What’s the difference between a date and hanging out?

Lydia Welp and McCalee Cain

Lauren Sfeir

Remember back to middle school when you looked forward to going on an actual date with your crush?

You would imagine yourself sitting next to them, stiff from the uncomfortable movie theater seats, asking yourself, “Is this a date?” Your clammy hands and racing heartbeat suggest so, but how can you be sure?

A quick google search will define a date as a social or romantic appointment or engagement. Thus comes the confusion: how does one identify the difference between social and romantic? The lines between dates and simple hang-outs are blurred.

In society today, few couples go on dates. Many people say they are simply “talking” or just “hanging out” instead of labeling themselves as boyfriend and girlfriend.

However, for years, the only way a teenage boy could spend time with a girl he liked was to take her out on a real date: look nice, pick her up, take her somewhere, pay, and drop her off. What happened to this custom?

Going on dates has evolved from that tradition to what it is today: both men and women initiate dates. They often share the cost, and it is no longer the guy’s responsibility to pay.

Nowadays for high schoolers, it is hard to know what makes a date a date rather than “hanging out.” Yet the purpose of a date still stands.

“It needs to be alone; going to dinner, going to the movies…but hanging out at home isn’t a date, it’s just like a hangout,” sophomore Jasmine Mearns said.

No matter how long a couple has been together, they will always benefit from time alone together.

“It gives them time just to be together without other distractions, have good conversation, and get to know each other better,” Amanda Skinner said.

When asked if dates are important, students agreed that they are necessary to keep a relationship strong.

“You can’t really just think ‘oh yeah a relationship is gonna work just by hanging out’, you need to make time for special occasions,” senior Tyler Connolly said.