So you’re new to dating, maybe you’re new AGAIN to dating, maybe you were just never good at it to begin with. I have a secret for you, MOST of us are just stumbling by hoping someone finds our awkward attempts at romance charming. We’re rarely truly unique (with success anyway) and we certainly can use all the help we can get. So without further ado, here’s our guide to Romance 101 and how to approach someone new.
So what do you do? How can you approach a new (soon to be special) someone and increase your chances for a second date? What do you do after the first date? Where exactly is the line between creepy and attentive? Are flowers really the end all be all of romantic gifts? Who exactly pays on a date? What do you do if you’re a neverous rambler? Okay, maybe that last one was projecting. But you get the point. I’m going to dive into these pesky questions and more below!
How do you approach someone new and ask them out for a date?
It sounds simple, in theory. You walk up to your person of choice, say hi, ask about their day, see if their free for dinner later.
But somewhere in there you trip over your words for one reason or another. The room is crowded, work gets busy, the bar is too loud, this list goes on. But fear not, there are some tricks to make this a little bit easier.
Plan out what you want to say in advance – It sounds cheesy, but there’s a reason romance movies sound better than real life. They’re scripted. Take some advice from the pros and plan a mini dialogue with yourself.
Try A Note – It may sound old fashioned but sending someone a handwritten note can be a sweet way to ask them out. If you’re doing this at the bar, leave your number and ask for drinks/dinner/coffee sometime. That leaves the ball in their court to call you back. It goes a long way toward making women feel comfortable, and it feels nice for a guy to be the one being hit on rather than having to make the move.
Embrace Technology – If you already have their number, or personal e-mail, then don’t be afraid to shoot your shot there. Even a private message on social media letting them know you’re interested in getting to know them more can work. Bonus, you can spend plenty of time re-writing what you want to say. Stay away from anything too forward of presumptuous, chances are if you wouldn’t feel comfortable with your parents reading it you’ve gone too far.
What to do after the first date, and how to increase your chances for a second!
These both actually tie into one another. What you do on your first date, and after, can really impact your chances for getting to see them again so take notes.
- Step 1 – Make sure to bring a small gift to the date if you are picking them up. Flowers, chocolates, a cheesy trinket that shows off your mutual interest, yes even a mix tape. Anything that is easy, but shows you actually thought of them is a good low-pressure gift that will really set the mood for the rest of the night.
- Step 2 – While you’re on your date make sure you ask about what they like to do. Don’t be afraid to ask the super obvious question “so what is your idea of the perfect date” and use the idea for date number 2.
- Step 3 – This step assumes you go their cellphone number, so make sure you get that. Make sure you text them after the date to tell them you had a good time. Doesn’t have to be long winded, or RIGHT after. A brief “thanks for the wonderful date” will do. It may seem like a small thing, but that’s exactly why it often gets overlooked and people feel so upset when it doesn’t happen. It takes 2 seconds, but it means a lot.
- Step 4 – Actually ask them for a second date. Could be right after the first, could be a few days later. Just make sure you don’t wait too long or they might think you aren’t interested. Waiting for them to tell you they are interested in seeing you again isn’t a smart idea. It’s one thing to not want to pressure them, but to not put the offer out there at all kills your chances all together.
- Step 5 – This step is optional, but highly encouraged, especially if you planned a second date for more than a week later. Schedule a gift delivery to their home/work (your call on what’s most appropriate for them) the day before your date. A simple arrangement of flowers with a simple card will show them how excited you are. For those of your asking out a guy, yeah, he’ll probably like this too. Roses may seem a little forward and overly lovey dovey for someone you’re just getting to know, instead we recommend daisies, sunflowers, and alstroemeria. Each are stunning, but don’t have the same undertones of love.
- Step 6 – Don’t be pushy. This is not optional. The line between showing you are interested and being creepy is a thin one. TO make it extra tricky it can change from person to person. So we recommend being direct, without being too insistent. A good go to line is “I like you, and I would like to see you again if you are interested.” If they say yes perfect, you’re in! But go ahead a follow up with something like “I’m so glad the feeling is mutual. I’ll be honest, I’m not great at this, so please let me know if I’m doing anything you don’t like, or if I’m coming off as too strong.”
Yes, it really is that easy. Everyone appreciates knowing that you’re thinking about what is good for them and acknowledging their individual needs and limits. You may not know them, and that’s fine, but there’s no excuse for not asking.
Are flowers really the end all be all of romantic gifts?
The short answer to that is, no, they aren’t. But they are certainly a heavy hitter in your arsenal of romantic gifts. Unless you know the person you are dating is really anti-flower gifts, you should keep them in your rotation. Be sure to diversify outside of roses, there’s a symbolism to flowers and you can make each bouquet more special by adding variety. Take the time to find out their favorite flower, and color. Try picking out bouquets that feature one or both.
But you don’t want to send JUST flowers. I mean really there’s only so many places to put a bouquet. Instead make sure you mix it up. Wine, spa gifts cards, a fine bottle of liquor, chocolate, even an edible bouquet of sweets or fruits can be a sweet gesture. Bonus, you really can add a flower arrangement to just about anything.
The very best and final piece of advice I can give you is: When In doubt, ask. If you’re going to try a relationship with someone starting off being open and honest, even about your own uncertainty, is the best way to do it. If they’re interested, they’ll be happy to help you along, and they’ll probably have similar questions. Whatever you do make sure to be yourself. Courting someone is as much about getting to know them, as it is showing them who you are. What you do at the start of the relationship should be the kind of thing you can keep up for the whole thing. Hint: gifts, romantic nights out, sweet texts, and more!
You’ve got the basics down, now what?
Check out our guide to Women’s Day gifts, a holiday that might just make her happier than Valentine’s Day.
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