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 ChristianMingle.com and JDate.com, 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.