Trying to figure out the signs the person you're seeing actually wants to hang out with you versus the signs they just want to hook up, based on their texts, can make you feel deeply paranoid. Some people simply aren't very profuse texters. Sometimes, the invite to come watch a movie really is just watching a movie, with the unspoken prospect of snuggling later. Sometimes, a person wants to hook up with you, and also plans on calling you later. All of this to say, the best way to figure out what someone really wants is to ask them.
I can speak from personal experience. Over the summer, somebody I hooked up with on a dating app got in touch with me a few weeks after our first date. His message had all the signs of just being about a physical relationship, so I asked him, "Do you actually want to hang out or are you only interested in sex?" I don't remember his response word for word, but I do recall that he used the word "hostile" to describe me, and I never heard from him again. But rest assured, it's not hostile to ask for clarity so that you can make informed decisions about your love life.
But if you're flinching at the thought of coming out and asking, here are some between-the-lines hookup signs to look out for:
1. The Timestamp
What time is this person's text coming in? If you were literally thinking about starting your nighttime skin routine right before your phone dinged, then they are probably just looking for a hookup — unless, like me, you start winding down from the day at approximately 6:45 p.m. If you are like me, then congratulations, because you are 27 years old going on 80.
But seriously, somebody who really wants to hang out with you will probably text you before dinner to make sure you're free and lock down plans that don't always start at midnight or later.
2. They Ask, "Do You Want To Hang Out?"
"Hanging out" is not "going to the movies." It's not "cooking dinner together." It's not "heading to this neat new bar I just found out about." "Hanging out" is essentially going over to some person's house where he's already watching Netflix in his pajamas. "Hanging out" is talking for about three seconds before getting in bed.
There's nothing wrong with hanging out — it just might not be your pace right now. If you actually want to do something with your potential date, propose an activity first. And if you want to skip the bill and head straight for the booty, consider this invitation your in. Just know that that's what you're likely signing up for.
3. You Can Tell They'll Make Other Plans If You're Not Available
If someone texted you, "What are you doing?" instead of just asking you whether or not you wanted to hang out, it's still likely a sign that they're fishing. Your prospective hookup might be seeing whether you're free for a booty call after they go out and meet up with friends at the bar.
If you respond honestly with what you are literally doing that night and they don't text back, then either what you were doing didn't sound interesting to them or they changed their mind. This has definitely happened to me before, and honestly, it completely killed my interest in spending time with this person in the first place.
4. They Always Want You To Come To Them
If their text makes it clear that the only way they are interested in seeing you is if you come to them, then this person is either so horny that they can't move, they're just completely lazy about getting laid, or they're just straight up selfish. Either way, it's likely they're looking for a hookup with none of the effort. And it's up to you how much work you want to put in.
5. You Don't Text Earlier In The Day
If you were texting with someone throughout the day, then getting texts like "Wanna hang out?" or even "What are you up to?" late at night, that doesn't necessarily mean they're just looking for a hookup. Chances are, they're actually genuinely interested in what you are doing. They might not even be up for hanging out that night, but more for setting plans for the next day.
Someone who hasn't texted you in a significant length of time and hits you up late at night to ask what you're doing, however, probably isn't actually interested in how you spend your weekends. If they were, they probably would have stayed in touch with you since the last time you were in touch. That's not to say that you shouldn't hook up with them if you do want to hook up. But it does mean that you probably shouldn't expect they're going to offer you any more than what they're already putting on the table.
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