Going out and dating may just as well be one of the best things about being single. However, this comes with its share of guesswork and complications. This is especially true when a guy you’re seeing is being weird and giving you all these funny ideas that leave you asking yourself, “Are we dating or just hooking up?” Does he just want to be your booty call or does he want something more?
While these questions swirl around in your head, it’s totally uncool to ask *and we know most will never dare*. So instead of wracking your brains about where this “thing” is going while he’s banging your brains out, why not take the mind games out of the equation?
Here are some signs that it’s more than just a fling thing, and something way more serious in the works.
You know you can stop asking “are we dating?” when he starts to make plans to go out with you early in the week. Setting a date with you a few days beforehand also shows that he’s considerate about your schedule.
While casual dating or hooking up is more of a last-minute – if not spontaneous – affair, him making plans means you’re worth putting on his calendar. [Read: 23 signs he caught feelings and is falling hard for you too]
There’s a certain level of effort that shows when you’re dating. He actually shaves and dresses nicely when you’re together. Or he’s invited you into his home, and he’s either cooking something amazing for you, or he’s at least kept his place clean for you.
When you’re just hooking up, it’s natural to go Dutch and split the bill—like it’s as natural as breathing. However, you’ll know that your relationship has taken a progressive turn when either you or he picks up the bill – and you’re both silently left wondering about how awkward it is. [Read: Is it a date or are you just hanging out? How to tell the difference]
So you’re out doing things together and lo-and-behold, your friend suddenly appears around the curb. You both stop and say “Hi!” and there’s this unsettling feeling when your friends start to look at who you’re with.
Your date waits with bated breath as you introduce him as your friend, or you might even surprise yourself to admit that he’s your date, in which case he widely smiles in approval. Then you can definitely stop asking “are we dating?” [Read: 27 signs he likes you as more than a friend and wants to date you]
You’re both so comfortable with each other that you don’t hesitate to take a sip off his drink when he says you should try this new craft beer.
With FWBs or casual hookups, you have huge suspicions as to where their mouths *and other parts of their anatomy* have been, so you would rather not exchange even a little trace of bodily liquids for now.
You’re definitely dating when he’s giving you 100% of his attention. You won’t hear his phone ring *he’s put it on silent* and he’s not glancing at his phone for FB notifications, Snapchats, or tweets.
You actually talk and have engaging conversations going. In fact, talking to other people is far from your mind when you’re together. [Read: Am I in love? 21 signs to decode that fuzzy feeling]
While easy hookups are all about superficial sexts and “you up?” texts, dating means consistent “Good morning.”
This means you’re the first thing he thought about when he woke up, and you actually welcome a worthwhile texting conversation with him throughout the day. He might even be doing this because he’s wondering about the exact same thing – “Are we dating?”
You actually talk about how your day or your week was. If you’re just in it for the sex, you’ll go straight at it the moment you see each other. You’re lucky if he even takes time to ask about how you were after you had sex.
However, since he wants more from you than just your booty, he is genuinely curious about how you are and what you’re feeling. In return, you don’t hesitate to tell him about your day, and you’re equally concerned about how he’s doing too. [Read: Lust vs Love – 21 easy ways to clearly tell the difference]
If you’re not dating and just hooking up, then your times together are often confined in the four corners of the bedroom *his or yours*. Like vampires, you rarely go out during the daytime because you don’t want to bump into anyone you know.
On the other hand, you can stop asking “are we dating” if you both spend time with each other, and meet each other’s friends often as well.
You also know you’re dating when he’s not afraid to show his affection in public. You go out and he goes all out as well.
He holds your hands, hugs you, and whether he’s unaware of it, he just can’t get his hands off you – and doesn’t mind the whole world knowing it. [Read: 25 friends with benefits rules to make sure you have a happy ending]
Heaven forbid you have “that talk” because you’re not sure just what to say, but then he has at least shown you that you’re the only one he’s seeing. Or maybe you’re the one giving him hints that you’re exclusively seeing him.
Either way, it’s like this dynamic that you’re yet to define—but it’s there. You’re both trying to answer the question “are we dating”?
Some guys may be telling you they’re dating you, but are really having one-night-stands left and right. You know that you’re more than just hooking up when your guy is seeing and doing no one else but you—and he doesn’t want to have it any other way. [Read: How to ask a guy if he’s seeing someone else minus the awkwardness]
Anyone who’s after a no-strings-attached lay is only interested in your body. But if you’re really dating, the guy will be interested in whatever else is behind that smoking hot booty. He asks personal questions and is willing to share personal tidbits about himself too.
