How to Ask Someone Out on a Date (24 Tips and Expert Insights)

Just imagine how awesome it would be to hang out with someone you’ve got the hots for. Really, it’s all about gathering up a bit of courage for a second. We’ve all felt those jitters, right?

Before we start, here’s something to think about: what if asking someone out is easier than you think? Keep reading, and I’ll show you how simple things can make a big difference. Ready to up your dating game? Let’s do this!

Know Your Reasons for Asking Them Out

First things first: figure out why. Sure, they might be cute, but what else? Do you laugh a lot when they’re around? Do they make you think about things in a new way?

Getting this straight in your head will help you stay strong when you’re telling them why you’d like to hang out more.

Example: Let’s say you’re into someone because they cook amazing stuff. It’s not just about the food—it’s seeing them put their heart into those dishes.

Practice Your Approach

Next up, let’s talk about practicing how you’ll ask them out. This doesn’t mean memorizing lines. It’s about finding a comfortable and confident way to express yourself. It’s like trying on outfits before a big day; you want to see what feels best.

And as we talked about earlier, knowing why you’re asking them out helps shape how you’ll do it.

What this looks like:

  • Imagine different ways the conversation could go.
  • Try out different ways of saying what you want to say.
  • Remember, the more you practice, the more natural it will feel.

Show Genuine Interest

Now, here’s something important: showing that you’re really interested in someone. It’s more than just asking questions; it’s about listening to their answers and showing you understand. It makes a big difference.

It’s the difference between a simple “Wanna hang out?” and “I remember you like jazz. There’s this jazz cafe I found. Maybe we could check it out together?”

Example: If they’ve told you they love being outdoors, suggesting a hike could be a great way to show you listen. It’s all about making them feel noticed and understood.

Start With Casual Conversations

Jumping right into asking someone out might be jarring. Start by talking about small, everyday things instead.

Discuss stuff like their weekend or that new cafe that just opened up. It’s really just making small talk to get a feel for each other’s company. It feels less intense and more like chatting with someone you already know a bit.

Think about it:

  • Small talk is low-pressure and easy.
  • Once you’ve started talking, it’s simpler to keep the conversation going.
  • Building trust is important before asking them out.

Gauge Their Interest

How can you tell if they might want to go out with you? Look at how they act when you chat.

Are they happy and involved in the conversation? Do they give you their full attention? If they keep the conversation going, they might be interested in spending more time with you.

Example: They start bringing up new topics and ask about your interests. The conversation flows back and forth smoothly.

Use Open Body Language

What you do with your body sometimes says more than what you say with words.

Stand or sit in a way that shows you’re open and chill, like not crossing your arms. Face them when they’re speaking to you, and nod to show you get what they’re saying. You’ll come across as friendly and someone good to be around.

Example: Leaning in a bit (but not too much) when they’re excited about something shows you care about what they’re saying.

"To make a date invitation, you should lean in with open body language and enthusiasm while simultaneously releasing the outcome."

— Gaby Balsells | Couples Therapist | Psychotherapist | Dating Coach

Make Eye Contact

Eye contact shows you’re really listening and in the moment with them. It’s not about staring them down but more about showing you’re focused on them.

When you make eye contact, it sends a message that you’re interested and want to be there. It can feel a bit scary, sure, but it’s a simple way to connect on a deeper level. Just remember not to overdo it; you don’t want to make them uncomfortable.

Think about it:

  • Eye contact helps build trust because it shows you’re sincere.
  • It can make your words seem more genuine.
  • Sometimes, a look can say more than words ever could.

Smile and Be Approachable

A smile is like a friendly sign that says, “Welcome!” It makes you seem open and easy to talk to. When you smile, it not only makes you feel better but also brightens up the mood around you.

A genuine smile can ease any nerves, theirs and yours. Plus, it’s something everyone understands, no matter who they are.

Example: You’re listening, smiling, and now they’re smiling too. This back-and-forth is the kind of chat that can lead somewhere nice.

