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Is it acceptable to ask someone out via e-mail?
November 2, 2004 10:04 PM   Subscribe

From the Dateless Wonder Dept.: Is it acceptable to ask someone out via e-mail? Or is it better to do such things face-to-face or over the phone? [a little more inside]

I have a troubling tendency to completely psyche myself out over proposing a date in person or over the phone, and usually end up not doing anything because I never manage to screw up my courage enough to do so. E-mailing doesn't have this barrier for me, but I have a nagging suspicion that getting a message in her inbox isn't really what a woman wants. Thoughts?
posted by Johnny Assay to Human Relations (22 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
Face to face. No question.
posted by Orange Goblin at 10:14 PM on November 2, 2004


Anyway to ask out is better than none. Maybe if she's the kind of woman who has all sorts of offers she would care, but I wouldn't - my fiance told me how he felt (way back when) in a letter. I would have been happy to have been asked out for coffee in an email.
posted by jb at 10:27 PM on November 2, 2004


I've been asked out via e-mail before. it's no big deal at all.
posted by mcsweetie at 10:30 PM on November 2, 2004


I like being asked out over e-mail. Less pressure.
posted by transona5 at 10:56 PM on November 2, 2004


email is totally fine. don't make the act of potentially hanging out with someone intriguing into something giant and scary, really.
posted by judith at 11:30 PM on November 2, 2004


E-mailing doesn't have this barrier for me

All the better - it means you're more likely to communicate clearly.

but I have a nagging suspicion that getting a message in her inbox isn't really what a woman wants.

She certainly prefers a message in her inbox to no message at all. The point is the date itself, not the invitation.
posted by Mars Saxman at 11:34 PM on November 2, 2004


She certainly prefers a message in her inbox to no message at all.

She did, yes.
posted by astruc at 12:38 AM on November 3, 2004


I've asked people out via e-mail, IM, phone, and in person. Didn't really see any difference in acceptance rates or the subjective enthusiasm of the datee.
posted by kindall at 12:47 AM on November 3, 2004


If I were dating, I wouldn't mind it all - in fact, I might prefer it; when someone phones you, you may be distracted, or surprised, or for whatever reason not quite ready to respond with a yes/no at that very moment. Email gives you a buffer, plus if you have to turn down the date, but want to go out with the person, it gives you the time to come up with an alternate proposal... "I can't make it on Thursday, but how do you feel about joining me at this art opening Saturday - maybe we can get something to eat afterwards?".
posted by taz at 1:37 AM on November 3, 2004


If your interactions with her has mainly been done online, then yes, it's OK.
posted by gyc at 1:40 AM on November 3, 2004


Accept that she may say no no matter what way you did it, and expect that possibility. That way you are more confident about the entire thing, because who cares, right? Confidence holds more weight that iron.
posted by Keyser Soze at 1:47 AM on November 3, 2004


It's a bit easier for someone to let a date request "slip by" if you ask via email. If you ask f2f or over the phone, you'll know your answer immediately.
posted by sexymofo at 4:13 AM on November 3, 2004


Of course e-mail's ok. What were you going to do face to face? Get down on one knee?

Seriously, I asked my wife out by e-mail. I didn't make out it was a big deal, but then I think we both knew where it was going anyway - if you see what I mean (raises eyebrow). But casual is good - get too formal and you freak people out.
posted by dodgygeezer at 4:42 AM on November 3, 2004


Yeah, I've had that problem of totally chickening out of saying important things over the phone again and again and finally decided that, whatever other people might think, it's better to actually DO it, whether on email or whatever, than risk it just not happening at all.

If she turns out to be a phone kind of person rather than an email one, she might call you up to reply, but by then the subject will have been raised, so you can just go with the flow.

Good luck!
posted by penguin pie at 4:52 AM on November 3, 2004


email is fine. if you actually see her on a regular basis it may seem a little weird to not ask in person but I agree with basically everyone else here that asking over email is much much better than not asking at all. sexymofo is right, it will prolong the waiting game somewhat, but if that's not going to kill you, then email is definitely the better way to go.
posted by jessamyn at 5:39 AM on November 3, 2004


My policy has always been to ask for the coffee date (in the afternoon, really friendly, etc.) over email, and then to ask for the real date (at night, romantic, etc.) in person or over the phone. But I don't think it matters--that's just a nice compromise, since ever the coffee date you usually know whether you can swing the real date.
posted by josh at 5:48 AM on November 3, 2004


what josh said.
posted by theora55 at 7:16 AM on November 3, 2004


I'd be fine with getting asked out by email - especially if the interaction thus far had often been online and especially if the 'first date' was more of a casual thing and less of a 'get dressed up and go to fancy restaurant' thing. While it's obviously more difficult for the asker, since they have all that anticipation and build up going on before they ask, getting asked out on a date isn't always a picnic for the askee, either, email might well reduce some of the awkwardness on both sides.
posted by jacquilynne at 7:22 AM on November 3, 2004


Email is fine. Twenty-first century, man.
posted by majcher at 9:35 AM on November 3, 2004


I'm surprised - I would have said face to face is much better, if you can manage it. Maybe I'm old and stuck in the 20th century.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 10:33 AM on November 3, 2004


What jb said: Just ask however you can make yourself. If you're sufficiently afraid of making a fool of yourself that you delay asking in person, then just ask by email.
posted by lodurr at 11:28 AM on November 3, 2004


What josh and jessamyn said. I emailed a girl two years ago for the "coffee date" josh mentioned. I married her a month ago.

But then maybe that not what you're looking for just yet. :-)
posted by DakotaPaul at 4:32 PM on November 3, 2004


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