Do you want to hang out with a friend, but you find it hard to invite them because they seem busy, so you never ask? How do you ask them if their schedule has room for a new activity?
Well, there are easy ways to ask someone to hang out, according to experts.
Here are their insights:
Table of Contents
- Meet them in person
- Join groups with people who you are generally drawn to
- Strike up a (deeper) conversation
- Let the friendship evolve naturally
- Tell them you’re doing something
- Invite them to a public or relaxed place
- Set a date and time
- Put yourself out there
- Know why you want to hang out with them and tell them
- Invite them to do something specific that makes sense for you to do together
- Provide limited choices
- Don’t kill the thrill of the invite
- Be creative about it
- Remind them about something they once talked about
- Challenge them to a game
- Ask them to hang out politely
- “Hey, I’ll be running errands in your part of town. Want to grab coffee together?”
- “It’s really fun talking with you. Would you like to go for a walk with me?”
- “Hey, did you hear about the new coffee shop in this area? Let’s explore it together.”
- “Hey, I know I mentioned grabbing a coffee at some point. Are you free on Friday afternoon?”
- “I remember you’ve been busy with XYZ, but would you be down to go with me if you are free sometime?”
- Don’t stress too much about what to say while inviting someone out
- Sound casual and relaxed
- Don’t just invite, make it a good talk
- Frequently Asked Questions
Life Coach for Women
There are the tips I have found to be helpful and effective when asking someone to hang out.
Meet them in person
It seems straightforward, but the best way to hang out with someone is to actually meet them in person. This can look like going to a group event where there will be people you may “click” with or taking your kids to the park. Anything that gets you around people who you may want to hang out with.
Join groups with people who you are generally drawn to
This can be in-person or online. Join groups with people who you are generally drawn to.
Do you love photography? Join a local photography group. Do you stay at home with your kids? Join a SAHM group for play dates and mom nights out. Move to a new neighborhood? Join the neighborhood groups to get connected and learn about the happenings around your new place.
Strike up a (deeper) conversation
When talking with a new acquaintance, go beyond just the weather or kids’ ages. Ask them what they do for fun, what they did last weekend, where they went on vacation.
Get them talking about something that excites them, and maybe you can find some common ground.
Let the friendship evolve naturally
This isn’t the time to go into the details of your bad divorce or disclose information that should be saved for a best friend. If you become close friends, there will definitely be time for that, but don’t rush into that right away. Let the friendship evolve naturally.
Tell them you’re doing something
Let them know you are going to go somewhere at a later date. This could be going to an event, a park, or even the library, anything you enjoy doing or do on a regular basis. See what their reaction is and how interested they seem.
If they seem interested, say you’re going to go on X day at Y time and say you would love for them to meet you there. This gives them the option to say if they’re available if they are interested or politely say they have something else scheduled if they are not.
If they have something else scheduled and don’t offer another option, leave it at that.
If they say they are busy but offer another time, they are likely interested in hanging out but have a scheduling conflict. See if you can come up with a mutually agreeable date and time.
Invite them to a public or relaxed place
Many times it can feel awkward going to someone’s house for the first time, especially if it is someone you don’t yet know very well. This is one of the reasons I recommend meeting somewhere public for the first “official” hang out.
Offer to meet at a coffee shop, restaurant, park, or other places you would meet up with a friend. If that all goes well, then see if they want to come over to your house and hang out. If they offer to host, be open to that as well.
Set a date and time
This is where a lot of people make a mistake. They say, “We should hang out sometime!” but don’t set a date. “Sometime” never comes if it is not scheduled.
If someone says, “We should hang out sometime,” pull out your phone, pick a date and time, and ask if they are available. “How about next Thursday at 11 am?” will get you much better results than “yeah, we should!”
I cannot stress enough how important it is to make a decision and pick a time to hang out.
Implementing this one step can make all the difference in your social calendar. Once you get good at it, you will eventually become the “date setter/plan maker” of your group, and your social calendar will be brimming with opportunity.
Put yourself out there
A lot of times, people shy away from asking because they don’t want to be rejected or put someone else in an awkward position. But many times people are thankful the other person asked!
