Ok that should be obvious, right?
Well, if you and the person have arranged to meet somewhere or he is picking you up, then yes the date is obvious. Sometimes it's not sooooo easy. At least not for me and I am truly oblivious to many things.
First non-date date rule: If he pays, you are on a date.
I met a guy about two years ago at a poetry group I attended. Nice guy. He and I would run into each other all over town. We could talk for ages.
Sounds great? What was the problem? I had no 'I am interested in you' chemistry on my side. I just wasn't attracted. Actually I thought I was making a friend or at least an acquaintance.
One night we met at the coffee shop and he was on the way to the movies and asked me along. Yes, I agree this should have been my first clue. Got to the movie and he paid. Again, a clue!! Truly people I am dense.
I didn't get a clue until he was dropping me back at my place. He suggested we sit on his deck with a glass of wine and watch the water. Sounds nice if you are with someone you want to be romantic with.
I made my excuses. Two friends of mine in California really had to clue me in that this was a date. Maybe it had been too long? I don't know...
Since then I've been on a few dates and thought I will now know when I am dating.
Second non-date date rule: If it looks innocent, it's not.
Over the holidays, my mom and I went to dinner at a good friend of my mom's. She and her son live there. You'd think I'd know if two moms and two kids of the opposite sex are involved in an activity especially dinner that I'd be wise? Uh, no.
The son greets me and immediately corners me in conversation. I was a little taken back . The two moms were not joining in our conversation despite my best efforts to include them. Second or third clue?
The son and I went for a walk around the neighborhood to look at Christmas lights. On the way back, he hesitantly says, "I don't know how to say this.." This was my first clue. "... It sucks that you live so far away (We were in Atlanta. I live in Boston.), but I'd like us to email each other. "
I know I'm on a date at this point and he's not a bad guy. Again not terribly attracted. I agree to write because there is no danger on my side and honestly don't think there is any on his side.
Over my dating life, with the beauty of hindsight, there were plenty of times I should have known I was on a date. I have not been perceptive to say the least. In my defense I do know when I am attracted and when it's mutual. Hey, I am getting better.