How to ask a guy friend out

How do you invite someone without sounding desperate?

Steps to asking a guy out without sounding desperate

  • Step 1: Keep it casual. Avoid using all your flirting techniques in the beginning.
  • Step 2: make it about you. Remember the trick is not to come across too strong and risk scaring him off.
  • Step 3: Involve your friends. If you’ve tried doing it solo and didn’t work out then involve your friends.
  • Step 4: flirt your way up.

How do you ask a guy to hang out casually?


  1. Determine if you want to hang out just as friends or something more. Be explicit with him when you ask him to spend time with you.
  2. Don’t be afraid to ask a guy to hang out.
  3. Once you start to develop a friendship, start asking to spontaneously hang out after class or work.

How do you convince someone to hang out with you?

Be positive, add something to the conversation or otherwise have something to offer them. Buy donuts for the group or something. If it’s just one person, try being around, asking if you can join them if they are seated, or if they would like to join you for something—maybe coffee (on you).

How do you ask a girl to chill?

Invite her along to things you plan on doing anyway.

Be subtle and natural with the girl you want to hang out with by inviting her to activities you were already planning on doing. If you plan on going to a barbeque, ask her if she wants to hang out there. Enjoy yourself regardless of whether she comes along or not.

How do you politely ask for something?

Here are some tips on asking for favors:

  • Be direct but polite.
  • Don’t make it sound bad.
  • Avoid guilt.
  • Don’t cross the line.
  • Show respect.
  • Avoid constant one-sided favors.
  • Be personal but straightforward.
  • Take “No” for an answer.

Does hanging out mean dating?

Hanging out is a nebulous term covering a casual relationship that has risen to popularity recently and is often used as a catch-all tag phrase. Whereas dating implies a deeper level of commitment by both parties, the implication that the goal is actually a relationship.

How do you ask a guy if he wants to hang out over text?


  1. Send a greeting text. Try breaking the ice before you ask him out.
  2. Pay attention to his interest in the conversation. Text back and forth with him for a while to see how the conversation goes.
  3. Flirt and see how he responds.
  4. Ask him out if he seems interested in you.

Is it a date or hanging out?

“A date is someone personally asking you out — that sometimes can get confused with a one-on-one hangout, depending on the way they mention it or which medium they use to ask you or if it happens to be a group hangout,” she says.

When girls say we should hang out?

Answer: Whether she suggests that you “hang out,” “get together,” or “do something,” it almost always means going out on a date, so I wouldn’t worry about telling the difference. You may think it’s vague, but a lot of women consider asking a man to “hang out” to be a pretty bold come-on.

Is it weird to ask people to hang out?

It’s no good to ask someone to hang out if you tell yourself they won’t want to. Get in the mindset that you are fun to hang out with and that the person you ask will say yes. If you are confident in yourself and make a direct ask, the person will be more open than if you seem timid when you ask.

How do I get my best friend to hang out with me more?

Expect to be a priority.

Make sure your friend knows you want to spend time with them. Put in the work to be a true friend and make it known that you expect that to be returned to you as well. Make a commitment to yourself to not settle for anything less than being a priority in your friend’s life.

What does hangout mean to a guy?

It means the guy is doing something with you, but not even sure he wants to admit to dating. Mostly used if the guy is worried it might get back to some other girl he likes more, or to guys that would disapprove of him dating the hang out girl.

Can a guy and a girl hang out alone as friends?

You don’t want to rush a friendship or a relationship. But bottom line, yes. A guy and a girl can hang out one on one without it being a date. If people hear about it or see you, they’re going to think you’re dating.

What does it mean if a girl wants to hang out with you?

The reason that she wants to hang out with you could be that she considers you a friend. If she does just consider you a friend then it would also be likely that she would show similar body language around you as she does with her other friends.

I remember having no problem the first time I asked a guy out. But it was a simple matter because I knew he was gay. But what it I didn't? You want to ask a guy out but you do not know if he is gay. How should you do it?

The answer is very simple: Ask him out without asking him out. Confused? Don't be. I'll explain. I'm a fan of developing relationships as friends first (eventually evolving into romantic friendships, then exclusive dating, then more, etc). You should take this route—especially since his sexuality is up in the air.

