Whether it's the Oscar Isaac look-alike at work or the barista who gives you life every morning, it's tough to fully crush on someone when you're not even sure if they're available. If you’re wondering how to ask someone if they're single without essentially saying "Hi, I have a crush on you," take a deep breath. Dating experts say it’s actually pretty simple.
One easy way to tell? In my experience, people in relationships will typically reference their "person" in conversation with you within the first four conversations you have with them. This is because people in relationships are usually fine with you knowing that they found the elusive "one." So, if you’re not sure how to ask a guy if he is single, you can probably just wait for them to say something first.
However, if the person you are crushing on doesn’t reference their SO, it could be possible that they are in a fledgling situationship, just shy about mentioning their relationship, or they are completely single. It's hard to be suave when trying to gather this intel, but there are some sneaky, non-awkward ways to find out whether you’re flirting with an available person or not. Not sure how to ask if someone is single while still maintaining your cool? Here are six easy strategies dating experts swear by.
1. Look Them Up Online
Yes, you're right, this isn't so much asking a person if they are single as it is asking Google if a person is single, but checking someone out online or on social media is the most innocuous and easy way of finding out if they’re in a relationship or not. “Ask to be Facebook friends with them or follow their Instagram handle and see their past uploads,” recovery and dating specialist Cherlyn Chong tells Elite Daily. “If they are single, it should be pictures of just them, or them with friends.”
Public Instagram? Pictures of them cozying up with someone on skiing trips? BAM, relationship. Photos of them with a bottle of wine at a wedding captioned "my date"? BAM, single. You will be able to find out if your crush is in a relationship or not.
2. Bring Up Something Undeniably Romantic
I'm not suggesting that you necessarily ask them "What are you up to this Valentine’s Day?" — though that could work if you're feeling bold. Instead, casually ask them things like, “how late is too late to show up to a first date?” and say you saw the question on Twitter. If they’re coupled up, it’s likely their answer will reference their own experience or relationship.
Chong says another subtle way to find out more about someone’s relationship status is to ask them about any notable, recent trips or vacations, and pay close attention to how they respond. “Ask about their last holiday,” she says. “Usually people go with significant others, and if they are single, they will mention going with friends, family, or just by themselves.”
3. Ask Friends About Them
If you have mutual friends, take advantage of your resources and get some information from a secondary source. “One of the best ways that I personally would do to get a straight-forward answer is to ask that person's friend if they were single,” Chong says. “If you're meeting this person in a social setting, they would be there with friends. And on the rare occasion that they weren't there with friends, the host of the event would likely know about this person.”
Not only will you learn about the relationship status of your crush, a mutual friend may also be able to give you some insight about their current dating life that could help you determine if you really want to go for them or not. Maybe they recently ended a relationship and are enjoying single life, or maybe they are actively dating and looking for someone to be serious with. Someone who you trust will give you the details you need to see if the time is right to shoot your shot.
Even if you don’t run in the same circles or have many of the same friends as your crush, it’s still worth asking around to see what you can find out. “Find out where this person likes to frequent,” Chong says. “If it's a pub or a cafe, you can ask the bartender or the barista if this person usually comes in alone or with someone.”
4. Ask About Their Partner
This isn’t as scary or direct as it sounds. Chong suggests making a casual reference to your crush’s hypothetical partner to test the waters. “You kind of just want to say ‘Does your boyfriend or girlfriend agree?’” Chong says. “If the conversation goes to things you like to do, you can hint, ‘Does your girlfriend like to do that with you?’” Not entirely obvious, right?
5. Mention A Dating App
Yup, it's that simple. Say "Tinder" and see if your cutie wants to start a conversation about this fun Tinder date they went on the other week. If they don't, not all is lost — you might just have to get a bit more straightforward about asking them what's going on in their love life.
6. Be The First To Admit You Are Single
This is a brave approach. Volunteering that crucial information about your own relationship status can indicate to your crush that you are available if they are interested in pursuing something with you. It’s possible that they’re wondering if you’re single too, and by casually telling them you’re actually throwing them a bone.
Certified dating expert and host of the Dates & Mates Podcast Damona Hoffman tells Elite Daily: “It's great advice for those who are shy or who are worried that if they say something and do not get the desired response, it will make it awkward if they have to continue to interact (through friends, work or school.)” Ideally, your crush will react by also revealing their relationship status — but if they don’t, no biggie. It doesn’t necessarily mean they’re unavailable or uninterested, and you haven’t put your feelings on the line. “While I generally find that a more direct question usually gets a more direct response, I think this is a great alternative strategy,” she adds.
Go forth and do your detective work, and I wish you the best of luck in uncovering whether your crush is single or not.
Cherlyn Chong, recovery and dating specialist
Damona Hoffman, certified dating specialist and host of the Dates & Mates Podcast
Additional reporting by Nhari Djan
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