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How to Avoid Being Nervous When you Ask a Guy Out

Updated on November 22, 2012

There's no way around a bout of self-consciousness when it comes to asking someone out. "Feeling alive", as someone once pointed out to me, is an inescapable part of the relationship process, and I might even hedge a positive one, as long as there is a hint of self-irony at the edges of your nervousness.

Why positive? Consider what taking a bold stance both says and conveys about you. You are assertive and are willing to shrug off the anxiety-laden hell of dining on mixed signals. You are conveying interest in a dignified and honest way, without relying on someone else to take a leap of faith. You are also, something most of us fall prey to when it comes to romance, seeking clarity over comfort.

All of these characteristics will not be lost on a man of substance (forgive me for sounding like something out of a 1800's novella), and nervousness aside, taking action will have given you an additional edge.

In this article I will attempt to outline what I subjectively consider to be the best practices when asking a guy out, both improving your chances and minimizing the discomfort involved. Both with regards to the moment, and in light of the potential aftermath (come what may).


A Time And Place Of Your Choosing

One of the many overlooked luxuries of being active over reactive, is that you can dictate the time and place of the conversation. In other words, you can make yourself more comfortable by:

  • Choosing a location that puts you more at ease. This can mean making the meeting more or less formal depending on what works for you. If popping the question before a storm of swans flocking across the skein of a placid lake makes you a little too self-conscious, a less personal environment will do the trick.
  • Choosing the perfect time of day. Likewise, asking him out of a morning coffee when the senses are still a little dull and foggy can make it more bearable.

I feel that people fall prey to perfectionism and getting the details just right. I am of the impression that if a guy (I can only speak for myself) is going to say yes, he will do so independently of the time and place -- so do what it takes to make yourself at ease.

Don't Drown In Indirectness

By considering asking him out, you are shouldering a sizable burden. You are momentarily delegating the health of your fluctuating ego on someone else. This state of flux is intensely draining, if your message is not clear enough (safety over clarity), you may simply end up muddying the waters of meaning.

In short -- make it concise, make it blunt and do it with a smile. There is a palpable sense of release when your feelings are laid bare. The pain of possible rejection is made more manageable by adhering to a simple stress rule. That of obeying our central nervous system's flight or fight reaction. By asking him directly, you are in essence "fighting", and your body will thank you. It also gives those who would play with your feelings very little wiggle-room. Take it or leave it!

Dignity Over Sympathy

Despite the jitters and despite the potential for awkwardness, there is a well of humor to draw upon (at least internally). There is no better cure-all for stress and taking the oomph out of a situation than a well placed smile.

Beneath the stoic demeanor of most guys I know lies an undulating current of insecurity when it comes to dating -- we just don't get asked out that often. By waving the humor flag in his direction you are making it very easy for both of you to relax and make an honest decision without the obstacles of guilt, sympathy or uncertainty.

It can be consoling to realize that by-and-large we are not as dense as we seem. If an "asking out" is on the horizon, there's a good chance we feel it coming -- and are equally nervous! If he hasn't started going absent without leave, and continues to enjoy your company, consider it a tacit consensus that he's liking what he sees. If, on the other hand, he is taking you for a ride and doesn't intend for a fully fledged relationship to take place, smile doubly, for by being denied you have dodged a long-term bullet. Win-win!

We (men) are taught at a young age that we are supposed to be the movers and shakers when it comes to taking that figurative leap of faith. Chances are, by pre-empting the asking out you have made his day a thousand times brighter than it previously was. If you are greeted by a manic laugh when you pop the question, this is probably what is happening internally.


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    • thooghun profile imageAUTHOR

      James D. Preston 

      6 years ago from Rome, Italy

      eHealer, thanks so much for always putting in the time! I'm great at asking people out, it's the answer I seem to have a problem accepting :P

    • eHealer profile image


      6 years ago from Las Vegas

      Excellent Thoogun, this will help a lot of people. Although I've been single on and off much of my life, I never asked a guy out. My friends had, and I thought about it a few times, but I always managed to get involved with someone when I was so busy. Great hub and shared!


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