If while you’re still asking “are we dating” but you’re really just “hanging out” at some watering hole and another guy tries to hit on you, he’s immediately there cock-blocking the dude and blowing him off, with a greener tinge of jealous.
Though he might not admit it *yet*, he feels a little protective and a wee bit possessive of you.
He doesn’t mind that you leave your shampoo and underwear in his place—in fact, he may have suggested it. He also has his gym sneakers and toothbrush in your place too.
Basically, you have every essential toiletry covered for impromptu sleepovers. [Read: The subtle signs your fling is turning into a relationship]
So you sleep together? And by this, there really are times when night comes and you just sleep. No longer would “hanging out” mean just sex, but truly hanging out. And not all your steamy make-out sessions end up with your clothes strewn on the floor.
Sometimes, you’re just comfortable being in each other’s company, and this goes deeper than just the need for sex.
A guy who’s just into casual sex with you will disappear the moment you talk about your feelings. They’re basically just afraid you’ll bring up your feelings about him and he wants to avoid all that at all costs.
However, you know you can stop asking “are we dating” when you have at least cried on his shoulder after a bad day at work when you almost got fired. [Read: Emotional connection – 38 signs, secrets and ways to build a real bond]
When two people are just hooking up, they don’t always talk on a regular basis. Sometimes there can be days or even weeks that go by without a text or phone call from the other person. So, if you are talking on a daily basis, that is a good sign that you could be dating.
People who are just in it for casual sex aren’t going to do a lot of talking about the future.
In fact, they will avoid it like the plague. For instance, if he says, “We should go together to see this concert in six months,” it’s because he anticipates that you will still be around at that time.
If your “relationship” is pretty predictable, then that’s a good sign. Maybe you know you’re going to see each other every Friday or on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
If you have some sort of routine, then, that is what most couples do. [Read: 14 stages of a new relationship to define a budding romance]
This one is one of the best clues you have to answer the question, “are we dating?” If he has formally asked you to be exclusive, then he means it.
Now, being exclusive is different than being in a committed relationship. But at least you know he doesn’t want to see anyone else but you.
This is the best sign you can ever get! There is no guesswork involved in this one, right? When he asks you to be his girlfriend, you are obviously dating.
This is the best-case scenario and the one you want to happen. It may or may not. Or maybe it will just take him a while. But when he asks this question, you can stop worrying.
So, let’s say he hasn’t asked you to be exclusive or his girlfriend. How do you bring it up? Or do you? Well, generally speaking, it’s best for him to take the lead on this one. But if you can’t wait that long, here are some things you can do. [Read: When to define a relationship – 20 signs it might be now!]
Don’t beat around the bush. Guys are very direct with their communication, and he might not pick up on your hints if you try to go that route. So, just be direct and ask him what he wants out of this relationship.
If he hesitates, that’s not a good sign. Or if he says, “Let’s see where it goes,” that’s a lame answer too. What you are looking for is, “I’m so happy you asked! Will you be my girlfriend?”
Don’t look scared when you bring up this topic. When you come across that way, you are not in the power position.
You want to be confident and have the attitude that he would be lucky to be dating you – not the other way around.
If he brings up concerns, listen to him with an open mind. Don’t attack him or be judgmental. Ask him why he feels the way he does.
Have an honest conversation with him about it and don’t be afraid to dig deep. [Read: 22 new relationship advice and tips to avoid newbie mistakes many make]
Don’t be afraid to tell him what you want. You might be hesitant to do this because you don’t want to get rejected. But you really need to put everything out on the table.
Again, don’t do it in a needy way. Be confident and tell him what you want. And don’t settle for less.
If you want to date him, you need to be prepared for the fact that he might not feel the same way. That doesn’t mean that there’s anything wrong with you.
There are a lot of reasons he might not want a committed relationship. So, don’t take it personally. And if it turns out that way, then it’s probably for the best. [Read: 20 signs he doesn’t want a relationship with you and is just looking for fun]
If he does tell you that he doesn’t want to date you, then you should really move on. Why would you want to hang around a guy who doesn’t want to commit to you?
You deserve so much more than that if a healthy relationship is what you’re looking for. So, keep your thoughts positive. Go find someone else who values your worth and sees you as a prize.
[Read: 45 signs a guy loves you a lot even if he’s never said it out loud]
Dating is complicated enough without the mixed signals that make you ask: “Are we dating?” If a majority of the things above check out, then the answer is simple: Yes, you’re dating! So give yourself a pat on the back, girl, he really likes you and can’t get enough of you!
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