Is It a Date or Just Hanging Out? 7 Ways to Tell for Sure!


How to Tell if It’s a Date or Just Hanging Out

Going out with someone can be complicated, especially when you don’t know if it’s a date or just hanging out. It can be tough to distinguish if someone is interested in you romantically or just wants to spend some time with you as a friend.

However, there are some helpful tips that can help you differentiate between a date and just hanging out.

Definition of a date

A date is usually when two people have planned to meet up with each other with some romantic intent. It is usually pre-planned where both parties have agreed to meet up and do something.

It doesn’t have to be serious, but it does involve some kind of romantic intention. The key here is that both people have agreed to spend time together and are interested in getting to know each other.

Helpful tips to differentiate a date from hanging out

  1. Dress

    One way to tell if you’re going on a date is by how you both dress.

    If you’re both dressing up a bit more than usual, it’s a good sign that it’s a date. For example, if you’re wearing your best dress and your date is wearing a suit, it’s likely a date.

    If you both meet up in casual clothes such as sweatpants and t-shirts, it’s probably just hanging out.

  2. Communication

    If someone is interested in you romantically, they will show it by initiating communication and texts. They will try to start a conversation and get to know you better.

    If you notice your date texting or calling you frequently, they are probably interested in you romantically. However, if the conversation is limited to small talk, it’s probably just hanging out.

  3. Body language

    Body language says a lot about how someone feels.

    If someone is interested in you romantically, they will usually express it through their body language. They will make eye contact, lean in towards you, and touch your arm or hand.

    However, if your date is keeping a physical distance, it’s probably just hanging out.

  4. Company

    If you’re going on a date, you will usually spend time alone with your date. If you’re just hanging out, you may be in a group or with other friends.

    If your date is inviting you to spend time with their friends or family, it’s probably just hanging out. If your date is making an effort to spend time alone with you, it’s a sign that they are interested in you romantically.

  5. Mention of past relationships

    If your date is talking about their past relationships, it’s probably not romantic.

    If they’re giving you relationship advice or talking about their exes, it’s a sign that they’re just looking for a friend to talk to. If they’re not talking about anything related to relationships, it’s probably a real date.

  6. Nervousness

    If someone is interested in you romantically, they will usually be nervous around you.

    If your date is fidgeting, sweating, or stuttering, it’s a sign that they’re trying to make a good impression on you. However, if your date is calm and relaxed, it’s probably just hanging out.

  7. Fun

    If you’re going on a date, you will usually do something fun together.

    It can be anything from going to a movie or dinner to doing something adventurous like hiking or bungee jumping. If your date is just hanging out, it’s likely that you’ll be doing something casual, such as watching a movie or going to a coffee shop.

Signs That It Is Not a Date

  1. Lack of communication after the meeting

    If you’ve been on a date with someone, and they’re not responding to your messages, it’s probably a sign that they’re not interested. Lack of communication could mean that they didn’t enjoy the date or just not interested in pursuing a romantic relationship.

  2. Reluctance to make plans for the future

    If your date seems hesitant when you suggest making future plans, it’s a sign that they’re not interested in pursuing anything romantic.

    If they are open and excited about making plans, it’s a sign that they are interested.

  3. Bringing a friend along

    If your date invites a friend along, it’s a sign that they’re not interested in pursuing anything romantic with you. Bringing a friend along dilutes the experience and takes away from the intimacy of a real date.

In conclusion, it can be tough to differentiate between a date and just hanging out, especially if someone is not clear about their intentions. However, by using these helpful tips, you can better understand if someone is interested in you romantically or just wants to hang out as friends.

Remember, always trust your instincts and go with what feels right for you.

Signs That It Is a Date

  1. Romantic vibe

    One of the first signs that it is a date is that there is an undeniable romantic atmosphere in the air. The place where you meet is more intimate, perhaps dimly lit, soft music playing in the background, and you both sit close to each other.

    You might also notice that the conversation revolves around intimate topics; perhaps the person will also romance you with their words. When all these signs come together, it’s apparent that it’s a date.

  2. Dressing up

    Both of you are likely to dress up for the occasion, particularly the person who invited the other.

    Dressing up is a sign that the person is taking the date seriously. It’s also an indication that they find the other person attractive and that they’re putting effort into impressing them.

