You’ve met someone you’re interested in, and you’d like to ask them out on a date. But you’re not sure how to go about it.
You want to make sure that you put your best foot forward and come across as confident but still respectful, and you definitely don’t want to screw it up!
Whatever the case, we’re here to help. According to experts, these are the best ways to ask someone out on a date:
Kara Nassour, LPC, NCC
Licensed Professional Counselor, Shaded Bough Counseling
Make a direct approach
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 may seem on the nose, but there are big advantages to this method:
- It makes your intentions clear, so the other person doesn’t have to wonder whether you mean it as a friend date or romantic date.
- It’s a genuine compliment that makes the other person feel good.
- It’s casual and not overly pushy.
Most people are more open to trying something (like a date) if they don’t feel like they’re being pressured into it. Even if they ultimately say no, they will probably still appreciate that you were upfront and easygoing about the date offer.
Gauge the best time to ask someone out
It’s important to gauge when is the best time to ask someone out. Do not ask someone out while they’re at work or while other people are listening who might pressure them to respond.
Don’t ask them out while they’re stuck in the same place with you, especially if you’re a man asking out a woman you don’t know well because she might not know if you’re “safe” to say no to.
The best time to ask is usually when you’ve had a good conversation or social event together, and the other person seems to be in a good mood.
Have a few specific date ideas in mind, such as:
- Going to a cafe
- Walking in the park
- Seeing a movie together
If the other person is interested in dating you, offer these suggestions so you can decide what to do together. Most people will feel more comfortable going on a date if they have an idea of what to expect and where and when it will be.
Accept rejection gracefully
If they say no, accept rejection gracefully. Don’t try to persuade them or make remarks about how disappointed you are. Rejecting a date does not mean that they are rejecting you as a person.
By accepting a “no” calmly and moving on, you will help the other person feel at ease and more likely to maintain a friendly relationship going forward.
President and Certified Matchmaker, Select Date Society
Align with your true personality to make it effective
You need to align with your true personality to ask someone out effectively.
When you are confident and direct in your approach, you must do the same when asking someone out. State your purpose and then how to proceed.
If you are typically more laid back and have a slow-moving approach, offer options and ask questions to show flexibility.
Personality type 1: Direct and to the point
“Hi Jane, I would love to take you out this weekend. Would Friday or Saturday night work for you?”
They say yes: “Great!”
“I can pick you up or meet you at the Palm Restaurant; let me know what would work best for you.”
Personality type 2: Passive and laid back
“Hi Jane, if you’re free this weekend, I would love to take you to dinner.”
They say yes: “Great!”
“I am happy to text you restaurant options, or feel free to share one you love as well.”
When you lead with who you are, your date’s expectations will more likely be met. In turn, your success rate will be higher.
How to approach them
A few things to consider when you are approaching someone:
- Wait until they leave a situation to avoid distractions
Consider if they may be easily distracted in their current surroundings. You may want to wait until they step away or leave a situation to approach.
- Gauge their interest
Second, it’s better to say something about where you are first to gauge their interest. This allows you to see their initial response rather than being overly familiar with someone you don’t know.
- If you don’t like the response, thank them for being upfront
Last, if you don’t like the response, thank them for being upfront and wish them well. I know a few success stories where the approached person changed their mind based solely on the gracious response and later said, “yes” to the date!
Follow through and show enthusiasm
Now that you have the “yes,” follow up promptly.
There is a notion that waiting makes you appear less desperate; however, it only shows you are a game player or your level of interest is not high.
Don’t be afraid to show your enthusiasm for meeting them and make it clear you want to set up the date. Showing vulnerability at the beginning of a relationship increases the odds of a relationship being successful.
Couples Therapist | Psychotherapist | Dating Coach
Offering a date should feel like a “no-pressure invitation”
When thinking of how to ask someone on a date, it’s much more about calibrating the right energy behind the invitation, more so than finding the exact words to say.
Much more important than the words to say when asking someone on a date (although I will offer up tips and even communication prompts) is the energy behind the words.
Offering a date should feel like a “no-pressure invitation” — friendly, vibrant, and open.
