Have you ever met with someone that you liked, went for dinner, maybe drinks after or even dancing, and at the end of the evening you get a hug and a friendly smile with a quick “thanks” and “bye”. You are left standing there wondering, “What the hell just happened? Was that even a date? Or does s/he only like me as a friend?” Rest assured that you are not alone and this strange confusion happens quite often.
My friend Bill met a girl that he really liked. They “hung out” and always had fun. They did many things together like go to shows, dinners and parties. However, Jessica never kissed him or showed any physical interest in him. They never spoke about romance or sexual things. Bill thought that she simply needs her time. He was falling for her, and was in denial without wanting to face the truth. This kept on going for a few months, and still nothing happened. I told Bill that even an extremely shy girl would have wanted to kiss him after a few months, given that she was interested in him as more than just friends. Slowly he was starting to realize that these were not “romantic” dates! I told him to ask her straightforward, but he didn’t have the courage and didn’t want to risk pushing her out of his life. He did fall in love with her in the process, and unfortunately got hurt after realizing that she only thought of him as a “friend”. This can be avoided if you pay attention to the following signs:
It’s a date:
1. He reserves a table at a restaurant and pays the bill.
2. S/he acts nervous around you on the first few dates.
3. There is some physical contact during the date – slight touching of forearm, elbow, etc. while talking.
4. You feel the chemistry and tension between you, and he wants / tries to kiss you.
5. S/he asks you a lot of questions, and seems genuinely interested in you, and wants to get to know you better. They show interest!
6. They compliment you in a flirty way.
7. S/he sends you a “Thank you and good night” text after the date.
8. He acts very chivalrous and is a gentleman, and tries to positively impress you.
It’s not a date:
1. S/he asks you to go to a group event, and doesn’t pay much attention exclusively to you.
2. If s/he asks you to “hang out”, and you end up doing something non-romantic at all.
3. Spending time with a colleague and talking mostly about work, without personal questions.
4. If s/he talks a lot about a love interest or a person they like.
5. Talks about their friends, and who would be a good match for you. Or gives you tips about dating, the opposite sex, flirting etc.
6. No effort with their physical appearance. No one wears sweat pants on dates.
7. S/he is not flirting or playful with you, and no kiss or physical intimacy.
8. They bring a friend with them.
We live in an era full of confusions, where a date can actually be a non-date, or the person you fell in love with actually thinks you are their best friend, and nowhere near a romantic interest at all. Listen to your gut feeling and pay attention to the other’s body language. You should “feel” if there is romantic tension or not, and never lie to yourself. Never run after someone that doesn’t want you, because that will damage your confidence and self-respect. Make yourself available for someone that sees how wonderful you are, and actually wants to have romantic dates with you!
The best advice I can give you is to be straightforward. Communicate and simply ask them in a cute way, “Are we going on a date?” with a smile while asking. This should never be an embarrassing thing to do! Better to say it straight up and know where you stand, rather than get hurt after, like my friend Bill did. We were born with mouths to speak and ask what we don’t understand. It’s so easy, but unfortunately we make it complicated for ourselves. Guessing games suck too much happiness away from you. Don’t guess, just ask.