How Do You Know if It’s a Date or Just Hanging Out? Here’re the Common Signs
Most people don’t think they would have to ask themselves, “Is it a date or not?” You would think that date should be obvious enough, but the truth is it’s often ambiguous. Whenever you meet up with someone new, it is almost 100% sure that you would be wondering if it is a date. Even when you are there yourself, sometimes you still can’t tell the difference.
Dating wasn’t this confusing in the past since you have to ask someone before going on a date. In the past, it was easier to know if you were on a date or not since there used to be some rules and people were a little formal about it. If you want to ask someone out, you ask them directly while the other person confirms by answering yes or no.
It was all straightforward, but now it’s a lot more confusing. When texting came, people found new ways to ask the person they like without outright asking to avoid rejection, and this is usually the case when it’s between people who already know each other. It’s a little different when the invitation comes from a dating app.
The presumption is that you are using the app because you are looking for a date or someone to hook up with. There is a clear understanding that when you meet up, it’s a date. That’s well and okay with online dating, but what about offline dating? Precisely what constitutes a date? To help you, here are some of the common signs “It’s a date” that you’d want to know.
Is It Not Your Normal Routine?
Is the one you are supposed to meet someone you already know? It feels like a date if you meet up with the person for the first time to get a drink. However, it gets confusing if you meet up with a friend you often see with other friends. Asking you out all the time to meet up on your own could signify that things are turning romantic.
At this point, try to gauge if meeting the person in a one-on-one setting doesn’t feel out of the ordinary for you. If your routine seems to have changed and there’s flirtation involved, it is a date.
Are There Feelings Involved?
For most people, there is always some awkwardness during the first date. Look inside you and ask if there are feelings involved. Were you feeling nervous, and just how much? Do you think the so-called butterflies fluttered inside your stomach? Few people are remarkably smooth and cool when it comes to romance.
It is difficult to determine or put a name to your feelings on the first few dates. However, you already have some impressions around this time. You will know if you like them enough to give them a chance.
What’s the Flow of Your Conversation?
When you meet someone new, asking them personal questions is natural. You want to get to know this person, but that does not necessarily mean anything romantic. It’s not that surprising to be asked big-picture or personal questions like, “What do you want to achieve in life?” or “How many kids do you want to have?” if you’re hanging out.
Meanwhile, conversations that are continuous and feel comfortable are a good sign it might be a date. It shows that you both are comfortable with each other. If the questions gradually changed from asking your favorite color to asking what you like in a person, plus the vibe is good, it feels like a date.
Where Do You Usually Go?
The location is also one of the signs that tell you if it’s a date or note. The movies may somehow feel like you’re on a date. However, you don’t usually have time to talk with the other person while watching a movie. It doesn’t feel as personal for a date, which means it might be just you guys hanging out.
A sit-down dinner is a little different. Dining at a nice restaurant has the nature and intention of going on a date. Not only do you guys have enough time to converse while eating, but your partner is also probably dressed to impress. If it’s not a date, then what is it?
What Does Their Body Language Mean?
Whenever you are wondering, “Is it a date or not?” consider their body language. Good friends who are comfortable with each other may blur the physical boundaries. The other person may also be naturally clingy or handsy. Hand holding could entirely be typical for the two of you, but the way you both find ways to touch may be a sign of physical attraction.
Things like lingering stares or leaning towards you are positive signs. The open body language, subtle touches, and the feeling of being closer are all signs that say they like you, so meeting up with them likely constitutes a date.
How Long Have You Known Them?
If you have only recently met this person and have asked you to get dinner together (remember location!), it is most likely a date. However, it is a bit trickier if the person is someone you have known for a while. It will be hard to tell if this person wants to hang out or intends to change your relationship.
The good thing about this is you already know this person, so you are more familiar with their actions. Are they the type to just casually invite you to dinner? Although you have been close friends, you may develop deeper feelings. If the way you have been hanging out is different than what you did before, then it could be a sign you’re on a date.
Did They Ask You In Advance?
When did they ask you to meet up? Did they ask to “hang out” hours or days before? Spontaneous dates are fun, but they are mostly reserved for long-established relationships. New ones often ask in advance to give you time to prepare because you want it to be the best date.
You want to arrive at the meeting looking attractive. As such, a person asking you out way before the actual schedule means it is probably a date. More often, a sudden invitation, especially between friends, is just them wanting to catch up.
Were Other People Invited?
Take into consideration if the other person brought someone with them. That, in itself, could already mean it was just a regular meet-up to hang out. Someone else with you takes away the alone time that could have made things more intimate. However, it can still be a date depending on who they brought with them.
If they brought along a friend and asked you to bring a friend too, it could end up a double date. They may also bring along another couple, who tend to isolate themselves from the group. If this happens, then you can have alone time with the other person.
How Persistent Were They?
One of the most telling signs that the person is interested in you and asking for a date is persistence. Someone who likes you and would want to date you makes an effort to have alone time with you. They will not simply let it go if you cancel plans with them but will follow up with another.
They will take the time to find out what you like and search for fun events the both of you can go to and enjoy. A person who puts that much effort into getting together with you is, no doubt, asking you out on a date.
What Have You Guys Been Doing?
So, you met up. What were your activities? What did you do? Dinner and drinks typically mean a date. Did you attend an event or activity you both like? It can be a friendly get-together, or it can also be a date. The key is to look for subtle clues, like if it is just the two of you and something you don’t normally do.
The context of your activities can help clarify if it’s a date or not. Were you together simply because there was no one else? Then it’s probably not a date. However, the two of you constantly looking for excuses to meet up indicates mutual feelings.
Are They Active in Your Social Media?
How active are they on your Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram? Social media is one of today’s most straightforward indicators to the question, “Am I on a date or not?” If the person has been liking, commenting, and watching your stories, that shows interest. It is more evident, especially if they even want to talk about it with you.
These things are a sign that they may like you, not just as a friend. This does not mean that they don’t like you if they aren’t stalking your social media. It may just be that they are not significant social media users. If not social media, other signs tell if you are on a date or not.
Is It an Invitation from a Dating App?
If the invitation came from a person you talked to on a dating app, it is safe to assume it is a date. It’s often the case because, as mentioned before, the people who use this app are constantly looking for a date or someone to hook up with. Them asking you out for dinner is already a fool-proof sign of their interest.
How About Asking them Directly?
There is an easy answer to your dilemma-just ask them if it is a date or note. Clear communication will reassure, so don’t be afraid to ask. When they ask, you can question them back and ask if you are going on a date. Doing this can clear up your nerves and will ease your burden.
What Did You Feel After?
This clearly says you were on a date, but whether to continue meeting up with that person. You don’t have to wrack up your brain for an answer. Sometimes, it is excellent to decide if it is a date or not after meeting up. When you meet up, certain things can quickly tell you a date, such as kissing and touching.
You’re Not Alone In This
Many people who date for the first time cannot tell if it’s a date or not, and that’s okay. You aren’t the only one who gets confused about this and has difficulty navigating the dating scene. You will gradually be able to read the mood and understand your feelings. Eventually, you can decide whether you want to consider it a date or just a casual hang out.
In truth, it is easy to tell if you are going on a date or not. You can always straight up ask the other person if it’s a date. However, it does help to know about the little clues and understand your instinct. You never know, but the signs it’s a date that you have been seeing may be on point.