Woman looks man in the eye as an example of how to ask someone out

How to Ask Someone Out

start free today
I am I am looking for

You can add more detail about your gender in your profile

For your security, use the following password format:

  • At least 8 characters
  • Letters AND numbers/special characters
  • Must not be the same as your email address
by eharmony Editorial Team - May 15, 2024

Asking someone out can be nerve-racking, even in the best of circumstances. What if they say no? Even worse, what if they find the very concept laughable?

This is generally the reel running in our head when we’re trying to figure out how to ask someone out. It can be intimidating and we often adopt a pessimistic outlook on the whole thing. But the truth of the matter is you’re just trying to form a human connection, and not many people have a problem with that. The worst you can get is a ‘no’ and that’s hardly the end of the world. What’s worse is if you don’t try at all. As Wayne Gretzky once succinctly put it “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.”

So let’s take a look at how to ask someone on a date in an effective but respectful way, how it can be a bit different in some social contexts and handling rejection while not letting it affect your continued efforts.

Positive signs that you should ask someone out

Whether or not someone would be open to dating you isn’t always a guessing game. There are definitive verbal and non-verbal cues that a person may be open to a date. Sometimes rather than figuring out how to ask someone out, you should instead be asking, should you? Here are some common signals.

  • Their body language – Open body language is what you’re looking for. This includes pointing themselves towards you, blushing, mirroring your movements or fretting over their hair or touching their arm a lot.
  • They often linger during conversations – When someone’s attracted to you they tend to try to extend their interactions with you, even after they’ve naturally concluded. 
  • They’re very inquisitive – When someone wants to know all about you, your life and what makes you tick, it’s generally a pretty good indicator of romantic interest.
  • They find excuses to initiate physical contact – They may touch your arm when they laugh at your joke, linger when you two hug or graze your body often when exclaiming while talking.
  • They text you a lot – Do they often text just to say hi or ask about some inconsequential things you know they already know? It’s probably just an excuse to engage with you more.

How might people show non-verbally that they like you and you can ask them out?

One of eharmony’s relationship experts Laurel House answered the question: “Singles frequently show somewhat confusing signs that they are interested. So how do you know if it’s ok to ask someone out? They physically lean in when you are talking with them. And then they pull back, and you oddly feel like you are being pulled towards them. This is a magnetism that is created when there is a true connection. They pull you in with the tone of their voice. A pulling voice comes from the stomach, not the throat, making them naturally come across as more interested, alluring, confident, and purposeful. They speak calmly with a smile, making focused eye contact with you. Sometimes they look away, and then they look back into your eyes intently. Their eyes sometimes scan down to your lips, because we naturally subconsciously look at what we want. They might giggle a lot, which shows excitement as well as a nervous need to fill silence.”

At the end of the day, none of these are fool-proof ways of telling if a person is going to say yes to a date (nor is it the end of the world if they don’t), but they can be helpful. The most important thing is that you just be bold about it and take the leap.

The best ways to ask someone out

Figuring out the ideal way to ask someone you like out can vary depending on the other person’s personality, the way you two met and a lot of different contextual details.

But it’s also important not to overthink it so here are some different ways of asking someone out, depending on the circumstances.

Using the right channel

There is a large variety of mediums to choose from when asking people out. You can ask them in person, give them a call, shoot them a text or even just ask them on whichever dating app you meet them.

Really, any of them are fine. It’s up to you which one makes you the most comfortable. If you’re a bit shy, you might pick text but if you want to gauge what their response might be before you ask, you may want to gradually work up to it in person. 

How to ask someone out in a cute way

When looking at how to ask someone out in a cute way, you want to find a good balance between cheesy and romantic. The whole point here is being somewhat self-aware and awkward but in a cute way.

  1. Let’s just say flowers. They’re an oldie but a goodie, nothing beats receiving a colorful bouquet and a sweet handwritten note.
  2. Bake them something like cupcakes or a cake and include a message asking them out in the frosting.
  3. Send them a cute GIF and let it do the asking for you. 
  4. Go super vintage with it and write them a note and leave it on their desk or underneath their door.
  5. Think up a funny and short poem to send over text to convey your feelings.
  6. If you’re feeling bold, you can always declare your feelings on social media. It can be a bit risky but it’s the gesture that makes it work.

How to ask someone out in a fun way

Asking someone out in a fun way takes a lot of the pressure off the moment and makes it more playful, which can help if you’re both feeling a bit nervous.

  1. Write out a song about asking them out and send it to them over voice note. It doesn’t matter if you’re a good singer, the point is being funny about it.
  2. Sending a pizza to their house with a message written on the box lid is a unique option when you’re wondering how to ask someone out. Most pizza places will be happy to make this accommodation.
  3. Challenge them to a game online and say the terms are they have to go out with you on a date. Even if you lose, you’ve still declared your feelings.
  4. Make a short video skit where you act out asking them out and text it to them.
  5. Plan a scavenger hunt where the final point is a display of balloons confessing your feelings. 

How to ask without asking at all

If you’re not feeling forward or perhaps are just too nervous to come right out and say it, here’s how to ask someone out without actually saying it.

