How to ask someone out on a date: tips for both sexes

How to ask someone out on a date, part one: advice for men

Lesson number one: Don’t get into protracted online conversations with people you don’t want to get into protracted conversations with. It’s not fair to lead them on.

Lesson number two: If you’ve hit it off on email – and you were the one to initiate contact initially – ask her out. People have different views on how long this e-courtship period should be but it’s really whatever feels right.

how to ask someone outWe don’t advise asking someone out just because you’ve had half an hour of virtual chat (a bit over keen) so three to five days is about ideal. Any longer and you risk losing them.

Then hit them with: “Do you fancy going for a drink some time?” or “Do you fancy seeing that Osmonds reunion?” if you’re both somewhat quirky.

Lesson number three: If she says yes? Again, don’t dither. Write back (and not in two days’ time, but immediately) with something on the lines of: “Great. Tuesday and Wednesday are good for me, how about you? As we both work centrally, maybe we could head for the Princess Louise near Holborn? It’s nice there and you can usually get a table in the week. Alternative suggestions welcome.”

Lesson number four: If you’re the one who’s been asked out, do your bit by suggesting the venue and day. As one of our women readers put it: “If I ask a bloke out, I really like him to take charge of the date from then. I don’t want to be the man for the whole relationship.”

Indeed. And we have heard that time and time again.

Part two: advice for women

So, a few days ago you messaged a man on eHarmony and the two of you have exchanged some entertaining emails on the site. You can, of course, now suggest you meet up – great. But a couple of women we’ve spoken to have a different view, which we think is interesting.

Louise, 33, from Bristol, says: “If I’ve initiated contact, I don’t want to be the person who then also suggests the date. You don’t know how interested the man really is – and you don’t want to feel you’re... well, offering yourself on a plate!”

Part three: advice for men and women on how to ask someone out

Try to fix the date for the next few days. Those that are fixed for a night longer than five or six days away have a funny habit of never happening. We don’t know why, they just do. Someone ends up cancelling; momentum is important.

If you can’t do anything about this, write an email or text every couple of days to maintain contact.

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