Invite him out to do buddy things—a movie; a game of pool; happy hour; a game of Wii—basically, things friends do. Get to know him as a person and open the door for him to get to know you. How do you approach him? Find something (I'm sorry, anything) that you have in common—the color blue, his sneakers, that gap between his teeth—and strike up a conversation. Then hit him with the invite to do friendly activities. The idea isn't to seduce him, but to become friends, as you would with any other friend.

You'll build a mutual trust as your friendship grows. Soon afterward you can brush the topic of sexuality. Keep it vague at first by just mentioning gay things, like the latest gay marriage news or gays in the military or your "gay friend" from high school. Then judge his reactions. Once you're comfortable, come out to him. If he's gay or bi, then he'll response with a disclosure of his own – if he is ready to come out and willing to share it with you. If he's not, and worth anything as a human being, he'll stick by your side and at least be your buddy. Worst case scenario, he is not, and you're better off without him.

Manage your expectations, though. You like him, so consciously or not, you've built a fantasy in your head about you two being together. Sexuality, friendships and relationships are not quite that transparent. Keep an open mind for an infinite amount of scenarios: He may be gay and not ready to come out; he may be gay and is just not into you; he may be straight and a homophobe; he may be straight and gay friendly; or he may be gay and into you. Don't focus on your wants right now; focus on what is.

Can a woman really ask a guy out??

It’s a common worry. Most women see the idea as ‘anti-feminine’, or just too risky and fraught with potential embarrassment if it goes wrong.

How to ask a guy friend out

Plus, we all know that many guys like to feel that they’ve been brave enough to make the move, and don’t want the woman to make things too easy.

But does that mean you should never ask a man out? Of course not. It’s not about whether you ask him out, it’s all about how you do it.

So in this article, I’ll show you 5 super-practical, easy ways to ask him out and still be a high value woman in his eyes:

1. Send him a pic with the message, “This looks awesome! I’m gonna check it out on Saturday. You in??”

How to ask a guy friend out

This is a great way to ask him out, because subconsciously you are telling him, “I want to go and see this anyway, but it would be fun if you joined me”.

It’s also useful because it gets him wondering, “Does she like me? Or does she just see me as a friend?” (That’s a good thing).

If he says yes to coming along, it means he wants to get to know you better and spend time alone with you, which is definitely a good sign!

It doesn’t mean of course that he definitely likes you romantically, as he may currently only see you as a friend.

So watch for his behavior on the date: him touching your hand, being protective of you, looking into your eyes – these are all signs he sees it as a real date.

2. Bring him in with your group

How to ask a guy friend out

If you’re really scratching your head about how to ask him out, make it super-easy by just inviting him to a group event.

Now of course, ideally this could be a mutual crowd of friends where he knows some people too, otherwise it’ll get pretty intimidating for him to hang out with tons of people he’s never met!

In fact, this is an ideal way to ask out a guy from work and keep it really low pressure.

All you do is say to him, “We’re all going to go to that new wine bar that opened in town on Tuesday. You should come join us.”

If you feel the sparks fly between you on this date, you’ve then made it easy to take things further and put the ball in his court to offer another meeting.

3. Suggest something you know he already likes

How to ask a guy friend out

You’re both really into eating Sunday brunch and you found a great new spot? You both share a love of obscure superhero comics? You had a long conversation about your passion for wine tasting?

Text him with a link to an event or a cool place related to your shared interest and say, “I know you’d be up for this. Fancy checking it out?”

The beauty of this is that you are making the focus about going to see the place, instead of point blank asking him: DO YOU WANT TO GO OUT WITH ME?

Just make sure it’s something low-pressure, not something that requires expensive tickets and a huge day out. The easier it is, the better your chance to simply test the waters and see how it goes. Of course, if he’s up for spending the whole day with you that’s no bad thing either!

4. Go to learn something together

How to ask a guy friend out

It’s always great to do a “date” that involves focusing on something that stimulates your intellect and curiosity.

Maybe there’s a speaker or a debate going on somewhere local that you can drop in on. Just ask him in person or by text, “I’m thinking of going to this at the weekend. Looks interesting. Want me to get you a ticket?”