  1. Say you got some spare tickets to a show  – surprise them and ask if they’d like to go with you.
  2. Try to include them in more activities in your life. After a few meetups, they’ll probably get the hint.
  3. Dedicate a song to them on social media or just tag them. If it has the right lyrics, it can do the talking for you.
Pretty woman smiling and sitting alone on a park bench

How to approach a Woman

 You are struggling with how to approach women? People who have no problems finding a woman aren’t necessarily more attractive or more confident than you; they just have a better idea of the best way to approach a woman. Read more in the following article.

How to ask someone out on a date without sounding desperate

As we said, it’s important not to get in your head about it. There’s nothing wrong with just casually asking someone you like out. The worst thing that can happen is they decline, and then you’ve got your answer and can move on, which is much better than pining away. Also, don’t be awkward about the situation or make it too forced as that might make them say no automatically out of instinct.

As an eharmony relationship expert Laurel House says: “Adopt an attitude of abundance. An attitude of abundance is an attitude of confidence. It’s knowing that you are a valuable commodity. You are worth something. As is your time and the energy that you put into the moment of being on this date.”

How to ask someone out when they’re a stranger to you

When you’re trying to figure out how to ask someone on a date when you don’t know them, it can add another layer of uncertainty and nerves.

It’s crucial that you be more respectful of boundaries than you normally would in a more familiar social situation. Here are some good examples of how to ask a stranger out:

  • Look at their body language. Have they noticed you? Do they glance over at all? If you’re not getting receptive signals from them, they may find you approaching them somewhat tactless.
  • Find common ground as quickly as you can so the conversation doesn’t become stilted or awkward.
  • Try to keep the location you’re in in mind. If it’s a bar or nightclub, they may be more receptive to a prolonged interaction where you work up to asking them out. But if it’s in a cafe or a less social space, try to get to the point as quickly as possible.
  • Speaking to strangers can be a bit of a surprise for some people so try to compensate for that by being self-confident, friendly and personable, to relax them.
  • Try to be casual about the conversation. Don’t make it a socially loaded situation. The basic concept here is you find them attractive and want to ask them on a date to see if you two work.

The most important thing when asking out a stranger is knowing when to let it go. If you’re not sensing a connection within the first few minutes, that’s probably for a reason and you should let them get back to their day. 

How to ask a girl out

Not sure to ask our your crush or thinking how to ask your crush? If you’re thinking about asking her out, do it with style. Here are 15 creative and bold ideas for asking a girl out.

How to ask a guy out

Searching for helpful tips? With the following confidence-boosting tips and tricks on asking a guy out, you’ll be ready to make the first move in no time.

How to ask out a friend

Wondering, how do I ask my friend out. It can sometimes feel like a bit of a minefield as you don’t want to ruin the friendship by asking them out or make it awkward if you have a lot of friends in common and have to see them a lot.

In this instance, it’s really important to practice mindfulness and just be straightforward about it. It’s also helpful if they’ve given you signals that they’d like to be more than friends, as described in the sections above. You may want to avoid a romantic approach in this regard and put it out there.

For example, sending them a text saying “Hey, so I’ve always felt like we have something. No problem if I’m wrong but would you like to catch dinner this weekend?”

It’s also important how you react to it if they say no. Assure them that it won’t affect your friendship and that you were just curious about a possible deeper connection.  

How to ask your crush out if they’re a coworker

Wondering, how do I ask my coworker out. There’s just no other way to put this but this isn’t a great idea in the best of circumstances, as this can also often be a human resources issue. But sometimes there’s just a chemistry you feel with certain coworkers and you want to see if they feel the same way. This is, after all, where you spend a great deal of your day so it’s only natural to form different types of bonds with your coworkers.

The rules for how to ask someone out should be very conservative, in this regard. First, check whether your company even allows relationships between coworkers as some larger companies discourage it. The next thing is to be very casual about it. No grand gestures or declarations of love. Just simply ask them if they’d be interested in having a coffee with you outside of work. The most important step here is accepting any form of reluctance or rejection you may get. Only ask once and don’t let the answer affect how you treat them in the workplace.

Also keep in mind that if your relationship doesn’t work out, you’ll still need to work with this person every day.

It’s better to ask than to leave it unsaid

When it comes down to it, it’s almost always a good idea to just go for it rather than letting the opportunity pass you by. While it can lead to some awkwardness in the worst-case scenarios, as long as you handle it respectfully and honestly, it doesn’t have to be a big deal. It’s a normal human interaction, so try not to let your nerves or lack of self-confidence get in the way of pursuing the relationships you want.

eharmony helps with some of the initial diffidence of making that initial connection with someone by providing a rich selection of different communication features beyond regular text, such as Icebreakers or the ability to compliment an aspect of their profile. Our profiles also give you a lot of background context to get your conversation started. So stop getting in your head about how to ask someone out and start just connecting and seeing where it goes from there. Join eharmony. 

How it works

Your search for a great relationship has never been easier with groundbreaking overhaul of the eharmony you know and trust.