Ah, the age-old "are we dating, or just friends" question.
We've (mostly) all been there at one time or another. You've been hanging out with someone for a while, and you're starting to wonder what in the world the two of you are doing.
I mean, is there something ~romantic~ there, or are you literally just two friends hanging out?
This Reddit user is right there with you:
I've always had a really hard time making the distinction; I've seen/received advice to hang out with a woman I'm interested in as friends before dating, I've been told by women they don't want to date but want to hang out as friends, etc. I think romance and sex is obviously one distinction to make (other than friends with benefits, have literally no clue what the difference is between that and dating is?) but what are the other differences? If any? Would we act differently, do different activities, etc? I hope this doesn't come across as weird/cringey, or even the right place to ask for that matter.
He's not an idiot. He gets that you don't bone your friends. But I see his point.
People say the best relationships come from friendships, so he's trying to be friends first. But then, how can you tell if you're just friends being friends, or friends working your way toward a relationship?! VERY CONFUSING.
The sweet people of Reddit had some solid words of wisdom for our boy @iWolf_:
Look into signals the other person is sending your way.
Hanging out is the very beginning stages of some modern romances. It's the period where you two not just learn about each other but see how well you two mesh. And if you're feeling it, make a move and see what happens. If they reciprocate then keep the ball rolling as appropriate. I think one of the biggest distinctions is in cues, subtexts, signals... You know, a certain inflection of tone, or particular body language. The building of sexual tension.
The biggest distinction comes in the emotional connection.
Biggest thing is sharing an emotional connection and having that attachment. You can be friends, even have the best sex of your life with them. Without having an emotional connection, however, intimacy and love will never come to be (many people confuse infatuation and lust with love in the first year of relationships).
If you're dating, you'll have two kinds of intimacy.
The only difference for me is that if we're dating, there's often a deeper level of emotional intimacy, and a higher likelihood of physical intimacy.
If you're friends, you won't do these two things.
Friends don't fuck or pay for your dinner.
You think about a future with someone you're dating.
Hang out as friends = hang out with a person. You like each other and know each other well. You have inside jokes. You like this person cuz they're fun to do stuff with. Doesn't matter if it's a woman. Date = you hang out with this person solely to be around them. You're more than just two people who know each other. You have "chemistry". And sex. Hopefully lots of it. You think about a future together (maybe). Probably matters if it's a woman.
You'd be getting some if you were dating.
Dating means you should be getting some. If you make plans with a woman and they don't say it's not a date, it's a date. If you "Hang out as friends" with a woman more than a few times, and don't get any, you've been freind zoned. Move on. Very little reason to hang out with women who won't have sex with you. There are a few really great women I do hang out with, but for the most part men and women don't share the same interests and energy levels. How old are you? Are you trying to make friends or are you trying to get some?
(Also, wow, @hiltonking. I'm sure girls are lining out the door to hang with you. EYEROLL.)
Some advice from me? Stop reading into it so much.
If you're feeling it, make a move. If not, keep going as friends.