What Is Considered a Date and How to Distinguish It from Hanging Out?


When you go to a meeting with someone you like, you go there in a certain mood. Your mood highly depends on the purpose of this meeting, whether it is a romantic date or just a friendly evening. People use the term “date” to describe a romantic meeting of two people. It always means more than just a pleasant time in a company of your friends. Unfortunately, sometimes, people substitute the term “date” with the word combination “hang out.” Thus, they often confuse, since these two terms have very different meanings.

At first sight, it may seem that the one can’t simply mix up these two terms because they describe completely different situations, but in reality, things are not that easy. Sometimes it is very hard to understand whether your meeting with your friend is a date or just a hangout. This happens because people usually have no idea what is considered a date. So, hanging out vs. dating, what should you choose to describe your romantic meeting? It depends on a situation, read more about the cases of usage and ideas on how to turn hanging out into dating.

hanging out with a girl

What Does It Mean to Hang Out?

First of all, you must know that "hanging out" should never describe your relationships. Of course, you can say that you are hanging out with your boyfriend or girlfriend, but this doesn’t imply that you have any romantic relationships since you can hang out literary with everyone. For example, you can say that you were hanging out with some stranger talking about phone apps while you were waiting for a bus, or you can say that you hang out with your friends every weekend. Both those two cases are completely correct, and there is no place for misunderstanding. Because "to hang out" means to spend time with someone doing something, just to spend time.

On the other hand, often people use this term to share with their friends, especially on the social networks that they are “on a date” with someone. But, usually, this means that their relationships are not very close or they have just begun dating. Also, it may imply that they both are only up to one-night stand. Generally, in the case of dating vs. hanging out, the usage of these two terms strongly depends on those who use them, as different people imply different meanings.

Hanging Out Vs. Dating What Should You Use?

It is better to avoid using hang out meaning dating since usually hang out implies that you are not planning to continue your relationships with this person. So, when you are planning to have a romantic date, you should use the term “date.” By doing so, you will be able to avoid misunderstandings, and your partner will know what to expect from the evening with you. Besides, there are some cases when you can use the term "hang out" to describe your time with your romantic partner. For example, if you are searching for romantic getaways with your wife, you can tell your friends that you are going to hang out somewhere together. This is acceptable because all your friends already know that you two have been in romantic relationships for some time.

Why Is It Hard to Tell If It Is Not a Date?

So, above we've mentioned that sometimes it is hard to understand whether it is a date or you are just friends. But how is this even possible? After all, a romantic evening is very different from a meeting with friends. Let’s sort this mess out together. First of all, if you date women online, then you may never face this problem since you both use dating websites or apps to search for a romantic partner. Thus, even if you directly never say to your online partner that you invite him or her for a date, they still understand that your meeting is going to be a romantic date. But things are more complicated when it goes to offline dating.

How can you possibly mistake a romantic date for a hanging out with your friends, and vice versa? First of all, it is very hard to mix up these two situations when you meet with a group of friends. Remember, only two people can be involved in a romantic date. But what about cases when you arrange a meeting with your female friend? In this case, sometimes one party expects it to be a romantic date, while the other ones believe that they are just going to hang out together. Often, this happens when people are too shy to directly say that they are asking someone for a romantic date, and they begin to mix up terms “date” and “hanging out.” Now, you may think, “Ok, I am not so shy. Thus, this will never happen to me, right?” Wrong! Let me show you why.

is it a date or hanging out quizFor example, your friend may invite you to a restaurant with candles and musicians that play romantic songs. For you those candles only produce natural light that relaxes your eyes after a long working day in front of the laptop, while romantic instrument music stimulates your digestion, but for him or her, it is a romantic date, and they are very surprised when after having a dinner with them, you say that you are going home. In simple words, this situation can be explained as “your false expectations.”

Main Signs of Dating

As you can see, there is no guaranty that you won’t find yourself in such a situation. For this reason, it is crucial to know what constitutes a date. Therefore, you will know how to tell if it is a date or not. We are going to give you a shortlist of sings that will help you understand whether this is a date or not. Whenever you have doubts about the main purpose of your meeting with a friend, you should apply this "Is it a date or hanging out quiz" to know for sure.


As we have said before, there is one of the most important rules of dating: you need to be alone with your partner to have a date with him or her. Can you imagine that your girlfriend, whom you have been dating for a couple of months, brings her friends to a date with you? This will turn your date into a farce. So, if you are meeting with your friends together, then this is unquestionably not a date. Even if you are meeting with two of your friends, you should never perceive this evening as a date. So, if you want to tell your partner that you want to have a date with him or her without directly telling it, you should make it clear that you want to be with him or her alone at this “meeting.”

