What Is Considered A Date? (20 Signs You're On A Date) (2024)

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The dating world can be a weird, confusing, and sometimes scary place.

Dating only gets harder as you get older, and what is considered a date becomes stranger.

These days, a date can be anything from a walk in the park to simply hanging out with one another and maybe a few friends.

It can be even harder to tell if someone wants to date you in the very early stages, and you don’t want to give someone the wrong idea.

What Is Considered A Date?

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Dates are just as unique as the people who go on them.

The best dates are tailored to both of your needs and likes, which means that not everyone is going out to dinner or a bar.

Some people prefer hikes through the woods, rocking out at concerts, painting in the park, or taking an evening stroll through a cemetery.

No matter what your dates look like, both people should know what they’re getting themselves into.

There’s nothing more awkward than thinking you’re about to go on a date, and it’s actually just something business-related or they’re just inviting you to hang out with friends.

Luckily, there are a few signs to look out for when going on a date.

1. What Is The Environment Like?

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The environment of a date location can play a heavy role in how successful a date will be.

While a stereotypical date will take place somewhere like a bar or restaurant, this isn’t everyone’s cup of tea.

More active people may choose to do something more physical or go somewhere with plenty to do, like an arcade or amusem*nt park.

Meanwhile, quieter people may want to find a quiet park to relax in, or they may even choose to invite their dates over to their homes.

The best dates take into consideration what you previously know about each other.

For example, inviting someone to their favorite band’s concert makes for a memorable date.

2. Who Is With You?

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Not every date is going to be just the two of you, especially for first dates.

Many women may choose to have more social dates with people they are familiar with to avoid hazardous dating situations.

When most people choose to do the first few dates this way, they don’t believe the person is a serial killer or something of the sort.

If they did, they probably wouldn’t ask you out or agree to go out with you.

It’s just to ensure that you’re the kind of person they think you are.

You don’t need to be alone to be on a date.

Theme parks make for excellent group dates, where flirting couples can share rides together and play carnival games in an attempt to win the other one a prize.

3. What Is Your History With The Other Person Like?

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You could consider the type of history you have with this person, questioning how long you’ve known each other, if they’ve ever seemed interested in the past, or whether they’ve tried to get to know you better in the past.

If you’ve only ever had serious business encounters with this person, then you may just be going to a private business meeting.

For students, make sure the person isn’t just looking for someone to help them study for a test before getting your hopes up.

You should also recognize any changes in behavior, such as them becoming more friendly or more personal.

4. How Often Do You Normally Socialize?

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Is this person you’re about to meet up with a person who you talk to every chance you both get or one who rarely speaks to you?

If someone is interested in you, you may find that you talk more often.

This can include texting back and forth all day, calling each other when you’re both home, or someone who checks up on you frequently.

The more someone wants to be with you, the more they will want to talk to you.

They may even stop what they’re doing just to talk to you.

By talking more, you’ll also make your first date vastly less awkward.

5. What Are You Doing Together?

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You can do anything on a date, and it will be amazing as long as the company is good.

The worst dates are ones where your date ditches you or ignores you for whatever you guys are doing.

A good date will be planned around things that both of you are able to do.

Going to an art museum and discussing each piece you enjoy with one another is an excellent example of a good date activity.

You could also go to your favorite sports team’s game, just make sure that you’re cheering together and both having a good time.

6. Are You Both Enjoying Your Time Together?

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A date is time spent with another person that is enjoyable and allows you both to grow closer.

If you or the other person is simply being dragged along, this may not be a date.

However, if you’re both acknowledging and enjoying the presence of the other person, then you’re on a date, no matter what you’re doing.

You could be alone studying, inching closer to one another as the educational grind persists.

Other dates take place at boisterous nightclubs, with you holding each other close and dancing the night away.

Either way, make sure the other person is having a good time before asking them to go out with you again.

7. Is The Other Person Focused On You?

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One sign that a meet-up may not be a date is when the person who asked you out doesn’t seem to be focusing on just you.

If there are other people with you and your “date” doesn’t seem to be giving you any special attention, then you may have been invited to hang out with friends.

This isn’t the worst situation because you could be walking away with a bunch of new friends and a funny story to tell them later down the road.

However, you don’t need to lose hope quite yet.

Some people prefer to be friends with a person before they start to date them.

They could be testing the waters with you as friends before deciding to become something more, whether that means becoming their significant other or best friend.

8. What Are You Talking About?

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The topics of your conversations are one of the best indicators of whether or not you’re on a date.

If the conversion is centered on school or work, then you may not be on a date.

However, if the topic is about likes, dislikes, future aspirations, or life choices, then they may be trying to get to know you better.

An obvious sign that they’re flirting with you is the way they talk about you.

Compliments about the way you look, the way you’re dressed, your facial features, your personality, or your talents are pretty clear signs of flirtation.

9. How Much Effort Was Put Into Being Punctual?

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Although this may seem a bit old-school, people who are on time for events care more than those who are constantly late without forgivable reasoning.

Those who are excited to hang out with you may even show up a little early because they couldn’t contain their excitement and wanted to make sure they could spend all the time they could with you.

Punctuality shows that people care enough to plan ahead to make sure that they can arrive on time for an event.

It shows that they took extra time out of their day to get ready, in preparation and dedication to meeting up with you.