Be the one who puts themselves out there, and you will be surprised at how many times people say “yes”!
Intuition-Driven Living Coach, Thriveandbloom
Know why you want to hang out with them and tell them
Maybe you have a common interest that would be fun to do together, or you want to get to know your colleagues a little better. Or perhaps after 12+ months of varying degrees of social isolation, you’re hungry for more in-person connection with new friends.
Or maybe it’s as simple as you just appreciate something about them — their sunshiney personality, thoughtful insight, or quick wit, and you want more of that in your life.
The more clear you are about why you actually want to hang out with them, the easier it will be to ask. The more special they’ll feel, the more likely a “yes” will follow.
Invite them to do something specific that makes sense for you to do together
Please don’t just volley over a vague “We should do something sometime.” It might feel safer to keep it light or kind to not put them on the spot. But rest assured that there’s nothing safe or kind about this type of invite.
All the good feelings produced by you sharing why you want to hang out with them will be decimated by the resulting squandered momentum, awkwardness, or annoyance.
Because it will most often play out in one of two ways:
Scenario A: They toss back a “Yeah, totally!” You say, “Cool!” No one speaks next because they’re waiting for the actual invite, and you’re so relieved they didn’t shoot you down that you forget to follow up.
The strained “what next” silence is finally broken when one of you mutters an awkward goodbye and you never end up actually hanging out. Or if you do, you’ll have had to work yourself up all over again to ask another time.
Scenario B: They take charge and reply with some options for when they’re available or some questions about possible details. This means that now they’re left organizing a meeting that was your idea, which is lame at best, super off-putting at worst. This is more likely to produce a “no” than a “yes.”
Moral of the story: When it comes to invites, “something” might as well be nothing, and “sometime” is as good as never.
Be specific, so they’ve got something more to say than “Sure!”
Provide limited choices
This is not the time to list all 31 flavors of ice cream on the menu! Think “this or that?” and not “which of all of these?”
You could offer a choice of 2 different days, or times, or 2 different but similar activities (coffee or apps, for example.) You want to give them the opportunity to participate in the process without overwhelming them with options.
- “Do you want to check out that new art exhibit we were just talking about? Maybe Saturday afternoon or next Thursday night, if you’re game.”
- “Hey, I just saw an IG post about this amazing new app on the menu at that café around the corner. Wanna grab lunch on the patio with me? Or we could stop by after work if that would be better.”
- “Wanna go for a run this weekend? I was thinking of trying Park X but would be glad to meet you at your fave spot if you’d like!”
Don’t kill the thrill of the invite
I know it can feel risky and scary to invite someone new to hang out. It’s hard not to take a “no” personally.
But of course, there’s no pressure to say yes. Of course, it’s “no worries” if they can’t make it. Invitations should not come laced with pressure or worries. Plus, you’re amazing! I mean, who would not want to hang out with you?
So please resist the urge to jam up the energy of your invite with prefaces like “I know you’re busy” and “I get it if you can’t but….”
PR Manager, My Speech Class
So you’ve been chatting with this person for about a month now, and you’re thinking of asking them to hang out with you, but you don’t know how to go about it.
Well, I have a few ideas that I think can help you to ask them out.
Be creative about it
Social media has made it so easy to ask someone out, and you can be creative with memes, games, videos, photoshopped pictures, or gifs.
There’s a popular slang called ‘Shoot your shot,’ which is one of my favorite ways of asking someone out. It isn’t for the faint-hearted; you’ve got to be very bold to shoot your shot at anyone.
It requires you to think outside of the box, and how far are you willing to go to get this person’s attention before asking them out?
- Share a meme of a happy Spongebob at Krusty Krab with the caption ‘seafood or pizza date?’
- Create a video with you in a restaurant, read out the menu, and ask her what she’d like to have on the menu. Send the video to her. Good luck!
- Buy him or her a bouquet of flowers or a customized gift box with their name on it and a few of their favorite things.
- Ask her out in the DM. Do it!
Remind them about something they once talked about
Show them you pay attention to them by reminding them of something they mentioned in a previous conversation.