An invitation means there is no coercion and no manipulation. This means the answer from the other person might be a “no,” and you need to be okay with that. Otherwise, your body language and energy will reveal awkwardness or pressure, making both of you uncomfortable.
Lean in with open body language and enthusiasm
To make a date invitation, you should lean in with open body language and enthusiasm while simultaneously releasing the outcome.
Do not react with anger when they say “no”
If you receive a “No,” it’s unfair to the other person to react with anger, coldness, or defensiveness. Being as relaxed and present as you can be will create emotional safety within the invitation.
Here are a few tips:
- Genuinely take an interest in the other person first. Ask a few questions, and share something about yourself. Nothing too personal, but enough to get a feel for each other.
- Some people take time to warm up! Get to know them a bit.
- Be upfront with your intentions.
- Relax your body, make eye contact, and smile if you’re feeling relaxed enough.
- Be clear with your words. Make it explicit that it’s a date invitation by saying something like: “I would love to take you out on a date,” or “I’d love to go on a coffee/ dinner date with you.”
- If you are unsure about the other person’s interest, use tentative language. Don’t assume that a date is a given. You can ask the questions: “Is that something you are open to?” or “Is that something you are available for?”
- Read the room (the context). If the other person looks uncomfortable or is reacting awkwardly, back off. Create safety by asking open questions and ensuring consent.
Let your personality shine through
Lastly, let your personality shine through! If you’re a playful person, be playful and fun. If you’re more serious, speak authentically. Show the real you from the beginning.
This makes it easier to recognize if it’s the right match in terms of compatibility and what both are looking for. And if it’s not, the faster you can know who’s not right for you and move on, the faster you can find someone who is!
Terri DiMatteo, LPC
Couples Therapist | Marriage Counselor, Open Door Therapy
Convey that your time together will be relaxed, enjoyable, and safe
You’ve crossed paths with someone who has captured your attention:
- Every time they come near, you feel butterflies.
- It seems you can easily identify them in a crowd.
- Somehow, your eyes always gravitate in their direction.
- Thoughts of them always seem to float through.
- Keeping eye contact with them while speaking makes you nervous.
You decide to ask them on a date and want to get it right. Perhaps you’re wondering: “What is the best way to ask someone out on a date?“
Keep in mind that going on a date allows both of you to get to know each other better by spending time together and sharing an activity or a meal. It’s an opportunity to focus your attention on each other.
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.
Consider your date’s interests, schedule, and taste. Thoughtfully considering them will enhance your appeal and make them feel special.
Your date’s comfort should be of utmost importance
Paradoxically, while you will want to impress your date, if you do too much, spend too much, or if the first date is too extravagant, it may make them feel uncomfortable, and your date’s comfort should be of utmost importance.
You might, instead, propose a date that seems to suit your date’s lifestyle, personality, and style.
Make it sound safe to be with you
Tending to the details and logistics of the date—the specifics of where, when, and what to expect—is yet another way to communicate they will be safe with you.
By taking great care in the planning and invitation, you are showing your love interest that it’s safe to move toward you for greater intimacy and—a second date!
Dating Coach and Matchmaker
Talk in concrete terms
When asking someone out, most men use minimal effort. They say things like, “Hey, want to go out sometime?” then magically hope a date will materialize.
What they should be doing is asking her out on a definite date, one that has a defined time, date, and location.
An example of this is: “Jen! I need a hiking partner this Sunday at 10 a.m. at Mt. Catamount. You in?”
Only with this information in hand can you seriously assess your offer and accept it. Anything else is too nebulous to ever materialize. Asking her out like this shows you’ve put thought into the date and are serious about taking that out.
A date request that includes the time, date, and location shows you’ve thought about asking her out. A man that actually gives a damn is sexy.
So how do you get her to say yes?
Make the date sound so fun and easy to do, she can’t say no
Asking her to elope to France sounds epic and all, but chances are she won’t agree to it. To increase the odds—she’ll say yes—make the date sound so fun and easy to do that she can’t say no.
So what does that look like?
Ask her out to do something she’s into
For one, ask her out to do something she’s into:
- If she loves nature, ask her to go on a hike.
- If she’s all about her dog, go for a walk or hit the dog park.
Use what little you know about her to choose an activity she’s super into.
