner, they might not even consider that possibility.
Can Hanging Out Turn into a Date?
Almost everything is possible in this life if you have a big desire to change the situation. So, if you are hanging out with someone single and attractive to you, then you can make some efforts to move your relationship to the next level. If you want to change the situation dramatically, you should determine the main things that serve as a stumbling block on the way to your romantic pastime with the person. As soon as you understand what the main problem is and whether a person has feelings toward you, you can proceed to change the way of your meetings. If you are a shy person and don’t want to ask a person out on a date directly, you can continue hanging out, but start adding some romantic elements to your pastime and watch the reaction of the potential partner.
If they don’t start finding excuses to avoid meetings with you and maybe even show that they like what is going on between you, then pretty soon you will find all the signs of dating. Very often people understand that there is a certain chemistry between them, and they take steps to get closer.
Tips How to Turn Hanging Out into a Date or the Other Way Around
Since you have already found out the main signs of dating and hanging out, it will be easier to come up with a plan of transformation one thing into another one. It happens that you seem to do everything right, but a person doesn’t understand that you want to start dating them. Or they just pretend that they don’t understand because they don’t want to hurt your feelings with their rejection. However, if it is not your case, then you have all the chances to succeed. Of course, the best way out is to say everything directly and clear the situation at once. If you want to start dating, then tell a person about your feelings and offer to try to move your relationships to a completely new level. In the case, if you want to stay just friends, try to choose the right words to express your emotions and feelings. We've prepared a small list of tips on how to turn hanging out into dating and vice versa.
Create a romantic atmosphere to their liking
Everyone has their own vision of certain things, and the romantic sphere is not an exception. To move your relationship to this level, you should try to find out all the preferences of your potential partner and understand how they perceive romance in general. As soon as you do it, you will be able to use your knowledge to make your meetings more romantic and win the person over. For example, if you know that your friend likes a good beef steak most of all, then you can invite them to the restaurant where you can eat the best steak in the whole city or cook it yourself at home and arrange an unexpected “home date.”
Ask to meet on a certain day
If you want to show a person that you are just hanging out together, then don’t make scheduled appointments. Just decide on a meeting when it’s comfortable for both of you. However, if you want to highlight the significance of the moment, then you should ask to meet on a certain day and time. Thus, you will draw the line between these two concepts. And if you add other signs of dating or hanging out to your meeting, then everything will become clear.
Have a plan
When you are hanging out with friends, you don’t necessarily have any plans. You can order a coffee to go and just walk in the park, or have lunch or whatever, but there will be nothing serious. Any date requires a certain commitment and a plan, which will suggest doing something together. You can come up with something special, arrange the meeting in a way that it will be obvious from the first minutes that it’s not ordinary hanging out. However, if you don’t want to have a date, then offer some of your mutual friends to join your company.
Talk about your thoughts and feelings
When we meet with friends, we discuss their problems with the partners, they share their plans and aspirations, but usually, the theme of feelings toward each other doesn’t even arise. And if you want to make it clear that you perceive them differently than just a friend, you should tell about your feelings and a special attitude. At least, you will get rid of unnecessary illusions if something goes wrong. There are only two options – you will either get stuck in a friendzone or become an official couple who has strong mutual feelings.
Say everything directly
It’s the most accurate way to sort things out. You can make the person doubt the true meaning of your meeting if you are too shy and pretend to hint on something instead of saying everything as it is. For example, an offer to go to the movie can be pretty dual because it's hard to get at once whether you offer to go on a date or it's only about a friendly meeting. If you want to spoil the moment or make it clear that it will be about hanging out then you can add something like, “I have nothing to do and feel bored.”
Clear the Air
Now you see the difference between a date with a person you like very much and hanging out with your friends. Unfortunately, many people get confused when it comes to these concepts, complicating the possibility to understand correctly what’s going on. If you want to avoid awkward and even weird situations, you should say everything honestly about your intentions and feelings. If it’s about hanging out, then there is no reason to explain anything if the person doesn’t have any special attitude toward you. And when it is about dating, then you should better add at the end of the offer that it’s a date and not just a meeting.