- “Hey. I remembered you talked about wanting to see a Broadway play. Would you like to see Les Misérables with me at…”
- “Let’s go shoe shopping at… You said you like high-heeled shoes, and I’ve got a good eye for heels. Just tell me when?”
Challenge them to a game
Playing games can be fun when you have a partner or a group of people to play with. How about you challenge this person to a game at your place, a friend’s crib, or at an arcade? It is a good way to bond and have fun, so give it a try.
- “I just got the new PS5, and I’m challenging you to a game. Are you down?”
- “My friend will be hosting a games night this Saturday, and I’d like you to come. I promise it’ll be fun.”
- “Wow! I never knew you play basketball. How about a one on one game when you’re less busy? The winner gets to ask the loser for anything.”
Ask them to hang out politely
You are not entitled to anyone’s time, but they can make exceptions for you if you ask them to hang out with you in a polite manner. If your request is denied, do not take it to heart; people live busy lives.
Here are some examples:
- “Will you be free this weekend for us to hang out?”
- “It’s been a while since we last saw each other. When will I see you again?”
- “We have so much catching up to do, you know. When will you be less busy this week?”
- “There’s a new restaurant that just opened on my street. I’d like to take you out for dinner.”
HR Manager, ResumeLab
“Hey, I’ll be running errands in your part of town. Want to grab coffee together?”
Asking someone to hang out doesn’t have to be too stressful or complicated, though we often have a temptation to make it so.
The key is to be casual and non-pressuring. So phrase it as a suggestion. For example:
- “Hey, I’ll be running errands in your part of town. Want to grab coffee together?”
- “I heard that you’re a big fan of the National Gallery. I’m planning to go on Saturday. Do you want to join?”
At all times, you want to maintain a casual attitude about it. The more needy and clingy you come off, the less likely the person will want to hang out with you. On the other hand, the more confident and non-attached to the outcome you are, the higher the likelihood of them wanting to spend time with you.
Ultimately you want your approach to reflect the following phrase: “If they join me, that’s great, but if they don’t, that’s also fine by me.”
As a general rule of thumb, I’ve found that asking up to three times (at most) does the job. If they want to spend time with you, they will agree or suggest an alternative time & place. Otherwise, they were never that interested in the first place, which is OK.
After all, there is plenty of other people you have yet to meet that share your interests and would love to share quality time together with you. Focus on these instead.
“It’s really fun talking with you. Would you like to go for a walk with me?”
I suggest you don’t ask someone to “hang out” because it’s not specific enough. Instead, ask them to go for coffee, for a walk or skateboarding, to the beach, to the park, or to come sit with you on the porch.
You’re much more likely to get a positive response if you have something specific in mind.
Take a moment to think about why you want to hang out with this person, and put that in your invitation. “It’s really fun talking with you. Would you like to go for a walk with me?”
It will work better if you have some idea of what the other person likes or likes to do. If they like sweets, you can say, “I hear Krispy Kreme is giving out free donuts. Want to go get one with me?” Or, “I know you like the beach, want to go with me?”
“Hey, did you hear about the new coffee shop in this area? Let’s explore it together.”
Asking someone to hang out feels like the most dreaded step at the beginning of any relationship. It may be your friend, a co-worker, or some you have met across a dating platform. Even though asking someone to hang out might feel scary in the beginning, it doesn’t have to be stressful.
Here are few ways to ask someone to hang out:
Don’t sound desperate
If you are planning to ask someone to hang out, don’t make it direct. Calm down and ask them out without being pushy or desperate. You can start the conversation with something like, “It’s nice talking to you. Would you mind catching up later or sometime?”
Ask to hang out for a common interest
If you have been talking to someone for a while, try to discover if you have some common interest or place. If yes, you can use your advantage and ask to spend time together to do that activity or even visit a place.
For instance: “Hey, did you hear about the new coffee shop in this area? Let’s explore it together.”
Have a specific time
If you make a general request to hang out in the future, the chances are it is highly unlikely to happen. Thus think of a few dates when you are free in the coming weeks. Give three options to the other person; there are chances that they’ll say yes to any one of these.
