Approaching a woman to ask her out on a date is a nerve-wracking event even for the most steely-nerved among us. There’s the potential for embarrassment and rejection, and that’s enough to put most of us off the prospect altogether.
However, as your dad was probably fond of saying, nothing ventured, nothing gained, and if you want to go on dates, you are going to have to run the gauntlet at some point.
You can’t guarantee success, of course, but there are certain strategies that you can employ to maximize your chances of getting a “yes” when you ask someone out on a date. Here are 8 steps to give you the best possible chance of landing a date with the girl of your dreams:
1. Do Some Basic Due Diligence To See If She’s Available
If the woman you’re hoping to go on a date with isn’t even single, you’re going to be shot down pretty quickly, and that’s a waste of time for everyone (although, not bad practice!). It’s not always possible to find out ahead of time whether or not she’s single, especially if she’s a stranger in a bar, but if it’s someone you know through friends you can check ahead of time that, as far as they know, she’s interested in dating.
It’s also important to bear in mind that not every woman is interested in dating men, period. Remember that it’s possible that the girl of your dreams has a girl of her dreams, if you catch our drift. You don’t especially need to modify your behavior in this case — there’s no need to add weird, “unless you’re gay?” disclaimers when you ask her out — but it’s just something to keep in mind, and to be chill about if it turns out men aren’t her thing.
2. Gauge Her Level Of Interest
It’s possible to get some idea of how well things will go for you before you’ve so much as spoken a word to the girl you have your sights set on. It’s best not to go in cold, so spend some time gauging her level of interest in you ahead of time by paying attention to her body language and nonverbal cues.
Have you spoken to her before and, if so, how well did the interaction go? What was your level of rapport like? Does she make sustained eye contact with you and touch you where possible? These are all indications that she’s interested in you on some level, so try to pay attention to these details before you make your approach.
3. Make Sure the Scene Is Conducive to Success
When you decide to approach the girl you’ve picked, the setting needs to be conducive to success. It can be embarrassing, for example, to ask a woman out if her friends or family are around and within earshot, and likewise if she’s busy doing daily activities like commuting or shopping for groceries — it’s likely she won’t want to be disturbed in this case, and you’re more likely to get an annoyed “no thanks” when you ask in inconvenient settings.
The ideal setting is going to depend somewhat on how well you already know this girl and where you tend to run into her most often (through a circle of friends versus occasionally bumping into her at your local bar, say), but try to be conscious of asking her out in an environment where romantic advances are likely to be welcome. Make her feel comfortable and be respectful, and she’s much more likely to want to spend more time with you.
4. Be Looking Your Best
This is a basic step, but one that men sometimes slip up on. You will drastically increase your odds of success if you have a fresh haircut and clipped fingernails, and if you’re freshly showered and smelling good (and of a well-selected fragrance, perhaps). Consider your outfit, too: there’s no need to be wearing a three piece suit, but make sure you are tidily dressed.
How you look is not merely a superficial consideration: looking your best gives an indication of your level of self-respect and attention to detail, and these are important cues that women will be picking up on. Again, you don’t need to be dressed like the nines and looking like a male model at all times; the point is to be fresh, clean and radiating self-respect.
5. Approach With As Much Confidence As You Can Muster
We know it’s not always easy, but if you’re approaching with fiddling hands and eyes darting nervously around the place, you’re not going to have as much luck as if you stroll up confidently and with open body language and strong posture. If you struggle in this area, the “fake it ’til you make it” maxim applies.
Asking someone out is usually at least a little bit awkward on both sides, so it doesn’t need to be a perfectly seamless interaction, but try to have a level of good-faith humor if the conversation gets a bit bumpy — it’s preferable to shutting down and stammering, for example. Basically, try to talk to women with the same ease with which you’d speak to your colleagues or friends, but with a more flirty tone.
6. Have a Basic Script Ready
There’s no need to have every single line you’re going to say polished and rehearsed, of course, but it’s a good idea to have a basic idea of what you’ll talk about ahead of time. Make a mental note of how you’re going to open, what you’ll say in the interim and how you are going to phrase asking her out.
Be straightforward and polite, and make your intentions clear: there’s no point darting around the fact that you’re looking for a date. Use straightforward language like “would you like to have dinner with me this weekend?” or “Are you free for a drink after work this week?” rather than “it’d be cool if we could hang out some time” — that way, there’s less room for confusion.