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Hanging Out vs. a Date

Group Therapy: A Date vs. Hanging Out

This question comes from a Group Therapy post in our TrèsSugar Community. Add your advice in the comments!

I am quite inexperienced when it comes to the minds of men and dating in general. This guy I do not know very well asks me if I would like to hang out with him this weekend. I think why not? Maybe we could be friends.

When I replied back to him he said, "Okay it's a date then!" I was a little shocked. In my head, hanging out does not equal a date. I already said yes, so I went through with it even though I didn't really want to. On Saturday I was whisked away to a nice restaurant and the awkwardness began. Our conversation went like this, "You look very nice this evening." "Thank you." "How are you?" "I'm fine."


The whole evening I was just annoyed with him that he did not properly ask me out. I felt tricked in a way. The feeling only escalated when he tried to put his arms around me when walking back to his car afterward. My question: is hanging out really equivalent to a date when there's only a guy and a girl?

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Source: Flickr User malias

Join The Conversation
jazzytummy jazzytummy 6 years
I am older than most posters here, but I can tell you, I have never had a man call me to "hang out". He calls me for a date. Period. To me, the term "hanging out" implies a casual friendship get-together or a group activity, not a potentially romantic one-on-one activity. The guy was vague in his asking because he is insecure, but you should have clarified what the plan was. You didn't, so you really can't complain about it. Live and learn.
GregS GregS 6 years
As a guy, when I hear "hang out" I do not, repeat NOT, expect anything other than talk, maybe drinks and something to eat. As a date? Nope. Not even. Would I "hang out" with a lady friend at a great restaurant? Possibly depending upon the relationship. I have a friend that we get together about once a month. We alternate paying for dinner and drinks. We go to some nice restaurants. To me, that's "hanging out". No expectations beyond the friendship and talk. Dating is the exploration process of trying to determine long term compatability. This guy apparently is confused ('cause I'm perfect, don't you know? :LOL:). When he said "then it's a date" I kind of chuckled, because I'd have said something similar in a "on Saturday, we're getting together to knock around, book it in the calendar" kind of way. That he took it as an actual date was misguided on his part.
HollyJRockNRoll HollyJRockNRoll 6 years
Whoa! Obviously I didn't reread my comment. Here is what I'm saying, in better English: I have had this issue. I have hung out with guys thinking it was a platonic play date, while they had other expectations. The only way to avoid this next time is ask. Ask, "is this just a friendly thing, or are you asking me out?" It sounds weird, but guys will usually tell you if they have romantic intentions towards you if confronted with the question. Also, if someone pulls the "it's a date" whammy on you, you can politely correct them. Just be like, "yeah, a date between friends, hahaha" or "no, this is two friends hanging out." If a guy finds it weird that you need this clarification, he is not worth dating or being friends with. Some guys are going to be like, "well, I just want to see what happens." If they do that, just make it clear where you stand. If, "just seeing what happens" is fine, then great. But if you already know you are not open to anything romantic, state that loud and clear.
HollyJRockNRoll HollyJRockNRoll 6 years
I have had this issue, where what I belief that a simple friendly hang out has been interpreted as a date. The only way to fix this problem is to next time ask. If the person seems shocked that you want to define what is going on, you can tell them you just like there to be no confusion. If they don't get where you are coming from they are freaking retarded and you don't want them as a friend or a romantic person.
sarah_bellum sarah_bellum 6 years
I remember your original post a couple weeks ago. You need to really get over it. I don't understand why you are still so hung up on this issue. He didn't "trick" you into anything, in case the 11 posts here haven't been clear (or what you were interested in hearing). Saying you were tricked is flattering yourself, frankly, as in he wanted you so badly he plotted and schemed to lure you into his trap, as opposed to drawing up a contract or whatever you expect. Maybe he wasn't totally clear and concise, but neither were you, so don't go putting all the blame for the evening on him.
janeaustenrules janeaustenrules 6 years
