The simplest phrase to get a guy to ask you out

Ok, so this was actually a trick title. Let’s bust the myth that we have to wait for guys to ask us out. Let’s just bust the myth, not only for feminism’s sake, but for the sake of making your dating life easier!

Wait a second — what about the “if a guy likes you, he’ll just ask you out” argument? Well what about the shy guys? Or the guys who have hidden insecurities that prevent them from taking action? Or the ones that would ask you out, but they need a bit more encouragement?

Women no longer have to play by a certain set of rules (nor did we ever). These rules only serve to limit us. Wouldn’t you rather find the love of your life by having control of the situation yourself? I’ve had so many girl friends stop in their tracks or lust after a guy for weeks, months even, just because he didn’t make a move. So if he doesn’t make the first move, then nothing?

Think about how many missed opportunities stack up that way over the course of your dating life. Think about how many amazing dates and connections that could’ve taken place but didn’t. Guys who have the same limiting behavior then double that gap. Let’s at least be responsible for our half of it.

The path to an awesome dating life should be much simpler than some rigid set of rules; it shouldn’t feel like we’re going through a square maze. It should be free-flowing like a bumper car arena where we can create as many sparks as possible. By breaking out of this maze, we allow for an infinitely larger number of possibilities.

So here are a few things you can say:

Option 1: The warmup

I call this one the warmup because you’re initiating, but not straight up asking him out. You’re just letting him know you’re interested.

“We should hang out some time.”

An alternate: “What are you up to this weekend? We should meet up.”

Very simple, very clear. You’ve let him know you’re open to seeing him without the pressure of actually asking him out. If a guy’s interested, he’ll usually follow up with “Sure, how about Friday,” or something along those lines.

Option 2: The stop-by

“I’m going to a _______ (party, show, event) later, you should stop by.”

A more direct invitation, but a loose one, again, not needy, and not requiring a commitment from him. I like this one because you’re inviting him to hang out with you, but he still needs to come to you. You can gauge interest this way.

Option 3: The gutsy

“Want to grab a drink Friday?”

This one is a time-saver, in my opinion. Why keep wondering and guessing when you can rip off the Band-Aid? This question is yes or no. This makes it so easy for the guy that he shouldn’t even have to think about it. If he likes you, he’ll find a way to say yes. If he doesn’t like you, you have your answer and you can move on.

“Wait, but don’t men naturally want to chase? If I initiate, he’ll think I’m easy or lose respect for me.”

Ok ladies, there’s an answer to this one.

First off, can you imagine for a second that a hot blond girl asks a guy if he wants to grab a drink Friday — can you imagine him saying no?

Ok, so what if, like myself, you’re not a “hot blond”? How about this then — guy finds a girl intriguing, she suggests doing something together, do you think he’s going to want to make the situation harder for himself?

The only case in which “the gutsy” option doesn’t work is if a guy’s not sure about you and you have to get him to warm up to you. In which case, you’re going to have to go back to the drawing board because this means (A) you probably haven’t spent enough time with him (B) you’re probably going to have to express some interest by flirtation or © you’re going to have to manipulate him into liking you — highly NOT suggested.

Second point: Did you know that they’ve done studies that show that most of the time, women make the first move? It’s just that the first moves are subtle, but they usually involve smiling, or prolonged eye contact, or physical touching.

Not to state the obvious here, but would you rather spend your time awkwardly trying to send signals, or help a guy out a little?

The other thing is, just because you’ve initiated the action, doesn’t mean that you have to be “easy to get.” Actually, the opposite.

The Dance

He puts in some work, you put in some work. Maybe he puts in a lot of work, you put in a little work. But why just have him chasing you like you’re some piece of meat to be captured? You can be equal partners, doing a back and forth dance that’s just as captivating.

Chen Lizra gave a great TED Talk a while back on “The Power of Seduction,” in which she describes Cubans dancing the rumba, where partners go back and forth to keep the sexual tension going, as if saying: “You can almost have it, but not. But if you only tried, then maybe.”

Creating that push-pull interaction is one of the things that build attraction. And it has the same elements of a chase, except it’s not as one-dimensional.

Things not to do:

  • Do not wait three days before answering a call or meticulously engineering your texts to keep him interested (don’t be hot and cold, it’s a turnoff to quality men)
  • Do not initiate twice — he’s still going to have to work for it
  • Do not sit around waiting for him to call

Ok, so what should you do?

The easiest way to create push-pull is to create an environment where you are self-sufficient.

How to engage him in The Dance (the better version of the chase):

  • Be busy — genuinely busy with your own life and your own hobbies
  • Don’t always be available. In fact err on the side of not very available, but aim to make time for him — don’t play games. No flaking, no manipulation. Have real reasons for your scarceness
  • Don’t make him a priority until you’re his

And you’ll appear more attractive this way. Basic scarcity principle, as described in Robert Cialdini’s famous book Influence — things appear more valuable if they are rare or limited.

And if you have a packed social schedule and lots of people are vying for your attention, he will feel even more special when he finally gets it. Voila — he worked for it.

Finally, for doubters and those totally against asking a guy out — let me just reiterate that The Chase, or in my modified version, The Dance, is not what’s going to keep a quality guy in the long run.

If he actually likes you, he’ll like your personality, not some manipulative maneuvers you used to keep him hooked. If you come off needy that’s going to be a turn-off, but nobody is asking you to do that. Asking someone out is different than coming off needy. It’s actually one of the most confident things you can do. After all, MOST of the relationship takes place after the ask. The ask, in the grand scheme of things, is just a tiny interaction out of the vast number of interactions you’ll have with him if you two start dating.

Also, it’s not rocket science! Stop thinking so much into who asked who out first. Who even cares? And if you’re spending so much time thinking about making him feel the adrenaline because you’re playing a game, you’re trying way too hard. It’s a quick and dirty tactic that might work in the short term, but guys with self-respect can see right through it.

I can’t emphasize enough that if he hangs out with you and likes you, you’ll have infinite leeway to be who you are. Your flaws will be cute in his eyes. He will have been psyched that you even asked him to hang out.

If he doesn’t like you in the first place, there’s no amount of cajoling or doing little things to make him chase you that will convince him otherwise. And you could be waiting around for him to never ask you out.

Let’s take control of our dating lives and take a huge leap forward for women, and for all of those people who think there should be rules around expressing genuine interest in others.

More thoughts on dating:

wildercurrents.com