As that cute waiter flashes you the most stunning smile you have ever seen, you want to dive and drown into those hazy blue eyes and never let go of the menu card he has come to collect.
Or, have you ever thought that that mesmerizing fairy in the elevator had descended straight from heaven so that you could find her?
However, as you were debating whether it is okay to ask a stranger out on a date – or even approach them for the purpose – the waiter moved on to another table, and the lady has stepped out of the elevator.
So.. is it okay to ask a stranger out on a date?
It is socially acceptable to ask a stranger out on a date. Just make sure you find a common ground (something you both have in common) first. Then start the conversation with them, avoid overthinking, and ask if they are open to dating.
This article will help you step your game up for the next time you run into your soulmate.
Tips to Ask A Stranger Out on A Date:
1. Assess Their Body Language
Remember, actions speak louder than words. If someone is looking around the subway with friendly eyes, it is likely that they will be open to a conversation.
On the other hand, if they are staring at their newspaper or book so intently that their gaze might burn a hole through the pages, it is best to avoid trying your luck at that poker table.
2. Establish Eye Contact
Once you have ascertained that they might be willing to talk, the next step is to catch their eye. Let them know that you are interested in talking to them.
When you smile at a person, you show them that you are friendly and non-dangerous. You also show them that you like or are interested in them.
If the other person smiles back, it is a sign that they trust you and are developing a positive perception.
4. Introduce Yourself
Start a conversation by introducing yourself.
Something like, “Hi, my name is James, and you are…the love of my life”. Kidding (about the second half, at least; let things take their natural course).
Tell them your name and ask for theirs.
5. Offer Your Hand For a Handshake
Now, this could have been a part of the previous point, but I think it deserved a spot of its own.
Introductions are an excellent time to initiate physical contact early on without looking like a creep. Offer your hand for a handshake, and if you think that the other person seems interested in you, send a reciprocal signal by holding their hand for a second or two longer than you would in a typical handshake.
If you want to step it up further, you could even bring their hand close to your lips and give it a quick peck.
6. Find Common Ground
A good way to initiate conversation would be to discuss something you both have in common or might be experiencing in the present moment.
For instance, if you run into this stranger at the ballet, you could say something like, “Hey, this is the first time I am attending the ballet, and I am fascinated by it. Have you ever been to a ballet before?”
Or, maybe make a comment about the weather, “The weather seems heavenly this afternoon; I think I might go for a bike ride. Do you enjoy riding bikes?”
7. Do Not Overthink
Do not keep doubting your instincts. If your gut is telling you that you should talk to this human being, trust it. The chances are that you might not see this person ever again, so do not let your chance slip.
In the end, we regret the things we did NOT do more than the ones we did.
8. Stop Beating Around The Bush
If you do not come straight to the point, the other person might be forced to think that you are a snake oil salesman looking to sell them the latest smartwatch that allows users to download food. Make the right impression by using your words efficiently.
9. Avoid Cheesy Pickup Lines
Pickup lines do well as jokes or Facebook memes, but they really have less-than-limited applications in real life – especially with strangers.
If a ‘Hey, can I get close to you? The weather is chilly, and you are straight-up fire’ will only fetch you a fiery slap on the cheek.
10. Ask If The Person Would Be Open To Dating
Once your conversation is well underway, ask them about their relationship status. ‘Hey, are you seeing anyone these days? Or ‘Do you have a boyfriend/girlfriend’ should work fine.
This will allow you to signal a romantic interest without being explicit about it.
If the person is committed to someone, they will not go out on a date with you, and that will be that.
It is also possible that the person is not in a relationship, but also not interested in one at this time.
Either way, asking about a significant other will let you know where you stand.
11. Ask Them If They Would Like To Go Out With You
IF the other person is open to dating, let them know that you find them attractive and wish to spend more time with them.
You could say, ‘This conversation is so much fun. You and I have plenty in common, and I would love to know you better. Would you like to go out with me this weekend?’
Things To Do (And Not Do) on Your First Date:
You’ve done it – you came across a stranger, you liked them, and you have managed to convince them to go out with you. But, unless you get things absolutely right on your first date, all your efforts would have gone down the vain. So, what can you do to ensure the perfect first date?
