Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, which means we’re all thinking about romance. If you’re currently single, this can be a challenging time of year, and you might be wondering how exactly to go about getting a date. It can be particularly tough if you’ve had your eye on someone and don’t know exactly how to approach them. Alternatively, if nobody’s been catching your eye lately, you might be feeling discouraged about trying to date altogether. But getting a date is actually easier than you might think - you just need to know how to go about it.
Here are 6 incredible tips you can use to nab your dream date this season.
The first tip to getting a date is actually simple - you need to keep your mind open to new possibilities. If you are feeling particularly discouraged about dating, you may be pessimistic about approaching a potential date, which instantly decreases your chances of success. After all, no one is going to be interested in someone who doesn’t seem open to dating them. On the other hand, you may be so invested in your idea of a ‘perfect match’ that you are ruling out perfectly wonderful people without ever giving them a shot. This closed minded attitude is something you need to change in order to get a date.
There’s a fine line with this tip - if you start looking for potential matches everywhere you go, you might find yourself getting discouraged. Instead, the key is to keep your mind open to new experiences in general, romantic or non-romantic. You never know what could lead to you meeting your future partner. For example, if a friend invites you to an event that you would normally decline, try going for a little bit just to see what it’s like. You may find that you meet someone you click with. If someone starts chatting with you at the grocery store or on public transit, don’t immediately write them off, but instead see where the conversation goes. Not every person you meet is going to be a potential match, but the more open-minded you are, the better your chances are of success.
Try dating apps with similar demographics
Dating apps are one of the easiest ways to find a date nowadays, and while they’re not the only way to meet a partner, they definitely aid the process if you are serious about it. There are so many dating apps to choose from nowadays, and trying to find the best one can be a little bit overwhelming. Many people decide just to go with the most popular dating apps in their area instead of doing their research on each one. In some cases, choosing the most popular app can work purely because you will have more people to choose from. However, in many cases, it can actually defeat the purpose, because you won’t be matching with people who share your interests and goals.
Different dating apps are designed for different target audiences, and researching each of your options will better set you up for success. For example, if you are a twenty-something interested in casual dating, Tinder and Zoosk will provide you with plenty of options, but if you are in the same age bracket looking for something a little more serious, Bumble, Hinge, or OkCupid might be a better option. If you’re older and more interested in settling down, eHarmony and Match.com will provide you with an easy way to meet people who share your goals and interests. If you are religious, you may want to look for a site that caters to your faith, like Christian Mingle. The dating apps available are limitless, you just need to find the one that makes the most sense for your interests.
Confidence is key
Being confident and secure in who you are is going to attract people to you, regardless of your personality, interests, or appearance. Societal norms are changing, and you shouldn’t feel like you have to conform to any standards - there’s going to be someone (in fact, probably more than one person) who will be interested in your authentic self. However, to attract those people to you, you need to show it off a bit. Practice smiling, making eye contact with people, and having good posture when you are out and about. This will instantly make you look more attractive, and these are little things that don’t require much effort.
If you want to step things up even further, going clothes shopping can also give you a good confidence boost. The key is to pick outfits you really love, not the outfits you think you should like based on what’s popular. If you don’t feel comfortable in your clothing, you aren’t going to look confident. Be picky with your outfits, and don’t settle for anything that makes you feel less than amazing. Top things off by practicing good hygiene and taking care of your skin and hair. Again, you don’t need to go overboard with makeup or beauty treatments - just do what makes you feel good about yourself. Pampering yourself is a great way to enhance your natural beauty and attract others to you.
Find people who share your hobbies
One of the most important parts of a great romantic connection is having something in common with the other person. Ultimately, no matter how amazing your personalities are, it’s difficult to have fun together if you don’t share the same interests. A great way to land a date is by going to social events that are centered around a specific interest of yours, instead of just going to a bar. For example, if you like to read, try going to a local book club. If you like to exercise, go take a class instead of working out on your own. The internet makes it easier than ever to find other people with similar interests to hang out with, and chances are there are already tons of meet-up groups in your city that you might be interested in. Being in this setting will immediately make it easier to strike up a conversation with someone as well, because you can talk about your shared interest instead of having to wrack your brain for an appropriate topic of conversation.
