How To Tell If Its A Date
So you meet somebody and he says "Let's hang out together sometime." He seems like a fun person, so you think "Why not?" You agree to meet for happy hour drinks after work on Tuesday. Does that mean it's a date? What exactly does it mean? Here are some tips on how to tell if it's a date or not.
The Date / Not Date Problem
The problem arises when you go out with somebody, but it's not clear if it's really a "Date" or if you're just hanging out together as friends. You hate to get yourself all psyched up for a date, and tell your friends you're going on a date with this cute guy you met, only to find out that he's not interested in anything more than talking over a beer or two.
Sometimes people purposely use the ambiguity of "Let's hang out sometime" to avoid deciding yet if it's a real date or not. They may invite you out for drinks like this, with the intention of seeing how it goes. If you really hit it off, then they'll say that of course it was a date. If they're not that into you, then of course it wasn't a date. It gives them a way to hedge their bets and keep their options open. Unfortunately, it can leave you feeling confused and unsure.
Signs That It's Not A Date
If you spend a lot of time talking about your exes and other failed romances, then it is probably not a date. On a real date, you're more interested in finding about each other, than about your exes. Ex talk is a sign of an outing with a friend.
If one of you talks about the fact that you're casually dating somebody else, that's another sign that this isn't a date. If you're really into the person you are with, bringing up the fact that you're also seeing somebody else can instantly kill the mood.
Commiserating about all of his problems with work, family, or other issues is usually a sign of friendship. When you're on a date, the guy wants to impress you, not whine about his problems. If you're out for drinks, and he's obviously looking for a sympathetic ear, you're probably just there as friends.
How To Keep Things Clear
The sure way to find out if this is a date or not is simply to ask, though it takes some courage to put the question out there. Take a sip of your drink (or a few if you need them), and ask "Are we on a date?" If you want to influence the answer by letting him know your thoughts, you can add "I'm hoping we are." You might not get the answer you want, but at least you'll know where you stand.
It also pays to be clear about things from the start. When somebody asks you to hang out or meet for happy hour, you can ask right then "I'd love to! You mean like a date, or a friendly hangout?" That sets things straight from the beginning, and you never have to wonder.