1. Do NOT Ignore Personal Hygiene
First dates are also about first impressions, so you need to be at your best. Shave, shower, apply perfumes and deodorants, and put on your best clothes. Remember that you are going out with someone who might end up becoming your life partner, so treat your first date like a special event.
2. Keep Things Casual
You do not have to make your first date extravagant or particularly glamorous.
You are looking to know more about the other person and whether you two have a connection, so pick a place with minimal noise and other distractions. This way, you will be able to maintain a smooth flow to your conversation and learn about your date’s experiences and life.
3. Keep Your Manners About You:
- Keep your mouth shut while eating.
- Hold the door for your date.
- Use ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ whenever you can.
- Treat the waiters and other staff with respect (remember that people often judge a person by how they treat the underlings).
4. Go Beyond The Small Talk
As I mentioned, first dates are about getting to know the other person. If you keep persisting with small talk, you will realize that you ended your date without knowing nothing apart from the predicted temperature for tomorrow or the result of the football game between Liverpool and Manchester United.
Do not afraid to leap into the big questions, such as:
- What do you think makes you unique?
- What are you most afraid of?
- What is the one skill you want to learn or get better at?
- Which is your dream city?
(We will discuss more such questions in the next section).
5. Do NOT Talk Over or Interrupt Your Date
‘Which TV show do you like the most?’
‘Oh, it has to be Sherlock. I mean, the ingenuity and wit on that show!’
Safe to say, asking someone a question and then answering on their behalf appears rude and disrespectful. It seems like you do not really care about their opinion.
Also, make sure that you are not ordering food on your date’s behalf, unless they have explicitly asked you to.
6. Be in The Moment
On a first date, do not allow yourself to be distracted by negative thoughts, worries about whether you are making the right impression on your date or not, or by your phone blasting with WhatsApp notifications.
You want to give yourself the best shot at making a connection, and that is only possible if you are in the moment and focusing on your date.
7. Keep Your Needs in Mind
Do not get so engrossed in trying to impress your date that you end up forgetting to concentrate on whether your date is impressing you or not.
Allow the other person to ‘pitch’ them as well. See if they are the right person for you and if you can be your natural self around them.
8. Maintain Your Boundaries
When going out with someone you have only just met once, you might have a few boundaries, and it is essential to stick to them.
You should not have to apologize for ensuring your ‘safety’ on a date – be it physical, mental, or emotional.
The right partner will understand you and respect your boundaries.
Questions to Ask on Your First Date:
It can be hard to initiate meaningful conversation with someone you have only just met, and that too, when the two of you are all by yourselves. Allow the following questions to be your guide:
1. Would You Rather…?
This question type is extremely effective at breaking the ice, allowing both of you to become equal participants.
Moreover, you can make these questions as shallow or as deep as you want. Some examples of interesting ‘would you rather’ questions are:
- Would you rather know the history of every object you have ever touched or have the ability to talk to animals?
- Would you rather be able to see a year into your own future or a year into the future of anyone but yourself?
- Would you rather have unlimited first-class international plane tickets or have free food at restaurants for the rest of your life?
2. What Are You Most Proud of?
Not only will you know what your date values the most, but you will also be able to make them feel good about themselves.
They might mention something professional like getting their perfect job or something personal like the volunteer work they did during college.
3. Who Are The Special People in Your Life?
This is a good chance to know about the closest people in your date’s life, such as parents, siblings, grandparents, friends, or even their pets.
Get to learn about the people who have been with your date through thick and thin and helped them become the person that they are today.
Enjoy the glimmer in their eyes as they talk about their favorite people and the times spent with them. However, since this is a rather personal question, hold it back until you guys have broken the ice and your date is conversing comfortably and openly.
4. What Are Your Hobbies?
This one might sound cliché, but it is a tried and tested way to get the other person talking.
Moreover, you can learn about the habits and activities that keep your date busy and whether there are any activities that the two of you might try out together.
A vital aspect of getting to know someone is knowing about their passions.
5. Why Did You Choose The Profession That You Did?
Again, some people might find work- and career-related conversation boring on a first date. But you cannot deny that their profession and career are a significant portion of who they are, so you might want to cast a bit of light on that region.
The idea is to learn something more profound about your date, but, once again, you also need to make sure that the question does not sound too intrusive and makes them uncomfortable.