Imagine this: You've finally secured plans to meet up at your favorite restaurant with the person you've been crushing on forever or maybe that friend-of-a-friend you've always thought was fine AF. Giddy with anticipation, you drop this piping hot Earl Grey into your group chat and tear apart your closet to find the pants that make your butt look superb. But just as you're discerning what to do with your hair, how you'll slay your face, and if you should slip some condoms or dental dams into your bag, a haunting question strikes you: Is this actually a date, or are you guys simply hanging out?
Whether the sobering question came from your own mind or that one tell-it-like-it-is friend in your crew, you need answers. Situations like these are tough because, as dating coach Clara Artschwager tells Elite Daily, "The physical landscape of a romantic or platonic gathering can look the same: an intimate drink, a movie, a cozy dinner, a long stroll. It's the energy and intention behind it [that makes a difference], and often we go into a dating not knowing either of those things."