How to ask your crush out

Credit: Jenn Kennedy, Art Staff Credit: Jenn Kennedy, Art Staff

It has long been a Valentine’s Day staple that people crushing steadfastly in the shadows (or just in the seat a few rows back) see the opportunity of romance on Feb. 14 and make their move. However, depending on how well these moves are made, the results can either be great or outright laughable. Make the right decisions by checking out these tips.

1. Plan ahead. Everyone loves spontaneity, but sometimes, it’s honestly better to be prepared. Practice how you want to introduce yourself, either with a friend (whose teasing you don’t mind or who you know won’t tease you too badly) or in front of a mirror. It helps not to make your proposition for coffee sound like you’re trying to interview for something; don’t get too formal, but be nice. If you’re already acquainted with your crush, then make sure that what you have in mind is something that he or she will enjoy doing. You want to present your crush with something that interests him or her.

2. Look snappy. This doesn’t require coat and tails, but unless you’re pursuing a very laid-back person, you’ll want to look impressive for them, which means ditching the pajama pants and sweats. Guys, try for a nice pair of jeans and a polo or oxford shirt, tucked in or not as to your preference. Girls, a skirt or good jeans and a cute top are fine. You can go dressier if you’d like, but at least show the person you’re interested in how spiffy you can look when you put some effort into it.

3. Gift or no gift. When you’re asking out your crush on V-Day, there’s always the awkward question of whether to buy a gift. If you buy one and get turned down, you’re left with one lonely chocolate heart. Conversely, if you decide not to and then find yourself accepted, your date might be expecting something. What’s the solution? If you do decide to buy a gift, make sure it’s something that you’ll be okay with holding onto if you refused; e.g., if you’re buying chocolate, make sure it’s the same kind you like (unless your crush despises that variety) or you have a friend who’ll like it. If you skip the gift, be prepared to treat your crush when you go out.

4. Make the right approach. Contrary to popular belief, cornering your sweetheart in the bowels of Doherty Hall between classes is probably not the best way to convince the person to go out with you. Ideally, talk to him or her when you’re in private and not rushed for time. If he or she is with friends, politely ask for a moment. Chances are, your crush will honor your request and be flattered that you were so considerate.

5. Ask confidently, but not with a big head. You don’t want to be the person confessing love to your crush’s feet. On the other hand, you don’t want to come across as thinking that you’re so great that the female and/or male populations of Carnegie Mellon can hardly restrain themselves from fawning over you. Keep things real: You’re a smart, cool person who’s got a crush on another smart, cool person. If you’re not confident enough in yourself to ask your crush out, then why should your crush be confident enough in you to take your word?

6. Start small. Don’t go asking your crush to the fanciest place you can afford because that’ll put pressure on you. Try going out to a local coffeehouse or bakery and talking with each other. If you’re already good friends with your crush, then feel free to do something more adventurous. It’s all about knowing what will make the other person happy.

7. Have a Plan B. Stuff not going as planned? If your crush doesn’t seem all that interested when you start introducing yourself, then maybe asking him or her out right now isn’t the best idea. Instead, wish him or her well and try talking again later. As you become better acquainted, try asking him or her out again. Everyone has days that don’t go well, and perhaps you just ran into him or her at the wrong time.

8. Know when to bail. If things start going really badly on the first date, or if you realize that the person sitting across the table slurping a macchiato isn’t the elegant person you’d been hoping for, it’s okay to cut things short. Check your cell phone and say that you forgot that you’ve got an interview, or that a family member needs to talk to you right away. Don’t be rude, but don’t feel obliged to spend your entire day with someone you don’t want to be with.

9. Win or lose gracefully. If you get turned down, don’t mope away the entire weekend in your room. You gave it your best shot, and sometimes things don’t work out. Carnegie Mellon will be sure to give you more homework to make up for your emotional loss. If you got accepted, good work! Have fun with your date, but don’t rub it in other people’s faces that you’re going out with the hottie from history class. And be sure to save some time over the weekend to finish your assignments.