Be open to set-ups
Many people are a little embarrassed to tell their friends and family they are looking for a partner, and it’s understandable why you might feel this way. There’s a natural fear of coming off too eager when looking for a relationship, and that can lead us to keep our feelings to ourselves. While this might feel like a safe option, it actually can be very detrimental to your overall success in the long run. Instead, choose a few family members and friends that you feel comfortable with and let them know that you’re interested in exploring the dating scene. Chances are, they’ll be excited - everyone loves being a wingman, and they’ll probably be happy to set you up with people they know. Your friends and family know you better than anyone, which means they know your taste and are likely to set you up with people they genuinely trust and believe would be a good match. Having friends and family on your side can also be helpful in group settings, because they can help you approach someone you’re interested in if you are feeling a bit intimidated of doing it on your own.
Use positive body language
Body language is our subconscious way of communicating with each other and making people feel comfortable. Using positive body language and being aware of your physical presence will make a huge difference when it comes to getting a date. As previously mentioned, you will want to appear confident, so you should stand with your shoulders back and keep your eyes up. When you notice someone that you are interested in, get in close physical proximity to them and make sure your body is facing them. This indicates that you are interested without you having to say a word. For example, if you notice someone attractive on the subway, get within a few seats of them, where you could easily strike up a conversation, and turn your feet and torso towards them so you aren’t closed off. Of course, don’t get too close, as this could be very alarming. Once you do start the conversation, make sure you continue to make eye contact, and nod and smile to indicate that you are engaged. All of these seem like small, simple things, but you might tense up and forget to do them if you are nervous about asking for a date.
Be clear without being overbearing
Once you’ve identified someone you want to ask out, half the challenge is actually getting the courage to do it. Don’t let the fear of rejection scare you - you don’t have anything to lose. There are many ways to go about approaching a potential date, but the key is to make sure you clearly communicate your interest without putting pressure on them. If you’ve already met the person you’re interested in, this is a little easier. Strike up a conversation, either in person or through a text message, and if it seems to be going well, all you need to do is compliment them and pose a straightforward question. Try something like, “Hey, I really enjoy talking to you and would like to get to know you better. Would you be interested in maybe going on a date sometime?” This eliminates any confusion about your interest in them, and will make them feel flattered without feeling pressured. If you say something too intense like, “I think we have a connection,” for example, they might feel turned off by the inherent weight of that statement. Throwing the idea out there without seeming too invested will likely get a positive response. It also makes it easier for you to shrug it off if things don’t work out.
If you’re approaching someone you’ve never met before, you have more options. The key is to start a conversation instead of just asking them out point-blank. You need to see if there is any chemistry there before going in for the big question. Many people like to open with a compliment, and this can be a good strategy. However, it’s important to make sure the comment is something genuine and sweet instead of too intense. Complimenting someone’s outfit or hairstyle specifically is going to be more effective than just telling someone they look hot, for example. You can also open the conversation by commenting on something in your environment, like a book the person is reading or a relevant current event. If the conversation goes well, ask them if they would be open to spending more time together. Don’t be afraid to use some humor to lighten the mood and keep things low-key.
If asking directly feels like too much, another strategy is to mention that you are going somewhere and ask the other person if they would like to join you. This is very non-threatening and low pressure, so it’s a great tactic if you are feeling nervous. However, keep in mind that this does open up some potential ambiguity if you don’t clarify whether or not it is a date.
Keep in mind that there’s no one perfect solution to asking for a date. Ultimately, you will need to go with your gut and read the situation. Being kind and pleasant to talk to is key in all of your interactions. Many people are so focused on trying to ‘play the game’ when flirting that they forget about this very basic necessity. A good attitude can go a long way in attracting other people to you, because people want to hang out with others who make them feel good.