Choose a time and location that’s convenient for her
Next, choose a time and location that’s convenient for her. Pitching a date that requires her to drive an hour during rush hour is bound to be rejected. Consider choosing an awesome spot close to her house or work.
The medium you use to ask her out depends on your relationship
The medium you use to ask her out depends on your relationship. Having a close relationship with this person lends itself to intimately asking her out.
For example, if you two are friends, co-workers, or gym friends, ask her out in person.
If you’ve only met a couple of times or know each other in passing, it might be better to ask her out via a call or message. And, of course, if you met her online, asking her out via a text message, or better yet, via an audio note, is best.
How to deal with rejection
Rejection is baked into dating. But just because she rejected your first date request doesn’t mean she never wants to go out. Everyone has a unique and rich life of their own.
When she says she’s busy that day, she may actually be swamped. A lot is going on behind the curtains we don’t know about.
When you inevitably get rejected, regroup and ask her out a few days later or amend the date. Do this three times before cutting your losses and moving on to the next one.
Certified Professional Matchmaker | Owner, Matchmaker May
There are so many men probably vying for her attention. So how do you separate yourself from the other guys? How are you going to make her an offer she can’t refuse?
If you know what she likes, use that in your ask
- You can say something like: “I know this is a big ask, but I have two tickets to the Super Bowl, and you might not be into football, but would you like to go with me?”
- Something unique: “I heard about this amazing new restaurant on the West Side that just opened up. I was going to make a reservation there, would you like to join me? I bet you’re going to love it, too.”
Intrigue and impress her
Say it with confidence. You can also say something completely not what she is expecting:
“I know you already got asked out for this weekend, but I’m going to get in line. I’m going to give you an offer you can’t refuse.
Would you like to go out to dinner at this new place I saw? I’ve never been there and wanted to check it out. My friends say it’s so amazing, but I told them to let my date be the judge. Want to join me Saturday at 7 pm?”
So you’re kind of flattering her, asking her out, and also pairing up with her to be on the same team to check out a restaurant together like a partner in crime. It gives you a job to do, like you’re on a mission together.
Women like it when you’re specific
A great way to bond over something is by asking for help. This is like asking her for help to judge the restaurant together. You’re also asking her out for this Saturday at 7 pm. Women like it when you’re specific.
Coach | Speaker | Author, “How to Get Your Man to Wear the Pants … So You Don’t Have To“
Be confident—you have nothing to fear
You have nothing to fear. You are asking the person out on a date to see if you have enough in common to continue seeing each other.
Sometimes you do. Sometimes you don’t.
Have a plan; 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.
If you can’t even plan a date, they will wonder how you would handle the challenges of marriage and family life.
When you contact the person, get to the point
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.
If, after the first date, you want to continue seeing the person and ask them to go on another date, think about what you learned about them and what they enjoy doing. Use that information to plan what you can suggest doing on your next date. It will make them feel special that you made an effort to do this.
Founder and President, VIDA Select
It comes down to timing the ask
Dating advice like this is definitely situation-specific because so much of the dynamic depends on who you’re thinking of asking out.
But assuming you’ve already determined they’re available for a relationship, it won’t be disastrous to a friendship or a career if they say no, and there’s a decent chance they might say yes — it really comes down to timing the ask.
Watch for clues they’d be receptive to
For starters, you need to read the proverbial room.
If your conversation is face-to-face, pay attention not only to what someone is saying but also to how they’re saying it:
- What’s the energy level between the two of you?
- Do they seem enthusiastic, or are both of you struggling to figure out what to say next?
- Look for non-verbal cues that they’re vibing with you, like direct eye contact and open body language. It might not be the right time if the other person is leaning or angling their body away from you, crossing their arms, or avoiding eye contact.
Suggest something specific
Statements like “We should hang out sometime” aren’t ideal. Not only do you risk coming across as unconfident, but you’ve also shifted the next step onto the other person.
Suggesting both the activity and when you’d like to do it is a much better approach, and you can nail down the details from there.
With inflation at an all-time high these days, you may have better luck suggesting something free or low-cost, like a hike or a cup of coffee. Do a little recon into what’s both free and fun in your area, and keep a few ideas in the back of your mind.