I agree with the posters who put this back on her. It doesn't matter whether you are new to dating or whether you've been on hundreds of dares, the issue comes down to manners and respect. You can't blame people for inviting you to events you don't want to go to. You didn't want to go the moment you received the email back "It's a date". The onus was on you to deal with that and you could have done that in a number of ways - many of which have been suggested - instead you chose to place responsibility on him for going somewhere you didn't want to be. And to be clear - I'm not being critical, I'm merely saying you need to take responsibility for this - there are going to be a lot of situations in life where this scenario is going to play out, and not just in the dating context - taking responsibility and treating people with respect is going to make you come out ahead in all of them.
RoaringSilence RoaringSilence 6 years
The problem here is clearly not with the way he asked you out, but with the fact that you're not into him. If you liked him a little bit too, you would have been thrilled about, or at least flattered, by his advances. This likely isn't going anywhere, so stop wasting his and your time. Be nice and let him know sooner rather than later.
dancinlaughin01 dancinlaughin01 6 years
guys are human beings too, who don't like to get rejected. so it's less pressure on a girl to ask her to, "hang out" than be like,"hey,do you wanna date me?". personally, every guy ive dated has asked if they wanted to hang out. basically, for the most part it's the unspoken rule that hanging out is an actual date.
kurniakasih kurniakasih 6 years
Well, in dating world, everything is a hit-miss and people's 'guideline' may differ from one to the next. When I was still dating, I usually kind of stayed away from the 'hang out' invitation (unless it's a friend), and already made sure to know from the beginning if it's a date or not. :) I agree 100% with Helen though, communication is key. Don't sulk, just be open about what you think. When you sulk, first and foremost--YOU--don't get to enjoy yourself. If you just want a low-key friendly hang out, let him know that's what you want. (Next time) You'll get a hang of it after awhile, good luck, OP. :)
onlysourcherry onlysourcherry 6 years
It's pretty unusual for a man to say "Would you like to date me, romantically?" It's usually "Would you like to go to dinner?" or "I'd like to see you again" and sometimes even "let's hang out." I've never had a guy ask me to "hang out" as friends one-on-one, unless it's someone I've known for a really long time. Next time, you could diffuse the situation by being like "A date? What? Where did that come from?" or you could suggest making it a group thing. But please do address it with him rather than sulking all night!
ggiinnaa ggiinnaa 6 years
Ouch, some people are pretty harsh here, especially when the writer admitted to being "inexperienced"! Anon Group Therapy poster, I feel for you! I too have trouble rejecting guys and end up in the awkwardest situations... Like Helen Danger said, communication is key. Learning to say "no", in general and not only to guys. Also, when we're stressed out, we tend to talk fast, answer fast, too fast. Whenever in an unsettling situation, like that guys saying on the phone "It's a date!", try and take a deep breath before answering. That'll give you time to think, do you wanna roll with that or not? And if not, to try to find a tactful answer. Good luck! :)
GTCB GTCB 6 years
I hate to burst your bubble here - but speaking from the male side of the equation, men are not perfect creatures. You are not going to have the ideal experience you envision when you go out with someone. Men are shy, they screw up, they say and do the "wrong" things. Confidence takes time to achieve, on both sides of the table. Seems to me that neither of you were particularly confident this time around - but the beauty of it is it's no big deal!
Helen-Danger Helen-Danger 6 years
The problem here is that you were annoyed and confused and you didn't say anything about it. How is that going to work for you? Next time that happens--TALK. You can express yourself politely and still get your point across. When he said "It's a date!" You could have said, "Wait a sec. Date? You mean like dressing up? I'm more comfortable just having coffee or something. I don't even know if I like you that way yet (said with a laugh)!" During dinner, you had another chance. You could have said, "You know...I'm just not comfortable here. This place feels too fancy for me. Too many expectations, you know? I'm feeling all tense. Can we just go? Get a hamburger or something? I don't want to be here." Instead, you sat there all stiff and odd through dinner as if HE had done something wrong. He had no idea what your problem was--because you didn't tell him--and was probably spending his time re-evaluating his opinion of you. Whatever you have to do, be clumsy or abrupt or strange, but TALK about what you are thinking and feeling. That would be so much better than going along with any old thing while seething inside. Guys are incredibly bad at interpreting our body language, vocal tone, and (to us, obvious) sighs. When in doubt, spell-it-out. (That even rhymes!)
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