How to Ask a Girl Out

Tips for Asking a Girl Out

We asked Patti Novak about the most common mistakes guys make when talking to girls. She replied that men "talk about their careers and toys too much." Nowadays, women make their own money, she says, and are turned off when men brag about what they've accomplished and what they have.

And though eye contact can help you, wandering eyes can ruin you. "Be careful where your eyes are," Novak says. The guy should offer undivided attention and "listen to understand and respond accordingly." And certainly don't look around at other girls, says Novak.

Even though some dating books tell you to pay attention to a girl's body language, David Wygant and Neil Strauss say this is mostly hogwash. You can only control your own body language, Wygant says. He advises guys to use strong body language: Look directly in her eyes, square your shoulders, and stay an arm's length away from her. "You're going to be the leader," says Wygant, "and she will mimic your body language."

Just because a girl crosses her arms doesn't mean she's not interested, says Strauss: "Sometimes her arms are just crossed." However, Strauss does suggest what he calls "ping tests" to tell if a girl likes you:

  • While you're talking, you playfully knock her on her arm. It's a good sign if she knocks you back, and a bad sign if she stiffens.
  • You get a chance to take her hand to lead her across a crowded room. It's a good sign if she squeezes your hand back, and a bad sign if she flattens it.
  • You reach a pause in the conversation. It's a good sign if she holds eye contact with you; a bad sign if her eyes wander.

And what about pickup lines? The experts say don't use them. However, Wygant says, if you observe your surroundings and trust your instincts, the "natural openers are there for you." For instance, If you're at a coffee shop and see a girl wince after her first sip, just ask "burned your tongue?" and you've opened a conversation. Wygant says it's as simple as starting saying hello and realizing that "people don't bite."

Rejection is just an "insecure state of mind that you choose to get into," says Wygant. When a girl says no, instead of letting your ego be bruised, congratulate yourself for asking her out.

Related Articles


  • Dutter, Barry. "The Shy Guy's Guide to Dating." Macmillan, 1998.
  • Lowndes, Leil. "Good-bye to Shy." McGraw-Hill Professional, 2006. (Sept. 22, 2010)
  • Novak, Patti. Dating Coach and Matchmaker. Phone Interview. Sept. 21, 2010.
  • Strauss, Neill. Pick-up Artist. Phone Interview. Sept. 21, 2010.
  • The Times. "Obituary: Albert Ellis." The Times Online. July 27, 2007. (Sept. 22, 2010)
  • Tessina, Tina. "The Unofficial Guide to Dating Again." John Wiley & Sons, 1999.
  • Wygant, David. Dating Coach. Phone Interview. Sept. 21, 2010.