Don’t make it weird if they say no
If you get turned down, change the conversation topic and move on gracefully. Trying to convince someone to change their mind will only leave them with the impression you don’t respect boundaries.
Get the timing right when using a dating app
Suggesting a date on apps like Bumble, Hinge, and Tinder can be tricky because you really have to get the timing right. Ask too soon before you’ve built up enough trust and attraction, and you’re much more likely to get a negative response.
But if you wait too long, your match is likely to lose interest and focus on conversations with other people that seem to be leading somewhere.
So as you’re exchanging messages, look for signs your match is receptive to taking the next step. Things like fast and detailed responses, expressing curiosity about your interests, and enthusiastic language and emojis are all good indicators.
Here are two effective lines you can use to move the conversation from dating app to in person:
- “Hey [Name], you seem like a lot of fun. Let’s get to know each other more in real-time.”
- “How about we grab a cup of coffee or a drink later this week? Seems like an easier way to get to know each other.”
These lines work because it lets your match know you genuinely want to get to know them better, and you’re not interested in an endless message exchange that ultimately leads nowhere.
You do generally want to move the conversation off of the dating app as soon as possible, whether that’s by suggesting you meet in person or getting a phone number, Whatsapp or Instagram handle.
Women, especially, are bombarded by messages on dating apps like Tinder, and it’s easy to get lost in the mix.
Founder and Chief Love Officer, NYCity Matchmaking
Some of the best advice on how to successfully ask someone out on a date is as follows:
Be direct yet also flexible
Ask for what you want. Be direct yet also flexible. It’s nice to offer choices of times and days to make things easier from the beginning (perhaps, a foreshadowing of things to come).
Stand out from the crowd
Stand out from the crowd and actually pick up the phone to call your date rather than sending an impersonal text message.
Have a suggested specific plan
Have a suggested specific plan in place, including a set reservation but be flexible to pivot should your date desire or have something else in mind.
Go on an “activity date” that your date likes
Activity dates rock! Maybe a billiard hall, museum, hike, picnic, or minigolf.
Dates don’t always have to be a dinner or drink (exchanging resumes and life stories). Activity dates are more fun and natural because people feel more relaxed.
Fall is just around the corner. Apple or pumpkin picking is always a fun idea! Finding out what activities your date likes (perhaps your date mentioned something in a conversation) is helpful in planning a great date.
Sometimes it’s better to know them first before asking them out
Be patient. Maybe it’s crucial in certain situations to get to know someone before asking them out right away.
Offer to have the date at a location convenient for them
Offer to go out to a place that is convenient for your date. For example, near their home or office; be thoughtful of their needs.
Jeremy Schumacher, MA, LMFT
Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Wellness With Jer LLC
Suggest a realistic activity you can enjoy in a long-term relationship
Think of dating as a trial run at being in a relationship. If you’re afraid of water, don’t suggest kayaking for a first date because that won’t be a realistic activity you can enjoy in a long-term relationship.
- Getting coffee
- Grabbing dinner
- Seeing shows
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.
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.
Play to your strengths and be confident in making plans around activities you genuinely enjoy.
Dating Expert, Plenty of Fish
Ask about weekend plans casually
If you’re too nervous to outright ask someone on a date, “soft-launch” the idea of a first date by first inquiring about their weekend activities:
- If they say they’re free, it’s an easy segue into suggesting a date.
- If they’re not, ask what they are doing to keep the conversation going and see if you have any activities in common.
This also gives you an opportunity to suggest you both do that activity—whatever it may be—together at another time.
Suggest enjoying a shared interest together
Whether you love the same movie, TV show, musical artist, sports team, etc., one of the easiest ways to ask someone out is by proposing an activity that both of you enjoy.
For example, with several big NBA and NFL games taking place in the fall and winter, sports can be a great way to connect further with your date. In fact, 44% of singles say a shared interest in sports has brought them closer to someone they were dating.
Plus, doing a shared activity together provides a segue into the conversation and is much less formal than an intimate dinner date.
Go on a double date
If the person you want to ask out is in the same friend group as you, a double date with another couple in the group can help make the date less stressful and more fun—you don’t sweat the small stuff and enjoy getting to know someone without the pressure.