10. Have You Ever Flirted In The Past?

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Most people aren’t flirty by nature, so if someone has flirted with you in the past and asked to meet up, they’re most likely asking you out indirectly.

Although it is better to be direct with people, it can be really hard when asking someone out on a date.

Sometimes, some people prefer to flirt lightly with someone for a longer time in order to not come off too strong.

Someone may fear being too enthusiastic or excited will scare someone off before they can even go on the date.

However, most people prefer enthusiasm over trying to “play it cool”.

11. How Is Their Etiquette?

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According to the Oxford Learner’s Dictionary, etiquette is the set of “formal rules or polite behavior in society”.

If someone is on a date with you, they may try to impress you with their etiquette.

This may include insisting on opening all of your doors, pushing in your chair for you, holding proper posture, dressing for the occasion, walking on the side of the sidewalk that cars are on, or walking you to your door after your date is over.

Some adjustments must be made for judging the etiquette of your date, such as adjusting for a date with mobility problems or someone who may not have the means to dress to a certain standard.

12. How Much Effort Are You Both Putting In?

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If the person you’re with is spending more time on their phone than with you, you may not be on a date.

This is especially true if you’re not in a more formal date setting, like relaxing at their house.

Your date should be paying attention to you and being an active participant in conversations.

Showing up late could be a sign that the other person doesn’t see this as a formal date situation.

They may simply believe you’re hanging out as friends.

Many people are cautious of calling something a date because they don’t want to make the other person uncomfortable and potentially lose a friend.

13. Does Either Of You Seem Nervous Or Awkward At Times?

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When you’re going on a date with someone who you’ve admired for a long time, you can get jittery and have your stomach filled to the brim with butterflies before you even know it.

You don’t want to mess up and you focus so hard on not messing up that you end up fumbling over your words.

In these moments, just laugh and know that dating can be nerve-wracking.

A partner that is worth your time will understand how you feel, and you’ll be able to laugh at it in the future.

The other person could even find it adorable.

Someone who is just hanging out with someone for the first time will have vastly less pressure on them and may not appear to be as nervous as someone on a date.

14. Do You Enjoy Being Around Each Other Normally?

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Before you go on the date, you should consider where or not you actually enjoy being around the other person.

There’s no point in going on a date with someone who makes you feel bad about yourself or someone who irritates you.

When you date someone, you’re setting yourself up to spend a lot of time together.

If you notice that your relationship isn’t working early on or even before you on your first date, you should consider another person.

People who don’t get along don’t normally ask each other on dates, but it has been known to happen from time to time.

15. Are You Compatible?

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Some people can get along with everyone in most settings, but that doesn’t mean that you two are a compatible pairing.

When it comes to romantic compatibility, it’s not about how similar or different you two are.

The ways in which you two are similar or different is what matters more.

For example, two people may be talkative and eccentric, but that may create poor communication and a fight for attention.

This is the reason you often see pairings of people who are made up of one quieter, calmer person and one more chatty, flashy person.

While relationships may require some balance, friendships tend to vary in dynamics.

You see friends who are polar opposites, and you see friends who are identical.

16. Are They Trying To Get To Know You Better?

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While you two have been talking together, do they ever ask you personal questions about yourself?

If they’re only telling you about themselves, that may be your sign that they could be a little full of themselves.

If your conversations seem to be about other topics like another person you may both know or a project that you’re both working on, then they may have just wanted to take you out to talk about that.

17. One Tab Or Two Tabs?

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Whenever you go on a date, you should expect to pay half of whatever you collectively spend on the date.

Having someone cover the total amount of a date should never be expected but treated as a gift.

While previous generations expected one date to pay for the whole evening, many have chosen to split the bill as a sign of financial independence and respect for the other person.

However, dates will still share a single tab.

Those who aren’t on a date will normally request separate tabs.

18. Is There Any Other Reason You Could Be Meeting Up?

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You should consider if there is any other reason this person has asked to meet with you privately.

While things like study dates exist, sometimes it is simply easier to coordinate a study session with one person rather than multiple people.

Sometimes, someone may ask you out to talk about a project idea that they need your support with, get to know you better for professional reasons or to check in with you and make sure that you’re feeling okay.

19. Do They Want To Meet Up Again Afterwards?

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Even if it doesn’t feel like your time together was eventful or flirtation, they may ask to meet with you again.

Out of fear, some people will revert to topics like work because they’re too nervous to think of another thing to talk about.

You may meet up with them for a second time and find that you get to see a completely different side of them.

If they aren’t looking to date you, you’ll at least get a clearer vision of why they’re wanting to take the time to spend with you.

20. Don’t Be Afraid To Ask

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If you’ve gone through each of these signs and you still aren’t certain whether or not a meet-up is a date or not, then you should be able to just ask.

For those who want a meet-up to be a date, then you should start a habit of open communication with your potential partner early on.

A strong relationship is built on effective communication skills.

The more open you are with your partner, the more trust and peace you’ll both feel with each other.

You don’t want to date someone you are afraid to ask questions of.

Those who do not want to go on a date should be honest with the other person from the beginning, whether that person believes it is a date or not.

You have every right to say, “No, thank you,” and carry on with your day.

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What Is Considered A Date? (20 Signs You're On A Date) (2024)
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