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Photo Credit: Britt Rene Photography.
Dating is supposed to be exciting and engaging, but these days the romance and possibility of a date seem to be replaced with confusion. Social media and texting has replaced interactions that used to be face-to-face. In this context, the art of dating has suffered.
Want to hang out? From the beginning of time, men have struggled to be clear with women.
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As a guy, I understand that most of the confusion starts with us. More often than not, we choose to suggest a casual-sounding hangout rather than an actual date. While this tactic lessens some of the pressure we feel, it can raise confusion—what is the point of this time together? Is he interested, or does he just want to be friends?
It's a way to get out of dating.
The simple solution would be to have men approach the relationship with more intentionality and clarity. But in the absence of clear communication, I hope to offer a few tidbits of advice. The fact is, he is either interested or not. Romance requires one-on-one time together.
Unless you plan on participating in an arranged marriage, this bonding time is essential. But it can be nerve-racking to ask a beautiful woman out on a solo date. Speaking from personal experience, even the most confident man can be intimidated by the prospect of revealing his true feelings. We fear failure, hurt, and rejection.
To temper the possible blow of rejection, we often opt for a hangout. This casual interaction is intentionally ambiguous.
It has almost all the benefits of a date with a certain degree of plausible deniability. As men and women, we love to feel loved; we love to feel romanced.
The purpose of hanging
So we suffer through this willingly, hoping that eventually someone will buckle and reveal his or her true feelings. Either he will have to work up the courage to ask you out on a proper date, or he will have to get to know you better among your group of friends but without the pressure of a first date.
If a guy asks to hang out, you are probably already thinking: I s this a date or not? Sometimes you just have to open up direct lines of communication, and ask the obvious question. Chances are that when you do, both parties will be relieved. Asking these questions can give him an avenue to be more intentional. I will defer to my good friend Monica on this one, but before I do, I will say this: There is nothing more empowering for me than when a woman helps me along by communicating her own interest through flirtation.
I know that flirtation has gotten somewhat of a bad rap over the years. Flirting with a man is nothing more than dropping the hint that you are interested—or at least not horrifyingly intimidating to talk to.
Invite your friends.
On the contrary, a little flirtation is the green light most men need to go ahead and pursue you. I can only imagine how frustrating it is trying to figure out which guys like you and which guys like you a little more than just friends. Men can run into a similar problem.
If we get the sense that a woman shares our feelings, we will be all the more likely to finally ask her out on a real date. Some of the more helpful ways to communicate this interest are to ask him questions about himself, make eye contact, take an interest in his interests, smile in response to what he says, and throw a flattering compliment his way every once in a while. He might be slow in making his intentions known, but when a woman drops a hint about her own intentions, it can certainly al to the man that it is OK to pursue.
Are we dating or not?
Give some of these suggestions a try the next time he suggests a hangout. It might not end in a relationship or even a date, but I hope at the very least that it will allow him an opportunity to be more clear and intentional.
This may help you understand. Is the date going well?
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By Justin Petrisek. By Isaac Huss.