What to Do When a Guy Asks You on a Soft Date

Hey, do you want to get coffee sometime? Chances are, you’ve gotten a text like this from a guy. Maybe you’ve liked him for a while, or you’ve just met and you’re testing the waters with him. What could this possibly mean? Don’t panic, this is a typical guy move. He is instigating a soft date.

Before we go over your next move, let’s discuss: What exactly is a soft date? Urban Dictionary defines a soft date as “testing the waters of dating.” It’s a non-committal way to feel out what an official date with someone would be like. The key to a soft date is its ambiguity, it could be a date or it could just be two friends hanging out. On a soft date, neither party acknowledges what their intentions are, it’s more so a matter of guesswork. A true soft date will be a casual outing, getting coffee or frozen yogurt are popular requests, but on occasion, soft dates can be as serious as going to a movie.

To know what to do next, you have to understand why he’s instigating a soft date. In my experience, there are two general categories of rationale. The first is that he’s shy or nervous to ask you out directly. He might be thinking that you’re not interested in him so he’s trying to send you a signal about his feelings. This will most likely (not always) be the case if you have been friends for some time beforehand. The second category is that he isn’t interested in anything serious. This type of soft date request can be far more problematic, and even manipulative. He might just be looking for something easy so he doesn’t have to define your relationship. Intentionally or not, this kind of behavior can cause a lot of stress and anxiety – which is not the right footing for a positive relationship.

So, what’s the move? If you want to test the waters of a relationship you can go along with the soft date, there’s no problem with that, especially if you’re just getting to know him. In my experience, the best way to combat soft dates and their ambiguity is to be upfront with him. No guy is worth losing your mental health over, and directly asking him “Is this a date?” will undoubtedly save you unnecessary anxiety. A healthy relationship is built on honesty so asking him to clarify his intentions will strengthen your relationship. I understand that being so direct can be scary, but if you’re looking for a relationship with a guy, sometimes you need to take matters into your own hands. Rejection sucks, but if he says no, he’s the one that’s missing out.

Put yourself out there, people will like you; sometimes it just takes time.

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