Difference Between Going Out and Seeing Someone
The phrases ‘going out’ and ‘seeing someone’ have similar meanings. They both refer to a relationship that a person has with another, though they both have other meanings.
‘Going out’ can refer to going out with another person, which means dating. However, it has a few other uses. The first one means to just generally go to another place with friends.
“Josh, Aerith, Bob, and I are all going out to the bar tonight.”
There is also the meaning of dating. This is separate from being in a relationship, as it means only a single date, usually in someplace that isn’t a home.
“I’m going out with him tonight.”
It can also mean to fail. This is especially common for body parts or for batteries.
“My knee just went out on me.”
Another meaning, similar to the meaning of failing, is to slowly dwindle.
“Disco ball hats are going out of style.”
Finally, it can mean to leave a place.
“Please go out through the back door.”
‘Seeing someone’ also means seeing a romantic partner, but there are a few other meanings. It can also mean medical appointments.
“I’m seeing someone for those backaches I’ve been having.”
Like ‘going out’, it can also mean hanging out with friends.
“I’m seeing John tomorrow and we’re going to go bowling.”
However, this one is more geared toward dating or seeing a doctor for something, so it’s rarer to see this meaning.
For the shared meaning of being in a relationship, both of them mean a relationship that is fairly new and maybe not have the level of commitment that a longer, more stable relationship would have. Someone would not say that they are seeing a spouse. They might say that they are going out with a spouse, but that means only a date and not the relationship itself.
There is some confusion over the exact meaning of the words and how they relate to each other. A brief look online will show a lot of people saying different things about what they mean. Some people say that ‘seeing someone’ means something very casual and ‘going out’ means a very exclusive relationship. Others say that ‘going out’ is casual and ‘seeing someone’ is exclusive. Judging by the confusion, the two terms don’t seem to have a very solid definition.
Still, the meaning of ‘going out’, as applied to hanging out with someone, is a very casual term. It means more the act of leaving a place to be with another person. There are also the meanings of failing or dwindling, which are not very good things to associate with a long-term relationship. In that case, it would make sense to use it to refer to more casual relationships, or the act of dating instead of the relationship itself.
‘Seeing someone’, on the other hand, is a more serious term. With the related meaning of seeing a doctor, it could be considered something with more impact. This would make more sense as the term for a more committed relationship instead of a casual one, and it appears to be used more often in this way. Still, some people do use it for casual relationships, so it might be a good idea to ask other people to clarify what they mean when they use it.
To summarize, ‘going out’ refers to fading away, ending, or leaving a place, sometimes to be with friends. ‘Seeing someone’ can mean going to a doctor. Both of them can also mean being in a dating relationship. While both phrases refer to dating another person, they do not appear to have solid meanings and different people use them in different ways.
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