So you have been crushing on this really cute girl in your 8 a.m. Yes, I know, you have been cowering in the corner of the classroom, enjoying quiet moments of excitement when you see her across the quad and, admit it, you have searched her name on at least three different social media platforms. These days, the detestable sound of your alarm clock seems more tolerable, the thought of stepping out into the blistering Michigan tundra seems less horrifying and you very surprisingly do not foresee yourself skipping class anytime soon.
Well, it is time to quit the sheepish (and creep-ish) staring and start talking. Approaching a girl for the first time can be nerve-wracking, I understand. But I bring good tidings of great joy: girls are simple when it comes to impressing us, talking with us, even asking us to hang out. We do not expect bells and whistles. In fact, we do not want any. Over the week of January 20th, I surveyed 100 female participants between the ages of 18 and 29 to bring you trusted guidelines from the minds of the girls you are crushing on. So, fellas, keep your cool and be yourself. Just in time for Valentine’s Day, here are your do’s and don’ts for asking a girl out on a date:
DO give yourself a pep talk. If you are nervous about talking to a girl, I want you to do two things: put the situation in perspective and be confident in who you are. This is not a live interview with Piers Morgan or the LSAT, this is talking to a girl— something you did without thinking when you were five. In the great scheme of things, there are greater things to lose sleep over.
Second, remind yourself of who you are and what you have to offer. Do not be discouraged by qualities you think a girl is looking for in a guy and do not convince yourself you lack those qualities. Over good looks and accomplishments, forty-seven percent of respondents ranked genuinity as the most important quality they look for in a guy. Be calm, be confident and remember: you are more likely to regret not talking to the girl you like than you are if you give it a shot.
DON’T, for the love of God, even think about pick up lines. No matter what clever concoction you came up with in the shower, anything carefully planned and smoothly conveyed is out of the question. You do not believe me? Only four out of 100 respondents indicated that pick-up lines were impressive. Over 50 percent favored “a calm and laid back approach with no obvious effort” and 43 percent even thought it was cute when you are nervous.
Your best bet when approaching a girl is to be natural. There is no need for flowers or love notes or cheesy jokes. In fact, she will see right through your efforts. Talk to her like you would your friends. Bring up something you both have in common like the class you are sharing, events on campus, sports games and anything else that comes to mind. Do not over-think it and she will find it easy to talk with you. If a girl feels comfortable talking with you then you are well on your way, my friend.
DO have productive conversation in person. Do not ask her how she feels about the seven degree weather—clearly she does not particularly enjoy it. Instead, be original and engage her in the conversation. A large majority of respondents found it meaningful when guys asked them questions about themselves. This shows a woman that you care about actually getting to know her. Actually, 70 percent also found it telling when guys addressed them by their first names when saying hello. Most important to note: an overwhelming 95 percent loved when guys remembered what was discussed in previous conversation and brought it back up.
Over 80 percent of girls surveyed found it to be a turn on when guys talked to them for the first time in person. The same number found it to be a turn off when a guy talked to them for the first time via text message, social media or only while out at the frats.
By making the extra effort and talking (soberly) to a girl in person, you have already gained a few points in her book. Ninety percent even found it to be a turn on when a guy said “hi” to them while passing through the quad. I promise that she is far more likely to follow up after a conversation with you in person than with the cyber version of you she got to know in her inbox.
DON’T discuss past breakups, past hook ups, how often you work out, what you bench, what your chill-to-pull ratio is or anything negative about another person. If you talk about your ex, she is going to think you are not over her. If you are trying too hard, she is going to roll her eyes and write you off. Girls want a guy who is confident, not cocky. Finally, be conscious of the fact that what comes out in an initial conversation might reflect you as a person.
DO talk about a recent accomplishment, smile and ask if you can call or text her sometime. If she does not want to give you her number because she has got a boyfriend or she “does not give her number out”, do not badger her or be rude. Recover like a champ and tell her you will see her around. She is more likely to be impressed by how you handle rejection and may come back around in the future.
DO ask her out! If conversation goes over well and you feel like there might be potential, go out on a limb and ask her to hang out. This is not a proposal and no formal invitation is necessary. Just ask her to hang out like you would one of your buddies. The more casual you make it, the less she will feel that there are expectations and says no because she feels pressure.
A whopping 93 percent indicated that they prefer to have a guy ask in person. If you really want an affirmative response, she is far less likely to turn you down in person (it is a lot easier to do that when we are hiding behind a computer screen, trust me).Finally, in second place at 37 percent, girls fancied a phone call (would it kill you?).
DON’T sweat over how you word it; keep it simple and original. One female enjoyed that her guy kept it casual:
“He asked me for my number after he walked me home after class so we could sign up for a 5k.”
And why not be clever?
“The first time I met my boyfriend, we met at the rock climbing wall. We were really hitting it off, and he asked “Wanna traverse?” It’ll be like a date.” I thought it was really cute and confident of him, so we did. We started seeing each other about a week or so later. That was two years ago.” (Traverse: a climbing term that means to climb across the rock wall instead of up.)
DO hang out in an environment that promotes getting to know one another. Not sure where to hang out? Well I can tell you that it is not going to be at the frats; only two girls preferred to hang out there on their first date with a guy. Sixty-one percent ranked dinner and a movie as their top choice but one anonymous respondent made a valid argument that might be worth considering:
“[I prefer] dinner and something fun/different. I get sick of guys always asking to go to the movies. Movies make me think you just want to get a hook up and you don’t even interact during them!! What’s the point?”
Another suggested something more active and original in an environment with no expectations:
“[I prefer] just to hang out, do something active. Hike, a park, some adventure. I don’t believe in dates, just be my friend and we’ll see where it goes.”
My favorite idea? Sushi. (Check out AKA Sushi in Jackson!)
“A guy asked me to get sushi with him casually. It was great because sushi is the perfect date – it’s fun (trying to use chopsticks) and what girl doesn’t like the taste of sushi? Also, it shows that you’re classy and not cheap.”
My final advice to you: take a deep breath, keep your cool, be yourself and go after the crush sitting in your 8 a.m.! Ask yourself: what do I have to lose? Here is your answer: nothing. If you get turned down, that is OK. I promise you that there are plenty of fish in the sea— maybe not in Albion, but definitely in the sea.
Photo by Alexa Hyman
This story, originally posted Jan. 27, was updated Jan. 28 to reflect the correct and specific time period that survey results were collected: the week of January 20. Additionally, the following sentence has been re-worded: “But I bring good tidings of great joy: girls are simple when it comes to impressing us, talking with us, even asking us to hang out.”