“Hanging Out” Is The New Dating & It’s Awesome

People like to say that millennials have no time for romance, but that’s not true — we just have no time for antiquated views of love and dating. Nobody should have time for that. We also get a bad reputation because of hook-up culture, and people assume if we’re hanging out with someone, we’re sleeping with them. Nope. Hanging out is its own special thing, and it’s way more successful than traditional dating methods.

  1. Hanging out is sort of the pre-exclusive stage of dating. You’re not exclusive, after all. You’re not anything, really, except two people choosing to spend some time together. Doesn’t that sound just a little bit nice? Wouldn’t it be awesome to get rid of some of the awkward BS that plagues the early stages?
  2. You can find out if this is actually worth your time. Do you two have chemistry? Does the conversation come easily? Do you find the other person morally reprehensible in any way? Wouldn’t you love to know stuff like that ahead of time, before you jump into something deeper and more exclusive?
  3. It’s not all about the hook-up. This is but one of the stigmas attached to the whole idea of hanging out. Yes, to some people, it might be synonymous with hooking up, but at its heart, hanging out is not simply a low-key sex invite. It’s not the new Netflix and chill. It’s an act that can take place anywhere – a park, a mall, a bookstore, a beach. It’s all about being casual, and that’s exactly why it’s so great.
  4. However, this is hook-up culture. So, you do have to realize that, yes, plenty of potential pals believe that when you ask to hang out, you want to bang. If you’re into it too, cool. If not, put it to them simply – you want to hang out, not hook up — and yes, there is a difference.
  5. It’s less about traditional outings, more about connecting. Forget about dinners and movies. Forget, in fact, about planning a formal date, especially when you’re in these early stages. Dates are kind of uncomfortable, particularly the more traditional ones. Hanging out is devoted to… well, it’s that pre-exclusivity thing again. You’re hanging out to see if dating is even a worthwhile next step.
  6. Hanging out prefers coffee or drinks to dinner. There’s time to talk, which is important, but do you know what’s even more important? There’s no time commitment with a cup of coffee or a beer. It’s not like sitting through an interminable dinner, trying to make conversation. If the vibes aren’t there, you can just go after your drink. You don’t even have to order a second cup.
  7. You can hang out with more than one person at a time. Again, you’re not exclusive. It’s kind of like you’re casually dating, except it’s even more casual. You don’t have to pick one person to hang out with if you’re interested in two, three, or even four. And not that they should, anyway, but no one in their right mind can accuse you of playing fast and loose with anyone’s feelings. It’s just hanging out, man.
  8. There are fewer expectations and less pressure. Naturally. Knowing that you don’t have to force conversation if you don’t feel it, that’s a huge weight off your shoulders, right? Dating implies commitment. It already has a label. There are so many expectations there and that alone can often make things awkward from the start. Who needs that?
  9. The need to label everything to death disappears. Well, it might not disappear forever, but it disappears for the moment. There’s no pressure here. Hanging out with someone is chill by nature. You don’t have to worry about being someone’s girlfriend or if the person you’re seeing is ready for that level of commitment. You’re not there yet and you both know it, so you’re on the same page for once.
  10. And you can still meet The One if you’re hanging out with them. It just grows from that point. You can hang out with someone and move up the love scale or whatever. So many things can grow from the sort of relationship that blossoms in a comfortable, casual setting. What’s not to like?
west virginia native, new hampshire transplant, parisian in the depths of my unimpressed soul. owner of an impressive resting bitch face. writer and reader. fluent in sarcasm and snark. lover of lower case and the oxford comma.