Plan something fun and more casual, like:
- A cooking class
Pre-plan a unique date they can’t turn down
Sometimes, dating can end up feeling formulaic and rehearsed if you stick to the script too much. While casual dates like grabbing drinks or a bite to eat are undoubtedly a great way to get to know someone, do some research beforehand.
See if there are any exciting, limited-time-only events going on in your area, like:
- An exclusive showing of an old movie they like
- An art exhibit
- A festive holiday market
The person you’re asking out will appreciate the creativity!
Don’t “hey and pray”
On dating apps, a lot of people start up a conversation with a simple “hey” because it’s fast and easy, but it lacks effort and creativity, decreasing the chance that you’ll get a response.
“Hey and pray,” as we call it, is a real thing and a pain point for women in particular—2/3 of women have been bombarded with boring “heys!”
Put some time and thought behind your first message
If you’re truly interested in the person and want to ask them out, put some time and thought behind your first message.
Avoid indiscriminately spamming every match, and try opening with a witty one-liner or an interest you have in common. You can even begin the conversation by discussing something light-hearted to ease any tension before asking them out.
Relationship Expert | Managing Editor, Texas Divorce Laws
Here’s how you should ask someone out on a date:
Be assertive rather than hostile
Being confident is appealing. Bravado is not.
Here, keeping an open mind and avoiding being intrusive is crucial:
- Always pay attention and allow the conversation to flow naturally.
- Understand the situation before making the request.
- Recognize any potential awkwardness in the circumstance.
Give them time to consider the potential benefits and drawbacks if they need it.
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.
Therefore, when asking someone, “Want to hang out?”:
- Avoid being ambiguous.
- Be clear when asking them on a date.
- Be courageous and unapologetic in your approach.
- Caginess is a trait of novices.
Related: How to Ask Someone to Hang Out
Be your authentic self
Yes, I know how cliché this sounds, but many men try to be someone they are not, especially those who dread rejection. Be unlike those guys instead.
The finest game you can bring is authenticity. It is best to be your authentic self rather than the person you believe you should be.
You shouldn’t try to pass as someone else at this point. You want to be accepted for who you are by someone.
Director, Personal Farewells
When asking someone out on a date, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. The soundest way to ask somebody out counts on the situation and your relationship with the person you’re interested in.
However, some general tips can help make asking someone out a little easier. Here are some tips on how to ask someone out on a date:
Choose the right time and place to ask
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.
As for the actual ask, be direct and to the point. Something like, “Would you like to go out with me on Saturday night?” will do the trick.
And last but not least, be confident! Don’t let your nerves get the best of you; remember that the worst they can say is no.
Flirt and make eye contact to gauge interest before asking out
Of course, that doesn’t mean you should blurt out, “Will you go on a date with me?” without warning. Instead, start by flirting and making eye contact to gauge interest, and then casually mention that you’d like to go out sometime.
If the other person seems receptive, suggest a specific day and time. And if they say yes, follow through! The key is to be confident and clear in your intentions. You’ll be asking people out on dates like a pro with a little practice.
Be confident; don’t try to be clever
You want to come across as someone sure of themselves and their feelings and willing to take the initiative. This means being direct and to the point—don’t beat around the bush or try to be clever. Just say what you feel and why you want to go out with the person in question.
Experts also recommend trying to gauge interest before asking someone out. If you sense that they might be receptive, then go for it! Otherwise, you might want to hold off until you’re both sure there’s a mutual connection.
Whatever you do, remember that confidence is key. If you believe in yourself, the other person will be more likely to say yes—and even if they don’t, at least you’ll know that you gave it your best shot.
Be prepared for rejection
No one likes to be rejected, but it’s a fact of life. The best way to avoid being rejected is to be prepared for it.
When you ask someone out on a date, don’t take it personally if they say no. It doesn’t mean that there’s anything wrong with you. It could just mean they’re not ready for a relationship.
If you’re interested in someone, though, don’t give up after one rejection. Keep trying, and eventually, you’ll find someone who feels the same way about you.
Experts say the best way to ask someone out on a date is to be direct and honest about your feelings.
