Are You “Just Hanging Out” Or Is It An Actual Date?

It finally happened! Your crush texted you, asking if you want to hang out this weekend. You agree, but once the high of getting what you want fades away, you’re stuck wondering what “hanging out” actually means. Is he asking you out on a date? Does he just want to chill as friends? What is he trying to tell you? Unfortunately, it can be impossible to figure out what the answer is without questioning him. Of course, since you probably don’t want to risk embarrassing yourself by asking him outright if he likes you, here are a few things that might be able to help you figure out if you’re actually on a date when the time comes:

  1. Does he actually plan out the evening? If he texts you at midnight asking you if you want to grab a bite to eat, it’s not a date, but it probably is a hookup. However, if he makes plans with you a week ahead of time and even makes reservations for a restaurant, then it’s definitely a date.
  2. Does he look nice? He doesn’t have to show up in a suit and tie in order for it to be considered a date. Of course, if he’s wearing his gym clothes or pajama pants, then he’s not all that concerned about what you think of him. If you were on a date, then he’d at least put in a little bit of effort. Some cologne and a clean shirt never hurt anyone.
  3. Does he look nervous? If he’s fidgeting with his hands and making awkward eye contact with you, it’s actually a great sign. That means he’s worried about your opinion, which means he cares what you think, which means yes, it’s a date.
  4. Does he offer to pay? When friends go out to eat, it’s every man for himself. That’s why it’s definitely a date if he’s insisting on paying for your meal. Even if you turn down the offer and end up going dutch, it doesn’t change the fact that he’s going to be trying for a kiss later in the night.
  5. Are his friends around? A date should only involve two people. If he invited his friends, a few cousins, and some strangers off of the street to go bowling with you, then it’s just a casual hangout session. There’s no chance for romance when there are that many people around.
  6. Does he sit next to you? If you take a seat on his couch, but he sits on a chair on the other side of the room, he’s probably not interested in you. From that far away, it’s impossible for him to wrap his arm around you to try to cop a feel.
  7. Does he keep checking his phone? It’s rude to take out your phone while you’re out on a date, but there’s nothing wrong with checking your messages when you’re just hanging out with a few friends. So if you’re in the middle of telling a story and he’s half-listening while tapping on a screen, then he probably considers you a friend. Even if he does consider it a date, then he’s obviously not boyfriend material.
  8. Does he meet you there? He won’t be able to walk you to your doorstep for a cliché first kiss if you both take your own cars to Applebee’s. If your outing was a real date, then he’d at least offer to drive you.
  9. Does he talk about other women? If he stares at the waitress’ chest or tells you about the coworker he’s been crushing on, then he doesn’t see you in a romantic way. If he did, then he wouldn’t dare mention another woman’s name in front of you.
  10. Does he bring you flowers? It doesn’t matter if he bought you expensive roses or picked dandelions out of your front yard, because you’re definitely on a date. Duh.
Holly Riordan is a writer from Long Island, New York who has authored several science fiction and horror books. A graduate of Stony Brook University, she has spent nearly a decade writing for publications including Thought Catalog, Huffington Post, Teen Vogue, and more. You can find her on Instagram @hollyrio and Twitter @hollyyrio.