Is this considered "dating"?

I've never really officially understood the full meaning of "dating". In high school, that word meant you were boyfriend/girlfriend. In college/adult life, that word means you go out on a date, and it's non-exclusive so you can date many people all at once, just to test the waters and see if there's some spark there. What would you classify as a date? Does it has to be both people are completely aware of each others' singleness, interest in each other, etc.? or is it just having a good time with a hangout buddy?

I've been "dating" this guy who recently got out of a relationship. I always claim it's just "hanging out" just because I don't really want to get exclusive with him. Most of the time I agree when he asks is because he's been going through a difficult time not only because of his freshly ended relationship, but because he doesn't really have a lot of people to turn/talk to. He's my friend, I care about him, so I make the effort to let him know. Then a couple of "dates" ago, it really, sincerely felt like we were on a "date". We shared a couple of moments where there was definitely romantic spark, we would talk about topics that you usually do on a date, and there have been a bit of flirting, teasing, light touching. There has been one instance where if I wanted it to be a casual thing like hanging out at a cafe and studying, he would suggest dinner - and then we'd end up eating out together.

My question would be, is a date a "date" when it feels like one, without each other really implying it? I'm so confused as to what constitutes a hangout with a buddy vs going out on a date with a potential bf/gf?


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What Guys Said 1

  • I think the term 'dating' tends to imply more then 'we've been on some dates'.

    So you've been on dates with this guy, but you're not a couple. Technically of course that is dating, but people would probably say 'we've seen each other a few times' or something like that that doesn't suggest exclusivity.

    • Right. But does what happens on the date necessarily differ between it just hanging out versus being something exclusive? or with exclusive potential?

    • I think a date is definitely different from hanging out. There's romantic/sexual interest and flirting. If not, you're doing it wrong :p

      Whether there is exclusive potential is often unknown at that point, though of course there are people who have no interest in being exclusive with anyone. They are just 'casually dating'. And possibly (probably) having 'casual sex'.

What Girls Said 1

  • Dating is not hanging out with a buddy. I think you are unintentionally leading this guy on. You are not doing him any favors by pity dating him. I realize you probably don't think that is what you are doing, but it is. You call him your buddy, talk about the bad time he is going through, but if you were friends, you would just hang out like friends, not date.

    So, answer me this: do you pay your way when you go out? Friends and buddies don't expect their other friends to pay for them. You could have a deal where one friend pays one time and you switch back and forth, but when opposite gender "buddies" go out and the guy always pays AND you are flirting with each other, this is a date and your date would not appreciate knowing that you think he is a buddy and barely have any romantic stirrings for him at all.

    Overall to me dating is when both people have a mutual attraction to each other and want to see if there is more than that to it. It is a prelude to a relationship. For some, dating is simply a way to find a sex partner. In either case, dating is not about hanging with a buddy. Really think about what you are doing before you end up hurting this guy. Good luck.

    • I do like him, but I want to give him space and don't want to rush into anything, especially since he just got out of a relationship. And our first "date" (I consider it our first because we planned this and there was nobody but the both of us) I actually paid for the both of us, then he took me out one time after that and paid for me. A few days ago we went out for dessert and he offered to pay, then last night we both paid for our own food. So I don't know if the the whole paying for

    • thing applies here"

    • I think it does. You two are sharing in the cost of entertaining each other. Also, he just got out of a relationship. So, yes, you two are probably more so hanging out than dating. In a situation like this at any given hang-out it could turn the corner into dating but it will probably be fairly murky as to what is going on until one or the other just spits it out that you feel more than friendship for the other. Just keep sex out of it until that happens.