When you enter the dating landscape, there is always one thing that makes it a little tricky, and somewhat awkward. It isn’t easy to distinguish between a platonic and romantic relationship, especially at the start. How can you tell if you are on a friendly date vs a romantic date? It is important to know the difference so you don’t make a fool of yourself and make the wrong assumptions moving forward in your relationship.
It requires being able to read verbal and non-verbal cues so you know if you are in the “friend zone” or “fun zone.”
Friendly Date vs Romantic Date
Before you know the signs between a friendly date vs romantic date, you first need to know the difference between the two. Most relationships start out as friendships. Hence, it is safe for most people in a dating setup to assume that a friendly approach or encounter could lead to somewhere romantic down the road.
First and foremost, a friendly date is a shared experience between two people with a shared interest or curiosity towards the same thing. Those interests lie in general activities such as hobbies, skills, and talents. When you go on a friendly date, you don’t generally feel conscious about how you look or how the other person perceives you. There is no effort in setting the best foot forward because it is a simple, friendly encounter. There is no physical attraction between both parties and no expectations of taking the relationship farther after the date has concluded.
With a romantic date, there is a specific desire to spend time with that person you are going out with. For some people, there is an added pressure to look your best for the date as you want to leave a good impression. The topics of your conversation drills into more personal issues in an attempt to get to know more about each other instead of just talking about general issues. A romantic date also involves a physical attraction between two people, and this often leads to some tension or a state of being self-conscious.
Friendly or Flirty? Hints to Look Out For
Now that you’ve distinguished the difference between a friendly date and a romantic date, it’s time to look at the hints that you should keep an eye out for. These hints could be subtle or not. They could tell you that your date might be interested in something more than friendship, or they simply want to keep things platonic. You need to use these hints to be able to figure it out.
He or she is trying to impress you – Fun Zone
It’s easy to tell when someone is doing their best to impress you – whether it’s with their personal looks or professional accomplishments. Notice when they make an extra effort to sweep you off your feet? It’s them doing their hardest to put their best foot forward.
He or she asks to hang out with you again. – Fun Zone
When a person is attracted to you and genuinely wants to spend time with you, they make an effort to do so. A person who wants to become romantic with you will make time out of their schedule to be with you. It’s also worth noting where you spend your dates. If it’s somewhere fancy or a destination where your date has spent money on, then it’s a guaranteed hint that they want to be romantic with you.
He or she never (or rarely) looks at their phone. – Fun Zone
You can tell if the other person is interested romantically in you when they give you their full attention and time. They rarely spend time checking their phone (only when something important comes up). The rest of the time during your date is spent conversing with you and making the most of the time you spend together.
He or she treats you differently. – Fun Zone
You can just feel it when someone is romantically interested in you. This is true when you are in a group with friends and they treat you differently from the others, especially those of the same gender as you. In fact, there might be some flirtatious vibes going on.
He or she likes to make eye contact. – Fun Zone
A person who is interested in you is fascinated by how you look. That is why most people will try to make eye contact to gauge how the other person is feeling about them too. Making eye contact is definitely one of the first indicators that someone is flirting with you. You can tell if they’re not just being friendly by the way they look at you.
He picks up the check. – Fun Zone
It’s the official rule of dating: men should pay for the meal (or the date). When he does this, then consider it a romantic date.
He or she asks to bring their friends on your date. – Friend Zone
When the other person does this, it’s a serious indicator that they don’t intend to spend time alone with you. Hence, they suggest bringing some of your other friends to this “date.”
He or she talks about others. – Friend Zone
A date is supposed to be an opportunity for you to get to know each other. But when all they are interested in talking about is other people, then they are not in it to getting to know you – they just want to hang out.
He or she refers to you as a ‘friend.’ – Friend Zone
During your conversation, pay attention to how they refer to you. If they constantly refer to you as a ‘friend,’ then you’re all that to them and nothing more.
He or she treats you like a therapist. – Friend Zone
If they start opening up to you about their problems and other issues in life, they treat you as a friend or confidant. There is no flirting involved when someone looks at you as someone they can count on or a shoulder to cry on.
The dating stage is complicated. Identifying a friendly date vs a romantic date can help spare you from all of the guessing game (and heartaches) later on. After all, it’s not always a good idea to make assumptions when it comes to relationships – you should always take the clues that the other person is giving you.