Don’t try to play games or be coy. Just tell the person that you like them and would like to go on a date with them. If they say yes, great! If they say no, at least you’ll know where you stand.
Follow up after the first date
Experts say one of the best ways to ask someone out on a date is to follow up after the first date. This shows that you are interested in seeing the person again and had a good time on the first date.
You can follow up with a text message, an email, or even a phone call. Just make sure to keep it casual and friendly. You don’t want to come on too strong or seem desperate.
Ask the person out in person rather than via email
Another expert tip is to ask the person out in person rather than through a text message or email. This way, you can gauge their reaction and see if they are genuinely interested in going on a second date.
Asking someone out can be nerve-wracking, but following these expert tips should help to make it a little easier.
Following these expert tips can make the process a little easier and increase your chances of getting a yes.
Senior Editor, Tandem
Do you remember when you were in middle or high school, and you liked someone? It seemed like a time that was so long ago and a time when things were so much easier.
Now that you are an adult, when you like someone, it seems more complicated than when you were a kid. You don’t just think about if the other person likes you. You wonder if they have the same goals and ambitions as you, their thoughts on kids, and more.
So how do you ask someone out on a date?
Go out with a group first
When you don’t know if the person you are interested in has the same feelings as you, you might want to bring them out with a group of people before you ask them on a one-on-one date.
Arrange a get-together with some friends. Make sure it is casual and pressure-free. Then invite the person you want to date and hope for the best.
Grab a coffee and keep it casual
Maybe you think the other person will feel comfortable hanging out with only you, but if you want to make them feel as little pressure as possible, don’t arrange for a big night, including dinner and a movie. Instead, keep it casual.
Invite them to go to a coffee shop or to go pick up something at the mall with you. The less like a date that it feels, the more comfortable they might feel—you might feel more comfortable, as well.
If you aren’t in person, a text is the next best thing
Though years ago, texts were thought of as impersonal and tacky, now they are a great communication tool. If the person you want to ask out isn’t physically next to you, you can send them a text asking them out.
You might, however, want to apologize for not asking in person.
Something like: “Sorry for asking this over text, but do you want to go out sometime? I would wait until I see you and ask, but I didn’t want to wait.”
Your affection might make them feel special and could even end up in a “yes.”
Sometimes it’s best to just go for it
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.
If they do say no, don’t pressure them to tell you why. That said, if they do offer an explanation, you must listen to them. Is there something they need to change or something you can do?
If it’s you that they want to see a change in, and the request is feasible, you can work on making the change to get that “yes” the next time. It doesn’t matter if you are 12, 22, 52, or any other age.
Asking someone out on a date can be intimidating. Just remember to breathe. The date is just one step in the dating process. If you can get past this step, you can accomplish anything.
Relationship Expert | Published Author, PeopleLooker
It can be nerve-wracking to ask someone on a date, but it could also be the start of an amazing relationship.
Pick up on the hints
- Ensure there’s mutual interest
First, you need to ensure that there’s mutual interest. The last thing you want is an abrupt rejection because the person doesn’t want to pursue anything romantic.
- They bring up wanting to try going to certain places
If someone asks what you’re doing on a specific day or brings up wanting to try certain bars or restaurants, that could be a hint that they want to go on a date.
- They find reasons to get really close to you
Another indication could be physical touch. If someone always finds a reason to touch your arm or get really close to you, there may be some attraction there.
Be direct—use the word “date” in your question
Make sure the words you choose don’t leave any room for misinterpretation.
Asking someone to “hang out” or “get together” could easily be understood as just two friends doing something fun together. Using the word “date” in your question clearly communicates your romantic intentions.
Be confident but not cocky
If you want a potential date to feel good about spending time with you, it helps a lot if you feel good about yourself.
Be sure of yourself, but not cocky. It’s easy for these kinds of interactions to become awkward, so being confident through body language, tone of voice, and word choice can help a lot. Confidence is also a trait many people find attractive.
Follow up and confirm the plans
In this day and age, “ghosting” has become so common some people may expect it. Be sure to stay in contact and confirm the plans leading up to the date.
