Is this a date?

Supposing I ask a girl to have lunch with me. She is unattached romantically and so am I. We used to work together for the same organisation but she has since left, though she frequently hangs out on Friday night with my work crew (all of whom she knows, having worked with them) when we go out for drinks/dinner. So, I know her quite well and we get along fine. I have studiously avoided showing her any sign of my interest in her. Do not ask why as there is no sensible explanation. There have been some signs that she may be interested in me but nothing definite (though, being a dude, I am prone to missing really obvious stuff in this department).

My question is would a request to join me for lunch on a weekday (we both work in the city) be construed as a move on her? I guess I would like to get to know her a little more (even though I already know her fairly well) and spend time with her when there aren’t any other people around which might get her thinking I am interested in her but not be too overt about. Alternatively, would I be better off putting us both out of our misery and asking her on a bona fide date? That way, she’s either in or out but the agony is not prolonged.

Man, I am seriously over-thinking this.

It sounds like a date to me. Granted, I am highly oblivious in this area, despite not being a dude.

Ask her out to lunch and specify that it’s your treat and you’d like to spend time with her without your friends around. That way, if she’s interested in you as merely a friend she’s got the option of still going to lunch with you and paying her own way.

I find that bluntness works best for me.

Thanks for these replies. Could anybody else replying please indicate whether they are dude or dudette? I want to hear from both sides but I suppose I’m more after the ladies’ POV.

I like Silentgoldfish’s suggestion.

I’d also point out that lunch is a kinda neutral meal, and can be a mixed signal. Dinner, on the other hand, espeically dinner and a movie, is pretty easily recognizable as a date.

Oh, and, I’m a dude.

Dude here.

Uh, I’m just trying to figure out why you’re trying to hide the fact that you’re intrested in her. This falls under that whole confidence thing that women are always raving about. :rolleyes:

Just put your best foot forward and ask her out. No need to be ambiguous about it. Surely you know even if she turns you down, it’s not like she’s going to start bursting out with laughter saying things like “Bwahahaha… You mean …giggle snort go out with you?? Bwahahahaha…Man that’s rich!” Then afterwords show a video of the whole encounter to all the folks up at work… I mean, come on, shit like that just doesn’t happen. Unless of course you happen to bew on the Jerry Springer show…

I think even if you asked her out to breakfast it would considered a date - but then, that’s me. She’s a woman/you’re a man. There are warm fuzzy feelings floating about between the two of you. I say go for it. She will think it’s a date. That’s not such a bad thing, is it? Good luck!

Oh, and I’m a dudette :slight_smile:

Uh, except for the video bit, that sort of thing has happened to me. Repeatedly.

Please, just shoot me now.


Are you sure?
I’ve had warm fuzzy feeling type interactions with girls and gone out with them and they just thought it was a friend type thing.

Why set up a purposefully ambiguous situation? By having this lunch, you run the risk that the date might end without either of you really being sure where you stand.

My advice (as a dudette) is to go for the dinner and movie option.

Unless it was obvious to me that you were interested, which doesn’t seem likely since you have studiously hid your interest, were I the girl I’d consider it a non-date. OTOH, I don’t pick up signals so well…actually, it’s more that I don’t trust myself to interpret them than miss them. I know a guy is interested if he suggests sleeping together but less obvious than that I’ll second guess it :o

Make your intentions clear from the get-go. Lunch is not generally a date, and she may feel uncomfortable if, after what she thought was two friends getting together, you try to pick up the check. I have lunch all the time with male friends and I know it’s not a date – it’s lunch. Frankly, when one of them tries to pick up the check, I view it more as “this round’s on me – you get the next one.” If she’s the same way, lunch will not advance the ball, so to speak.

Ask her out for something unambiguously date-like. And good luck!

Dudette here…

I’d probably think that was a date, but I guess it would depend on how you ask her. Asking in advance (as opposed to saying at noon, "hey, wanna grab some lunch?!) would indicate that it was, as would the place you choose for lunch. A sit-down restaurant would feel like a date, whereas a cafe or something might not, simply because it’d be more crowded and rushed and harder to interact.

