girls before graduation
May 15, 2007 9:05 AM   Subscribe

how does one ask a girl out?

long story short: high school is coming to an end and there's a girl I have a crush on, so I figure I probably should do something before I never see her again. problem is, I've never asked anyone out before so I don't know what I should or am supposed to do. also, I never really understood a lot of the unwritten rules of high school, so I don't understand how these sort of things work.
i did ask her to prom, but i didnt do it until a week before the actual event, so she already had a date. i figure i could ask her to see a movie, but I feel like it would be weird to suddenly do that. i don't know if the feeling's mutual either, but at this point, I just want to get to know her better. what could or should i do? any advice or ideas?
posted by oranges to Human Relations (39 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I usually strike up a conversation and then ask them if they want to go out and see a movie.
posted by parmanparman at 9:11 AM on May 15, 2007

Do you have her phone number or IM? If not then asking for them (say you want to stay in touch, or something) and seeing if she actually gives them to you is a decent indicator that she at least tolerates your presence. Then the hard part is actually calling/IMing her and seeing if she wants to hang out. Just be proactive, high school is almost over and even if you make a huge ass of yourself no one will remember it so just view this as a practice run. Also remember fortune favors the bold, repeat that to yourself and live by it.
posted by BobbyDigital at 9:12 AM on May 15, 2007

However, you might wait until prom is over to see if the other guy sees it as a one-time thing or not. It's best not to press your luck if she's already going with someone, but it sounds like you know her, so you should stay in touch if you really do like her.
posted by parmanparman at 9:12 AM on May 15, 2007

Pick a simple short activity (so if it gets awkward, you can bring it to a close).

Approach girl.

"Hey, X, I'm going to blah blah, want to come?"
posted by canine epigram at 9:12 AM on May 15, 2007

Ask her out to a specific event on a specific day at a specific time or time of day (that way if she says no, she can offer a plausible excuse and it'll be less embarrassing to hear it).
posted by Tuwa at 9:14 AM on May 15, 2007

I'm confused about why you think asking her out to a movie would be weird, when you've already asked her out to your formal, which strikes me as a much bigger deal. (Also, asking a girl to the prom is asking her out on a date, so you've done this at least once.)

Anyway, you should strike up a conversation with the girl. Keep it going for a while. If the conversation is going well, just ask her if she'd like to go for dinner/coffee/movie/etc on such and such a date. Be direct. If the conversation is not going well, a date may not go so well either. (Still, what do you loose by asking her out?)
posted by chunking express at 9:15 AM on May 15, 2007

Rent the movie "Say Anything."

Also, I don't think asking her to a movie is weird at all, but it's also not conducive to getting to know her better. Do you share any common interests? Is there something about which you can say, "Hey, I'm going to this concert-game-event-whatever and I thought you might be interested in it, too. Would you like to go with me?"
posted by amro at 9:16 AM on May 15, 2007 [1 favorite]

How did she turn you down for prom? Did she seem genuinely sad she'd already told someone else she'd go with them? I think her response would be a pretty good indicator of whether she'd be open to going out with you.

My high school had a lot of end-of-the-year activities like concerts, plays, football games, etc. I'd invite her to one of those, as they're pretty low-key.
posted by lilac girl at 9:17 AM on May 15, 2007

Always remember that the worst thing that could happen is she says no. That's it. And while it might seem huge depending on the size of your crush, it's still a relatively small 'worst thing' in relation to the success of conquering your nerves and asking her. Good luck!
posted by NationalKato at 9:18 AM on May 15, 2007

I second the AIM idea. It seems much easier to start a conversation or say what you mean if you're very nervous and need that layer of separation. At the same time, as chunking express points out, you've asked her out once before, asking to go see a movie shouldn't be that much worse.
posted by piratebowling at 9:18 AM on May 15, 2007

Hmmm... There's a history to your relationship, so it's hard giving advice. It all depends on your existing friendship. It's not like you're approaching her for the first time, something which is perhaps easier. By leaving it so long you might have produced a delicate, if not impossible situation. Still, she knows you're interested, so you have that in your favor.

The only advice I feel comfortable giving is that you keep a sense of humor.
posted by humblepigeon at 9:19 AM on May 15, 2007

are you looking to ask her out to a one night thing just so you can tell yourself "YES! I WENT ON A DATE WITH HER" or do you want to actually get her to like you so when she's away at college, she'll only be thinking about you?

