The Basics of Asking a Girl Out

Asking a girl out can be the most terrifying thing for any man to do. Movies depict men fearlessly approaching attractive women and casually buying them a drink at a bar. In reality it can be much harder to strike up a conversation with a girl, let alone ask her out on a date.

The nerves can be overwhelming and fear of rejection may give you second thoughts. You want to be able to ask her out in just the right way, appearing calm, cool, and collected.

Yet there are times when it can be so hard to build up the courage in the first place that when you actually approach a girl, you forget the lines you rehearsed a few minutes before and you freeze up. 

Do not worry, every guy, and even some girls, have been there. One of the best ways to avoid that awkward moment is to be well prepared. Knowing the basics of asking out a girl is key to having a movie worthy interaction.  Here is some advice on how to go about asking out that cute girl you like, and hopefully getting her to say yes.

Asking a Girl Out Via Phone, Text, or Dating App

In past decades guys have had to ask a girl out the old-fashioned way: in person. Yet now thanks to technology, they only have to send a message on a dating app to get a girl’s attention. Apps and websites like Tinder, Bumble, and even direct messaging on social media are this generation’s go-to way to meet people. This makes the interaction way easier, but still not a cake walk. There are still things to keep in mind when using apps to ask a girl out. Here are a few tips.

Do not open with a cliché pickup line

Sure you want to get a girl’s attention by sending her a memorable first text message, but do not use a run-of-the-mill pick up line. You want to say something unique. This will let her know that you put thought into the conversation. Girls want to feel special, and cliché pickup lines make her feel like just another girl. Instead, open with a simple “Hey!” or look at her profile and ask her something about herself. Notice what she wrote in her profile, because she wrote it for a reason and probably wants to talk about it.

Give it time

 The last thing you want to do is come on too strong too quickly. Start a conversation and talk to her for a little while before you mention meeting up. You want to let her get to know you a little bit so that way she feels more comfortable around you.

Be careful with your compliments

 Many guys start a conversation with “wow, you are hot”. This is not the best way to compliment a girl. You want to say something that has a little bit more meaning. If you are going to complement her appearance, call her beautiful. Or call her funny or witty. Girls like getting compliments that showcase more than what their picture shows.

Tips for Asking Out A Girl In Person

Yet any girl would tell you, using dating apps or text messages are not the best way to ask a girl out. Sure, this method may be easy if you want a one night stand, but if you want to have some sort of long term potential, then approaching a girl in person is the way to go. Asking a girl out in person makes the interaction so much more meaningful to a girl. It also shows courage and confidence, two qualities that most girls want in a man.

Girls want to be able to tell the story of how they met their boyfriend and brag about you to friends and family. Having a cute memory where you ask her out face-to-face will make all the difference to her. It can also make the first date less awkward, because it will not be the first time you two meet. Asking a girl out over text or phone is one thing, but doing it in person is a whole other ball game. Here are some general tips to keep in mind.

  • Take it easy. Since you are asking her out in person, you need to make sure you do not come on too strong. Start by striking up a conversation, asking her some questions, and then lead into asking her out.
  • Read the situation. When you are asking a girl out face-to-face, things like body language and tone of voice come into play. You need to pay attention to how the girl is acting, which will give you cues about how to go about asking her out. If she is very smiley and laughs a lot, then it is likely she is enjoying the conversation, which means asker her out may be a good idea.

The Friend Versus the Stranger

Another important difference to consider when asking a girl out is how well you know her. Is she a friend or coworker you have talked to many times before, or is she an acquaintance or stranger you do not know too well?

If you know her well, then make the way you ask her out personal and suited to her. If you know she really likes jazz music, invite her to a jazz concert. If she loves Indian food, suggest going to an Indian restaurant for dinner. 

Use what you already know about her to your advantage. If you ask her out to do something that fits her interests well, she will be more likely to say yes. Yet because you know her already, you also want to make it clear that you are going out on a date and not just hanging out as friends.

