Who else had a Sadie Hawkins dance in middle or high school? You know, basically Bumble before it was Bumble. Even 16-year-old girls want the autonomy of asking their partner out!
For so long, women have been told they can’t make the first move. We’re supposed to wait for him to walk up to us at the bar, send the first text, follow us on IG first (anyone else?), ask our friend about us, slide in the DMs, message us first on Tinder—all of these simple ideas have been gendered in a way to make women feel small and show that men are the ones who go after want they want. (Yeah, I went there.)
Dating doesn’t have to be a one-way street; there are so many ways to approach a guy (or anyone) you’re interested in without feeling awkward (OK well a little) or stressed about rejection. If you’ve been wondering how to ask someone out, follow these tips and you’ll be sippin’ margs on date three in no time.
1. Reframe what rejection is and isn’t
Many of us have quite narrow views of what rejection actually means. It’s important to realize that if someone rejects you, it doesn’t mean that you are:
- “Not good enough”
- Any of the self-deprecating words you’ve used in the past
We’ve all rejected people (or jobs, etc.) in the past, and most of us haven’t thought those awful things about the person. Sometimes, it’s the timing or that you’re seeing someone else—there are dozens of reasons someone might get rejected, and it doesn’t say anything about you when you. Understand that rejection is a simple part of life, and it doesn’t make you inadequate for love if one person isn’t interested in you.
2. Confidence is hot
Most of us love confidence in a partner—and it’s likely the person you’re asking out will think the same! When you feel confident in yourself, especially in the person you are, it makes this process significantly easier. Start here first, and then build on this!
3. Read their body language
Everyone knows body language is an important aspect of reading someone, but when you’re about to ask someone out (especially in person), it’s necessary to look into how someone might feel around you. If the person looks comfortable and excited to be with you, it’s likely they’d be ecstatic to go on a date with you! However, if they look closed-off or bored, asking them out might not result in an answer you want.
These are the signs that say it’s a yes:
- Eye contact
- They lean into you
- They innocently touch you
- They try to make themselves look nice — fix the hair, flatten the shirt, etc.
- They emulate your body language — you come closer, they come closer; you cross your arms, they cross their arms; etc.
4. Figure out what you have in common
Alright, now that we’ve established the ground rules, we can get into the meat of this process. First: actually get to know them. No, you don’t have to wait until the first date to get some insight into who they are. Find out what they like and what you two have in common. For example, if they say they love a certain artist that you also love, ask them to see that artist’s concert with you.
5. Invite them on a group date
Group dates are a no-pressure way to get to know someone. Invite them for drinks or to see a show with you and a group of your friends. If they just want to be friends, this kind of date won’t make them feel awkward and allows you to get to know each other further to see if you want to be more than friends in the future. If they can see you in a group setting, they’ll be excited and interested to hang out with you one-on-one in the future.
This also allows you to interact with this person in a stress-free environment. Dates are awkward, we all know this. However, when you’re surrounded by people you already feel comfortable with, it’s easy to get in your groove.
6. Ask them to join
This is the easiest, most foolproof way to ask someone out. If you already have plans to go to dinner, drinks, a movie, a museum, an event, or basically anything, tell them to come. “You should come!”—three, no-sweat words that automatically let this person know you’re interested in getting to know them more (which probably encourages them to want to know you better too). You’re already planning to have fun, so not why invite them to have fun with you?
This also makes rejection a little bit sweeter. If they can’t come for whatever reason, they’re not rejecting you — you’re going with your friends already, they would just be a bonus.
This is a very organic way to ask someone out via text. For example, if you and your friends were already planning to go to brunch this weekend, text the person you want to ask out saying: “Hey! My friends and I are going to brunch on Saturday. You should come! Let me know!” It seriously couldn’t be easier.
7. Buy them a drink
Women are fully capable of buying drinks for men!!! I’ll shout it from the rooftops! This doesn’t have to be creepy or sleazy either. See a cute guy at the bar and keep making eye contact? Walk up and make a joke about his drink order. My go-to is to ask who he thinks has the most basic drink order—usually, I lose, so I buy him a drink to celebrate his winning. Just like when a guy buys you a drink at the bar, he isn’t obligated to talk or hang out with you by any means. Think of it as a way to break the ice.
8. Understand when it’s not reciprocated
If you’re the only one asking them out over and over again, this might be a sign that this relationship is one-sided after all. Pay attention to how often you’re asking them out in comparison to how much they reciprocate. If it seems that you’re the one doing it time and time again, it might be time to move on. Onto the next one!