College Dating Series: Mastering the Ask

College is a beautiful time to meet people. For 4 to 5 years we are in a secluded community with an absurd number of people our age. That being said, traditional dating can be pretty awkward. Relationships are...let's just say more "fluid" during college. You should definitely be considerate of your personal situation before getting started in the dating world. I'm here to give a couple tips I've personally used. Feel free to take my advice with a grain of salt. If you think this is on point (or if you would like to talk more) catch me on Twitter @StrauseAndrew.

Pulling yourself together enough to ask someone out is tough, but your first date should be exciting. You're not committing to spending your life with this person, and neither are they. You are naturally going to be nervous to pop that first question. Try being casual about how you ask, but clear enough that they get the message. Here's a few options:

The Power Move - "Do you want to go on a date with me sometime?"

Direct. Confident. Considerate. This is really the only option that leaves you walking away definitely knowing that you're going on a date. Or more importantly, your date also realizes that she/he is also going on a date. Along with the confident nature of this question, this is a little aggressive as well. It's pretty formal nowadays to say "date" and there are some more casual options listed below if this isn't your style.

The Casual Ask - "Would you want to meet up to hangout this weekend?"

Broad. Time-sensitive. Easy out. This option gives the person some time to think if you ask early in the week. It also doesn't require too much advance notice that allows either of you to overthink it. Leaving the activity broad can give you a chance to focus on whether they want to hang out with you and less on the activity. Although, if you know of something they like to do, it can be a solid move to incorporate that into your ask. If they like women's soccer for example and there's a Penn State Women's soccer game, then just add that in. If you do ask about something they were already going to, be sure to add some context that you are asking them on a date by saying "with me" or by adding an activity onto the date. "Would you want to go to the women's soccer game, and get some sushi after on Saturday?" should do the trick.

The Ambiguous Option - "Hey, want to get lunch after class tomorrow?"

If you ask about something that they were going to do anyways, and it's right after a time where you were going to be in the same place, then it shouldn't come off as big of a deal as taking time out of their week to spend time with you. Lunch should only be at most one hour, and they were probably going to be eating anyways. Breakfast works too, but keep in mind that dinner and or brunch could be more intimidating. Don’t ask me why, but it is. Again if you want to fight any of this, catch me on twitter.

Quick pointers to consider beforehand - This is a personal tip, but I would advise against asking them on a date at a specific time. If you say “Hey would you want to hangout this weekend?” this ends up in them either genuinely not having enough time to go on the date or making up some sort of excuse to reject you. Not specifying a time adds some pressure to the situation because they have to be more clear about why they can’t go on the date. This causes them to be more clear about why they are rejecting you. Even though it’s more aggressive, it’s better to be on the same page in my opinion. I would say something like “Would you want to go on a date with me?”