[Pro tip: Make sure he’s into whatever you choose first! For example, don’t bother taking him to an art exhibition or a poetry reading if you think he’ll have zero interest in it.]

If you both have a good time, it’s the perfect opportunity to go for a walk and have a drink somewhere after to get to know one another more.

5. Do the bold move and just ASK!

How to ask a guy friend out

Ok, I said at the beginning of this piece that you generally want to use subtle ways to ask him out, but guess what?

Not every rule applies 100% of the time.

I once had a woman in the first conversation (after having approached me) casually say: “We should go for a drink this week.” It was bold, it was refreshing, and I was completely relieved when she said it.

But here’s the thing: You should only do this direct approach if you are going to do it with confidence and be relaxed.

If you’re in a high-pressure environment where you risk humiliation in front of others, or if it’s going to create tons of social awkwardness later when you see him in the elevator at work, then stick to one of the more low-key methods mentioned above.

Just remember though: the direct approach is always in your back pocket, and men love it when a woman occasionally takes the reigns in moving things forward (especially shy guys). So don’t be afraid to use it if you have to!

There you have it: 5 simple but effective methods for showing you how to ask him out without any awkward conversations.

Play around with these examples and decide which one best suits the situation with the guy you’re speaking to.

Now all you need to remember is where you put that little black dress and those killer heels 😉

To be fair, both men and women are guilty of putting people in the friend zone, but I’ll admit that guys tend to do it a little more deviously, so much so that it’s not always obvious right away. To help you ladies out, here are 10 signs that a guy has ruled out romance with you.

He initiates the group hang.
How to ask a guy friend out
If the only time you hang out with a guy is part of a big group, you’re probably in the friend zone. Any guy with true romantic aspirations will want to spend a little one-on-one time with you. It’s possible that he’s just shy and wants you to make the first move, but if a guy shows any resistance to spending alone time with you, he doesn’t want to date you.

He asks advice on other girls.
How to ask a guy friend out
Some guys will ask you for advice on other girls to make you believe they have other options because they think this will make you want them more. However, it’s more likely he’s doing this because he only sees you as a friend. Even if he just brings up his ex-girlfriend and wants breakup advice, he’s seeking advice from a friend and not a future girlfriend. You’ll know for sure if he tries to turn you into his wing woman while hitting on other women.

He gives you dating advice.
How to ask a guy friend out
On the other side of the coin, guys that try to give you dating advice are probably positioning you in the friend zone. The only exception is if a guy tries to manipulate you by skewing his advice to get you to date him. I can’t promise one of us won’t try to use this tactic, but I can assure you that you don’t want to date that guy anyway. Bottom line, if he gives you dating advice, you’re just a friend.

You’re making the plans.
How to ask a guy friend out
This seems obvious but I’ll say it anyway. If a guy wants to date you, he’ll ask you out. If you’re the one always making the plans, he probably just wants you to be his friend. Even if you guys hang out just the two of you, if he doesn’t mention wanting to hang out again, you’re going to the friend zone.

He’s a complainer.
How to ask a guy friend out
I’m sure you know this already, but any guy with romantic intentions will spend a lot of time trying to impress you and painting himself in a positive light. If a guy spends his time with you by complaining or asking your advice on something, it doesn’t bode well for your chances of avoiding the friend zone. If a guy makes no effort to ask about you or make you laugh, he doesn’t want you to be his girlfriend.

He doesn’t try to buy you dinner/drinks.
How to ask a guy friend out
Yes, it’s the 21st century and it’s totally cool to split the check. It’s even fine for you ladies to treat if you want. Still, most guys will play by the old-school rules and make an effort to pay for dinner or drinks when we’re out with a woman. If nothing else, it’ll be a way to impress her and get in her good graces. When a guy doesn’t make an honest effort to grab the check before you do, it’s not a date and you’re in the friend zone.

There’s no attempt at physical contact.
How to ask a guy friend out
Every guy with romantic intentions for a girl will look for any excuse to make physical contact with her. I don’t mean that in a creepy way, but I do mean any excuse. Even if it’s just a hand on your back or a pat on the shoulder, he’ll make physical contact with someone he likes. If a guy keeps his hands to himself, he’s either a super-gentleman or merely a friend.

