Guys have a way of completely throwing us off at completely unexpected, moments. One of those times is when a guy suddenly asks if you want to grab lunch. We immediately assume that it means one of two things; we’ve been friend zoned, or he is asking us on a date.
So, with all of the possibilities running through our minds, mixed with every context clue we can think of, we typically end up somewhere between “run” and “why the hell not” which always tends to see us making a mess of things because we’re confused.
In order to try and stem some of that ridiculousness, I’ve taken it upon myself to figure out exactly what guys mean when they ask you if you want to grab lunch with them. Unfortunately for us, they had more than just one clear-cut answer. Bummer.
Anyway, to at least help you narrow down the possibilities, here are some of the answers that the guys provided for their lunch-grabbing behavior.
1. He is wanting to make a work friend
This one is less rare, but if one of you is known to be married, he may just want someone to eat with. Especially if you work closely together, like partners in a specific department. I had a work buddy once that I shared lunch with every day. Four years later, I still consider him one of my best friends and a brother.
2. It’s more like a date precursor
He is checking out if you are easy to be around and talk to outside of work or school. It’s not a date, it’s more like a date precursor where he will try and find out if you are interesting and someone he would want to go on a date with.
You should already see the signs of this through his flirting or looks he gives you before ever asking. You know he’s interested, you just have to accept that you are right and know what you are talking about. Even if you aren’t interested, you don’t have to turn him down.
Go, enjoy yourself, and pay for your own food. It can be hard to make friends, so don’t turn down opportunities just because romance is out of the picture.
3. It’s definitely a date!
If you don’t know him well already and he asks you to lunch, then it’s definitely a date. There is a huge difference between lunch with someone you know and lunch with a virtual stranger.
If you just met the guy, and you don’t work closely together, then he is simply trying to take you out. Remember though, this can be very different if he is your new boss, or work partner. Then, he could just be trying to get a read on someone he’ll be working with frequently.
4. It is a mini date
It’s like grabbing drinks. That means that you can always expand on the date by having supper together as well, but if it isn’t going well, you both have an out. If the lunch goes well, and you both seem to enjoy each other’s company, then he’ll likely ask you to dinner before you leave to which you can say yes or no.
5. It’s a work date
If the two of you are working on some major project together, or partners at work, then he could be trying to be efficient and find time to work together while eating. You normally know this is what is going on because they actually say it.
“You want to grab lunch and talk about this project?” If you are working on something together, then it’s safe to assume it’s work-related and you’ll be paying for your own way.
No matter what you think his motives are, always take money to pay for lunch with just in case. It is always better to be prepared then to be caught off guard and embarrassed. Personally, I always ensure that I have enough for both of our meals incase something happens and he can’t pay. It saves everyone a lot of awkwardness in the case of a rejected card, lost wallet, or emergency.
If you still aren’t sure at the end of the lunch, pay attention to if he offers to pay for your lunch. That means that he is interested in something more. Obviously, this rule doesn’t apply if you are work buddies and take turns buying lunch. If you are only wanting to be friends with the guy and unsure of his intentions, say something like “sure, let me ask (name) if they can go too.”
The important thing to remember is to let go of the confusion and just have fun. You can always turn him down if he asks for a date, but enjoying lunch together is harmless and both of you can walk away with a smile even if you never date. Stop overthinking because you are just overcomplicating things.