NOV 30, 2022 AT 06:21 AM
So, what is with the phrase 'hang out' and what does it really mean? The Urban Dictionary defines it as “less serious than getting together or dating. Spending time in the context of friendship or casually exploring whether you like someone as just a friend or maybe more than a friend.”
Hanging out can also be referred to as being with a friend without any possibility of romantic attachment. 'Hanging out with your best friend.
What exactly is a guy implying when he asks you to hang out, and what should you say? The general consensus seems to be that he finds you attractive and wants to get to know you, without the risk of being rejected or spending money on a date.
Hanging out is a very casual term, although it may have a couple of other implications. He probably considers you a friend or he may want to talk to you about something. Here are a few other reasons:
- He likes you (obviously)
He would not want to waste his time being with you if he did not find you attractive or at least intriguing. He will probably have made you aware of this already by chatting with you and in his body language.
He may have held eye contact, stood close to you while talking to you, focusing on you when in a group, and asking a lot of questions. Look out for subtle behaviors such as neatening his clothes or hair or sitting up straighter when he sees you.
- He wants you as a friend
Even if the possibility of something more is not evident, he may want to be friends with you. He enjoys your company. This can be a little confusing if you actually like him as more than just a friend.
It is just as well, to see if you can spot the other signs of attraction before allowing your mind to wander into the romantic realm. If he treats you the same way as his other pals, you can rest assured that you are probably in the friend zone.
- He wants to talk about something serious
He may be upset with you or has something on his mind that he wants to talk to you about. Generally, you would be able to tell the difference if an invitation to hang out is a prequel to a serious discussion though. Maybe something happened that spurred him to initiate some time alone with you.
The important thing to consider is what type of relationship you have with him. Have you been friends forever, and a hang out alone is just a natural step towards a deeper bond between you, especially if you have always been out in a group before? Is he someone you have not known for long? What kind of connection did you establish when you first met?
- Time and Place
These two factors can be very revealing in the reason why he has asked to spend time alone with you. If it is in the evening, you may consider that he has thought of more than a friendship with you, especially if it is in a place where they will be little distraction.
If he asks you out to something he enjoys with his friends, such as a ball game or motorcycle race, it is more likely that he considers you as one of the guys. A friend to keep him company while he enjoys activities he wants to do.
So let's talk about you. If you are like the majority of us on the planet, relationships are basically a combination of mixed signals, hours of wondering whether he likes you or completely misreading the situation entirely.
There seems to be a whole host of terms that are ambiguous at best and downright confusing most of the time. Finally, the word dating seems to be fairly cut and dried, except when it runs into the murky waters of exclusiveness or casual.
So what is a girl to do? Do you consider the possibility that this guy just simply wants to spend time with you, or does he have designs for you? Everyone's definition of hanging out may also be different. So what do you say to this guy?
If he is already your significant other, hanging out may simply mean going over to his place to watch a movie and eat popcorn, or listen to music and chat. Nothing that requires a dissection of his intent.
If he is someone new in your life, however, it may be worth finding out at the onset what he means by hanging out. You can ask him questions such as will his friends be there? You could also ask him outright if he is asking you on a date.
If he does not want to tell you what he has planned because it is a surprise, you can tentatively assume that it is more of a date situation that a simple casual spending time together. Of course, there are guys out there that just do not have a clue, so don't be disappointed if he ends up taking you to a military demonstration or to watch motor racing unless, of course, you are into that kind of thing as well.
- Lack of Commitment
There are a few other things to consider, suggest Jalili and Wheeler in the July, 27th 2021 edition of Elite Daily. Hanging out does signify a lack of commitment.
This does not mean that a relationship can not develop into something more serious and exclusive, but at this point, he may not be interested in going in that direction.
- Friends with benefits
Do not be surprised if a hangout leads to some bedroom aerobics, in his mind at least. This may be his motivation for wanting to spend time with you. He may not be interested in anything more.
Another phrase comes to mind when discussing this scenario - hooking up. It probably does not involve much effort on his part, just being at his place and having sex. If you are not into this kind of 'hanging out', it is best for you to make a move out of there if things start going downhill.
- There is a reason why he does not want to date you
Maybe it is an old girlfriend, his friends, or maybe even his job. There may be any number of valid reasons why he does not want to commit to anything other than casual.
Maybe his focus is on a serious issue and he doesn't have the time or head space for a relationship. If you are wanting more than that, it may be worth moving on to someone with the same relationship goals as you have.
Whatever the reason is for a lack of commitment or exclusivity or simply calling it dating rather than hanging out, it is probably time you have a chat with him about it, provided that you got to the point in your relationship when some definition is needed.
You cannot hang out forever. Sooner or later, one or the other of you will find someone to have a romantic relationship with. This may alter the friendship that you have with this guy. If you are as happy to play the field, as he is, then that's fine, but the problem arises when you want more.
There is no right or wrong way to respond to an invitation to hang out. It depends completely on where you both are at. Casual spending time together may remain a lifelong friendship, develop into something more dateworthy, or may just fizzle out when someone more interesting and aligned with your goals comes along.
The important thing is to not overthink it. We do not know what motivates other people to make the choices they do. As long as you are being true to yourself, that is all that really matters.