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Are You On a Date? How to Tell for Sure

Two people on a date.

Two people who are into each other tend to do a lot of chatting—what they did over the weekend, what are good movies, how they feel about any or all Kardashians, etc. But the deep secrets that are never ever spoken of early in the process of getting to know someone (in fact, I think it’s banned) are feelings and intentions. It’s hard and scary, and therefore loathed and avoided. And that can lead to questions and confusion about how the other person feels, if you’re on the same page, or even if you’re on a date at all. But there’s a way to shed some light on that confusing, “Is this a date?” dead-space between friendship and dating—Just ask!

LOL no, I’m joking. I would never do that to you. If you think you might be on a date, or at the very least in a date-like situation, but you’re just not sure, check out these important questions to ask and see where you stand:

Okay, what are you doing?
If you’re wondering if you’re on a date or not, what the activity is and when it’s happening is a good place to start. If you’ve been talking to someone a lot, there’s always the chance that they just think you’re someone fun to hang out with. If a weekend invitation is a fun, social activity, a romantic evening scene, or a mutual interest of yours, there’s a good chance it’s a date. If you’ve been invited to help someone lug their new Ikea furniture up the stairs and put it together with the promise of pizza and beer after, you may just be friends.

Assess how they present themselves.
If you see this person often, but you meet up for a hang out and they’ve brushed their hair, or are wearing nicer jeans than usual, or smell like a magazine perfume sample, this is an indication that they want this night to be set apart from the way you two usually encounter each other.

Is it just the two of you?
If you’re always encountering the person you’re wondering about in a big group of friends and you’re finally alone, it’s a good sign that they want to get to know you on a more personal level. Alternatively, if you two talk about hanging out a lot, but never have in the past, and your first outing is with a group of their friends, they might not see you that way. Don’t worry though; they could just be vetting you to see if you’re ready to take it to the next level. So you should still try and have fun.

How are they making you feel?
If they mention that you look nice, or smell nice, or if they seem more attentive or affectionate, take that as a good sign, and mirror that behavior if you’re into it. And if a guy offers to pay for anything, that’s a very strong indicator that you’re in date-mode. Once I dated a guy who asked me to hang out with no intention of it being a date, but when he found out I was into him, he changed course completely. After months of being together and talking about that first night out, we retroactively decided that it was a date.

Whether it is or isn’t a date can be very complicated and might even be inconsequential in the end. Still not sure where you stand? Well, I hate to say it but you could always… Just ask.

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