Basically, what fantasy are you living in?

You've already asked her to the prom so you know how to ask her out. Go up to her and say "hey, do yo uwant to go see this movie friday night?" If she says no, then she says no. If she says yes, then you've got your self a date.

And, if you are getting nervous, you are allowed to pee up to 3 times before you ask her out. That's standard operating proceedure.
posted by Stynxno at 9:20 AM on May 15, 2007

Movies suck as first dates go. Go to a gig or something you can talk through / about. Find out what she likes and ask her to go do that thing with you.
posted by brautigan at 9:20 AM on May 15, 2007

Also keep in mind that assuming at least one you is going to be in college in the fall and that college is going to be far away or even if it isnt that the chances of you two staying together if this does work are basically nil, so you have absolutely nothing to lose by trying.
posted by BobbyDigital at 9:28 AM on May 15, 2007

Life is long! Also, the summer after high school is long. I'm with getting her contact info and then, if you're too nervous to do anything/don't want to be distracted during your final exams, just sitting on the info for a few weeks. Wait until the end of June or even into July. Then call her out of the blue. Have an idea in mind - bike ride, going to a street market, party thrown by mutual friends/acquaintances. Just say "Hey, I was a bit distracted during school - but I wanted to call and ask you out, now that we're done. Let's get together and go do something." Seriously, those words.
1. Does not back her into a corner. Is open-ended, doesn't elicit an immediate yes/no. Starts the conversation about options as to what to do.
2. Gives you an "out" for any/all behaviour of yours she might have noticed/not noticed while you were classmates, and also shows her you have initiative and have been thinking about her -- but without the big giant scary I LOVE YOU I DREAM ABOUT YOU that people really don't want to hear (at least, at the very beginning).
3. Is clear about the intention of your call: you're asking her out. No ambiguity. Don't be afraid of cutting to the chase, so long as you're calm about it.

Now, if she can't do anything now (is going to camp/on vacation), don't worry. Chill. Seriously, life is long. Wait a few weeks and call again. Persistence is pretty attractive (though don't get creepy - don't call more than twice in a night if she's not home, don't stalk her weirdly online, don't drive by her house repeatedly, etc.), as circumstance often conspires to keep the faint-of-heart at a distance. Gird up your loins and get in there, keep your fear in check, and you'll do fine. Or you'll meet someone else in the meantime, and it'll be all good.

Good luck!
posted by Mrs Hilksom at 9:30 AM on May 15, 2007 [1 favorite]

to clarify about the prom thing: the guy she went with is one of her friends, and i know there isn't anything between them. she sounded sincere when she turned me down and offered to help me find a date.

also, i'm not really that nervous about the actual asking her, I guess i can't really think of an appropriate thing to ask her to.
posted by oranges at 9:30 AM on May 15, 2007

Here's the trick: ask her as if she's not a girl but a friend you know wants to hang out with you. That is, treat her like anyone else and ask with confidence. Further, don't tart it up with preamble: "Hey X, wanna grab a bite Friday?" is much better than "So I've had my eye on you and, though I've never asked anyone out before you seem cool so I thought maybe sometime you'd like to maybe do something. What do you think? Do you want to go on a date with me?"

Clumsy charm, like spontaneity, has its time and place. Asking a crush on a first date isn't that time. Later, if you hit it off and go on a few dates and you think she'd find it amusing (ie, endearing), you can hit her with the "I've had my eye on you but didn't know how to ask..." story.

Further, the best advice I can offer anyone re: getting a date is be someone that someone would want to date.
posted by dobbs at 9:34 AM on May 15, 2007

Its not weird to ask her out to a movie. In fact, its human nature.
posted by damn dirty ape at 9:35 AM on May 15, 2007

Oh, and one other thing: Have something in mind. There are few things that turn a date off quicker than asking them and being stuck in an "I dunno, what do you wanna do?" loop.

Ask her for a bite (or whatever) and if she says Yes, say, "Great. How about X at 8. Unless you have some place you prefer." That lets her know you're decisive yet she has say in the date, both of which are good things.
posted by dobbs at 9:38 AM on May 15, 2007

If your summer after high school is anything like my summer after high school, there should be plenty of opportunities to ask her to accompany you to places with big groups of friends trying to live it up in their last few weeks together.
I agree with somebody above who said that a movie is kind of a lousy first date. Anybody having a memorial day cookout? Can you have one and make a point of inviting her personally? I think an ideal first high school date is a group one. It gives you both the opportunity to ignore the other if things aren't clicking. It gives you the confidence boost that comes from being around a bunch of your friends. It also gives you the opportunity to sit in a corner and chat with each other exclusively or go out to the backyard and make out.
posted by PhatLobley at 9:43 AM on May 15, 2007

I generally don't like movies as dates because it's a passive sitting-next-to-each-other experience, not an active talking experience.

I met a girl at the dog park. On the 5th of may, we realized it was cinco de mayo and had a taste for margaritas. I knew of this little botique-y taco and margarita place in town, and said "Hey, wanna go get dinner? Like, now?" and she said yes. We've been going out since then and spending lots of time cooking for each other and getting to know one another.

I'll -1 Dobbs, though -- there's someone for everyone. Someone DOES want to date you, although it may or may not be the person you have in mind this time for various reasons.
posted by SpecialK at 9:44 AM on May 15, 2007

I'll -1 Dobbs, though -- there's someone for everyone. Someone DOES want to date you, although it may or may not be the person you have in mind this time for various reasons.

Ah... I never said no one wants to date him. I said "Be someone someone would want to date." IE, be good, don't be a dick, have manners and good hygeine, etc etc. In short: Make going on a date with you seem like a good idea.
posted by dobbs at 9:51 AM on May 15, 2007

With your past history, I'm assuming you know what she likes to do for fun. Do you like to do any of those activities? If so, ask her about one of those activities and casually bring up, "Hey, we should do that together sometime. It would be fun."

I'm confused about why you think asking her out to a movie would be weird, when you've already asked her out to your formal, which strikes me as a much bigger deal. (Also, asking a girl to the prom is asking her out on a date, so you've done this at least once).

I disagree. I always found asking a girl to prom distinctly different from asking her out for a date date. Prom was more like, "Hey, I need someone to go with so I don't have to go stag and be all lame." Hell, one of the students I work with went to prom with a guy from school even though she has a serious boyfriend.

I also agree that movies can suck for first time dates
//recalls those awkward, "Hmmm, do I hold her hand during the movie or not?" moments.
posted by jmd82 at 10:02 AM on May 15, 2007

movies are GREAT first dates *when you don't have a whole lot of experience dating* because they're 1. time-limited, 2. have few opportunities for awkwardness, and 3. can either be casual or more romantic, depending

i vote you say, "hey, i've heard great reviews about such-and-such, have you seen it yet? wanna go catch it this weekend?"

if the date is going well and you think she's enjoying herself, you can drag it out by suggesting getting something to eat or drink afterward. gives you more opportunity to talk.

if things don't go so great, then it's only been a few hours and you can drop her home.
posted by wayward vagabond at 10:10 AM on May 15, 2007

"School's almost over, and I'd love to go out with you before we're out of here for good. How would you like to join me for dinner on Saturday night?"
posted by doctorcurly at 10:54 AM on May 15, 2007

I agree with jmd82, asking someone to prom seemed like less of a big deal at my high school because everyone needed a prom date.

I think movies are a bad choice for a first date, since you have very little chance to interact. Coffee is a good choice and I think it is pretty low pressure. Have a weekend afternoon coffee and you can always go out to dinner or see a movie afterwards if it goes well. Or maybe instead find a local band that you would both like, if you're in an area that has good all-ages venues. Or do mini-golf.