This is important because if you do not clarify, she may not realize it is a date. However, if you do not know the girl well, then it is best to do something casual on the first date to get to know her better. The classic coffee date or drinks at a bar are both great options.

The 100-Person Challenge 

The 100-Person challenge seems simple - until you start to do it. Basically, you try to talk to 100 random strangers in one month. That’s about three people each day.

You don’t have to ask the cashier about their hopes and dreams or try and pick up the first person you see on the bus. Just strike up a conversation with whoever you are next to and see where things go from there. 

How can this help you meet women?

The answer goes back to a psychological concept called mere-exposure effect. We are comfortable with people, things, and experiences that we are familiar with. The more often you experience something, the less likely you are to fear it. Part of the reason you are probably afraid of striking up a conversation with people is because it’s not something you do every day...until now. 

The more you think about your fear, the more intimidating it becomes.

The more you take action to conquer your fear, the easier it will be to diminish that fear. 

I’ll give you an example from my own life. I used to be afraid of people hearing my voice; it’s so weird to record your voice and then listen to it. Would people think I sounded weird? Would they judge my stories? But instead of harping on these questions, I started to record my voice and share my YouTube videos.

I’ve created almost 200 videos on Youtube so far, and with each upload, my fears shrank. Now I’m not afraid of people hearing my voice - thousands of people do every day, and I am living my best life.

The first few times that you strike up a conversation with people will probably be terrifying. But once you’ve got in the habit of introducing yourself to someone at the bus stop or asking the cashier how their day is going, it will become second nature.

Don’t let yourself coast once you’ve gotten over your fear of saying “hi” to the trainer at the gym. Challenge yourself as you reach the 50s and 60s. You will likely encounter more than three people in one day, but choose to approach the people that are less intimidating. Instead, start to strike up a conversation with the people that scare you the most.

Maybe it’s the CEO of your company. Maybe it’s the bartender that always scowls at customers. The more you challenge yourself to talk to people that scare you, the easier it will be to strike up a conversation with anyone.

ProTip: Once you talk to 100 strangers, then try to talk to 100 beautiful women. 

I guarantee your approach anxiety will be demolished, and your ability to ask a girl out will skyrocket. 

Push Pull Method

I don't want to go into too much detail here, but I did write an entire article on the Push Pull Technique

Basically, the push pull method is when you ask a girl out by making her feel good, then saying something to make her feel unsure about your feelings. So you essentially go back and forth from "hey I really like you" to "I'm not so sure about you", and this is supposed to create a magnetic interest. 

Asking a girl out with this method has it's faults though. I mean, in most cases, the girls you pick up with the push pull method usually have deep unresolved psychological issues. Think about the types of girls you'll be attracting by being nice, then mean to them. 

The 1, 2, 3 Method

You might find yourself in a pinch right away. You want to reach your goal of talking to three people in one day, but time is running out and you see an attractive woman at the bar. You’re too nervous and haven’t managed to get over your fear just yet.

1, 2, 3 - GO! 

That’s how the 1,2,3 method works. You tell yourself that by three, you’re going to start walking toward the person you want to talk to. Just do it! Think of all those times you were scared to dive or dunk your head into cold water. It was fine as soon as you stopped thinking and just did it. 

Your brain is a fascinating organ. When it’s forced to come up with solutions, it will amaze you. By forcing yourself to talk to intimidating people, you’ll get better at coming up with things to talk about. You won’t have to use this method every time to strike up a conversation, but it’s a good trick to keep in your back pocket for emergencies.

Asking a girl out is never easy. It takes a lot of courage to put yourself out there. Everyone gets nervous before asking out someone they like, but now that you have read these tips, hopefully you feel well prepared and confident. Now stop reading this article and ask her out already!


Theodore created PracticalPsychology while in college and has transformed the educational online space of psychology. His goal is to help people improve their lives by understanding how their brains work. 1,700,000 Youtube subscribers and a growing team of psychologists, the dream continues strong!

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