Asking someone you’ve never met before out on a date is a terrifying experience – even though it probably shouldn’t be. Most of us are afraid of looking like idiots and of getting rejected and what this will do to our self esteem. When you think about it long and hard this is really illogical – we’re not going to see the person again most likely so it doesn’t matter if they think we’re idiots or not, and there are plenty of reasons they might reject you so it shouldn’t damage your self esteem. However we still are scared when it comes to asking people out and it’s almost as though we’d rather not know whether or not we would be successful so that we can pretend in our heads that we were.
While this makes no sense when you really think about it, what does make sense is being afraid to ask out a friend and here the consequences are potentially much more serious and damaging. For instance when you ask them out and get rejected you will lose face in front of someone you know as well as potentially any mutual friends you might share. At the same time you will possibly lose them as a friend or at least make the two of you much more distant as a result, and make things awkward potentially for your other friends too.
Thus asking a friend out for a date is much more terrifying and certainly more legitimately so. Despite that though it has potential to have even greater pay off if it goes right as you’ll be dating someone you already know well and have a connection with, and who you have likely developed a very strong bond with. So the question is, how do you go about doing so?
Well one option is not to ever ask them on a ‘date’ as such which has the potential of being jarring and scary for both of you. If you ask them out on a date then this can be confusing as it means having to specify it as a date and that means laying your cards on the table with the real possibility of being rejected.
Alternatively then you should try and look at it a different way and think about gradually making the dates more and more ‘date’ like until something ‘happens’. For instance if you have been hanging out with this friend only in a group then you should start by trying to get them on their own and you can achieve this by finding some kind of common ground that you don’t share with the others, really you just need an excuse. This might be slightly out of character compared to your normal behaviour but it is not officially a ‘date’ per se and so they can’t take offence at the suggestion and if they say no it won’t make things weird between you.
However once you’ve been on one ‘outing’ as a duo it sets a precedent for you to suggest more and the two of you can start seeing each other on your own more regularly. You’ve this way ‘upgraded’ your friendship in a way and you then only need to take this further – by inviting them around to watch a film together, or by suggesting the two of you go out for a meal. Text more often and get to the point where you are almost behaving like a couple already and then it’s just a matter of making a move.
If you’re nervous of making your move then the best way to go about it is to invite them out on a night out drinking together and to dance together. This way you can get closer and then try going in for a kiss and the great thing is that if they reject you you can simply blame it on the alcohol. It will seem like an almost natural thing to do if you’re both drinking and dancing and as a result it shouldn’t place too much strain on your friendship if it doesn’t work out.
However if you do want to just ‘ask’ the friend out explicitly on a date then this makes life a bit more difficult. It needn’t be as big a deal though as you might think, and if you can muster the courage to ask them and if you can phrase it correctly then they should be flattered instead of scared away. Make sure to tell them that you would like to go on a date with them in such a way that it doesn’t seem like you won’t be able to be friends any more if they say no – tell her that you’d just like to try it out and see what it’s like, or that you’d like to go out with them but would rather be friends than nothing at all. If they do seem a bit awkward around you following that, then it’s simply your job to demonstrate to them that they don’t need to be – to keep contacting them and to make jokes of it to make sure they know that you’re really okay with it (even if you perhaps aren’t).
Fortunately in some ways having a friend who you want to ask out can make things actually easier than asking out a stranger and it’s important to make the most of the positives of the situation. For instance you have the benefit of knowing the type things your friend is interested, a bit about their dating history, and the sort of relationship they’re looking for. Don’t try to make it too obvious that you’re moulding yourself on their perfect partner, but make sure that you do take these things on bored. A great strategy when asking them out on a date for instance is to get tickets to something that you know they’ll really want to do – whether it’s seeing their favourite band or going on some kind of adventure.
Another great thing about dating a friend is your mutual friends – and if you tell a friend that is your trustee and confidant then you can get them to find out for you whether there’s any chance of a successful date happening and whether they’re at all interested.