Offer a Compliment

Everyone enjoys a nice compliment—it’s like a little gift of words. It shows you notice and appreciate something about them. Keep it honest and specific; generic compliments don’t pack the same punch.

Letting them know can boost their mood and open up a new layer in your conversation. Just be mindful not to overdo it; you want to sound sincere, not like you’re trying too hard.

Be Attentive and Listen

Paying close attention and really listening when someone talks shows you value their words and, by extension, them.

It’s about waiting for your turn to speak and understanding what they’re sharing with you, which can be anything from their favorite music to how they feel about the rain.

This kind of active listening can make convos richer and more meaningful. Also, it gives you insights into what they like, which can be super handy when planning something special for them. Remember, good listeners are rare but so appreciated!

Keep It Simple and Direct

When it comes time to ask them out, straightforward is the way to go. Keep the message clear to avoid any confusion. This isn’t the time for riddles or overly complex plans.

A simple invitation shows confidence and respect for their time. Plus, it makes it easier for them to say yes or no without trying to decode what you mean. Remember, sometimes, the most straightforward questions are the most powerful.

Example: Instead of a convoluted plan, you say, “Would you like to grab coffee with me this Saturday afternoon?”

"I favor the direct approach: 'Hey, I think you're cool, and I want to get to know you better. Would you like to go on a date sometime?' It's casual and not overly pushy."

— Kara Nassour, LPC, NCC | Licensed Professional Counselor, Shaded Bough Counseling

Mind the Timing

Timing can make or break your moment. You don’t want to rush into asking someone out when they’re clearly swamped or stressed. Find a moment when you both aren’t rushing off somewhere.

A calm, low-pressure moment can make the difference between a flustered “no” and a thoughtful “yes.” It’s like hitting the sweet spot in golf; when it’s just right, it goes a long way.

Example: You’re both chilling after a work event, not in a hurry to be anywhere else. That’s a green light for a good moment to ask.

Choose a Comfortable Setting

You want a spot that feels natural and easy, where both of you can be yourselves. Loud, crowded places can make it hard to hear and stressful to talk. On the flip side, somewhere too quiet might feel intense.

So, a nice middle ground—somewhere familiar and relaxed—will do just fine. It’s all about creating a vibe that says, “This is a safe space to share.”

Example: You choose the local park where you’ve both walked your dogs. It’s friendly territory, so popping the question feels more relaxed.

Have a Plan in Mind

Going in with a plan shows you’ve thought this through. It’s about having a general idea of what you want to invite them to. This way, you’re not just asking to hang out—you’ve got a specific activity in mind.

It gives them a clear picture of what saying “yes” would look like. It’s a bit like inviting someone to a movie; they’ll want to know what they’re signing up for.

Think about it:

  • Planning shows you’ve put in effort and care.
  • A specific plan can be more exciting than a vague “Let’s hang out sometime.”
  • Knowing what you want to do makes it easier for them to decide.
"...Show that you took time to think about what you would enjoy together. 

If you ask the person to go out on Saturday night and they say: 'Yes, what did you have in mind to do?' 
Don't say: 'I don't know. What do you want to do?' 

Have a plan. The person will feel flattered that you took the time to think of something you would both enjoy doing together."

— Elliott Katz | Coach | Speaker | Author, "How to Get Your Man to Wear the Pants … So You Don’t Have To"

Invite Them to an Event You Both Like

Suggesting something to do that you know you both enjoy can be a game-changer. It’s a shared interest, so the chances are higher that they’ll want to go with you.

You’ve already talked about this thing you both like, so the invite feels less out of the blue. It’s also easier to talk and connect when you’re both having a good time. Think of it as a mutual hobby that turns into a kickback, easy-going date.

Example: There’s a food festival in town next weekend, and you both love trying new foods. Mentioning the festival as something fun to do together is a low-pressure way to ask for a date.

Use Humor Wisely

Cracking a joke or two can break the ice and make asking someone out feel less like a big deal. It’s about making them smile and ease into the moment.

But keep it light and be sure the humor fits the moment—you don’t want your joke to fall flat or offend. It’s a dash of fun, not a stand-up routine you’re after!

And if they laugh, that’s your signal; laughter means they’re comfy, which is perfect when you’re about to ask them out.

Stay Relaxed and Be Yourself

Nerves are normal but try to shake them off. You want to be the “you” that your friends know—the one that’s not putting on an act.

Take some deep breaths, find your groove, and go with the flow. Just take it easy, and remember, it’s just a chat you’re having, not a job interview.

What this looks like:

  • You’re speaking like you normally do, not using fancy or stiff language.
  • Your body language is calm, not rigid.
  • You let your personality show by sharing your interests and quirks.
"When you lead with who you are, your date's expectations will more likely be met. In turn, your success rate will be higher."

— Sandra Myers | President and Certified Matchmaker, Select Date Society

Be Honest About Your Feelings

When you’re asking them out, it’s okay to say you’ve been enjoying your talks and would love to spend more time together.

You don’t have to pour out your heart in an epic speech—no need for over-the-top confessions.

Example: Letting them know you’ve enjoyed the time you’ve spent together and would love to see them more is straightforward and sweet.

Don’t Rush or Pressure Them

When you pop the question about a date, give them space to think. Nobody likes to feel like they’re cornered, right? So, after you’ve asked, just chill and let them process. It’s not a race, and pushing for a quick answer might just push them away.

It’s like when you’re checking out a show on Netflix—you want the time to decide if it’s really what you’re in the mood for, not someone telling you to watch it, pronto.

Example: You suggest grabbing coffee sometime and give them a nod that says, “No sweat, take your time.” They’ll feel the ease, not the squeeze.

"The act of asking someone on a date signals romantic interest. Your attention and interest likely flatter them but may make them feel a bit anxious, too. Keep this in mind as you plan the date. You will want to convey that your time together will be relaxed, enjoyable, and safe."

— Terri DiMatteo, LPC | Couples Therapist | Marriage Counselor, Open Door Therapy

If They Say Yes, Suggest a Date and Time

Score! They said “yes” to hanging out. Now’s the time to nail down when to meet. This part’s important because “some time” can easily become “never.” Suggesting a specific day and time turns that ‘yes’ into an actual plan.

This step shows you’re serious about wanting to spend time with them and helps to keep the momentum of their positive response going. Plus, it makes planning easier for both of you, since you’re narrowing down the options together.

Example: They agree to a coffee date, so you hop on the chance to say, “Great! Does Saturday afternoon work for you?” It’s specific, but leaves room for adjustments.

Dress to Impress

Before you step out the door for your date, you pick an outfit that makes you feel good.

Putting on a shirt you love or those shoes that always get compliments is a start. It’s like when you clean up your place before friends come over—you’re making an effort because it matters.

What this looks like:

  • You choose something fitting for the place you’re heading to.
  • You’re looking tidy and put-together.
  • You wear something that makes you feel confident.

Be Prepared for Any Answer

When you ask someone out, it’s like flipping a coin—you never know which side it will land on. It could be a yes, a no, or even a maybe.

Preparing yourself for any of these possibilities makes you resilient. It means understanding that rejection isn’t a reflection of your worth. It’s just that, in this moment, things didn’t align.

Example: You’re not assuming it’s a “yes” until they actually say so.

Be Polite Regardless of the Response

So they’ve given their answer, and let’s say it’s not the “yes” you were hoping for. No big deal. You keep the politeness game strong because that’s just good manners.

It’s like if someone doesn’t take a slice of your birthday cake—no hurt feelings, just a friendly “More for me!” Keeping things friendly means the door stays open for the future; who knows, right?

What this looks like:

  • You’re not getting upset or acting cold if they turn you down.
  • Even if it’s a “no,” you’re keeping the conversation nice.
  • You’re treating them the same as you did before you asked them out.
"If they say no, accept rejection gracefully. Don't try to persuade them or make remarks about how disappointed you are."