Plan on weekends work
Weekdays are often hectic. People hardly find time to communicate, lagging between work and personal stuff. The best approach is to ask someone to hang out on weekends since they might be free and open to meet.
Blogger, Stapo’s Thrifty Life Hacks
“Hey, I know I mentioned grabbing a coffee at some point. Are you free on Friday afternoon?”
As a self-proclaimed extrovert, I find it pretty easy to ask others to hang out with me. I usually keep it casual, though. I would never suggest going to a fancy restaurant with somebody that I’d never hung out with before, as I wouldn’t want to add any pressure to the meet-up.
Instead, I’d suggest grabbing a coffee or a beer. I would usually link this suggestion to mutual interest. So, for example, if I’d been chatting to the person about football, I’d say: “We should grab a coffee and continue this chat. What do you think?”
What if they think I’m asking them on a date?
People often worry that by asking somebody new to hang out, they may think you’re proposing a date. To avoid this, I always make sure that I mentioned my partner within the conversation before inviting the person to hang out.
If you’re single, then it’s harder to make that clear from the onset, but by linking the hangout session to your shared interest, your intentions should be clear.
Once I’ve made the suggestion in conversation, I follow it up by sending a message with a suggested time. I will say something along the lines of: “Hey, I know I mentioned grabbing a coffee at some point. Are you free on Friday afternoon?”
There’s no point just suggesting that you hang out; you have to try and take that loose suggestion into an arrangement.
What if they reject you?
If you want to make new connections, then don’t be scared of asking potential friends to hang out. If they say no or avoid agreeing to a time and place, try not to take it personally. That person might just have a lot on at the moment.
If they aren’t busy and they just can’t be bothered to commit, then that’s their issue. Don’t let it put you off asking others to hang out because the next person you approach will probably welcome the suggestion.
Certified Outdoors Guide and Educator, Outforia
Start with an open-ended invitation to gauge interest
Mention hearing about an upcoming event or an interesting place, and express wanting to check it out. You can then gauge from their response whether they are interested in the activity or location, but more importantly, whether they are interested in hanging out with you.
If they suggest going together, your job is done! If not, you can decide whether to ask them if they would like to go together based on how interested they seem while leaving room for them to say no. For instance:
“I remember you’ve been busy with XYZ, but would you be down to go with me if you are free sometime?”
Follow up with specifics
Once broad interest for hanging out has been established, make sure to follow up shortly by tying down more details to make sure they hang out actually happens!
At this stage, it might become apparent that the other party does not really want to hang out and has been agreeing more out of politeness or just conversationally. If tying down the details proves to be difficult on three or more counts, you can assume they do not want to hang out or leave the onus to them to plan and initiate a specific hang out time and place.
For a greater social and personal life, sometimes you have to take the lead of inviting people out. But, not everyone is as fluent when it comes to inviting people out, whether it’s going on a date or just a hangout with some new friends or hanging out personally.
You can easily invite someone with these easy conversations:
Don’t stress too much about what to say while inviting someone out
Normally, when you plan on inviting someone to go on a date or hang out, you concentrate a lot of your effort and time on seeking to come up with the accurate phrase of inviting them out.
This time will also uncover a lot of anxiety and worry about whether they will say “yes” to your invitation or decline it directly.
Sound casual and relaxed
When inviting someone to hang out, your nature with the invitation can determine whether they are going to say yes or no. So, don’t seem so needy or desperate. No one desires to spend time with people who are needed for their attention or can be too clingy.
Don’t just invite, make it a good talk
Perhaps, you want some advice as to the best restaurants in the region, and then you can catch up by asking them if they would want to go with you there. Or you can recommend something to them about a place, then set a date.
Eyewear Specialist, Shark Eyes
It’s not always easy to make new friends as an adult. By the time people are in their 30’s they often have established peer groups. When I moved to a different city, I had to put myself out there and ask people to hang out with me.
The possibility of coming across as desperate or lonely never occurred to me, but it could have gone that way in hindsight.
