You get a text around 7 p.m on a Friday night, asking if you want to  grab a bite to eat. The person on the other end says they’ll pick you up in an hour. You put on your fliest outfit, spray on whatever smells good and you’re now ready for your date.

But is this really a date? Or are you just hanging out for the night?

Because of modern technology trying to differentiate between dating and hanging out hasn’t become an easy task.  Even putting technology aside, the hook-up culture, friends with benefits and whatever other name you want to tie to casual relationships, seem to add an additional blurred line to dating. Or hanging out.

A recent online survey of 2,647 singles, ages 18-59 provided to USA Today, points out the ambiguity of dating and hanging out.  Apparently 69% of the respondents are at least somewhat confused about whether an outing with someone they’re interested in is a date or not.  But 80% agree that a date is “a planned one-on-one hangout,” almost one-quarter (24%) also think it is “a planned evening with a group of friends,” and 22% agree that “if they ask me out, it’s a date.” The survey, conducted in September, was commissioned by dating websites and, both  still don’t include gay or lesbian daters. 


I decided to do my own quick survey about what constitutes a date and hanging out. By quick? I mean I instant messaged one of my closest guy friends to get his opinion.

“Hanging out is coming thru and “watching a movie”.  A date is grabbing a bite, and catching a show, or ice skating, or some shit a guy really doesn’t wanna do but thinks will impress the woman,” says random guy friend on Google Hangouts. According to him, a date happens outside of the house, regardless of how the question was communicated. Hanging out, happens in the house.
The survey also asked the age old question, “Who’s paying?” You know, once you figured out you’re on a date and what-not. For the first date, the survey found 69% of men believe the man should pay, while 55% of women agree.

Clutchettes, how do you differentiate between a date & hanging out?

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  • Pseudonym

    I say, if you care if it’s a date or just hanging out, then ask. Nothing sadder than being the committed and totally “in love” girlfriend to someone who isn’t even your boyfriend (or boyfriend to someone who isn’t your girlfriend).

  • cosmicsistren

    @geenababe – I thought it was just me. Women are constantly bombarded on what they do wrong by so called dating/relationship experts but no one discusses that A LOT of men don’t know how to date anymore. I am so sick and tired of arguing with guys why they can’t just come over to my place because I don’t know them and it is essentially inviting a stranger into my house. I don’t care how fine you may be.

    • Lynette

      Oh Lord-this situation drives me up the effing wall. The “why don’t I come over” or “wanna come to my place”. Man after man after man does this-and when I keep telling them that I would prefer to get to know them outside, in the daylight, with my clothes on, they still try to stay on the same path. Eventually they give up and move on (I guess to another woman who will play along). And in the meantime, I’m left wondering, where are the men who know how to ask a woman out on a date? I meet them every once and a while, but damn………

  • @yardyspice

    I have been upfront about wanting an actual date and it seems like most of the men will fight to death and provide every reason not to go on a date. I am shock when a man has no objections which is like one or two now days. It seem like now days a date is out of the question unless you are spending or unless a guy gets you in bed first and even then it is still out of the question.


    I always said I feel for the few men who don’t have kids because I know it can be equally hard to find a woman who doesn’t have any kids.

    My issue is with saying “don’t fall for this ladies,” automatically assuming a guy who just asks to hang out without a formal date declaration is sneaky, suspicious or trying to get one over on the girl.

    Not all but most are, I have tired that come over and chill two times and ended up with fools who wanted to have sex or give massages which they hope will lead to sex. I decided no more and I would like an actually date.

  • cosmicsistren

    When I tell them that I get the “oh you want to get serious right away with me”…um no. I am trying to figure out if you are even worth my time getting to know further or have sex with. Not every man is relationship material.