I'm going to be honest: it's been a while since I've had to think about going to a spring formal. A long while. I'll come clean because transparency is always a great idea — I'm 29. I'll also come clean and admit that I've actually never asked anyone to spring formal over text, but that I can look back now and say that I wish I would've nutted up and done so on a few occasions. If you're wondering how to ask someone to spring formal without having a light anxiety attack, I'm here to give you a few ideas.
First off, let's remember there's a major factor of this equation that's completely on your side: you're just sending a text. You don't have to pick up a phone and use your actual voice to ask your date to accompany you, nor do you have to quake and shake in person as you try to muster the words, "Will you go to formal with me?" (I'm basing these hypotheticals on my own, crippling fear of being vulnerable, but maybe some of you are braver than me.)
Second, let's acknowledge the worst case scenario: You get a "no." While rejection undoubtedly and absolutely sucks, it's unfortunately a major part of life. In fact, I would bet that you'll actually feel better if you put yourself out there and get rejected than if you never asked at all. It might sting more at first, but over time, you'll be glad you asked for what you wanted.
To put my cheerleader vibes aside for a second: yes, it's still scary. In order to mitigate the level of rejection texts you could receive back, I'm going to suggest some more low-key wording for those of you who are shy to ask someone out directly. I'm also going to provide some bold options because it's 2018, you know? Here they are:
1. "What are you doing April 10?"
Obviously, you should insert the actual date of your spring formal in place of April 10, but this is a very understated way of suggesting to your friend/hookup/crush that you're thinking of asking them to formal. You'll be able to gauge how into it/terrified of it they are when you receive their response. Fingers crossed that you get a bold "going to your formal" with appropriately flirty emojis to accompany it in your inbox.
2. "I feel like you'd be a great formal date."
This is almost embarrassingly suggestive, but again, it gives those of you who are feeling a bit nervous about rejection a shield from any truly mean "no" responses. Think about it: if the person you are asking out senses your hesitation around being so vulnerable, they're probably not going to be a total jerk in their reply. Plus, this is a genuine compliment that anyone would love to receive. (At least I would!)
3. "I would love it if you might come to formal with me if you're around."
Life is short, so say what you feel, but also protect your heart. This text is not the smoothest in terms of language, but it is a fine balance between telling it like it is, while also inserting a bunch of caveats to take the pressure off. "Might" and "if you're around" are great ways to make everything seem more casual than they might be. Baby steps.
4. "Did you buy your tux/dress yet?"
If you get cricketed after sending this text, you have your answer. If you get a flirtatious reply eagerly asking, "For what?" you also have your answer. If you get something in between, you'll have to get comfortable being a little more forward, which is a great, mature thing to learn how to do. Again, this is a dip-your-toes-in-the-pool text, and I'd recommend being more straightforward, but it's an easy send.
5. "Would you be my date to spring formal? I'd love to take you."
Remember how I said life is short? Well, it is. If there's someone you want to ask to formal, JUST DO IT! Take a deep breath and send the text. Carpe diem, right? Every time I've pretended I had less feelings than I did to seem "cool" or protect my heart, I have regretted it. It's just a formal — you're not asking anyone to marry you. Take a risk and put yourself out there! You'll be proud that you did.