We had a reader approach us with an intimate question that we just had to answer. How do you ask someone out and get them to say yes? Unfortunately, it can be hard to guarantee how your love interest will answer. As much as we wish we could control people’s responses, we can’t. We can, however, utilize psychology to help our chances of getting a date. PsychologyToday, another popular psych site, has a huge number of articles from many psychologists all about the science of attraction, the psychology of love, and how to increase your chances with those you like. We’ve gone through and compiled all of them into one easy-to-read guide. If you’re curious about the best way to successfully ask someone out (in person or online), read on.
1. Have a conversation
The first thing that most psychologists will agree on is the fact that you need to talk to the person you’re asking out. Whether this is face to face or online, the first step to love is having a conversation. What’s the trick to starting a conversation that will sustain itself? Asking a question! “Hi” isn’t a real ice breaker. You need to ask a question that has the potential for discussion. How do you do that? You…
2. Pay attention to their likes/dislikes
Whether this is in their profile photos or the way they talk about the world, paying attention to the things that are important to them is the best way to find out what their interests are… Of course! When you know what they’re interested in, you can start a great conversation that they’ll enjoy having, and want to engage in.
3. Form a friendship
So, you had a conversation. What’s next? There’s two different options here. We suggest forming a friendship as a strong basis for whatever relationship you have in the future. This can happen through multiple conversations, and takes some time. Trust us though; the more you engage on a friendly level, the more receptive they’ll be when you do finally ask.
We mentioned that there were two options after having your initial conversation. This is the other one. If you feel a strong connection to the person and you don’t want to wait to ask them out, try flirting a little. Integrating compliments, flirtatious body language, and dropping hints about dating or going on dates will psychologically prep them for you to ask them out.
5. Invite them to a group hangout
If your love interest is intimidating you more than you thought they would, invite them to a group hangout or party. This serves two purposes: not only will you get practice asking them out in a casual scenario, but they’ll also feel more inclined to say yes. Hanging out in a group takes away the perceived pressure of a romantic date, while still allowing you two the chance to be together.
6. Indirectly suggest
They’ve hung out with you and your friends, and you two both feel like you want to do more together. If the pressure of saying “I would like to go on a date with you” is too much, try indirectly suggesting. Jeremy Nicholson, M.S.W., Ph.D, of “The Attraction Doctor” fame has many tips on how to indirectly ask someone out. The root of the idea? Seamlessly integrating a suggestion into the conversation. If you two are talking and your love interest mentions a movie coming out, mention how it sounds neat and you’d like to see it too. Then you (or maybe even your love interest) can say “hey, why don’t we go together?”
7. Directly ask
You don’t need to work the topic into a conversation in order to ask them out. You can directly ask someone out, which has a surprising success rate. One study showed that when approached on the street and asked point blank hey-wanna-go-out, “when individuals in a relationship were excluded from the count, 68% of men and 43% of women agreed to the date.”
8. Offer an experience
You’ve asked them out, and they’ve said yes. That’s great! However, you’re not done there. It’s easy to keep the date as an ambiguous future thing if you don’t make plans. Offer an experience; be it the movies, coffee, or a nice dinner, in order to set a solid plan with each other. This ensures that the date happens, and gives you both something to look forward to.
9. Try a follow-up
You’ve gone on the date, and you thought it went well. You’re about to say goodnight, when all of a sudden… Wait. Do you ask for a second date? Do you call them in two days? We suggest neither of these options. Check in with them about the night (or morning) at the end of the date. “I had a great time. Did you enjoy yourself?” This way you know whether or not they had fun, and what you might want to do differently next time.
10. Follow through
The final step is to make sure that another date happens. If they said they enjoyed themselves, and you had enough fun to want to do it again, ask them on a second date. Following through ensures the relationship develops rather than stagnating after one get together. And remember: they’ve already said yes once. Asking them out a second time will be way, way less nerve-wracking!
Got any dating tips that aren’t mentioned here? Post in the comments below. Don’t forget to share as well, so other friends can improve their relationship game!