Deep breaths… you’ve got this.
Making the first move can be nerve-wracking — there’s no way around it. You’ve got to have major courage with a side of confidence to get the job done. There’s always the chance you’ll have to face handling rejection, which is not fun for anyone.
If you hate the idea of making the first move, you’re not alone. The pressure can feel intimidating. What if you end up saying something your crush finds weird? What if you come on too strong? Trying to figure out how to ask a guy or girl out can just end up causing more nerves if you think about it for too long. A lot of people feel this way — it’s not so much that they’re scared to take the leap, necessarily, but more so that not knowing how to go about it causes fear and anxiety. It’s hard to give yourself a pep talk when you’re not even sure what you’ll say to the person you like.
For example, how do you know if they’re interested in you? Should you bother trying without some sort of confirmation they like you back? Think of all the misconnections due solely to the fact that neither party had the valor to ask a little question. But it doesn’t have to go over like that — Elite Daily tapped dating experts for their advice on how to ask a guy or girl out.
How To Show Someone You’re Interested In Them
First, when you’re really feeling someone, you’ll need to let them know you’re into them — in a way that won’t come out of nowhere and freak them out. Behavioral scientist and relationship coach Clarissa Silva suggests planning to make time for the object of your affection to show them that you want them to be a part of your day. “When someone consistently makes plans to see you despite their busy schedule, it is a good sign of what you really represent in their lives,” Silva tells Elite Daily.
Now you can gauge your crush’s interest in you. How do you know if someone is feeling you back? For one, Silva says they will pay close attention to details. “When someone is going above and beyond to make you aware of their interest, like touching you often, bringing you gifts, focusing on your favorite foods [or] music, [these are signs] they are studying you,” she offers. “They may be social [media] stalking you or hanging on every word you say to gain more insights on who you are.”
Aside from creeping on you back (you’re totally doing it, don’t lie), they will also give that time back to you. “Someone is definitely into you when they plan to make more time for you. Their desire to spend time and want to be involved in your world and day is a good sign they are constantly thinking of you,” Silva tells Elite Daily. “You may notice that you both begin to have more constant communication, and they are super responsive to your messages.”
How To Ask A Guy Or Girl Out
If you’re pretty confident that you’re both interested in each other, you can start thinking of ways to ask them out (not that your crush has to be social stalking you in order for you to give it a shot). But having that confirmation that they might dig you too will help boost your confidence, which is arguably the most important part of the whole process. “Remind yourself that you may like this person and feel really excited about them, but you do not need them to say yes,” confidence coach Dr. Aziz Gazipura previously told Elite Daily. “Paradoxically, the more you let go of needing them to like you, the more relaxed you become, and the more likely it is they indeed will like you!” Basically, once you calm your nerves, you’re already putting yourself in a better position for a “yes.”
While there’s sometimes a stigma about communication over text versus IRL, sending a quick message does have its advantages. “If the main way of communicating is text, social media, or a dating app, sending a direct message that has no ambiguity is best,” Silva says. “A ‘grab coffee?’ message is low commitment, direct, and helps reduce the awkwardness of meeting up.” Plus, with texting, you can send the exact message you want without fear of nerves or anxiety getting in the way.
Whether it’s over text or in person, Silva suggests leaning into your shared interests when deciding what to do on your first date (or the first time you’ve hung out since expression your feelings). “Exploring your interests is a great way to learn more about the person,” she says. Choose something you both ha[ve] in common that you can explore on that next date. Whether that is hiking, a salsa class, or coffee, a shared interest helps reduce some of the dating anxiety and helps you focus more on compatibility.”
What If They Don’t Reciprocate Your Feelings?
Unfortunately, you may not get the answer you’re hoping for every time, and that’s totally OK. But dating rejection is still no fun. “Rejection is shattering to our ego, but we make it more painful by blaming ourselves for being rejected,” says Silva. “When we are rejected, many tend to become self-critical and go down a negative spiral of self-blame — either we didn’t work hard enough, [aren’t] pretty enough, smart enough, the list can go on and on.”
It’s easy to succumb to these negative thought patterns upon rejection, and your self-esteem is likely to be impacted. “The best way to restore your self-esteem is to remind yourself of your worth,” Silva says. “Make a list of qualities you have that make you a good friend, partner, or employee. Pick one, and write a short paragraph about how this impacts the other person.” Silva also notes the narrative everyone creates to shape their self-perceptions, image, and confidence. When you face rejection, this challenges your own self-narrative, but you can counter this with positive self-talk. “The next time you feel hurt by rejection, ask yourself, ‘Whose voice am I internalizing?’” she offers.
What’s important is to remind yourself of your own worth in order to build your confidence back up. “Rejection challenges your decision-making ability because it’s something you thought you wanted versus needed,” says Silva. “Being able to view a missed opportunity or connection as a process to what you really want or need is empowering and builds self-confidence.” Viewing rejection as a confidence builder? According to Silva, it’s not only possible, but it will set you up to be a happier and more fulfilled person in the future. So, in a way, asking someone out doesn’t have to be so scary, because even if don’t reciprocate those feelings, it builds character. Whatever happens, know that you’ve got this and good things are coming your way.
Clarissa Silva, behavioral scientist, relationship coach, and creator of Your Happiness Hypothesis Method
Dr. Aziz Gazipura, confidence coach
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