All genders. If I ask you on a date, what do you expect differently than if I ask you to hang out.. What is the practical difference?

When two people are attracted to each other, what makes it a date VS just 'hanging out'?

and if i want to take things slow should i ask if he wants to hang out, or would that obscure the fact i 'like;' him and be confusing.. can you go on a date and still take things slow?

We are friendly acquaintances. He asked me out a year ago but i had too many other time obligations.

  • A date is basically the same/ very different from hanging out "because..." If you like him and want to move on from being friendly ask him on a date. You can still go slow.
  • A date is basically the same/ very different than hanging out. Ask him to hang out so you can take things slow.
  • Other.
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Most Helpful Guy

  • 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.

    • yeah lol except its not 'easy' for me to mention my feelings. i guess i was looking for a way to avoid that. but i do feel like calling it a date sets up expectations for him and to undo those it would be even more talking, so yeah i think hanging lout is overall easer.

      thanks for answering :)

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    • It's not hard to accept :) I mind humiliation way more than straight forward rejection. my concern is not him rejecting me, but him assuming bc i'm inquiring that that means i'm 'expecting' a certain response. but whatever. ill get over that :)

      Thank you.

    • No prob :) thanks for MHO!

      Let me know how it goes!

What Guys Said 12

  • 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."

    • thanks. and yeah i realized bc of the past if i ask him on a date itd be clear i like him. ask him to hang out not so much. then id have to talk about it or make a move. so date might be gentler approach for me,. sort of counter intuitive. bc i think of dates as too big a deal usually.

    • Do you think i need to say 'date' or just asking in advance to a particular activity is sufficient.. Of course, If he asks if its a date I can say yes.. Its just im not used to using the word date and im worried hell jump ahead assuming i mean it in a way i dont. I mean it the way you said it basically.

      "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), "

      I was thinking a new 2 mile maze that opened up down town. I actually want to go- separate from wanting to go with him- so it'd feel natural asking. And, we hang out but we don't ever
      'plan' anything, so that in itself should indicate i'm interested right?

    • Well, in my opinion, a date should be clear as being a date. You wouldn't want him inviting other people along with your "date" or something.

      Messy relationships, where you're never sure what's going on, happen because people are messy in their communication. It's much better to be crystal clear and let him make a fully-informed decision. There is absolutely nothing wrong about saying "hey, I really like you and I'd like to date, but I'm the kind of girl who takes things slowly, and you'd need to be okay with that. I'll understand if you aren't."

  • Here is the "practical" difference:

    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.

    Just my opinion

  • 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.

    To read more:

    • Thank you for the info. (what if you already know each other?)

    • Even better. If a girl I know invited me to hang out , I'd see this as her just being friendly and not really aiming for more. But if she invited me to date it would be clear that she wants something more.

  • I would interpret a date as implying there is the potential for romantic or sexual interest while just hanging out implies you currently only see me as a friend.

    • Thanks for answering.

      So if i AM interested, i should tell you as a date?

    • Yeah, it would lead to less confusion.

    • ok thanks :)

  • 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?

    • I don't know bc if i say its a date he might assume im expecting whatever people expect on dates &idk what that is &i dont want him expecting me to expect things or him expecting me to do things,..

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    • Asker... That displays just nonsense towards anything real , I mean why would I want to just hang out and do a bunch nothing talking to someone that's not really into me ? why would he be interested in that ? what is it that you plan on doing towards the both of you?

    • i dont understand. its not nothing. i like im. so i want to hang out alone, bc its very different than hanging out alone than with other people. just bc i want to take things slow doesn't mean its nonsense. but why do i have to want something more than seeing how it goes for it to not be nonsense,

      if i want to hang out bc i like him, thats my intention. why does it need to be fancier? I've never dated i never really liked someone so i want to take it one step at a time... but im initaiting so it says i like him.

  • Date generally implies some form of 'romance' compared to just hanging out.

    • on the date romance behavior specifically or just that there are romantic feelings involved?

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    • The girl usually wants a kiss or something at least if it's a date, just different when you know both people are attracted. Plus if you rejected him before he may expect it to be a platonic thing.

    • yeah if i ask him on a date i dont have to say i like him., if we hang out he won't know unless i say something or make a move. so date might actually be less complicated in this case.

  • And this is why I wish there was something in between hanging out and a date.

    • lol yeah..


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    • yeah except we have known each other almost two years and he already said what you just said to me... so itd be really weird to repeat it.

    • Oh ok... If you two have known each other for that long, one would think you'd know each other well enough to see for a date. Either that or you two have been faking who you are all this time.

  • 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.

    • but going on 'a date' is not 'dating'.

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    • yeah im not looking for formal just clarity. hanging out can betaken as being platonic,. but i ';like' him.,

    • nowadays everything can be platonic, even sex.

  • Dates have expectations, pretension, pressure and so on.

    Hangouts are more informal and comfortable.

    Go with the hangout.

    • what expectations? what pressures?

    • On a date, I have to plan everything out, spend money, dress up, etc. The pressure is on for me to be fkn amazing. It's like I'm paying to go to a job interview, it's awful.

      By contrast hanging out is appealing it's literally just spending time together. We cab do anything and I don't feel pressured.

      It's easier to go on "dates" once you're familiar with the person.

    • i dont want the guy planning anything or paying. if i ask him to go on a date i wouldn't want any of that, as im the one asking. but yeah that would make me feel stressed if he was thinking i was expecting stuff.

  • A date is basically the same than hanging out. Ask him to hang out so you can take things slow.

    • yeah its just we already hang out so he might not get i like him.. but maybe it doesn't matter bc were hanging out either way?

    • Thanks for answering by the way.

  • Dating means there is potential romantic or sexual interest. Hanging out means that door is typically closed (or if it's hanging out in someone's bedroom the opposite - sex only).

    Ask on a date and move slowly of that's the intent.

    • Thanks. If thats a common view, then thats very good to know.

      but am i supposed to call it a date. or just ask if he wants to do an activity then if things go well say im interested but want to go slow?

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    • Yeah sounds good. At some point if he doesn't you will have to either try flirting, or tell him you'd like to try 'dating' or try kissing him.

    • yeah.. but maybe -if he's interested- hell just wanna hang out again then eventually one of us will naturally make a move. and then if necessary we can 'talk;'. is that a reasonable hope/ expectation assuming things go ok?

      I am ok asking him out-takes like ten seconds- but id rather not discuss it if its not necessary. At least not before i feel it for sure.

  • just hanging out, is just hanging out, there's no intimate settings or anything. they also don't try making a move


What Girls Said 2

  • 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.

    • ok thank you good clear advice. :)

  • Date: "I want to get serious too fast"
    Hang-out: "I want sex now, no commitment"

    Sigh... where's the middle ground? :(

    • well I've known & liked him for over a year so its hardly fast but yeah i DONT want anything fast. and i definitely dont want sex right away,. which leaves 'talking' about it which i dont want. so there's no good way to say anything. though itd help if a date was seen as casual.

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