What He Really Means When He Says You’re Just “Hanging Out”

There comes that awkward moment in everyone’s dating life when you have to sit down with the person you’ve been seeing to find out where your relationship is headed. Then it’s like he smacks you in the face when he says you’re just “hanging out.” What does that even mean? What are his intentions? Before you react (or overreact), consider these hidden meanings behind his phrasing.

  1. He’s been hurt and he’s afraid to talk about a formal relationship. For a lot of guys, it means a lot to them to admit that they are in a relationship. They’ll often hold off on giving it a formal title until they feel like they’re ready to admit their feelings for you. This guy might not even be ready to admit how he feels to himself. He might just need more time or he may never have enough time. If this is the case, you need to decide if you’re willing to wait him out or not.
  2. He isn’t interested in a relationship. If he says you’re just “hanging out,” he may have no intentions of getting into a relationship at all. If he doesn’t tell his friends about you and you’re doing nothing but hanging out at his place or yours and it’s just the two of you, it’s likely time to admit to yourself that this guy is not relationship material.
  3. He’s seeing other women. When he tells you that the two of you are just hanging out, he could mean that he’s still seeing other women. He probably isn’t mentally in a place where he’s ready to stop seeing other people. It might be a fear of commitment or it could just be that he likes the attention. Either way, are you okay with that? If not, it’s time to cut this one loose. You deserve to have what you want in life.
  4. He thinks you’re good enough for sex but not good enough for the long-term. He feels the connection between the two of you but it’s purely sexual. He doesn’t value you as a friend or partner. Not only that, but he especially doesn’t see you as the type of woman that he wants to spend the rest of his life with. If he’s only looking for sex, let him find it somewhere else.
  5. He’s afraid to say what he wants because he doesn’t know what you want. Men are often hesitant to admit their true feelings if they think that the women in their lives are going to reject them. So, he might really like you and hope that you’ll be in his life for a long time. But if he doesn’t know how you feel about him, he’ll hold it in forever. Be frank about your feelings. Tell him what you want. He’d more likely to admit his feelings if you go first.
  6. He doesn’t want you to expect anything from him. He may not be sure enough about how he feels about you to admit that you’re doing more than “hanging out.” He’s waiting for some piece of information that will tell him that he wants more than just a good time from you. He might be worth waiting for. The question is, do you have time to wait for him?
  7. He’s killing time. He has plans for his life but he wants to follow the right path. Settling down isn’t part of his plans right now and even though he likes you, he doesn’t see himself still with you when he moves to the next step in his life. So, he’s hanging out with you for now because you’re fun. Expect him to leave you behind when he moves on.
  8. He’s not mature enough for a relationship. This guy has a lot of growing up to do. He likes not having any responsibility. He isn’t accountable to anyone and he certainly feels no accountability towards you. He’s not even ready for dating, let alone a relationship. He’s a boy in a man’s body and he’s really only looking out for his own interests.
  9. He has no clue what he’s doing in life. He doesn’t have any direction. His plans are all over the place. He’s a lost boy and he doesn’t even know it. He doesn’t know what he wants. But if he tells women that he’s just “hanging out” all the time, the women all figure it out, eventually.

A guy who says that he’s just “hanging out” with you is rarely worth waiting for. Unless you’re at the same point in your life and you aren’t ready for a relationship either, he’s best left in your past. Don’t take him into the future with you because he’s more likely to hold you back than to support you in your dreams.

Danielle has been a freelance writer for 20+ years. She lives in Canada with her dog Rogue and drinks a lot if coffee.