How should you approach someone you want to ask out?
”Knowing what makes you compatible with that person will give you confidence – so first things first, evaluate if you have similar family values, priorities in life, sense of humour and so forth.
“To actually approach them, try and invite them to do something that is specific to their interests instead of a generic dinner or drinks. This will show them you’ve been listening and have come up with a date idea especially for them.”
Breaking the ice
“Do your homework! Knowing your shared values and interests is always the start to good conversation.
“Pick something about them that piques your interest and ask a genuine question about it – whether that’s something about their family, the latest place they travelled, or even their career,” continues Draper.
“Compatibility is vital to creating a strong relationship and by showing your prospective flame you care about their interests and priorities, you’re really showing them you care about them. “
Are they interested in you?
If you're struggling to pickup cues that they might be interested, Draper suggests to take a step back and see if the conversation is effortless.
"Often if the conversation is strained, stopping and starting or just not that impassioned, it’s not a good sign. When there is a connection, there is always rich and interesting conversation.
“Often if your potential partner mirrors your non-verbals, it’s a sign that they feel connected and comfortable with you.”
How to recover
“Acknowledge it! At the end of the day we’re all human and your date knows that. You’d be surprised at how refreshing it is for women to hear men acknowledge that they’re nervous and for most dates, it will be endearing to hear that their smile or their presence makes you a bit flustered."
When it comes to handling nerves, practice makes perfect and that includes signing up to an online dating website or dating app. Otherwise talk to your mates who are looking at it from the outside (and aren't blinded by a crush).
“You could check in with your friends regarding how you plan to ask someone out. This could help calm the nerves and get re-assurance," continues Draper.
"You may feel too prideful but ultimately every single one of your friends can relate, and you may be surprised how willing they are to give you a confidence boost.
“At the end of the day though, you’ll never know if you never try. Love is about putting yourself out there and sometimes taking a chance. That can make you feel uncomfortable, but the risk is well worth the reward.”
Best way to handle rejection?
This is crucial, don't be a jerk. “Always keep it classy, don’t take it personally, and learn from it!" advises Draper.
"Thank them for being honest with you, express you had a great time nonetheless, and wish them good luck for the future – they’ll be impressed with how mature you are."
While you might not get your fairytale ending, it's still important to reflect on why it didn't work out. Being turned down can provide an important learning curve and help you out next time.
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“Take some time to think about what made you incompatible with this certain prospective partner, and use that experience and knowledge to seek out someone better suited to you," suggests Draper.
“Was the conversation strained? Was the physical attraction not there? Did you notice things about your personalities that didn’t complement one another well? Compatibility is the key to long-lasting love, and people underestimate how much rejection is just about incompatibility. Think about why you weren’t quite right and apply that to future prospects.”
Tips for doing it via an app/online?
Online dating websites or apps work a little differently, especially if you're not flowing with confidence.
“In a lot of ways online can be a much better way for people...Online dating can take a lot of the pressure of initial face-to-face interactions out of the equation.
“I recommend trying websites / apps like eharmony that will only match you with people you’re compatible with based on their unique matching system, which lets you focus on the fun part – figuring out which person you have chemistry with!”
What are the biggest no-no’s?
This is crucial. There are so many little things that could ruin your chances before you even start - like horrendous pick-up lines or picking the wrong time.
“When you’re asking someone out, never let nerves get in your way. If you’re respectful and you have the right intentions there’s not much else you can do.”
“(A) big no-no is using contrived, cheesy pick-up lines to ask someone out. Instead, be authentic. Find something that interests them to hear more about it over dinner, or ask them to go on a date where they can do an activity they’ve expressed interest in.
Just remember to keep it classy gents.
“Most importantly, never be disrespectful or immature if you don’t receive the response you’re hoping for. A person declining or not responding at all may feel rude, but there is never any excuse for making insulting comments or snide remarks in response.”