A special romantic atmosphere

Above we've already given you an example when people completely forget about this sign and simply don’t want to notice any nuances. If your female friend invites you into a restaurant that is widely known for romantic atmosphere and dishes with aphrodisiacs, then it is foolish to believe that your friend just wants to hang out with you. Thus, you should pay attention to details if your friend creates a romantic atmosphere during your “meeting,” then it means that he or she is trying hard to impress you and turn your meeting into a date.

Intimate talks

Try to recall all the topics that you discuss with your friends when you hang out together. I bet it will be a remarkably hard challenge because usually, people tend to discuss with their friends literary everything. Also, with your friends, you can switch topics very easily, and you all support this turn of events. Thus, you know that this is just a non-binding evening with your friends when you discuss some nonsense. But if you find yourself having an intimate talk with your friend, then either he or she has problems, or they are in love with you, and want to date you, or believe that they are already dating you.

The thing is not only about physical attraction

When two people “hang out” not in the romantic sense, they are either good friends or planning to have a one-night stand. Do you know what is the biggest feature of a one-night stand? To have a one-night stand, two people should like each other physically, they don't need any emotional contacts or feelings. If you see that your planned “pleasant evening together” involves more than just a physical attraction, then you know for sure that your friend wants to have a romantic relationship with you.

You feel happy afterward

Of course, you can feel happy after everything in your life. For example, you buy a new PlayStation, and you feel happy because you bought it. Yesterday you played on your console together with your friend, and you felt happy because of it. But this is another type of happiness. You may not even expect that a random meeting with your friend may actually be a romantic date, but you will definitely feel different afterward. In fact, there are two options. The first option is that you will feel uncomfortable and awkward. The second option is that you will feel happy and blessed. In both cases, you should tell your friend about your feelings and sort out this situation.

How to Turn Hanging Out into Dating?

Now, when you know how to know if it’s a date, you may ask, “What should I do if my partner doesn’t understand that I want to date him or her? How to turn hanging out into dating?" Well, this is not going to be easy, it will require the strength to tell your friend directly that you want to have a date with him or her, or the wit to create plans how to make him or her fall in love with you without actually realizing that you were already dating. Of course, it is not that complicated. We've created a small list of advice on how to turn hanging out into dating to help you solve this problem.

dating vs hanging out1. Ask directly

First thing first, if from the very beginning of your “friendship” with him or her, you wanted to date them, but for some reason, all your efforts were in vain, the best thing you can do to finally resolve this situation is to directly ask your friend to go on a date with you. He or she will definitely agree if they have any romantic feelings for you.

2. Create a romantic atmosphere

Before asking a friend to meet you, you should learn what they like and find out what the best way to give them what they like most romantically is. For example, your friend likes Japanese sushi, you can invite the girl to a sushi restaurant, or you can cook them at home together with her and then taste them together under candles, due to “sudden” power outage.

3. Provide comfort and security

One of the biggest differences between hanging out and dating is that during dates, people feel very secure and comfortable. Of course, it highly depends on the individual relationships, but generally, two people in love trust each other with their lives. Thus, they struggle to interpret messages or words that their partners send or say.

4. Your time together

When people just hang out, they don’t really plan anything, and their activities don’t require any commitment. For example, you go to a bar. While, during your date, you actually do something special, and dates are about doing this together. For example, you may watch a movie together. Only with him or her, without any third person. So, do you want to turn your meeting into a date? Then start doing something together.

5. Make an appointment

When you are going to hang out with your friends, you don’t usually make scheduled appointments. You agree to meet somehow, but each of your friends can come later. This is inappropriate in dating. Of course, your soulmate may be late, but this is another topic. To clearly draw the line between a hangout and a date, you should make a strict appointment with him or her. Apply this one in combination with other methods, and your partner will recognize the real romantic nature of your meeting.

As you can see, the difference between a date and hangout is very big. Unfortunately, intentionally or unintentionally, people often mix up those terms. Thus, making harder for everyone to understand the real purpose of the meeting. The best way to avoid misunderstandings is, to be honest about your real intentions. If you just want to hang out with your friend, then you don’t explain anything. While if you want to have a date with a person, then, please, be brave enough to directly tell him or her that you are asking for a date. By doing so, you will spare your and partner’s nerves. If you are too afraid of refusal, then you can express your intentions via the help of humor, this will allow you to have more room for maneuver in case of a refusal.