You’ve been spending your time hanging out with friends, keeping up with your homework and (of course) staring at the back of your crush’s head for the entirety of your lit class, willing him to ask you out already. Seriously, what’s the holdup?!
The best way to deal? Definitely not by waiting around for him to man up and text you. Instead, woman up and ask him out yourself! If the idea of putting yourself out there makes you want to hole up and hide in your dorm, try following these tried-and-true tips.
1. Be Confident
We get it: asking a guy out can be super scary. Like, I’d-rather-watch-The-Conjuring-alone-than-do-this scary. The problem is, if all you do is sit around thinking about how scared you are to make a move, you might miss your chance! To give you a much-needed confidence boost, we’re going to let you in on a little secret: most guys are A-OK with you taking the lead!
“As a guy, I really wouldn't mind if more women started taking action into their own hands,” says Her Campus Real Live College Guy Dale. “If you like a guy, go up and talk to him or ask him out—don't send out playful vibes and hope that he'll get the message. I would be so totally impressed if a woman just came up to me and asked me out. It shows me confidence and creativity, and I would really have almost no other choice than to say yes to a date.”
Dale’s not the only one who wants you to make a move. Briana, a recent graduate of Georgia College, has found that boys don’t mind at all. “It's perfectly alright to ask a guy out—in fact, many guys think that it's super attractive when you make the first move!” she says.
Don’t let your nerves get the best of you. He may not even know you’re interested in him until you make it clear—after all, males aren’t exactly known for their intuition.
2. Initiate Conversation
Unsurprisingly, it’s best to actually talk to a guy before you try to take him out. For one, you want to see if he’s even worth getting to know. Is he your type? Can he hold up a conversation? For another, it’s one of the best ways to gauge whether he might be into you too, saving you from what could be a serious awkward-turtle moment.
“You should have a conversation before asking him out,” advises Kim Olver, author of Secrets of Happy Couples: Loving Yourself, Your Partner, and Your Life. “You’ll have a sense of if it’s give and take. If you ask something about him and he seems just as interested in finding out something about you, then I think it’s safe to be able to ask [him out].”
If you’re doing all the work whenever you talk and he’s not responding much, Olver says you can save yourself the trouble and find another fish in the pond.
The tactic worked well for Kaitlin, a junior at Denison University. “We ended up sitting next to each other [in economics], and since I didn't really know anyone else in the class and thought he seemed nice/good-looking, I said hey, and asked him a question about the class,” she says. “We ended up talking for five minutes until our professor arrived. Looking back, if I hadn't initiated a conversation with him, nothing may have ever happened!”
While Kaitlin’s boyfriend was the one who asked for her number and asked to take her out, Kaitlin’s the one who got the ball rolling by striking up a conversation in the first place. Think of it as an awesome and super-rewarding way to stretch your flirtation muscles!
3. Keep it Casual
Even if your heart’s beating a mile a minute when you start chatting, your best bet is to keep your cool and keep the questions light. “[Say] something low-pressure,” advises Olver. “Not, ‘Would you go to my sister’s wedding with me?’ That’s kind of high-pressure. You want to do a low-pressure, kind of casual, ‘Would you like to get coffee? Would you like to get lunch?’” You’re probably not ready for super cutesy fall dates, but you might get there soon if you lay the groundwork now!
Briana agrees. “Invite him to get coffee with you or something chill like that,” she suggests. “You don't have to make it an elaborate production.” You aren’t asking him to marry you, so there’s really no need to be nervous (or make him nervous in the process)!
The best way to do it? Show your funny side! You don’t have to be the star of your school’s improv group—chances are you’ve got a little bit of Tina Fey in you anyway. There’s no better time to let her shine than when you’re making movies on your man crush!
“I've casually asked guys out before via text by using a sarcastic sincerity. It’s a thing!” says Chloe, a recent grad of The University of Iowa. “I generally say something along the lines of, ‘Not that texting back and forth for days isn't fun, but we should actually talk face to face some time. Maybe with food. Maybe this weekend.’ I don't think it's never not worked! Or I'll say the exact same thing, but in person.” She swears that her humor diffuses any awkwardness and that nervousness is a total mood-killer. So take her lead and make fun of the situation!
4. Suggest Something Specific
As easy as it would be to casually ask, “Want to hang out sometime?”, this cop-out won’t get you and your Campus Cutie anywhere any time soon. If you’re going to ask him out, you should ask him to actually do something specific.
“Usually it helps if there’s something specific to invite him to,” says Olver. “I would try to think about, first of all: what do I like to do? And what do I think this person might like to do? If you’re into football, ask if he’s going to a football game and if you could meet up there. Or if you like to work out, [ask], ‘Are you going to the gym? Would you like to go with me [and] maybe grab a smoothie afterwards?’”
The awesome thing about being the one to make the first move is that you get to call the shots. As much as we love being dragged to a campus hockey game in which we’re totally disinterested (yawn) we think it might be time that we do something we like for a change. What’s more, you’ll get to show him the real you. If you really love a band that’s performing on campus and you bring your crush with you, he’ll learn a lot about you just by being there.
5. Don’t Worry About the Outcome too Much
Olver says that the key to asking-him-out courage is to not view it as a make-or-break situation. “It’s important to recognize that if we ask out our crush and he says no, we’re still going to be fine,” she says. “[What] I think is so important is understanding [that] it’s not because you’re not good enough. It’s not because there’s something wrong with you. It’s just because he wants something different, and that’s okay. When you go into it with that mindset, there’s less nervousness; there’s less riding on it.”
The less nervous you are, the more casual you’ll be, and the more likely it is that he’ll be into the idea. Even if he just wants to be friends, you’ll feel better knowing!
“My advice would be: no matter how nervous you are, do it,” says Nicole, a senior at Marist College. “Otherwise, you're just going to wonder if things would be different if you had opened up.” After all, it’s worth it in the long run, even if a guy or two turns you down along the way.
Take the lead in your love life this semester! No matter how nervous you may be about taking the plunge, you might just find that the shy guy you’ve been crushing on has been into you from the start. You’ll never know until you ask!