Date is much more formal where hangout is more informal. You can absolutely just hang out with your crush and still be in a relationship. As far as what I think the difference is, I'd consider a date to have formal plans (certain time, certain restaurant/place, maybe dressed up a little), whereas hanging out is more casual probably at one of your places, watching movies, talking, cuddling etc. You can certainly show your interest in someone while just hanging out, and actually these hangouts may be more romantic because you can cuddle and kiss all you want vs sitting in a restaurant somewhere having general conversations. The label may matter to some people, but personally I like the term hangout because it doesn't set any high expectations, you're just getting together to have a good time. I've had one relationship where we pretty much always used the term hang out or some variation and we didn't always just sit and watch movies, we went to parks, ate out and all kinds of stuff. So basically I would say if you are worried about the hanging out label insinuating that you just want to be friends, make your feeling clear that you want more, and like I said that very easy to do whether its a date or hangout.
A "date" implies both *romantic* (or at least, sexual) interest AND some expectation of a planned agenda of events (even if that just means a walk or a cup of coffee & conversation), while "hanging out" could be completely platonic and may have no formal agenda of events.
And, yes, you can absolutely go on dates and still take things slow. A recognition of interest is not the same as a PACE - the speed or pace of a relationship can be set by either party (or preferably both in agreement), and can be anything from "marry me" to "I don't kiss until our 3rd year together."
Hang Out suggests informal meeting like coffee to someone older than 18-24. The term Hang Out could mean any number of things to a male or female of any age, unfortunately. Date on the other hand, is a more familiar term (not just to me) that has a long historical definition which is a set time, set destination, and sometimes rules if they are established at the onset. Like " I am NOT changing into or out of my swimsuit in the car with you at the waterpark." I know, it's corny but just a reference.
Date is well planned, and highly involved activity. During dates your attention should be focused on meeting the other person and assesing whether that person is right for you. Well planned part combined with trying yo show best version of yourself shows that you like the other person and you would like to get into relationship with the other person.
Hanging out is informal and your focus is mainly on the activity you make. It shows very little affection and rarely leads to anything serious because of confusion that happens and people eventually grow tired of the other person because not enough interest and envolvement was shown.
Don't do hang outs , only dates that eventually end up in a serious relationship. Never expect anything , and I wouldn't know the differences either. All I do know is why would I just want to hang out... I mean like what the hell for?
a date is the same as hanging out but more formal i guess. if you are dating someone you tell people that you are dating, if you hang out on occasion with a person you dont tell people you are hangin'.
but both hanging out and dating can go from just friends to more.
To me, a date differs from just hanging out in that a date has romantic connotations. If you go on a date, it'll imply that you see that person in a romantic/sexual light. More than platonic, at least.
(Of course you can go on a date and still take things slow. If you're certain that you're interested in this guy as more than a friend, tell him that. Ask him if he wants to hang out/go on a date, but do add on that you'd like to take things slow. Sort of ease into it.