10 major differences between a date and “hanging out”

Is it a date or are you just hanging out as friends? Here's how to tell

10 major differences between a date and "hanging out"
26 Mar 2015

10 major differences between a date and "hanging out"

Have you ever been invited to “chill” with someone you’re slightly interested in, but were not sure whether it really counted as a date? The line between hanging out and legitimate date can be pretty blurry, which gets awkward really fast when both parties proceed with different expectations. We saw it happen on the Tonight Show last week, when Nicole Kidman revealed that she and Jimmy Fallon’s first meeting a decade earlier had actually been a romantic setup by their mutual friend. And poor, unknowing Jimmy had worn sweatpants, played video games, and had served her corn chips the entire afternoon. Not surprisingly, the clip showing Nicole’s epic reveal and Jimmy’s subsequent embarrassment went viral.

While our dating disasters probably won’t be exposed on national television, it’s not any less horrifying to walk into a “hang out” only to realise that there’s been a horrible misunderstanding. Or worse, to come prepared for a romantic evening only to realise that your date had completely misread your intentions.Here’s how to tell whether you’re on a date or whether you’re just hanging out.

10 major differences between a date and “hanging out”
26 Mar 2015

10 major differences between a date and “hanging out”

A date: “What are you doing on Friday? There’s a new exhibit at the ArtScience museum and I was wondering if you’d like to go with me.”
A hangout: “Let’s chill sometime next week.”

An invitation for a date will be way more specific than an invitation to hang out. Dates require careful thought and planning, with consideration for your interests and availability. Hangouts, which are typically borne out of boredom, can be scheduled at any time. He doesn’t care that much if you don’t go. He’ll just ask someone else. 

10 major differences between a date and “hanging out”
26 Mar 2015

10 major differences between a date and “hanging out”

A date: It’s just you and him, even if you bump into mutual friends
A hangout: He invites other people to join you

Have you ever had a guy invite you to “chill”, only to find out that he’d invited 10 other people? Sure, maybe he’s invited them as an excuse to spend time with you, but that doesn’t mean it’s a date. Or if the two of you run into mutual friends, and he suggests combining tables, then sorry. It’s not a date. A date consists of just two people. 

10 major differences between a date and “hanging out”
26 Mar 2015

10 major differences between a date and “hanging out”

A date: He blocks out the entire evening for you
A hangout: He has to rush off somewhere after dinner and you’re not invited

Dates don’t have time constraints. You can schedule outings with friends between meetings, but no guy who is interested in you would want to spoil the possibility of romance by cutting things early. 

10 major differences between a date and “hanging out”
26 Mar 2015

10 major differences between a date and “hanging out”

A date: He will be extra chivalrous. He will open doors, give you flowers, protect you from incoming vehicles, pull out your chair, and offer you his jacket.
A hangout: He’ll be burping and farting all night long

Okay, okay, maybe not burping and farting per se, but when hanging out, he’ll treat you more like a “bro” or his sister than as a romantic prospect. If you’re going out to eat, he’ll ask you to help him queue for food while he chills at the table playing Angry Birds. On the other hand, a date will do everything in his power to make you feel like a queen, and himself a humble butler. 

10 major differences between a date and “hanging out”
26 Mar 2015

10 major differences between a date and “hanging out”

A date: He’s shaved, styled his hair, and is wearing clothes that fit
A hangout: Slippers, singlets, and a five o’clock shave, baby

Would you show up to a date wearing yoga pants and a hoodie? No. If he makes more effort with his appearance while seeing you than he does on any other day, then you’ll know he’s trying to make an impression. 

10 major differences between a date and “hanging out”
26 Mar 2015

10 major differences between a date and “hanging out”

A date: He’s visibly nervous
A hangout: He’s a little TOO relaxed

A guy will make ten times the usual effort on a date. He’ll be punctual, he will sit up straight, and he may even struggle or blush while trying to make you laugh. A low-stakes hangout will consist of him compulsively checking his phone or zoning out while you talk. If he invites you over to his place, he might even put on a video game or forget to offer you a drink. Basically, you would feel like any other friend, and friends don’t need to try so hard. 

10 major differences between a date and “hanging out”
26 Mar 2015

10 major differences between a date and “hanging out”

A date: He offers to pay
A hangout: You go Dutch

You’d think this would be obvious, but it’s easy to convince yourself that a guy’s intentions are not what they appear. “Oh, this isn’t a date, he’s just being nice!” or, on the other hand…. “This IS a date, it’s just that he’s really modernised and doesn’t believe that guys should always pay for dates.” When it comes to money, Occam’s Razor applies: the simplest explanation is correct. If he pays, it’s a date. If he doesn’t, it’s a hangout.

10 major differences between a date and “hanging out”
26 Mar 2015

10 major differences between a date and “hanging out”

A date: He’s clearly planned out the entire evening to make it feel special
A hangout: He makes you plan the entire thing

This is what guys do before dates: They make restaurant reservations, and if they have a car, they practise driving there to make sure that they don’t get lost. The restaurant will be quiet, atmospheric, and lend itself to conversation. They may also plan for at least one more fun and meaningful activity in the evening, like bowling or a visit to the aquarium. In other words, he will take charge of the entire event, taking care to do little things like refilling your glass or holding an umbrella over your head.

10 major differences between a date and “hanging out”
26 Mar 2015

10 major differences between a date and “hanging out”

A date: He picks you up or drops you off at home. At the very least, he will help you flag a cab. Or wait at the bus stop with you.
A hangout: He will skip out on goodbyes to sprint for the last train

But what if you guys are both taking the train home? If it’s a date, he’ll prolong the goodbye as long as possible, or even ride with you to your stop and walk you home. A hangout, on the other hand, will end in a quick “see ya!” without even an SMS to make sure you got home safely. 

10 major differences between a date and “hanging out”
26 Mar 2015

10 major differences between a date and “hanging out”

A date: He will try to kiss, hug, or cuddle with you at some point in the evening
A hangout: He will high-five you at the end of the night

Even if your date isn’t bold enough to kiss you or hold your hand, he’ll at least stand close to you or let you lean on his shoulder. At the very, very, very least, he will look deeply into your eyes while conversing. You will definitely feel some kind of connection. The most you can hope for during a hangout is a handshake (awkward), a two-second side hug (what), or even a high-five (just no). 

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