11 non-creepy ways to ask someone out

There are few things more nerve-racking than asking someone out: Figuring out the lead-up, the right things to say, and even what to wear can all play a key role in how comfortable you feel when approaching someone for a date. But, of course, all the preparation in the world doesn’t ensure success—it’s very easy to come off as creepy or inappropriate when talking up a person you’ve just met. To help you navigate the #datingstruggle, here are some non-creepy ways to ask someone out, HelloGiggles approved!

1Find a mutual interest.

If you have a connection with someone, this is the easiest way for you to make your move. If you’re already acquainted with someone and share some kind of common ground—perhaps you’re both ’80s movies aficionados, or you like the same kind of music, or you’re even reading the same book—this can all be an easy way to create a segue to asking someone on a date.

2Make sure they’re interested.

This can be more controversial, but usually, making sure that this person is interested in being asked out heightens your chances of a successful date with your potential beau. Build up a relationship of some kind with this person, and make sure that they’re comfortable with the idea of dating before you take the plunge.

3Take note of their personal interests.

Want a successful date? Make sure that it’s in line with what your potential beau is actually interested in. A coffee date may be great to get to know each other better, but you could be missing out on an opportunity to really wow them if they’d much rather go to a county fair or a book signing for their favorite writer.

4Respect boundaries.

Asking someone out doesn’t always end in success. Respect the person’s boundaries if they say no or that they’re not interested in dating. Coercion isn’t okay.

5Go for the unexpected.

Having a successful date with someone might require out-of-the-box thinking. If your date is into something quirky and unexpected, this could be a way to pique their interest and make a good impression.

6Keep your hands to yourself.

Touching can be a way to establish intimacy with someone—but only when it’s consented to, of course. If not, touching can come off as uncomfortable and inappropriate. Until you’re sure of how your date will respond, refrain from intimate touches (and we repeat: always ask for permission first).

7Be genuine.

No one likes inauthenticity. Showing your true self from the beginning—your best self—is going to go over a lot smoother than trying to pretend to be someone that you’re not.

8Avoid the pedestal.

No one likes to be put on a pedestal. Even though you think that this person is cute or interesting, your crush is a regular person just like you. Avoid putting them on a pedestal or making them seem unattainable, and just approach them like you would anyone else. You’ll be surprised at what this can do for your nerves and the general vibe you’re giving off.

9Make engaging, genuine conversation.

No one likes people who are boring. Making an effort to have an engaged, genuine conversation that centers on something other than dating can often work in your favor. And who knows—the topic of dating may come up naturally in conversation, no pre-planning necessary.

10Make a group plan.

If solo dates seem too intimidating right off the bat, why not explore options like inviting your crush to a casual group outing? This could take the stress off of having a romantic date; instead, you can focus on getting to know each other.

11Just go for it.

Sometimes, our first instincts are best. If you want to just go right up to your crush and ask point-blank if they want to go on a date with you, go for it. Sometimes fortune favors the bold (and non-creepy).

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