When you’re dating, you are committed to each other. You trust each other. You make a promise not to cheat, not to lie, not to hurt. You have faith that this person has your best interest at heart, that they are not going to do you dirty.
When you’re only hanging out, you have no idea whether they are talking to other girls at the same time as you. You might be the only person on their mind — or you might be one of many. You don’t want to come right and ask them about being exclusive, but you are always wondering who they are texting when they glance down at their phone and who they are spending time with when they say they are too busy to see you.
When you’re dating, intimate moments mean something. Every kiss is filled with affection. Every hug is an expression of how much you mean to each other. When you sleep together, it’s because you have strong feelings for each other. The physical attraction is only part of the equation. The rest is emotional, spiritual, mental.
When you’re only hanging out, you overthink every gesture. You wonder what it means when they hold your hand, when they kiss your lips, when they remove your clothes. You hope they care about you as much as you care about them, but you aren’t sure. You could mean nothing to them. You could be a way to pass the time.
When you’re dating, you can’t wait to tell everyone about your person. You show them off to your friends. You introduce them to your family. You post about them on social media. You brag anytime you get the chance.
When you’re only hanging out, there isn’t an official title, so you never know what to say when your friends ask about them. You can’t answer the questions are you dating or are things getting serious because you’re not actually sure. You hope you’ll become a couple soon, but you can’t guarantee anything. It’s more of a guessing game.
When you’re dating, you feel completely comfortable with the other person. You tell them secrets. You cry in front of them. You let loose without fear of judgement. You reveal your true self because you know they like you for exactly who you are.
When you’re only hanging out, you are always on edge. You are nervous about how good you look. You are worried about whether you are saying or doing the right thing. You are trying hard to impress them. You are less focused on the moment and more focused on not fucking up.
When you’re dating, your person raises your confidence levels. They make you feel like you are lovable, valuable, adorable. But when you’re only hanging out, you end up questioning yourself. Are you good enough for them? Would they rather have someone else? How do they feel? You wish you could tell. You wish they weren’t so damn mysterious all the time.