The tale is as old as time. Girl meets boy. Girl likes boy. Girl too nervous to ask boy out, boy never knows that girl was keen on him and moves on with his life. Boy meets someone else, and disappointed, girl moves forward in life feeling slightly jaded that said boy couldn’t read her mind.
We’ve all been there, too tongue tied and nervous to say out loud what our heart was urging us to do. All over the world, tales of unrequited love are told, when in reality the love wasn’t as unrequited as what was thought. It’s just that no one actually said out loud what they were thinking.
But the fear of rejection is wired into the best of us, and the dress rehearsal for that special someone’s ‘no thanks’ that we played in our minds is often so embarrassing and hurtful that it prevented us from actually asking them out.
The fear of losing them completely without them even knowing we liked them seems easier than being rejected out right.
So whether you are overtly asking them out for an evening of wining and dining or whether it’s to hang out with you for a beer and watch the footy. Or whether you do the asking in person, over text or via a dating app message, you just have to do it by putting your intent out there. You simply ask them to go out with you.
But to do this confidently, without the unconscious fear of rejection creeping in and talking you out of it, you need to have these thoughts in your mind:
You’ve Got Nothing To Lose
Going out with someone is not going to happen if you don’t ask them in the first place. So the answer is ‘no’ anyway, and in your mind, is also the worst-case scenario. So you’ve technically got nothing to lose and everything to gain. But you will just be back to square one, which is not having a date with them, which is where you are now. So nothing worse can happen.
Nervous & Excited Are The Same Thing
When you feel your heart palpitations, cheeks blush, legs shake and your tummy fluttering with butterflies, it may put you off asking someone out. This feeling of nervousness often signals you to avoid and run, but nervousness and excitement have the same effect on the nervous system. Reframe this feeling, and jump into the excitement that this anticipation of a date can bring.
Avoid The Regret Of Not Knowing
Regret is a difficult emotion to swallow, particularly when it revolves around potential love lost. Have a think about it, would you rather move forward knowing that person said no to you, or never knowing at all? Missed opportunities as a result of not trying are difficult to reconcile later on in life, more so than being rejected.
Be Present With Them First
If asking someone out is all too nerve racking, and you can feel your brain talking you out of it, then desensitise yourself first. Have a conversation, have a coffee, or offer to catch up to do something as friends. Be present with them and go with the flow. This then inoculates you for the bigger ask next time, as you will feel more comfortable.
NO Is Sometimes A Good Thing
Someone saying no to you, demonstrates that they’re the wrong person for you at this time, not necessarily that they don’t like you. Don’t personalise it, and realise that relationships are about two people being the right fit for each other in a particular moment in time. Receiving a “no” means at this moment, that person is not the right fit for you. This little roadblock, however difficult, will bring you closer to the right person for you. All in good time.
Saying things that we feel is often uncomfortable, because it’s taking us out of our comfort zone and into an unknown field of possibilities. But not saying what we would like also becomes uncomfortable, and limits the possibilities in our lives.
It’s better to know than to not know. Always.
So put your brave pants on and ask that special someone out.
** AS published in Body + Soul