Ladies: When a guy invites you out, it’s not always obvious if he’s asking you on a real date, or if he just wants to “hang out” as friends. So, here’s a guide to a few common scenarios, that’ll help you figure out a man’s true intentions, according to relationship expert Jennifer Bidwell.

  • Situation #1: You bump into a guy during the day, and he invites you out for a drink that night. Our expert says that’s NOT a date, because dates require thought and planning, and they usually have a specific activity in mind, like: “Want to see a movie with me next Friday at 8pm?” But when a guy says, “Hey, let’s hang out later,” that’s a sign that he wants to keep things casual. Bidwell says it’s a guy’s way of saying: “I think you’re fun to hang out with, but I’m not necessarily thinking ‘relationship’.”

  • However, if the guy acts nervous while he’s inviting you out – like he fidgets with his cell phone, and says “um” a lot - then that’s a sure sign that HE thinks it’s a date. Bidwell says even the most confident guys have a fear of rejection, and that’ll come through if they’re talking to a woman they really like, because they don’t want to hear you say “no.”

  • The next situation: When inviting you out, a man calls you “dude," like, “Dude, we should get together tomorrow and catch up.” Our expert says this is also NOT a date. The guy may have sincere feelings for you, and cherish every second he spends with you, but Bidwell says the fact that he calls you “dude” should be a red flag that he thinks of you as “one of the guys,” and not as potential girlfriend material.

  • One more scenario: A guy asks you out, and then asks a lot of questions. If that happens, the experts say it’s definitely a date. Because in general, guys have a harder time communicating than women do. So, if you’re with a guy who can’t stop asking about what you do for work, where you went to school, or what you want to do with your life - he’s trying to size you up as a potential partner.