Some people may think the date is off if you haven’t spoken in a few days and the time for you all to go out is quickly approaching. Reassuring your date makes sure they keep their schedule free for you and is also a signal to them that they are on your mind.
Relationship Expert and Founder, Dating Iconic
There’s no doubt that asking someone out can be daunting and also a risky thing to do because no one likes rejection. However, you do not have to think too much about going for it.
Being bold in your approach is key, and rejection isn’t so bad. At least you know you tried, and you can easily move on to someone who would want you back.
So here are a few tips on how to ask someone out on a date:
Be confident and attentive to how they respond
Be confident, don’t let the fear of rejection prevent you from going for what you want. Ask them if they are they would like to go out on a date to any place of their choice.
If you’re asking through text, be attentive to how they respond. If they don’t give a definite answer, don’t sweat it or be too pushy.
Don’t use words that aren’t clear enough
Be yourself and be direct. Don’t use words that are not clear enough. Try not to stammer or be too cocky; it may sound rude and may even piss the person off.
Start a conversation based on the setting
If you’re outdoors and you meet the person you like or that sparks your interest, start a conversation based on the setting.
For example, if you are sitting for lunch, you could:
- Ask them, “Hi dear, what’s your favorite food?”
- Ask them, “Hi, (compliment their smile or outfit). Is this your favorite spot because they make the best salad and steak here?”
- Look for mutual interests.
- Be natural.
- Compliment them.
- Be polite.
- Don’t be touchy.
- Don’t forget to smile.
The goal is not to be creepy, so don’t ask questions that are too personal or behave in such a way that the person would be uncomfortable.
Content Writer, Love & Lavender
The only ‘trick’ to asking a person out is to be confident
While asking someone out on a date is usually a bit nerve-racking, it really doesn’t have to be.
There is only one ‘trick’ to asking a person out, and this is to be confident. A possible second tip could be to be sure to leave the person a graceful and comfortable way to say ‘no.’
Otherwise, the situation can become awkward and embarrassing later as they scramble to get out of it. Don’t make a big deal of it. You don’t need any big lead-up or an amazing idea.
Just ask the person if they would like to:
- Do a casual activity with you
- A walk
- An event together you both like if they have time
Leave them a graceful and comfortable way to say “no”
The phrasing of “Hey, if you have time” or “If you’re interested” can leave an easy opportunity for the person to decline if they wish to. And if they wish to, you want them to.
Related: How to Politely Decline a Date
Pity dates are awkward; obviously, fake bailouts and excuses are the worst. To remain confident, just remind yourself that dating is a numbers game.
Most people will not want to date you, and this is normal. If we were all attracted to 99% of the people, we see no one would ever get anything done or maintain any kind of serious relationship ever.
Ask the person out, and if they say no, remember they may change their mind after re-considering. And if not, remember that if you ask out enough people, sooner or later (but usually sooner), one will say yes. Or better yet, ask you out.
Founding Partner, The Snapka Law Firm
It’s pretty nerve-wracking to ask someone out. Despite how self-assured you are, putting yourself out there is a significant risk because it hurts to be rejected.
In reality, a plethora of recent studies has revealed that social pain, the emotional reaction you have to be rejected or shunned by others, really has some of the same neurological and brain chemical underpinnings as physical pain.
How to propose a date to someone:
Perform it privately
If you ask someone out in front of a crowd of people, even simply a common friend, they could feel pressured to say yes since they feel on the spot. You could feel a little uneasy in these surroundings if they get worse.
Always make your request in private. If necessary, pull them aside.
Give an easy way out
Make it simple for them to be open and honest if they don’t want to date you. You don’t want to go out with someone who isn’t truly interested.
Include in the chat that you would accept any hesitancy or lack of interest on their behalf as a simple way to get out of the situation.
Adopt a direct tone and be clear about your aims
Once you’ve established that the other person is single and you two appear to be attracted to one another, you should genuinely state you want to go on a date with them.
Invite them out to a meal or some beverages. Don’t linger too long on the subject once you’ve made contact, and be clear about your aims to make sure you’re on the same page.
CEO, Hello Music Theory
I’ve seen my own friends asking out people and heard their experiences on a date. Some turned out to be good, and some turned out to be bad.
