Sunday, January 16, 2011

Reader Q&A: Asking a Woman to Lunch or Dinner

The writers at Not Another Wave recently received an email from reader CM, who wanted to know, "What is a great verbal statement when asking a woman out to LUNCH or DINNER?" Below, please find Erica's and Emily's answers. Hope this is helpful, CM!

Erica: My first thought is to ask you what your relationship is like with this woman. Are you friends? Are you colleagues or classmates? How often do you talk? The reason for all these considerations is that no two women (and no two people, in general) are alike. It's difficult to come up with something that'll work for every single woman you're interested in because every woman will be attracted to different things and interested by different things about you. Her background, culture, personality, and previous dating history will affect what she will find respectful and interesting. For me, for example, the direct approach is best. If we're already friends, I prefer that you simply ask, "Do you want to go out to dinner?" and see what I say. If we don't already have that connection, taking the time to chat a bit first- if we're already classmates, let's say- is a chance for both of us to see how well we fit in light conversation. Then it's less startling to hear you say "I'm enjoying talking with you. Want to go get a bite to eat?" Essentially, from my perspective, it's less important to have a prepared, flourishy statement than it is to gauge how the conversation is going and be able to work from there. I understand that that's often easier said than done- but it's also the most effective way to show your interest, give her an opportunity to decide if she's interested too, and see where that lunch or dinner takes you.

Emily: Like Erica said, the way you ask this woman to lunch or dinner will depend on how well you know her and what she looks for in communication. Like Erica, I prefer a direct approach, but some women prefer subtlety. Here's another question, though: do you want to ask her out, with romantic potential in mind? Or is this just a friendly lunch or dinner? Either way, it should be clear to the woman whether you're asking her on a date. A simple, "Do you want to grab a bite to eat?" could send mixed signals if she doesn't know whether it's a date. When a friend asks me on what appears to be a date, I usually assume we're just going as friends. If he then dresses up and opens doors for me and in general acts like we're on a date, things can get uncomfortable. Personally, I see no problem with dropping in phrases like "date" or "go out" when you ask, if that's what you're looking for. If you're just looking for friendship, it's not a bad idea to drop in the word "friends." Making that clear up front can save a lot of heart ache. Trust me, I speak from experience on this one. But, bottom line: don't over think this. Just figure out what you want to communicate and how you can best communicate it.

1 comment:

  1. First, that salad photo made me hungry! yum!
    Second, thanks for the great blog post, I really enjoyed reading it.