Ahhh, strangers. The world is full of them. If you’re single, you probably know that the world is full of other singles you don’t know yet. How exactly do you meet them and go out? You probably have all sorts of opportunities to meet strangers–you just aren’t taking them yet.
Let’s say you’re at a barbecue, a friend’s house, at the grocery store, on the street. It doesn’t matter. The point is, you are running into potential dates all the time! Are you taking advantage of these opportunities? It can be challenging to take that risk to ask someone you have only just met, but how do you know if you never try?
Here are some tips to making a date with someone you just met.
•Make Eye Contact and Smile
This seems like a no brainer, but sometimes just making eye contact and smiling can be the hardest part. It means you are putting yourself out there and being vulnerable. It means you are interested in that stranger. Try not to look at it as a scary thing; rather, look at it as an opportunity! If they don’t meet your gaze or smile back, no harm done. Just move on.
•Simply Say Hello
You gotta start somewhere. Obviously, you can’t ask someone who isn’t open to talking to you. So saying hello is simply the first step to see if this person is open to just talking to you. Time to make some conversation. But keep smiling and making eye contact while you do it.
•Make a General Observation
At a barbecue? Comment on the food. On the street? Say something about the weather. At the grocery store? Ask where something is located. At a friend’s house? Ask how they know your friend. The key here is to gauge the interest of this stranger by trying to engage them in a conversation. If they don’t bite, it’ll be obvious that they are either taken or aren’t interested in making a connection just then. And that’s ok. If they do bite, then go to the next step.
Tell this person your name, and maybe something about you. If they say their name in return and are glad to meet you, then you are in.
•Ask General Questions
You are interested in this person, and they will know it right off the bat if you are smiling, making eye contact, and asking questions. Make sure they are just general questions, since you just met. Questions like, what do you do, do you live around here, what do you do for fun, or something related to what you both are currently attending. If you’re at a grocery store, perhaps ask if they like to cook.
•Key in on Nonverbal Communication
How are you both standing? Does the other person keep looking away, or are you two focused on each other. Are you both smiling? Does the other person seem timid somehow, maybe by crossing their arms? They may just be a little shy, but they could also just be trying to find a nice way to exit. Your inner gut will tell you if this person is interested or not. If they aren’t, let them go gracefully. If they are…
•How Is the Conversation Going?
If you are both talking happily, and the other person isn’t in a rush to go away, those are good signs. If you are both fumbling for words, then it’s a toss up as to whether things should continue. Maybe you are both just nervous. But if it feels awkward, them let this person go by saying, “It was nice to meet you. I’ve gotta run!” If the conversation is going well, then you can move into the reason you started talking to this stranger in the first place.
•Nonchalantly Ask Them Out
Don’t make it a big deal. Just casually say, “Would you like to meet up for coffee later?” or “Want to grab a bite?” or “Let’s talk more. Here’s my number.” Make it a natural progression of what you are already both talking about, and it will seem to natural, that the other person will definitely say yes. What do you have to lose?