The short answer is: there are a million ways to ask somebody out. I advocate the direct approach, but to maximize the chances of getting a yes, it’s a good idea to do some rapport building legwork first.
#1 Put yourself in their orbit
If you are interested in someone who you’re not already close to, it’s a good idea to find a (non-creepy) way to insert yourself into their life. If you’re not already in their orbit, hitting on them out of the blue might feel too aggressive. Depending on the degrees of separation between you and your object of desire, a few different tactics can work, such as:
- Connecting with them on social media
- Asking for an introduction or introducing yourself
- Inviting them to or informing them of an event you think they might like
- Show up at an event where you expect to run into them
#2 Be genuinely interested in who they are and what they care about
The fact you’re asking me this question and not asking a pickup artist implies that you’re looking for a real connection, and not just a conquest. In which case, this part should be easy (apart from any social anxiety, which is normal).
Your time and attention is one of the greatest gifts you can give another person. That’s why it feels so meaningful when someone goes out of their way to give you their undivided attention. Get to know your crush, and find out what they care about and what excites them (in a non-sexual way – let’s not get ahead of ourselves here!)
Attentiveness is a form of flirting, so flirt away!
#3 Take the shot
There’s no precise formula about how long you should build rapport before asking someone out. If you meet someone at a party who you might not see again, obviously that’s a much shorter time frame than someone who works in the same building or is part of your friend group.
If they seem receptive to your attentions (sometimes you won’t have time to do much more than make eye contact + smile), go for it and ask – for a date, their number, or even a dance (I got asked to dance recently at a bar and it was so much fun!).
There’s so much ambiguity and uncertainty in modern dating, sometimes the most powerful thing you can do is be direct and eliminate all that gray.
One last thing – since you’ve asked me this, I can only assume that you have some fear around being “rejected” – which is completely normal. I happen to believe that “rejection” isn’t real – it’s a choice we make to judge ourselves as unworthy or unlovable because someone else chooses not to date us.
The truth is - Everyone is not for you and you are not for everyone. There could be a million reasons why you get a “no” that have nothing to do with you personally. And even if it is because that person isn’t romantically interested in you, that’s simply their preference.
I talked about this in an IG post: