Andrea writes on various topics from dating, couples, astrology, weddings, interior design, and gardens. She studied film and writing.
So You Want to Date Me?
Asking someone out isn't gender specific. Sure, some of us like to get the other person to take the initiative, and we do what we can to flirt in a way that gives them the hint.
Then for others of us, we want to cut to the chase.
This guide is for women who want to ask men out on a date, but this could also apply to other dating setups.
It literally doesn't matter who is asking who out. Just make sure they're not taken or you might get slapped... or into some unpleasant trouble.
Timing is Everything
First things first, don't make a big deal out of it. You might not even realize you are asking someone out. Maybe you just want to grab dinner, have someone to go rock climbing with you, or maybe you need someone to go to the laundry mat with you.
You may be saying, no... that's hanging out.
Well, I think it can be a lot easier to get the ball rolling by first hanging out with each other one on one, and often this turns into dating or a relationship. Just the very act of hanging out can give you an idea of whether or not there is chemistry.
BUT BE WARNED -- just because you are hanging out with someone of the opposite gender doesn't mean you are on a date. If you want it to be a date you need to communicate that, consider what kind of date you want it to be, and what activities are what you consider date worthy.
Dating is all about perception. What may be dating according to one person isn't the same for another. This is why communication is so important. This is why getting out there and saying you would like to try going on a date can help clear up the mud. Tell them you would like to spend together as more than friends and see if you guys end up clicking.
Asking Someone Out
1. It's all about timing. You may want to flirt with this person a little bit to get a feel for what is happening. Do they reciprocate when you touch them? Do they laugh at your jokes? Check to see and make sure there is a vibe before you ask someone out on a date.
2. Know their interests. The goal is to make an offer they can't refuse. If they absolutely want to see a certain movie, if they love a certain musical act, if they have to see that certain basketball game -- keep that in mind, and know that if you can figure out what are their interests, then you can figure out the right dating request.
3. Make sure you are well dressed, look sharp, and have confidence when you ask someone out. This shouldn't be something that makes you feel out of control or hopeless. When you ask someone out it should be natural, conversational, and you should seem cool, calm, and collected. Don't make a big deal out of it. If you have crazy emotions, keep them to yourself so you don't scare the new date. You can touch on how you feel about them emotionally later. (At least in most cases.)
4. Text them a picture of something you would like to go to, a picture of concert tickets, a picture of a wedding invitation. This is pretty painless and makes the request clear. Leave a comment that says -- does this look fun? Would you like to go with me as my date?
5. Don't invite them to something that doesn't fit their personality or would be pushing the boundaries. Family reunions are kind of odd, something scandalous could give the wrong vibe -- or come off intimidating.
6. People understand and can jive with the most general date of all: dinner and a movie. Ask them what kind of food they like and ask them what kind of movie they would like to see.
7. Don't make a big deal about it. Take rejection well if they are uninterested. Sometimes people change their mind about a person later, so staying positive and confident is in your best regard.
8. Don't be generic. Have some creativity. Again, you want to make an offer they can't refuse. Find your inner wit and come up with something original in a text message. Sometimes it is best to build toward asking someone out in a series of texts. Keep the conversation light and enjoyable, and then drop in how you could actually continue the conversation in person... because your fingers are getting tired of typing.
9. Do your homework ahead of time. Are they single? Are they looking for someone? Do they have other things they need to focus on right now?
10. Simple is good. Give them a moment to process your request. They need a moment to come up with a reply. Don't comment on their reaction.
Tips For When You Ask Someone Out
Make sure you layoff the fragrance. Don't pour an entire bottle of perfume on yourself and don't spend so much time on your makeup that you look like a beauty pageant contestant. Stay to the basics: smile, keep some eye contact, and make it seem like any ole' normal day. Don't start crying, scratching yourself uncontrollably, or falling over your words. You're not ready if you are that nervous. Work on the nerves.
If you are asking a guy out, you may want to find out whether he likes to take initiative. Some guys can get confused by a woman asking them out, and they may have been considering doing it before you. If he is a gentleman he isn't going to stress about this. He'll likely be relieved that it is finally happening one way or another.
Guys like women who can take initiative and can communicate. But make sure he also initiates and can communicate -- he is not your doormat.
Find out what time of day is appropriate to meet. Brunch dates can be some of the best dates. When you go for the first date, don't make it a whole adventure. Keep it to a few hours and make sure to have fun. If it isn't fun, if you're not enjoying yourself, and you're not feeling a connection then don't keep going on dates.
If you've known each other for a long time, you may want to do more pre-planning. If you've been friends for several years it could be a lot to take in for your friend that you're interested in them. Reassure them that it's okay if they don't feel the same and you are interested in keeping the friendship. Friendships are important and often friendships turn into romantic contexts, so don't be upset if you are considered a friend. That's a great place to be. And sometimes it is what people need more than a relationship.
Asking out Someone You Just Met
You'll need to get their name, phone number, or other contact information. Before leaving the bar, the club, or the wedding party -- ask them if it is okay if you can continue talking to them after the party.
Compliment them, smile, and check to see if they already have a partner.
Don't be too stressed out if the next day you text them and they don't respond. It can be difficult to tell when you just meet someone for the first time if the connection is really going to ground. They may not be able to keep up a connection like you had wanted or other priorities got in the way.
Larry Rankin from Oklahoma on September 28, 2017:
If I ever need to change teams, I'll know how to get a fella;-)
Andrea Lawrence (author) from Chicago on September 26, 2017:
I think we tend to hyper-analyze the situation, so I wouldn't say the person asking is more passive or aggressive compared to the other person. I think younger people tend to get more worked up about this, or people who are returning to dating after being in a long relationship. Those nerves I can understand, but going out for lunch or something really simplistic shouldn't be too concerning.
I think the fear of rejection plagues both men and women... and other genders.
I think women do think too much about what the guy might think, but I suppose there is still some cultural implications that are still being worked through. It can be awkward to decide then who pays for the date or how about the date should go. I think most women are still going to prefer the man to pay dinner and pick her up, if transportation is involved. Not that it really matters, but there is kind of these questions of what role each person will play. I think women on the whole know how to take a dating request better since they get more experience at that.
dashingscorpio from Chicago on September 26, 2017:
"Don't make a big deal about it. Take rejection well if they are uninterested. " - Excellent advice.
I suspect there are two main reasons why more women do not ask men out on dates.
1. They fear rejection
2. They worry about what the guy will think of them.
In a world with over 7 Billion people rejection means: Next!
Just because a woman asks a guy out doesn't mean she's an easy lay and she should be able to convey that on the date. Confidence is the key to proposing a date or initiating a conversation. It's better to be a driver than a passenger in life.