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Is it a Date?

How GLBT Teens Can Know if it's a Date or Just Hanging Out as Friends

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It can be hard for gay teens to know if it is a date, or if they are just hanging out as friends.

Have you ever been in a situation where you can't tell if you are on a date or just hanging out?

For GLBT teens who are interested in someone of the same sex, figuring out what's up can be extra complicated since many of their friends are going to be people of the same sex.

Additionally, a lot of GLBT teens look for friends with whom they have things in common: like their sexual orientation or gender identity.

But how can you tell if the cute lesbian chatting you up in math class has romantic interest or not? And what about that nice gay guy who suggests getting together to do homework after school? Of course, things can be even more complicated if you don't know if the person you are hanging out with is gay or straight!

Here are some things to consider:

  • Is the person gay? Now a lot of teens explore their sexuality in high school and college, but if you are certain that the person you are with is straight, then it probably isn't a date.
  • Did the person ask you to hang out in a group? Though a lot of people do date in groups, or try to get to know someone with a bigger crowd, if you go out with a bunch of people, you can legitimately assume you are hanging out as friends.
  • Is there another reason for you to hang out? Are you officially meeting to work on a school project or to discuss starting a club? That person might be interested in you romantically, but there is no reason for you to assume so if he or she doesn't come out and say it.
  • Where are you going? If the person asked to meet you in the school cafeteria, it's probably not a date. If he or she asked to meet you at a cafe or the movies, it might be.
  • Who's paying? If the person who asked you out goes for the check, it is a pretty good sign that he or she thinks it is a date. It might seem old fashioned, but paying for another person is still often a way that people show romantic interest.

As the Guide to Lesbian Life writes:

The thing that makes a date different than just hanging out with a friend is that there is a romantic interest from at least one of the people. A date can also be a time to get to know someone better to see if there IS romantic interest. But romance is usually involved.

Of course, the best thing to do in an ambiguous situation is to ask. It might seem embarrassing, but saying something like, "Are you asking me on a date?" or, "Hey, it this a date?" can clear up a lot more awkwardness later!

If that seems too daunting, you can always ask a friend to do your dirty work and find out for you!

Of course, even if you figure out that you are on a date, that doesn't guarantee that you and your date will totally be on the same page. As one teen writes of a recent date,

"The whole entire day went AMAZING. We went to the Sears Tower, talked a bit, went to Starbucks and he ordered for me (like Blaine and Kurt did on Glee!) and after that we talked for the longest time. After that we went to the park to just to talk. Then he walked me to my transportation and gave me the longest hug. It was an amazing day, and we still talk. But I still don't even think he is interested in me the same exact way I am interested in him."

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