Asking someone out

Not a type of question I often see here, but I thought I’d ask it because the information provided in this section is often well thought out. I realize that this comes quite naturally for a lot of people but this is one of the things I Just Don’t Get.
I’m an unusual nerd in some ways: I dress well and am well groomed, I have no problems having a conversation with a woman I’m attracted to or with eye contact. But I’m very typical in one respect: That clinching moment where you ask the other person out. What’s a good, low pressure way of asking someone out?

I have in mind a particular woman in my classes I’ve talked to several times whose phone number I have. I’m thinking movie or museum but something better could exist.

Start with lunch or a cup of coffee. Keep it low key. Go from there.

Good luck!..TRM

I understand the starting slow. It’s getting the words out, the phrasing to be used that’s problematic.

I once pleaded a case in front of a class and advised clients one-on-one at a legal clinic and I was at ease but making such a request leaves me stumped.

The next time that you’re talking to her, say, “Hey, you wanna go get a coffee. There’s a Pete’s a couple of blocks away and we could hang out there instead for a bit.”

Sounds to me like you are over-thinking the whole thing, making it more important than it is. Try to tell yourself it’s no big deal, and it won’t be. The smoothest operators are the ones who don’t really care if they succeed or fail. They just go with the flow.

Whether she says yes or no will have nothing to do with how you phrase the question (that is, unless you phrase it in some kind of unusually crude or offensive manner).

“Do you want to get some lunch?” will get the job done. Just be very casual. There’s no magic phrasing. If there’s any trick at all, it’s to sound like you don’t really care that much, like it’s something that just occurred to you offhand.

And don’t forget to put a sock in your pants.

In the front.

Moved thread from General Questions to In My Humble Opinion

Yeah, turning the overanalysing part of my brain off is the best thing I can do here.

But then it starts arguing with me and I never win.
Perhaps my problem is that I only ask when I do care whether I succeed or fail.

The only thing I’ll add is to be specific. “I was thinking of going to the museum this Saturday. Do you want to come?” is better than “Do you want to go to the museum sometime?”

First off, it sounds a bit more confident as you were making the plans for yourself already.

Second, it gives her wiggle room. If she wants to go, then you get a yes. If she has plans but is into you, then she’ll likely say something like, “Oh I can’t this Saturday, but I’m free next Saturday.” If she’s not into you, then she’ll just make up an excuse to avoid an awkward “No.”

Tell me if the following is underhanded, smooth or something else:
I’m doing moot court (which she’s already done) and applying to different firms (she got into a big firm already).

I was thinking of asking her to meet during reading week to discuss my moot court arguments and for her to tell me what questions she expects to be asked about my resume, based on her experience with applying to big firms. Then the conversation can move to the personal.

If timed correctly, it could transition into a movie as in: “Hey, MOVIE is on at the local theater, we could catch it in 30 minutes if you haven’t seen it”.
Incidentally, I would like to get her opinion about my moot court arguments and my resume. But it still feels like trapping her. Maybe I’m clueless and she’ll understand my interest is not purely academic.
Oh, and, is using the phone acceptable? How much of a minus is it?

If you want to date her, ask her for a date.

If you want career advice, ask her for career advice.

Don’t mix the two.


And really, stop making such a scripted production of the whole thing. It comes across as heavy-handed and creepy. Besides, your little scenario doesn’t really make it clear it’s meant to be a date.

Just sack up and ask her if she wants to see a movie/go to the museum/have dinner/go to the dump and shoot rats/whatever. If she’s interested, the exact phrasing or scenario isn’t going to stop her saying yes. If she’s not interested, the phrasing and scenario isn’t going to stop her saying no.


You’re right.

“wants to see a movie/go to the museum/have dinner/go to the dump and shoot rats/whatever”
Is this the way you did it the last time you asked a man out?

Start with lunch. A simple “Want to go grab a bite? I’ll pay this time around” gets you some time to talk with her alone, without making her feel obligated(because she can just pay for lunch next time.)

What Twickster said.

If a guy asks me to dinner, coffee, drinks or something on the pretext of work (or in your case, school), my first thoughts aren’t of that he’s interested.

A simple “Want to go for some coffee?” is usually a good indicator on it’s own.

Good luck! :slight_smile:


I think what you need to understand is that she already knows whether she would want to go out with you. The way you orchestrate the question cann’t make her more likely to say yes, but can make her more likely to say no if you over-complicate it.

Stay out of your own way. Just ask straight up and casual. Strategizing about it can’t help you at all, and has a chance of hurting you.

Getting a no is not the worst thing in the world, by the way. Don’t be so afraid of it. There’s not a guy in the world who hasn’t been shot down (well, maybe Johnny Depp or Barack Obama). I’m not going to say it doesn’t suck, but it’s not the end of the world. I think the fear of getting shot down tends to be worse than actually getting shot down.

I can’t say as I’ve ever asked a guy out, but the last time one asked me, it worked just fine. Dinners out, movies, getting Happy Meals and eating them at the playground, farting around at the mall or in the park, getting married, it worked for all of those things. Like I said, if she wants to, how you ask isn’t going to make any difference.

I should qualify that–the one way that how you ask that would affect her acceptance or refusal is if you weenie around about it. I did once turn down a guy I would otherwise have gone out with because he weenied out and had my brother ask for him.

She’s just a person, not Aphrodite. You’re thinking about this way too much. Start with coffee or lunch, you’ll be able to tell if you should or even want to take it any further. Even if she says no (chances are that she won’t) it’s not the end of the world.

FWIW, I did the same thing when I was your age.

The last time I asked someone out was in April of 1993. We were both really nervous, but it worked out all right. :smiley: