Let’s face it: Modern dating is weird. It either happens entirely online, or you meet someone in person and have to remember how dating worked before the advent of the Internet. Either way, it can be awkward.
When you meet someone you like and think you have a vibe with, you might wonder what your next move should be. Do you get her phone number first?
Do you send her a friend request on social media? Or do you ask her out? It can feel like solving a truly complicated equation when all you really want to do is get to know her better.
11 Signs You Should Really Ask Her Out
If you’re looking for signs you should ask her out, I’m going to share a few common ones. While you can start with an intermediate step of connecting with her online, you might want to consider asking her out instead if you see these signs.
How to Tell in Person
First, let’s talk about how to tell if you actually meet her in real life. While this might not be the most prevalent way to meet someone these days, it still happens. Here’s how to know in person if she’s into you and you should ask her out.
She Holds Your Gaze
Holding your gaze is an important sign. Believe me — if she’s not interested, she’s not going to make and hold eye contact. If she keeps looking over at you but seems frustrated, annoyed, or upset, you might be creeping her out. But … if she holds your gaze without a concerned expression, that might be a green light for you to say hello.
She Leans In
You’re talking, and she leans in toward you. She does this more than once. Open body language could be communicating her interest. While you don’t want to blurt you a request for a date while she’s speaking, you could see her leaning behavior as a nudge to shoot your shot when the opportunity presents itself.
She Smiles and Laughs Often
If she’s smiling and laughing around you, in a nice way, then you might see this as yet another positive sign that she likes you. This is especially true if leaning in and eye contact are both happening, too. This is usually a green light for asking her out.
She Flirts with You
If you just met her and she flirts with you, it might be hard to know if she’s just a flirtatious person or if she’s interested. You honestly can’t know without risking rejection by asking her out. Just keep in mind that most women will not flirt with someone they are absolutely not interested in, and you can likely take this as a signal that she might be open to you asking her out.
She Mentions She’s Single
If she brings up the fact that she’s single in a casual conversation, you can take this as a good sign that she’s available and wanted you to know. This isn’t something most people will casually drop into the conversation. If you’re flirting with her and it’s bothering her, she’s unlikely to tell you she’s single. She’ll more likely mention a partner, even if it’s a fictional one. So, the fact that she brings up her single status might be a hint that you can ask her out.
How to Tell Online
Online interactions don’t work the same way. Some of the signals are the same, but some are specific to online interactions. Here are a few to look out for.
She Regularly Reaches Out to Message You
If she’s regularly reaching out to message you, that’s a positive sign. Unless she’s stated that she just wants to be friends, you can take frequent messages as a sign of interest. She might be too shy to ask you out, but she might be making herself available so you can ask her.
She Interacts with Your Social Media Posts
Interacting with all your social media posts is another clue. Unless you rarely post, her regular interaction can be a clue she’s into you. Take her normal social media behavior into account, but if she seems to be spending more time engaging with yours, you might have a green light to ask her out.
She’s Funny and Flirtatious with You
It’s a good sign of interest if she’s funny and flirtatious with you online. Someone who is trying to make you laugh and goes a step further to flirt with you is likely interested in being more than your friend. This is a clear sign to ask her out. It’s not a guarantee of a yes, but it is an indicator of interest.
She Asks About Your Relationship Status
If she asks about your relationship status, however casually, she might be trying to find out if you’re available. This is a clue that she is interested. Unless she’s just told you about her partner and asked if you’re with anyone — in which case you should absolutely not read anything into her question. Use basic common sense. If she’s single and asks if you are too, she either has a friend in mind for you or is interested herself.
She Tags You in Memes
Tagging a person in memes is a love language. It shows she’s thinking of you. It also shows that she wants to make you laugh. Unless she tags anyone and everyone in memes, it’s a good way to know that she’s interested in you and might be open to you asking her out.
You Met Her Through a Dating App
Look, if you met her through a dating app, that’s a big clue that you can ask her out. She’s there to date. You’re there to date. What are you waiting for? You don’t need any other clues to ask her out for a drink.
Before You Ask Her Out: Considerations
Before you ask her out, you might want to keep the following considerations in mind. This can help prepare you for the conversation and even help manage your expectations.
Have a Date Plan in Mind
If you plan to ask her out, have a date plan in mind. Don’t ask her out without a time and place. Ask her out for coffee, a drink, an outdoor concert, or whatever event might appeal to both of you. Keep it casual for the first date to take off some of the pressure. If you ask her out without a plan, you’ll be communicating your disinterest.
Have a Backup Plan
If she doesn’t like your plan, have a backup plan. Be open to considering another option. If she’d rather meet for coffee than dinner, be flexible. As an addendum to this, keep in mind that if she has children, she can’t drop everything at the last minute to go on a date with you. She has childcare considerations. Also, don’t expect her to do all the traveling for your convenience. The best location will be convenient for you both.
Respect Her Answer
Whatever you do, be prepared to respect her answer. Don’t lash out if she says no. Don’t try to change her mind. Just accept that you might have read the signals wrong, or she might have another reason for declining the date. If she says yes, be sure to follow through on the date plan.
Stay in Touch
Stay in touch after making the date. Don’t just ghost her until the date time. She’ll see that as disinterest and will assume you’re not going to show up. Keep in touch leading up to the date. Use this time to get to know her better.
Follow Up to Confirm
On the day before the date, be sure to confirm the plan. Make sure everything is still scheduled, and let her know you’re looking forward to it. This can be reassuring for both of you to have that confirmation.
Adjust Your Expectations
Before you ask her out, adjust your expectations. Don’t assume you know her because you like her. Don’t project what you want onto who she is. Instead, be open to getting to know her without trying to make her check all your boxes.
Allow Yourself to Connect and Have Fun
The single best thing you can do before a date is to allow yourself to connect and have fun. You might discover you have no chemistry with this person once you go out. There’s no reason you can’t still have a good time and make a new friend. Have a good attitude. Don’t show up expecting your soulmate. Just show up, be a good person, and try to have a good time.
Just because you ask her out doesn’t mean she’s going to say yes. There’s always the risk of rejection. You just have to decide if the chance of connecting is worth it.
Dating can be complicated, and it’s hard to read other people’s signals. She might say no because she already has a partner, has other plans, just got out of a relationship, or just sees you as a friend. It can be awkward to ask, but it’s okay to seek clarity. She doesn’t owe you an explanation, but if you misunderstood something, it’s okay to clear up the confusion and move on with your life. If nothing else, she might be flattered you asked.
It’s also possible she’ll say yes. There’s only one way to truly find out. You can keep analyzing her every move, or you can ask. The greater the risk, the greater the reward, right? It’s time to speak up.
Originally published on Medium