Few things are as nerve-wracking as asking someone out on a date. Not only does it involve putting yourself out there, being vulnerable, and potentially getting rejected, but with it often comes a racing heart, sweaty palms, and a major adrenaline rush.
Yes, asking someone out can bring its share of jitters, but it’s also a really exciting opportunity! After all, you’re putting your confidence to the test and going after something that could turn out to be really beautiful for you. There’s no doubt that when you ask someone out, and it goes in your favor, it can make you feel like you’re on top of the world!
Of course, we all want to hear a resounding “yes” when we ask someone out on a date, so that’s why we’re here to offer you some guidance. In our guide on how to ask someone out below, we’ve provided some advice on asking out a friend, someone you met online, and a person in public, along with some do’s and don’ts to help you land a date.
Asking Out a Friend
There are times when you begin to realize you want your friend to be more than your friend. As you can imagine, it can be tricky navigating this next stage, especially if you want to preserve your friendship in case things don’t work out romantically between you two. Follow this advice when you want to ask out a friend:
Make It Clear It’s Not Platonic
If you’re trying to venture out of friend territory with a pal you’re romantically interested in, you need to make it clear that you want to go on a date. For starters, we recommend calling it a date. Instead of saying, “Hey, want to grab dinner this Friday?” You could say, “Hey, I’d love to take you to dinner on a date this Friday.”
Also, when asking them out, don’t invite anyone else in your friend group because it may otherwise seem like a group hangout. So, rather than asking them on a date to a concert that all your mutual friends are attending, it’s best to plan a solo date, just the two of you.
Draw on a Common Interest
You’re already friends with this person, meaning you likely already have a lot in common, so use this to your advantage. For example, if you both love art, you could ask them to the grand opening of the new art gallery in town or invite them to an art exhibit at your favorite museum. Even if they’re on the fence about stepping out of the friend zone with you, they might be willing to give it a try if you suggest the perfect date!
Asking Out Someone Online
Now, how do you ask someone out who you’ve never met in person? Well, the good news is that you’ve already been chatting with each other online, figured out ways to flirt, and know that you’re both open to the idea of dating, so if you’re mutually interested, going on a date is the natural next step. Consider these strategies when asking someone out online:
Reference Something You’ve Discussed
Just because you haven’t met in person doesn’t make you complete strangers. Therefore, drawing on a common interest or mentioning something you’ve chatted about is a great hook when it comes to asking someone out online.
For example, you could consider something like, “I’ve really enjoyed our discussions about women’s soccer. I have two tickets to the San Diego Wave FC match on Saturday. Would you like to come with me?” Or, “It’s been so interesting learning about your travel adventures. I’d love to hear about them over a cup of coffee with you sometime. What do you think?”
Choose a Public Date Spot
When asking someone out that you’ve never met in person, it’s best to suggest a date spot that’s public. After all, meeting someone for the first time can be intimidating, so somewhere out in the open can make both parties feel more at ease. Instead of asking them over to your house for a cocktail, it’s better to invite them to that rooftop lounge with the pretty view of the city or that dive bar with the great jukebox.
Asking Someone Out in Public
Asking someone out in public that you don’t already know might take a little more guts than asking someone how you’ve already been talking to, but it’s certainly doable! If you want to know how to ask someone out in public, keep some of these tips in mind.
Gauge Their Interest
Unlike when you’re asking out someone you already know, it’s okay to be a little less forward and direct so you don’t scare them off—or creep them out. In this case, sometimes it’s best to get a temperature check when asking them out.
Start by assessing their body language, as it can tell you a lot about the situation. If they’re leaning in toward you and engaged in the conversation, then proceed, but if they’re turned away from you with their arms crossed, not making eye contact, then pump the brakes.
Now, if they appear interested in continuing a conversation with you, you could say, “It seems like we’ve got some great chemistry. Would you be interested in getting together sometime?” Or, “It’s so great to meet someone who loves sci-movies as much as me! Any chance you’d like to catch the latest flick with me this weekend?”
Complimenting someone is easily one of the best ways to flirt. Not only does it show that you’re interested, but it can make that person feel special.
When someone catches your eye in public, strike up a conversation with them, and if all goes well, pay them a compliment and ask if they’d like to go out with you. For example, you might say, “You have such a good sense of humor—I can’t stop smiling around you. Would you like to join me for coffee tomorrow morning?” Or, “You have the most beautiful eyes I’ve ever seen. May I ask you to dinner this evening?”
Do’s and Don’ts
With a better idea of some of the ways to flirt and ask someone out, consider some of the following do’s and don’ts to help you score a date.
Do Ask Confidently
Confidence is an attractive trait, so put your shoulders back, hold your head high, and ask that special someone out with conviction!
Don’t Be Too Vague
It’s only natural to be a little nervous, but try not to beat around the bush when it comes to asking them out. If you’re going to do it, do it. Be direct and straightforward, so there’s no question as to what you’re asking.
Do Consider Asking Them Out Over Text
Does the thought of picking up the phone and asking someone out make you feel like you’ll break out in hives? Then don’t! Nowadays, texting is considered a perfectly acceptable platform for asking someone on a date. If you go this route, just be sure to make your message clear and concise, so they understand your intent.
Do Accept No for An Answer
No means no. Don’t be pushy, aggressive, or persistent if the person you asked out turns you down. There’s nothing worse—or less attractive—than a pesky person who won’t accept no for an answer.
Don’t Sweat It
So, they said no? It’s okay—rejection is a natural part of dating. Don’t beat yourself up over it or let it prevent you from asking someone out in the future. You were brave and put yourself out there, and that’s certainly commendable. Now that you’ve done it once, it won’t be so scary next time!