I think the key to getting others to want to hang out with you is down to how you approach them. The following approach worked for me, so I’d say give it a try.
Keep it simple
There’s no need to come up with an elaborate plan; a coffee or a simple bite to eat will do nicely. Suggesting meeting up for a drink is non-threatening and not as ‘heavy’ as a reservation for dinner.
Find a common interest
If you know something they are particularly interested in, use that knowledge to suggest hanging out sometime. If they’re a sporty type, then suggest watching a baseball game somewhere. If they like a particular band, find out where they’re performing and suggest going together.
Someone is more likely to want to hang out with you if it’s going to involve an activity they enjoy.
Don’t come on too strong
Similar to my first tip, keep things relaxed. If the person tells you they’re busy, you can try again at a later time. If they appear to be ‘busy’ the second time you ask, I’d suggest leaving the ball in their court. Let them know when you’ll be free, and tell them they call if they want to hang out.
If they don’t get in touch, take the hint. Don’t be a weirdo. You’ll find someone to hang out with sooner or later.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I know if someone is interested in hanging out with me?
To determine if someone is interested in hanging out with you, pay attention to their verbal and non-verbal cues. Here are some signs to look for:
• Body language: They lean in when talking to you, maintain eye contact, and have a relaxed posture.
• Active listening: They ask follow-up questions, respond thoughtfully, and show genuine interest in what you’re saying.
• Reciprocity: They share personal stories and experiences, creating a balanced conversation.
• Initiating contact: They reach out to you or suggest future activities together.
• Positive reinforcement: They compliment you or express excitement about your ideas and interests.
How do I make sure it’s not awkward when I ask?
To avoid awkwardness when asking someone to hang out, consider these tips:
• Be casual and confident: Speak in a relaxed tone and use casual language.
• Choose a specific activity: Suggest a particular event or activity that you both enjoy.
• Be flexible with time and location: Offer multiple options to accommodate their schedule and preferences.
• Use humor: Lighten the mood by incorporating humor, but avoid sarcasm or inappropriate jokes.
• Be yourself: Stay genuine and authentic to make the interaction feel more natural.
How do I handle rejection if someone doesn’t want to hang out?
Rejection is a normal part of life, and it’s important to handle it gracefully. Follow these steps:
• Stay calm: Keep your emotions in check and maintain a composed demeanor.
• Accept their decision: Respect their choice and don’t try to change their mind.
• Be polite: Thank them for their honesty and express understanding.
• Don’t take it personally: Remember that their decision might not be about you, but their own circumstances.
• Move forward: Focus on other relationships and opportunities for socializing.
How do I know if they’re actually busy or just not interested?
It can be challenging to differentiate between someone being genuinely busy and not interested. Look for these indicators:
• They provide specific reasons for their unavailability.
• They suggest alternative dates or times to meet up.
• They express disappointment or apologize for being busy.
• Their schedule has a history of being demanding.
• They give vague or non-committal answers.
• They avoid making concrete plans.
• They consistently cancel or postpone plans.
• They show little enthusiasm when discussing potential activities.
What’s the difference between hanging out and going on a date?
• Casual setting: Hanging out typically occurs in informal settings and is more about spending time with friends, acquaintances, or sometimes even new people.
• No romantic expectations: When hanging out, people usually have no specific romantic intentions or expectations. It is more focused on enjoying each other’s company and having a good time.
• Group activities: Hanging out often involves group activities or events where multiple people are present, making it more of a social gathering.
• Spontaneity: Hanging out can be spontaneous and does not always require prior planning or scheduling.
Going on a date:
• Romantic context: Going on a date generally has a romantic context, where two individuals are exploring the possibility of a deeper connection or are already in a romantic relationship.
• Romantic expectations: On a date, both parties typically have some level of romantic interest in each other and are looking to understand compatibility or strengthen their bond.
• One-on-one setting: Dates are usually one-on-one situations where two people spend time getting to know each other or enjoying an activity together.
• Planning involved: Dates often involve planning or scheduling, as well as effort in selecting a suitable location or activity to create a positive atmosphere for both parties.
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