Spending time with a new special someone is always super fun. The early stages of budding relationships can also end up being totally anxiety-inducing — especially if you're not quite sure where their head is at. After a particularly enjoyable date, it can feel like a bit of a disappointment if the person you're casually seeing doesn't immediately ask you to hang out a second time. Luckily, we live in the 21st century, which means it’s acceptable for you to make the next move by figuring out how to ask a guy to hang out again.
Some men don't necessarily feel like it's completely up to them to pursue a new romantic interest, leaving the perfect window of opportunity for their partners to put their seductive magic to work. However, according to certified dating coach Damona Hoffman, the idea that men have to chase who they want is totally outdated. “I think gender roles are becoming more fluid, and yet our expectations have not caught up with where we actually are in society,” she tells Elite Daily. “We're seeing now that women are initiating first messages more, but throughout the relationship, you have to be an active participant.”
If the apple of your eye is not a man, don't worry; regardless of gender, most people like being pursued by someone they're interested in.
The key to keeping things on track in the early stages of dating is to get into a push-pull rhythm, where neither one of you feels like they're doing all the heavy lifting when it comes to planning and arranging how to best spend time together. This can be a bit tricky if things are still very casual, and it's totally natural to be concerned about coming off as too eager. But you should remember that anyone who's interested in buying what you're selling will be pumped that you like them enough to put yourself out there. “Finding somebody to go on a first date with and talk to you is already a success,” suggests breakup recovery and dating coach Cherlyn Chong. “It’s more about adjusting your attitude, as opposed to what you’re saying to this person.”
Still wondering, “Should I ask him to hang out?” Here are some stress-free tips for asking a guy to hang out (or asking anyone to hang out).
Start By Feeling Things Out
The main thing that keeps people from pursuing those they're interested in is the fear of being rejected, and this is completely normal. The best way to deal with this is to put out a feeler before you decide to ask them on another date. Initiate some texting banter, which will usually give you some idea of their interest level. Hoffman says that you can do this by sending them a meme or a GIF to follow up to an inside joke one of you made during the date or something that reminded you of them — although try your best to keep it light and fun, not overly sentimental.
I've also found that texting after work hours makes it a lot easier to get a natural back-and-forth rhythm going because both of you are less likely to get entangled in distractions. If they're not being super responsive then, this could be a sign that they may not be super interested. Hoffman warns, though, to not get caught up in too much texting. “It can actually take the air out of the connection and reduce the anticipation that builds between dates,” says Hoffman. “What I tell people to do is remind them that you're excited to see them, but try to drive towards the date.”
Remember, by reaching out, you are also making it easy for them to suggest another hang out, but if they are not willing to engage in any texting chatter, then it might be better to let things sit for a bit.
Don’t Be Afraid To Take The Lead
If you want to enter a relationship where you and your partner have an equal say, try practicing at this stage by communicating what you want to do. “I don’t think there’s any rules on who should ask for the second date,” says Hoffman.
Chong agrees, telling Elite Daily that taking initiative “takes a lot out of the guessing game.” That initiative can also come in the form of compliments to show you are interested. Maybe your crush posted a cute pic of themselves or an interesting location on their IG Story. Swipe up and let them know you think they look good or that you would love them to take you to one of their favorite spots. If they want to hang out with you again, they’ll be reassured that you feel the same way.
Bring Up Your Last Date
If they've responded positively to your attempt at starting a conversation, then — at some point — try to slip in something positive about your last date. Maybe you saw an interesting movie with them that has lingered in your mind. Maybe you just really enjoyed whatever it is you did together. Whatever the case, tell them. “Clearly say, ‘I'm having a great time getting to know you, you're really special, you're really cool,’ letting them know what you're feeling, and then trying to meet halfway on it,” Hoffman suggests.
Not only is this a great way to signal interest, but bringing up something you experienced together — whether it be a particularly yummy meal or some dope live music — is also a sneaky way of presenting a bonding opportunity. And assuming you both had fun, this gentle reminder will help them start associating those positive feelings with you. After all, who doesn't want to go on a date with someone they were really vibing with?
Zero In On Their Likes & Interests
This is why it pays to really tune into what your date is saying during your hangouts instead of letting their attractiveness turn your brain to mush. Chong says in this stage of dating, you should “remain in overall curiosity,” meaning that getting to know this person is enjoyable for you. Maybe they are super into punk rock or really love a certain food; come up with a date idea around those things. It's best to have a specific event or outing in mind before you reach out so you're armed and ready.
If you can't really think of anything they might like off the top of your head, it never hurts to invite them along to something you enjoy doing or something you've been looking forward to. According to Chong, “You can say, ‘I’m going to this place for a sangria, would you care to join me?’ It shows you were going to the place regardless.” Don't make it too formal like your best friend's birthday dinner; keep it casual. Maybe your favorite museum has a new exhibit. Try to get creative.
Pop The Question
There are a couple of different ways to approach actually asking them if they want to hang out again. Which method you use just depends on how comfortable you are with the situation. Hoffman suggests leading with directness as much as possible. “The first thing to do is actually express interest,” says Hoffman. “People are so worried about coming on too strong that they play it too cool for the other person to know they are even interested.”
If you're pretty certain they are into you, then why not show them how confident you are with something like, "What are you up to this weekend? I'm planning on checking out this new exhibit at the Whitney. Want to join?" This two-fold question gives them the opportunity to either accept, decline, or make another proposition. It's direct, to-the-point and, based on their answer, you'll have a solid idea of where they're at. If they already have plans, but suggest another specific time they could meet up, then don't sweat it — they are being truthful and just had other plans.
But do notice if they get wishy-washy and are reluctant to nail down a specific time for a next meeting. This could mean that they want to keep their options open or aren't quite sure how they feel just yet.
If you're worried about taking the “all in” approach, then you can also be a bit more nonchalant and simply suggest you hang out again sometime with a text saying, "Let me know what you're up to later this week. We should do something again soon." Not quite as pointed as the first approach, but it still signals interest and makes it clear that you're up for another date in the near future. Chong also suggests asking “have you ever been” questions to bring up specific places or activities that can spark a date idea. She says the response should be enthusiastic, but if not, you don’t have to give up there. “If the response is neutral, like ‘I’ve never been there,’ you can ease in by asking, ‘Have you ever thought about going?’” Chong suggests. The ball is totally in their court at this point, so there is no need to send a follow-up text.
Sometimes, whether or not someone is interested in going out again is less about them not liking you and more about timing. There are a ton of reasons that may be standing in the way of another date that are completely out of your control. Maybe their ex just came back into the picture, or they have a busy workload, or they just want to keep things casual. Some things aren't always meant to be, so if they’re not down to hang again, then just shake it off and keep on stepping.
Damona Hoffman, certified dating coach
Cherlyn Chong, breakup recovery and dating coach
Editor's Note: This story has been updated by Elite Daily Staff.
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