How to Ask a Guy to Hang Out Without It Sounding Like a Date

Many people seem to believe that a guy and a girl couldn’t be just friends. However, this is a strong misconception that just simply isn’t true. Your gender or your sex really have no bearing over friendships and who you’re able to just stay platonic with. Because of this odd misconception, many people, especially guys, believe that showing any amount of interest means that you’re interested in more. This isn’t always true, but approaching a guy to hang out without it sounding like a date could sometimes be a hassle. There are a few ways to approach this, and a few things to keep in mind, such as:
Group It

If you’re looking to hang out with a guy friend without making it seem like a date or like you’re too interested, group it. Hanging out in a group of friends makes the assumption that it could be a date completely disappear. Be sure to avoid choosing couples though, or it may seem like you’re trying to set up a double date. But if you’re looking to hang out without seeming too interested, make it known that it will be a group outing. Most guys won’t view a group setting like a date, and in fact, it may give them a better chance to get to know you without the awkwardness of one on one situations. Whether you like the guy as more than a friend or not, group situations are a great way to get to spend some time with him without it being assumed that the outing will be a date.
Be Direct

Sometimes the best way to avoid something is to be direct about it. While this may be off-putting to some, it removes any chance of misunderstanding as well. If you’re worried about asking a guy to hang out and you don’t want it to sound like a date, then directly say that it isn’t a date. This should be avoided if you do have a romantic interest, and some guys may take it the wrong way. However, for many guy friends, being direct about what type of outing it is tends to help a lot. Don’t be afraid to clearly state your intentions and the circumstance of your invitation. Be honest, be clear, but be friendly, and understanding if they reject the invite. Directness will get you far, but it doesn’t work on everyone, and that’s okay.
Lead It

If you’re not someone who is used to being direct, you can always lead the invitation to seem less than romantic. Be sure to use platonic names, like “dude” or another nickname. Don’t get too flirty, and simply ask if they’d like to hang out. Don’t overthink the invitation and if anything seems to be presumed just laugh it off and even make a joke about it if you have to. You can choose your words wisely when inviting someone out. For instance, using a passive tone goes a long way in making something seem less involved. You can ask the person if they’d like to hang out, adding “if you want to” and mention how you’re not sure where. If you’re inviting them the same day, add in that you’re bored, or that you have nothing else to do. If you seem passive and somewhat uninterested, it’ll be more clear that this isn’t a date. However, be careful not to sound too passive, or they may not think you actually want to see them at all.
Be Neutral

Another way to ask a guy to hang out without it seeming like a date is to be neutral about it. Pick locations that aren’t usually date-centric, like the mall or a skate park. You can casually mention that you were going there anyway, but you wondered if they’d like to tag along too. Making the event seem neutral, with a neutral setting, takes a lot of pretense out of the gathering and will likely remove the notion that this outing could be considered a date. This is helpful if you’re inviting the person on the same day, making your decision to invite them to seem more spur of the moment. Be aware that if you do invite them on the same day, you may miss out, as he may already have other plans by then. Neutral tones, neutral dress, and neutral location will make the invitation seem less serious and much more friendly.
Find Common Ground

Many people will get together to do something that they have a common interest in. If you’re looking to hang out with a guy friend without it seeming like a date, find something you both enjoy and plan the outing around that. For instance, if you both enjoy the same video game, you might invite him over to play it with you. If you both enjoy a certain movie, invite him over to watch it, and so on. Using your home as a location also makes things seem much less like a date. Try to avoid restaurants or movie theaters, anywhere that is usually typecast as a place where people go on dates. By finding something you both enjoy, it makes it more like an invitation to indulge in an interest, rather than their company. This takes a lot of wonder and question out of the outing but still allows you to do something fun with a friend whose company you enjoy.
There are many ways to ask a guy friend to hang out without making it seem like a date. Be careful with your approach, especially if you do like the guy as more as a friend but aren’t ready to approach that yet. Seeming too uninterested may give him the idea that the chance of anything romantic would never happen, removing you as a potential in his eyes. It’s also important to not seem too interested, or he may assume that feelings are there, whether they are or not. Having guy friends is simple but also takes some getting used to. Sometimes wires get crossed and miscommunication happens. If you invite your friend out and he still assumes that this outing is a date, try and be understanding yet firm. Let him know that the point of the outing wasn’t as a date, but that you’re flattered he’d think so. Try to turn the situation into a joke and apologize for the possibility that you made him believe the outing was a date. Most guys will pick up on hints eventually, but it may take a few tries and a firm hand.

Whether you’re being direct, or you’re trying to lead it away from a date presumption in another way, be sure that you stay consistent and stick to what you believe. Don’t let someone convince you into a date if you’re not ready, but don’t let the possibility of a misunderstanding stop you from enjoying the company of your friend either. Some things take time and understanding and this just may be one of them.

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