How Do I Ask Someone on a Date?

man and woman talking and smiling
Sydney Robert/Getty Images

Asking someone for a date is much like making any type of assertive request. It involves taking the initiative to let someone know what you are thinking and feeling, asking for what will make you happy, and at the same time taking the feelings of the other person into consideration.

Why You Are Afraid to Ask Someone on a Date

If you live with social anxiety disorder (SAD), it may be hard to imagine how to ask someone on a date. How would an actual encounter play out?

You might worry about the same things that you expect to happen in other social situations, such as not being interesting enough or the other person noticing your anxiety. On top of that, you're probably worried that you will be rejected.

Dating is the ultimate form of putting yourself out there and risking receiving a "no" in return. Fortunately, there are ways to make the process easier on yourself and the other person, so that it doesn't have to feel so stressful or pressured.

The key is to be casual in how you ask for the date, to make it easy for the other person to follow through or not, depending on their interest level.

Asking Someone on a Date

Below is a sample script for asking someone on a date.

James is interested in a cute girl named Sarah whom he works with but has never developed the courage to ask her out. He's waited, hoping that maybe she will initiate a conversation, but he also thinks that she might be too shy to make the first move.

The best approach for James is to frame the request in a casual manner as part of a conversation. He will feel less anxious that way (there is less risk of "outright" rejection) and the other person can say no without having to feel bad.

Sample Script

Note: Instead of directly asking Sarah on a date, James gives her the opportunity to encourage more conversation if she is interested.

James: "I've been really wanting to see the new (insert name of popular actor) movie. Have you seen it yet?"

Sarah: "No, I haven't seen it yet, but I'd like to go. My friends are always so busy that it is hard to get together and make plans. Were you thinking of seeing it?"

James: "Yeah, I thought it looked pretty cool. If you're not busy, maybe we could go together?"

Sarah: "Sure, that would be fun."

Sarah: "Okay. I'll give you my phone number and then you can text or call to let me know when might work for you."

When speaking with the other person, be sure to smile, make eye contact, and keep your body language friendly and open. If the other person is not receptive to your conversation or does not accept your invitation, do not take it personally. There is nothing to be gained by dwelling on rejection. Instead, congratulate yourself for asking.

Online Dating

The increasing popularity of online dating may be helpful for those with social anxiety, as it allows the opportunity to meet people in a less demanding social environment. However, online dating can also involve many of the same pitfalls as in-person dating.

People with social anxiety may rely too heavily on online relationships, so its important to strike a balance between your online presence and asking people on dates in person.

This also gives you more practice in real-life social settings.

A Word From Verywell

If you are still struggling to ask other people out on dates, it could be that you are living with severe social anxiety. If you've not already reached out for help, contact your doctor and make an appointment for a referral to a mental health professional. There are effective treatments such as medication and therapy that could make a difference in your life.

Was this page helpful?
Article Sources
Verywell Mind uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.