How To Ask A Guy Out Without Sounding Desperate

Will he say no? Will he laugh in your face? So many fears are running through your head right now as you plan to ask out the guy you like, and chief among them is the worry that you might come off as desperate and freak him out. Here’s how to express your interest the right way.

  1. Know your worth. Part of the reason why some women come off as desperate is that they’re insecure. They don’t necessarily feel like they deserve whatever they’re asking for. Before you get up the courage to ask this guy out, make sure you know your worth. Recognize what makes you special, relish in your ability to be a good friend, and realize that you’re one hell of a catch.
  2. Evaluate why you want to date him. Another classic warning sign of the desperate? They put their objects of affection on a big ol’ pedestal. If in your eyes he can do no wrong, then that’s your first problem. Sit down and really think about him as a human, flaws and all. Answer this important question: Do you want to ask him out because you legitimately like him or because you just don’t want to be alone?
  3. Avoid too much fantasy. We’re all guilty of this. You imagine the moment you ask him out. You fantasize about your first date, first time having sex, first anniversary. Before you start picking out baby names, stop! That kind of energy, whether he knows about your fantasies or not, is intense. It radiates. Put the fantasies aside and start making real memories.
  4. Read the room. How you’re perceived by your crush goes a long way to how he’ll react when you ask him out. If he’s into you, he’s a lot less likely to think you’re desperate when you ask him out. Does he treat you better than other people around him? Is he single and done getting over any difficult breakups? If he’s always happy to see you, you’ve got the green light.
  5. Don’t have a big lead-up. Get those long professions of feelings you see in romantic comedies out of your head. Grand gestures are for fiction only. Instead, come at him in a casual way. The bigger deal you make, the more stress it puts on him and the higher the chance he’ll think you’re desperate.
  6. Tell him how you feel… but only a little. Just blurting out “Will you go out with me?!” is a no-go. Start with how you feel about him. One compliment or one example of how he makes you feel is enough to show intention. Just don’t go overboard. You want him to know how you feel, but you don’t want to scare him away. Then, go for the ask. It should sound something like this: “Hey, you’re so funny and I’ve really enjoyed getting to know you. Do you wanna go out sometime, like dinner Friday?” That’s it, short and sweet.
  7. Don’t say you love him. Saying you love him at this point is a surefire way to become an anecdote he tells to get a laugh at parties for years to come. “Love” is for when you’re well into dating. Unless you’ve grown up together and you’re living in a Young Adult novel, this is not the time.
  8. Don’t talk about the future beyond the first date. Just like with the fantasizing, planning out your future together is a red flag. You’re not asking him to be your boyfriend or marry you, you’re just asking for the one date. After all, neither of you have any idea how well things are going to go until you have that first date.
  9. Let him answer in his own time. Ask the question, and then leave it be. If you’re in person, that may mean waiting and watching while he thinks. Don’t interrupt with apologies, excuses, or other date ideas. If you asked him out over text, don’t send him another text until he gets back to you. If he takes days just to say “maybe,” then you already know he isn’t right for you. Pestering him for an answer is a surefire way to turn him off and make you look like you’re desperate.
  10. Accept his answer. Whatever the answer, it’s time to accept it. If you got a yes, that’s fantastic! Give a chill, “great,” and start working out the details of the actual date. If he said no, don’t argue. Don’t ask him out again. Just like how you would appreciate a guy who accepts your first “No,” you should do the same for him.
Trisha is a full time writer living in Montana. In her free time, she paints mountainscapes on her skin with body paint and reads a ton of YA lit.