If you want to get to know her better, lunch is a good idea. It’s not formal like going out to dinner and there’s less pressure. Also, if it sucks, there’s a definite end b/c you both have to go back to work. You can ask her out for a dinner date (or something that’s longer and more substantial than lunch) after the lunch if you feel comfortable. Don’t wait too long, though. If she’s unsure of your feelings/intentions, you can fall into the dreaded “friend zone” which isn’t a good place to be if you really want to be dating her.

Good luck!

It’s all in how you phrase it…if you say, “Hey, wanna go to lunch Tuesday?”, that’s a friendly catch-a-meal-together thing. If you say “I’d like to take you to lunch Tuesday and get to know you a bit better.”, you’re telling her that it is your treat and you are interesting.

Dudette here, and I remember how frustrating it was when someone wouldn’t make their intentions clear.

I’m young, but I’ve dated a bunch of girls (not bragging, just establishing context here). Lunch has always been a probation kind of thing for the girl. Don’t ask her specifically to lunch. Don’t pay for her. I’ll explain in a minute, after we deal with the

Dinner and movie is a horrible idea. Too formal - you don’t need that setting, since you know each other reasonably well already - and during the movie you won’t get to talk, or make an impression as a potential suitor. Sorry, Promethea. It might be a good idea to do a proper dinner later on to break yourself out of the “one of the guys” mold.

Everyone else is advocating buying her stuff. Movie, popcorn, dinner, etc. This is perfectly alright once you’re actually in a relationship with her, but not when neither of you is sure of each other’s intentions. Do you buy your (male) friends dinner unconditionally? Probably not. So why should she get special treatment, just because you’re trying to get into her pants?

Do a low-key dutch lunch. Be funny, confident, interesting, and hint to her that you’re the one interviewing her for the job of girlfriend, not the other way around.

Do not, I repeat, do not try to use the prospect of a free meal at a good restuarant or any other such material novelty to bait her into coming. Unless she’s already attracted to you, this is not likely to work, and you will have an awkward meal.

Call her up, or better yet, get her alone (the guys will likely help you with this; approach them beforehand, but make sure they don’t act too obvious about it) on the Friday night and tell her casually that you’ll be lunching at XXXX tomorrow or on Monday or something, and that she’s welcome to drop by if she likes. You’ll be there around 1:00pm.

I’m going to hide under my desk from the women on the board.

There you go! Invite her to breakfast – in bed! That would be pretty unambiguous.

No need to hide, dear. If it works for you, it works for you. Different strokes and all. The point is that we all need to be comfortable with our game, so to speak, and I get the impression that your game wouldn’t work for the OP. He’s an entirely different kettle of fish.

Yours is an interesting perspective (I myself am more amused than offended), and but for the fact that you live in Australia, I would suspect that you are my brother. Your style is very like his.

I’m a girl.

I would probably be confused. I’d be on the phone to my friends saying, “He asked me out to lunch. What does that mean? I can’t tell if he wants to be friends or something more. Is this a date?”

In my opinion, this type of confusion is to be avoided when possible. Ask her to dinner. Or ask her to your place and make her dinner. Then there will be no question. She’ll know you want a date. Everyone will understand each other, and that’s a good way to start off a relationship.

(And if it doesn’t work out – well, it’s still better to bring a relationship to a sudden halt, rather than dragging it on for months with one person thinking you’re friends and the other one thinking that you’re dating. Which sucks.)

Girl here. As a general rule, anything that leaves you a “just as friends” out in order to save face also gives more than enough room for confusion on the other side as to your intentions.

If you want her to see it as a date, frame it as such–lunch would feel unsure to me; it would have to be dinner. Otherwise you risk her being interested but not wanting to make any assumptions.

On the other hand, if you just want to use this as a way to see if she seems into you when other people aren’t around, the ambiguity really doesn’t matter too much–as long as you are in some way explicit about your intentions afterwards. Just don’t expect her to do the work of assuming lunch is a date, as she may be just as reluctant to be overt about her feelings as you are.

Dude here.

Lunch is ambiguous. Since you’re former coworkers, it could just be a friendly “hey, let’s catch up” thing, not a date. pasunejen is exactly right – if you try to give yourself outs, she may not even realize you’re interested.

Ask her on an explicit date. (It can be lunch, but be clear that you’re asking her out.) There’s no reason not to. If you ask and she says no, she’ll still be flattered that you asked. Everyone likes to get asked out.