Dear University of Colorado Boulder Students,
Your Homie Naomi: After doomscrolling on bottomless social media sites such as Reddit and Yikyak, I’ve discovered a common theme of questions y’all have, and I’ve felt an overwhelming sense of duty to assert my opinion on it.
Confused Admirer: How do I ask someone out?
Your Homie Naomi: With Valentine’s Day approaching, this question has been weighing on the minds of a lot of my peers. This is a troubling concern for many because we meet most potential mates through classes, and that can make it hard to distinguish the appropriate time to ask someone out. After all, if something goes wrong, you will likely still be seeing them in class for the next couple of months.
Another method to meet people is through extracurriculars and jobs. In this case, it can be hard to create that first-stage relationship through a club that might only meet once a week for an hour, and it’s even more complicated trying to date a coworker. The conditions of college are perfect for hookup culture to fester. But for my romantics, whose interests lie in forming deep connections, stay strong and tune in to find strategies that may aid your efforts.
Disclaimer incoming: I am by no means the love master of the world, but through close friends and personal experience, I’ve formulated a list of need-to-knows to help CU Boulder’s student body find love.
Tip 1: Make moves towards overcoming your fear of rejection.
This is often the biggest barrier that stands in the way of finding prospects. I will admit this can be more than difficult — especially if you are trying to woo someone you’re really into. But, with time and practice, it becomes easier. Remembering that the worst thing that can happen is that they turn you down helps. Having confidence in yourself as a person who deserves romantic attention (because everyone deserves that) will make it easier for you to not take their answer personally.
No one dislikes being asked out in a respectful and appropriate way. People enjoy feeling desirable. People admire confidence. Your confidence and desirability level increase by obtaining the gusto to casually ask someone out, which might increase the chances that the person you’re asking out will accept your offer.
If someone rejects you in a demeaning way, I want to testify that you shouldn’t take anything personally from others. When someone says something with the intention of being hurtful, it has nothing to do with you. It is indicative of their mindset and their insecurities. You are worthy and deserving of the right person’s special attention. Plus, they were definitely not right for you, so bullet dodged!
Tip 2: Consider the appropriate timing and context — think before you act.
When it comes to asking someone out, timing is key. This kind of thing can be hard to gauge because it’s very different depending on context, but I’ll mention a couple rules of thumb.
If it’s at someone’s workplace, it’s important to establish a relationship by coming in multiple times and having more than one conversation. Remember that in this context, if someone is on the clock, they’re likely being paid to be nice to you, so don’t always take that as a sign. The best method of asking them out in this context would be by slipping them a card with your number or doing something that leaves the ball completely in their court and doesn’t put pressure on them to answer in the moment.
If you’re interested in someone in one of your classes — sit by them, talk to them and watch their body language. Do they smile when they see you? Did they seem to enjoy the conversation? Pay attention to how much they make eye contact, how engaged they are in the conversation and whether their body is facing you. After making these judgments, it’s your choice whether you want to ask them out after a class. Maybe you’ll see if they want to hang out outside of class first (not labeled as a date) and then ask them out.
Another example could be if you have an interest in someone casually in a public place. Read the setting by asking yourself: do they look open to talking to others? How do they react to eye contact? Also, there’s nothing wrong with asking someone out over text because it takes the pressure off for both parties, but I understand people think the traditional way is more intimate.
Tip 4: Prepare what to say and how to say it.
Again, context is everything. In general, it’s good to take the pressure off of your confession and question when trying to ask someone out. Mention something about them that you like. Personality-related is preferred, but appearance-based works.
Try something casual like, “I think you are a really cool person, and I want to get to know you better. Would you like to go on a date sometime?”
If you’re interested in someone you just met, ask them out to a public space where you can talk without an activity distracting your conversation. Think a coffee shop, lunch, dinner or a bar. If you’re asking out someone you’ve known for a while, you can choose an activity-based occasion like a hike, ice skating, a museum or an arcade.
Tip 5: Remember that your life is complete without a serious or intimate relationship.
Whether you find someone or not, your life can be full and exciting. As human beings (most of us) are hard-wired to want some sort of connection. But your life can be complete without romance, and being content with your life and yourself without a relationship is essential to finding a place in your life for a relationship. It’s an addition, not the point.
There are 30,000 students at this school, and you are still young. You have so much time to gain experience, meet cool people and have special relationships.
Love and Dates and Kisses,
Contact CU Independent Opinion Editor Naomi Morrison at firstname.lastname@example.org.