When two people are dating, but it is not acknowledged as real dating, instead they go on dates, but say they are just friends.
There are two main scenarios to this phenomenon. One: The first dater is only interested in the other person as a friend. Thus to them, they are only hanging out with a friend. The other 'dater' is actually interested in the other person, but knows that the person is only interested in them as a friend...at least at that moment. So while they are really on a date, it is officially called ' hanging out with a friend'.
Two: Both people are interested in each other, but don't know how the other one feels. So they go on dates, but call it just 'hanging out with a friend'.
Friend #1 : What are you doing tonight?
Friend #2: John and I are going to grab some dinner and go see a movie.
Friend #1: Are you all dating now?? You know that he likes you.
Friend #2: John and I?!? Oh no! We're just friends! We're just hanging out, its completely innocent.'
Friend #1: Uh-huh. You're soo being sneak dated!