— Kara Nassour, LPC, NCC | Licensed Professional Counselor, Shaded Bough Counseling

Thank Them for Their Time

When you thank someone after asking them out, even if they say “no,” it demonstrates your appreciation for the courage it takes to be honest. It leaves the interaction on a high note, ensuring that things don’t end awkwardly.

A simple thank you can sometimes pave the way for future conversations and show you’re someone who appreciates others.

Example: They check their schedule and then agree to a date. You beam and say, “Thanks for making the time; it means a lot.” And just like that, you’re both feeling good about the plans.

More Takeaways From Experts

“Keep it direct and straightforward. When it comes to asking someone out on a date, be direct. If you don’t, you’ll confuse the other person and can end up deep in a misunderstanding.”

Tiffany Homan | Relationship Expert | Managing Editor, Texas Divorce Laws

“Play to your strengths in making plans. Trying to come up with a fancy first date or fit some imagined idea of what first dates should look like tends to leave you and your date feeling less comfortable.”

Jeremy Schumacher, MA, LMFT | Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Wellness With Jer LLC

“When it comes to asking someone out on a date, timing is everything. You don’t want to do it too soon and come across as desperate, but you also don’t want to wait too long and risk losing your opportunity. Experts recommend striking a balance by waiting for an opportune moment, such as when you’re both alone and seem relaxed, to pop the question.”

Stephanie Kelly | Director, Personal Farewells

“When asking someone out on a date, sometimes it’s best to just go for it. Remember, even if they say no, your life will go on, and a no today doesn’t mean a no forever.”

AJ Silberman-Moffitt | Senior Editor, Tandem

“Think of dating as a trial run at being in a relationship. If you take your dog to the dog park each day, then feel free to suggest that for a date because it shows a realistic glimpse into what being in a relationship with you could entail.”

Jeremy Schumacher, MA, LMFT | Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Wellness With Jer LLC

“Say: ‘I was wondering if you would like to go out on Saturday night. I thought we could go to ____ and then go for coffee.’ Then wait for their response. They will appreciate your directness and your confidence—and that you didn’t beat around the bush.”

Elliott Katz | Coach | Speaker | Author, “How to Get Your Man to Wear the Pants … So You Don’t Have To

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it better to ask someone out in person or over text?

If you want to ask someone out, it’s better to do it face-to-face. But sometimes that’s not possible. If you talk to them a lot through text and feel okay about it, you can ask them out that way too. Just be clear and honest about what you want.

Should I plan the date details beforehand or decide together?

It’s helpful to have a plan in mind when asking someone out, as it shows you’ve put thought into it. However, be open to their preferences and suggestions. You can present your plan and then ask for their input to ensure they’re comfortable with the idea.

What if they say they’re busy?

If someone can’t meet you and doesn’t suggest another time, they may not be interested. But if they suggest another time, it means they’re interested but have a prior commitment. In any case, it’s important to thank them for being honest.

What if the person I’m interested in is in my friend group?

Try a group thing first, so it’s less intense. If that’s fun, ask to hang out just you two next time.

How many times should I ask someone out?

Just once. If they say no, leave it at that. Pushing more can make things awkward. If they really want to go out but couldn’t before, they’ll let you know.

Final Thoughts

Alright, we’ve reached the end, and look at you—ready to step out and ask that special someone on a date. It’s about putting everything we talked about into play, keeping it chill and true.

Asking someone out is just you showing interest in getting to know them better outside your usual hangout spots. It’s pretty straightforward when you think about it.

So, go ahead and ask! If they don’t say yes, that’s totally fine. The important part is you gave it a go. Deep breath—you’ve got this!

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Jessa Claire is a registered healthcare provider. Music lover. Daydreamer. Thalassophile. Foodie. A hardworking Capricorn. Most days, an incurable empath. An old soul. Down-to-earth. Vibrant.

When she's not writing, she can be seen relaxing with headphones on or engrossed in her favorite fan fiction book.