    Dressing up could be as simple as wearing a shirt that hugs your chest or heels that you know will make you taller, make you feel confident, and attract your date.

  3. Quality time spent together

    When on a date, the quality of time spent together is significant. You are both there to get to know each other better and spend as much time as possible talking and engaging in shared activities.

    For example, going for walks through a park or sitting in a restaurant with an ambiance that is conducive to conversation. The activities reflect each other’s interests.

    When the time spent together is pleasant and enjoyable to both parties, it’s a sign that it’s a real date.

  4. Comfort with physical contact

    Physical contact is a crucial aspect of a date because it helps to establish an emotional connection. The person is likely to touch you gently, give you a hug, or lean in to kiss you.

    Physical contact conveys the idea that you are interested in the other person and you would like to explore the relationship further. A willingness to be open and comfortable with physical contact is a sign that you’re there to experience something more than just a friendly get-together.

Confusion Between Dating and Hanging Out

  1. Mixed signals

    Mixed signals are common when dating someone.

    It’s essential to pay attention to what the other person does as opposed to what they say. For example, if they say they want to take it slow but keep initiating physical contact with you, this is a mixed signal.

    The person might say one thing, but their actions say something different. It’s essential to communicate with the other person and get clarity on their intentions to avoid misunderstandings.

  2. Importance of communication and mutual understanding

    Communication is a significant factor in dating and hanging out.

    Communication allows you to understand the other person’s intentions, their likes, and dislikes, and how they feel about you. Being an open book to each other is crucial in avoiding confusion between dating and hanging out.

    If both parties are clear about what they want from the other person, there is less room for misunderstandings. It’s essential to ask the other party questions about their intentions and tell them about yours, so there is no confusion about where the relationship is headed.


Going out with someone in a romantic capacity can be exciting and nerve-wracking at the same time. It’s not always clear if someone is inviting you out as a potential romantic partner or just as a friend.

It’s crucial to pay attention to the signs and cues that the other person is giving out to determine if it’s a date or just hanging out. If you’re confused despite all the signs and cues, don’t hesitate to ask the other person about their intentions because it’s better to have clarity and avoid misunderstandings.

What Is Actually Considered a Date

  1. Dressed up dinner

    One way to indicate that an outing is a date is by going somewhere fancy and dressing up for the occasion.

    Fancy dinners are typically an indication that the two of you are sharing a quality time meal.

  2. Spending the night

    The idea of spending the night could indicate that it’s a date. The most common example is when someone stays over at their romantic partner’s place after dinner and spending quality time together.

  3. Going somewhere new

    Exploring new places together can indicate that both parties are interested in making a good impression and getting to know each other better.

    It’s an opportunity to establish a connection.

  4. Quality time

    The amount of time and attention given to the person can also be an indication that it’s a date. For instance, talking about each other’s day and interests could create meaningful conversations, and this shared quality time is an indication that everyone is interested in the other.

Conclusion And Advice

In conclusion, dates can be a stress-inducing experience. It’s always essential to recognize whether it’s a date or just hanging out.

Knowing where you stand will help you determine how to approach the experience. It would help avoid needless embarrassment that could arise when misunderstandings occur.

It’s also important to remember that mutual interest and attraction are the foundation for a successful dating experience. It’s critical to be clear about your intentions and make sure that the other person is on the same page as you.

Without mutual interest, a date will be an unpleasant experience for both parties. Being confident, communicating with the other person, and ensuring that you’re both on the same page is of utmost importance.

Clarity is always desirable in romantic connections, and being truthful with each other is essentially what turns hanging out into dating. In summary, whether you want to remain friends or turn the outing into something more, it’s essential always to be clear about your intentions in every engagement.

Be honest, be confident, be accountable, and be precise. With these few tips, navigating a relationship will be a lot easier.

In summary, determining whether an outing is a date or just hanging out can be confusing, but paying attention to specific signifiers can offer clarity. Dressing up, engaging in quality time, exploring new places, and spending the night together are all indicators that an outing is, in fact, a date.

It’s essential to recognize if it’s a date or just hanging out to avoid embarrassment or wasting time. Understanding mutual interest and attraction is crucial for successful dating experiences.

Communication, honesty, and clarity are essential to ensure all parties involved understand each other’s intentions. By keeping these points in mind, navigating a relationship can be a harmonious experience for all involved.

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