When people would come and tell me that their date was a disaster, I would instinctively understand what must have gone wrong on a date.
Try to be cool
So, to not turn your date into a disaster, try to be cool and make small commitments before jumping directly into something bigger. You need to be cool because the other person might say no to going out with you. So you must act nonchalantly and understand their decision.
The other person should believe that everything is fine between you both, even after they said no to you.
Make small commitments before jumping into something bigger
And if they say yes, do not make big commitments already. Even here, you must be cool and calm when talking to that other person.
Go out for something that takes a maximum of thirty minutes, like coffee. Trust me, coffee dates are done within an hour. Lunch and dinner are more than one hour commitment, and that is too much for your first time going out.
Go for a coffee, talk a little while you finish your coffee, and then when you feel that time just flew away, tell them that you would like to do this again. And your second date is going to be lunch or dinner.
Frequently Asked Questions
How can I ensure a successful first date after asking someone out?
To ensure a successful first date:
Take the time to plan an enjoyable, relaxing, and comfortable experience for you and your date.
Choose an activity or place to talk and have fun together, and be mindful of your partner’s preferences and comfort level.
During the date, be punctual, well-groomed, and polite.
Engage in conversation, listen actively, and show genuine interest in getting to know your date better.
Be yourself and enjoy the experience because this authenticity will leave a lasting impression.
What if I’m unsure about the other person’s relationship status when I ask them out?
If you’re unsure about the other person’s relationship status, you should gather more information before asking them out on a date. You can do this by engaging in conversation and asking open-ended questions that may lead to a discussion about relationships or the current situation.
Alternatively, you can inquire with mutual friends or acquaintances, provided you do so respectfully and discreetly. Once you have confirmed the person’s relationship status, you can invite them on a date or adjust your approach accordingly.
How can I feel more confident when asking someone out if I have limited dating experience?
Having limited dating experience is common, and it’s important to remember that everyone starts somewhere.
Focus on your strengths and unique qualities to build confidence when asking someone on a date. Remind yourself of your accomplishments and the qualities that make you an interesting and worthwhile person.
Also, practice self-compassion and be gentle with yourself as you navigate the dating world. Activities that boost your self-esteem, such as exercise, pursuing hobbies, or spending time with supportive friends, can also help you feel more confident in your dating efforts.
Can I ask a friend on a date, and how can I do it without jeopardizing the friendship?
Asking a friend on a date can be a tricky situation, but it’s entirely possible to do so without jeopardizing the friendship. Start by evaluating your feelings and weighing the potential consequences of your invitation.
If you decide to proceed, approach the conversation openly and honestly, express your interest in a romantic relationship, and acknowledge the value of your existing friendship.
Make it clear that you care about the person’s feelings and well-being and are willing to maintain the friendship even if the person isn’t interested in a romantic relationship.
Can I ask someone on a date if they’ve just gone through a breakup?
Asking someone out on a date who has just gone through a breakup requires sensitivity and understanding. It’s essential to consider the person’s emotional state and readiness to enter a new romantic relationship.
You can start by offering support and friendship, engaging in conversations, and gauging their openness to new relationships.
If you feel it’s appropriate to ask them on a date, approach the situation gently and make it clear that you’re willing to take things at a pace that is comfortable for the person. Remember that they may need time to heal and process their previous relationship before committing to a new one.
How can I ask a coworker out on a date?
Asking a coworker on a date can be a delicate situation because it’s important to consider personal and professional boundaries.
First, find out your company’s policies regarding relationships in the workplace. If allowed, conduct the conversation with discretion and professionalism.
You might ask them to join you for a casual activity outside of work, such as grabbing coffee or attending a local event, to test their interest in spending time together outside of the workplace. Be respectful and understanding, and maintain a professional demeanor at work, no matter the outcome.
Can I ask someone out on a date if I recently ended a relationship?
Asking someone out on a date after recently ending a relationship is a personal decision that depends on your emotional readiness and the circumstances of your previous relationship.
It would be best to give yourself enough time to heal and process the end of your prior relationship before entering a new romantic relationship. When you feel ready to get back into a relationship, you should approach the situation with honesty, openness, and respect for the other person’s feelings.
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