On the surface, asking someone out seems easy enough; it’s a simple question. But ask around and you’ll find out there’s definitely a wrong way to go about getting a first date.

If you’re dying to ask your crush to dinner but you’re struggling to get the words out, don’t worry. We’ve got you covered with this practical guide to getting a date with your special someone.

Who Should You Ask?

This might seem obvious, but there’s more to a great date than being with someone who is attractive. If you want to have a good time and potentially a serious relationship, you should ask someone you’re genuinely interested in getting to know better. This creates a strong foundation for meaningful conversation and connection.

Think about whether there’s compatibility between you and the person you’re asking out. Your intended having similar values, goals, and a lifestyle that aligns well with yours are all good signs. Beyond that, you should look for signs of mutual interest. This pops up most commonly as reciprocal conversations, shared interests, and open, positive body language.

When to Ask Someone Out

Timing is important when asking someone out. Choosing the right moment can make the invitation feel more natural and comfortable for both of you. Try to find a time when you’re already spending time together. You’ll feel more comfortable and confident when you’re both enjoying each other’s company and the conversation is flowing smoothly.

Avoid situations where the other person might feel pressured or uncomfortable, such as when they’re busy or preoccupied with something else. It’s best to wait for a moment when both of you are relaxed and able to focus on the conversation without distractions.

Choosing a Place

Think about where you’d like to go or what you’d like to do on the date. Choose a location or activity that aligns with both of your interests and preferences. It could be something casual like grabbing coffee or more adventurous like going axe-throwing.

First Date Ideas

Coffee or Tea Date: Meet up at a local coffee shop for a chat over a cup of coffee or tea. It’s a classic casual option that allows for easy conversation. Opting for a location close to a bustling town center will give you the option to go window shopping together when you finish your cuppas.

Walk in the Park: While the sun is shining, take a leisurely stroll through a nearby park or botanical garden. Flowers in bloom make springtime walks all the more romantic. It’s a low-pressure way to get to know each other while enjoying the outdoors.

Ice Cream or Dessert: Grab an ice cream cone or indulge in some delectable chocolate cake at a nearby ice cream parlor or bakery. It’s a cute and simple date that’s sure to create sugar-sweet memories.

Visit a Bookstore: Browse through books together at a bookstore or library. You can discuss your favorite genres and even recommend reads to each other. Learning about someone’s reading interests can provide a unique insight into their personality and hobbies.

Art Gallery or Museum: Explore an art gallery or small museum in your area. Looking at beautiful things together is sure to stir up a spirit of wonder and curiosity—perfect for knocking a first date out of the park.

Attend a Local Event: Check out a local event such as a farmer’s market, street fair, or live music performance. Many places host food and culture festivals that are great opportunities to uncover hidden gems in your city or town. It’s a fun way to experience something new together and engage with your community.

Mini Golf: Challenge each other to a friendly game of mini golf. It’s a classic date night activity for good reason—it’s active, lighthearted, and allows for playful competition.

Craft Workshop or Paint-Along: Get creative together by attending a DIY craft night at a local art studio or specialty craft store. You can make something fun while getting to know each other’s artistic side. Paint and sip events are popular, but it’s worth checking out your area for other options, like candle making, ceramics painting, or even beginner floral arranging tutorials.

Authentic Communication is Everything

Authenticity is key. Be genuine and true to yourself when asking someone out. Trying to be someone you’re not will only lead to complications later on.

Be mindful of the other person’s boundaries and comfort level. If they seem hesitant or uninterested, don’t pressure them. Respect their decision and move forward gracefully. A date is only fun when both parties are happy to be there.

Don’t be afraid to make your intentions known. Be clear and direct when asking them out. Avoid vague phrases like “we should hang out sometime”. This approach makes it more difficult to nail down a time and activity. Instead, clearly express your intentions and give them the opportunity to respond honestly.

Don’t be afraid to make your intentions known. Avoid vague phrases like “we should hang out sometime”.

What to Say When Asking Someone Out

These are just a few of the million ways to ask someone out on a date. Try out these different approaches to see which one fits you and your potential date’s situation best. Whatever your approach, it’s important to be direct and extend an invitation.

Simple Approach: “Hey, I’ve really enjoyed talking with you. Would you like to go out for dinner sometime this week?”

Casual Invite: “I was thinking about trying out this new coffee shop this weekend. Would you like to join me?”

Specific Plan: “I heard about this cool art exhibit happening downtown next Saturday. Would you be interested in going together?”

Interest-Based Invite: “I remember you mentioned you’re into film. Would you be up for going to a movie together this Sunday?”

Event Invitation: “There’s a concert happening next Friday that I’ve been wanting to check out. Would you be interested in going with me?”

Group Setting: “A few friends and I are planning to go bowling this Friday. Would you like to come along?”

Adventurous Invite: “I’ve been wanting to try out this new Thai restaurant. Would you be up for tackling it with me?”

How to Handle Rejection Gracefully

Not everyone you ask out will say yes, and that’s totally fine. If someone turns down your invitation, it’s important to respond with grace and respect.

It’s okay to feel disappointed if someone says no. That’s a natural reaction, but it’s not the end of the world. Thank the person for their honesty and for considering your invitation. Showing appreciation for their candor is a mature way to handle the situation.

Keep treating them with kindness and respect afterward. Just because they said no doesn’t mean your interaction has to be awkward or uncomfortable. Be friendly, keep things light, and don’t let the rejection sour your attitude towards them.

If you feel like you need to know why they said no, be polite and prepared to accept the answer they give you. Arguing isn’t likely to change their answer or make them more keen to spend time with you in the future.

Confirm the Details

If they agree to go on a date with you, make sure to follow up and confirm the details. Plan the specifics of the date together and ensure you both have a clear understanding of what to expect.

Asking someone on a date can feel scary, but at the end of the day it’s just a question. You can do this. Be brave, find the right moment, and tell them you’re interested. You’ll never know what sparks might fly until you ask them out.