And there's always Google.
posted by grouse at 12:25 PM on May 15, 2007

A few possibilities:
- bowling with friends
- frisbee and cookout/kite flying in the park with friends
- movie followed by going for dinner/coffee - that way you can talk about the movie during the meal, if you can't think of anything else to talk about
- outdoor music festival, with or without friends
- paddleboating, rental kayaking on local waterway (depends where you live)
- bike ride through local beauty spot
- go to the zoo with friends
- to see a baseball game (depends on your/her interests)
- to hike in local park

Prerequisites for a good first date activity:
1. public space that allows you to talk and hear each other (eg very noisy dance club is not good)
2. light things to talk about (eg people who are walking by, paintings/exhibits in the museum, the movie you just saw together, how your bowling/frisbee golf/ etc are going)
3. reasonably clear expectations about what's going to happen, and when it will be over
posted by LobsterMitten at 12:28 PM on May 15, 2007

"Hey, I'd like to get to know you better. Wanna go out on a date?"
posted by klangklangston at 12:45 PM on May 15, 2007

Being open works, yo.
posted by klangklangston at 12:46 PM on May 15, 2007

"Hey. This is totally lame, but I've got to run some errands during the day on Saturday, and I was wondering if you wanted to come with me. First stop's 7-11. Then: [make expansive hand gesture] adventure."
posted by Alt F4 at 1:55 PM on May 15, 2007 [3 favorites]

Movies are good if you're both comfortable being in the dark next to each other for two hours. Fun things can happen! However, they aren't so good for conversations. I usually asked girls if they'd like to go to a nice café downtown that had nice art and colorful characters. We'd sit, chat, and maybe see a movie afterwards. Cafés are nice, neutral territories where people can relax and get to know each other outside the usual context.

As mentioned above, I've found that asking as if the other person was a friend you'd like to hang out with sets up the proper mental space and minimizes the potential for a freakout, and that having a good idea of the evening's itinerary helps, but you'll need to be flexible, as she may say she wants to do something different at any time.
posted by lekvar at 2:26 PM on May 15, 2007

Eh, don't go to a movie if you don't like going to movies. Whatever you like doing, invite her along. Or, if you know of something she is in to, ask her if she wants to go to that with you (have something specific in mind though). Don't feign vast knowledge in her interests, admit to being clueless but open minded - she might introduce you to something neat. She's just a person.

Don't develop expectations... enjoy the present. If you go out with her one night and have a good time, it's better than the alternative (reading MeFi), right? Don't set yourself up to feel that you must win her heart and ride off into the sunset or you have failed miserably. Exaggerated expectations will ruin things for both of you.

Have fun!
posted by phrontist at 3:21 PM on May 15, 2007

On second thought, Alt-F4's suggestion!
posted by phrontist at 3:22 PM on May 15, 2007

Movies are fine and good, but so are more exciting things. Getting to know her better via im, facebook, whatever people at your school/in your friend group use is also an excellent idea.

Oh yeah, I'm pretty much your age so like, I kind of know what I'm talking about maybe. You just want to find something to do to smooth over the inevitable first date awkwardness. Movies might be a good idea if you suck at small talk- lots of quiet plus automatic conversation after (and optional hand holding/makeouts during, depending on your boldness level). Doing something with a group might be a good idea as well, especially if you share friends and are really nervous. Basically, this all depends on you and the girl in question. Good luck!
posted by MadamM at 8:36 PM on May 15, 2007

And oh yeah, if you're an amusing kind of person who can make going to 7-11 fun, Alt-F4's idea is pretty freaking great, I must say. If you asked that, I would so go out with you.
posted by MadamM at 8:36 PM on May 15, 2007

just to follow up:
didn't work out how i hoped, she said no. but NationalKato was right: even though she said no, I'm glad that I at least tried. at least I wont' have the regret of never knowing if anything could have happened. thanks for all the help.
posted by god particle at 9:20 AM on May 19, 2007

and to clarify, i am also oranges. i have two accounts because i have a lot of questions.
posted by god particle at 9:22 AM on May 19, 2007

Did you make the [expansive hand gesture]? No? Well, then, there's your problem.

Actually, I told my wife about your question, and she said "I hope someone has the good sense to tell him that he doesn't need dead weight at home once he's gone off to college!" Now ... I'm not sure if you're going to college or not, but: seriously. If you're in an environment with thousands of other young people, you'll be glad that you have the freedom to meet new people and hang out with them.

As eternal as high school has felt (we'll call that "x"), college will feel like 1/xth of that. And you really don't want a new-ish relationship at home to get in the way of your newfound friends (and potential significant others).
posted by Alt F4 at 9:50 AM on May 19, 2007

Um... Oranges, having two accounts to make more questions is a no-no.
posted by klangklangston at 12:39 PM on May 19, 2007

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