Dating versus hanging out

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He says that, in the past, he's dated girls who are just as confused.

"I've come to this conclusion: If I ask you out, or if you ask me out, and it's just the two of us, and we're doing something at a set time (like grabbing dinner or brunch or heading to a movie or a museum), then it's a date.

If you’ve been down this road before, you know that it’s seldom successful.

You remain stuck in the “friend zone,” which is relationship purgatory if you have a crush on someone.

Sara Svendsen, 25, has asked herself that question when she's been out with guys — and says she's been wrong "on both sides of that." So have her friends."A date is someone personally asking you out — that sometimes can get confused with a one-on-one hangout, depending on the way they mention it or which medium they use to ask you or if it happens to be a group hangout," she says.

Courtship has become casual, with texts, hookups and hangouts.

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According to a study commissioned by Christian and JDate.com, 69 percent of singles admit they're confused about whether an outing with someone they're interested in is a date or not.I don’t care if you’re the most self-confident, well-adjusted person around; rejection hurts. So instead of asking the person on a date, you go on approximations of dates that allow for plausible deniability of all romantic intentions. Fear of rejection alone has resulted in the proliferation of Starbucks like a French-roasted virus.It makes the remaining friendship awkward at best, humiliating at worst. People suffer through this in the hope that the object of their affection will eventually buckle and reveal his or her true feelings. They keep making up excuses to hang out, hedging all their bets and waiting for God to give them a sign.That’s because asking someone out involves potential pain. Worst of all, you engage in the most banal and abysmal of non-dates—going to coffee.If the object of your affection becomes aware of your intentions, he or she might not reciprocate, and that’s going to hurt. Instead of asking someone out on a date and being bold in their intentions, they turn to the soggy milquetoast alternative to dating: “hanging out.” Here’s how it works: You like someone but you’re afraid to let him or her know. It has the trappings of a date—a cozy ambiance, comforting beverages, atmospheric music—while allowing everyone involved to disavow the actual occurrence of a date.

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