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Help me, Dr. Hughes! How do I ask out a guy?

by Maryann Pisano on February 3, 2013


The information presented in this website and the comments from Dr. Hughes are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or psychological disorder. The information presented is not a substitute for medical, psychological or psychiatric treatment. You are advised to seek professional medical and psychological help as necessary.

Hi, Dr. Hughes!  I’m a single girl in my 20’s.  How do I ask a guy out without looking desperate or crazy?

The best way to not seem desperate or crazy is to simply not BE desperate or crazy.  If you have an interest in getting to know someone better, that is called being motivated and sane.  That said, the first invite should be done in person.  Not over text, e-mail, or phone.  Approach the person and, ideally, you will be having a conversation already.  If not, start one.  If you know the person, this should be easy.  If you do not, you should feel out the situation through the initial conversation.  Notice something about the person and comment while encouraging a conversation (“I see you are drinking Starbucks, I am totally addicted to their mocha’s ).  They can then ignore you or give you important information (“Yeah, my girlfriend brings me a latte every day”) or (“Yeah, it’s an expensive habit but I just don’t like anything else”).  All good stuff to know!  If you feel like there is a potential green light, just ask the person out.  Quickly, happily, and without fear.  “Hey, I finish up work around 6 and I was thinking of grabbing a drink at Bar Louie.  Want to join me?”  You may get a yes, you may get a no.  If yes, go on the date.  If no, without missing a beat, tell them that the invitation is open if they are open to go some other time.  Then let it go.  The other person knows you are interested and if they are as well, it may have made it easy for them to approach you about meeting. Nervous talking to people?  Practice.  Practice.  Practice.  Say hello to people in public, make small talk, smile.  The more you get comfortable with yourself in these situations, the less daunting a little flirtation and date request will seem.

Dr. Carsi Hughes received her Ph.D. in clinical psychology from Northwestern University Medical School. She is a licensed clinical psychologist who specializes in adult psychopathology, clinical neuropsychology, and psychoanalytic psychotherapy. Academic appointments include Associate Clinical Professor of Psychology and Post Baccalaureate Pre-Medical Studies at Dominican University.

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