Dear Alice,

What is the best way for a woman to ask a man out on a date for the first time?

— Perplexed

Dear Perplexed,

How about just saying what you would like?

Such as "I want to see this movie. Would like to go with me this weekend?" Or, "Some of us were going to this event on campus. Would you like to join us?" Or, "There is this cafe downtown that has really great food. Would you like to go there with me sometime this weekend?" Or, "Would you have any time for coffee this week?" Or, "Would you like to study together at the library and then go get some coffee?"

Give some information, including what you would like to do and when you would like to do it, and make sure you give him a choice. See it as an invitation, say it casually and caringly, and be prepared for either "yes" or "no." If your idea is rejected, then remember it is your idea that is rejected, not you. If someone does reject your invitation, they are, in fact, allowing you to move forward and save precious time without having to think about asking that person to go out with you again. You can move on to try again with someone else.

A slightly different approach may boost your confidence. Rather than being prepared for a response of "yes" or "no", just assume that the person would, of course, want to go out with you. Why wouldn't he want to go out with you, since you are such a cool person? Instead of this approach: "Maybe if you have time, tomorrow, I understand if you can't, don't worry about it, forget it, oh well." Rather opt for something like, "This is fun, we should continue our conversation over lunch. What kind of food do you like?" Your confidence, even if it is a bit of a bluff, could certainly be contagious.

For more tips on dating and relating, check out the Go Ask Alice! Relationships archives.

Have fun asking!


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