He’s only texting.
How to ask a guy friend out
Yes, it’s good when a guy is texting you but at a certain point, there needs to be more. When a guy likes you more than a friend, he’ll probably be down with an actual phone conversation—either that or he’ll text you about potential plans to meet in person. Text-only relationships are one way that guys either push you to the friend zone or keep you on the hook. Let’s be honest, neither option is where you want to be.

He has a wandering eye.
How to ask a guy friend out
If you can tell that he’s checking out other women while the two of you are hanging out, he’s not serious about being more than friends. Let’s be honest, such a guy isn’t worth your time anyway. On the other side of the coin, if he doesn’t get at least a little jealous if you’re talking with other guys, then he definitely doesn’t like you as anything more than a friend.

He has bad manners.
How to ask a guy friend out
This may seem a little weird, but bad manners can indicate that you’re in the friend zone. A guy that likes you romantically will almost always be on his best behavior (at least early in the relationship). If a guy is burping, farting, or chugging his beer around you, he has no romantic intentions whatsoever. When he lets himself go, he views you as just one of his friends. Yes, guys are guilty of changing their behavior to impress women, and that’s not exactly honest. However, it can also help you figure out if you’re heading for the friend zone.

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How to ask a guy friend out

A good friend can become a great boyfriend, but making the transition from one to the other may be nerve-wracking. If your guy friend is creeped out by your suggestion of a date, it may have a negative effect on your friendship. However, if you really want to explore the option of dating him, and think your friendship could survive a little embarrassment if things don’t quite go as planned, you have nothing to lose.

Play Detective

You’ll feel more comfortable asking your guy friend out if you have some idea of how he really feels about you. Look for signs that he may be interested in more than friendship. He may appear more flustered, nervous or giddy around you than he once did. When you have a crush on someone, the release of dopamine in the brain creates feelings of happiness and excitement, writes psychologist Maryanne Fisher in the article, “The Science Behind Falling in Love.” Body language reveals a great deal about a person’s feelings, suggests body language expert Judi James in the article, “Language of Love.” If you notice your guy friend holding eye contact for a few seconds than is necessary, being more tactile with you or consistently mirroring the style and pace of your body language — for example crossing his leg when you cross yours, or smoothing his hand over his hair when you play with yours — he may be flirting with you.

Prepare Him

If you drop a few hints to your guy friend about how you feel, he won’t be so taken aback or creeped out when you ask him out. Paying someone a heartfelt, genuine compliment is one of the best ways to reveal your feelings, advises Hara Estroff Romano, editor at large of “Psychology Today,” in her article “The Art of the Compliment.” The key is to let him know you’re looking at him in a different light. If you are close friends, you may already be accustomed to giving and receiving compliments. Focus on the qualities that make him a great boyfriend, but keep it light-hearted. For example, say something like, “You’re such a sensitive guy. Why on earth are you still single?” or “You’ll make a great husband one day. Maybe I should snatch you up before someone else does!” He may not know if you are being serious or not, but it should be enough to plant the seed in his mind.

Prepare Yourself

Time and place is crucial when asking your guy friend out on a date. Make sure you do it in private, when your children aren’t around. It’s best to do it when you haven’t been drinking, to ensure you keep a clear head. If you feel anxious before you speak to your friend, do some deep breathing exercises to calm yourself down. Remind yourself that he is your friend and that he cares about you.

Go For It

Open body language will help you come across as confident, natural and relaxed when you ask your guy friend out. Maintain eye contact, smile, keep your arms by your sides and don’t fidget. Get right to the point, but don’t make it too serious. Express your feelings with warmth and honesty, advises Human Development Specialist Dr. D. Wayne Matthews, writing for the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service. For example, you may say something like, “I really love hanging out with you, but I’ve been wondering if we might become more than friends. Do you fancy going on a date sometime?” Stay upbeat, and don’t force him to give you an answer. He may be shocked by your suggestion and need some time to get his head around it.

How to ask a guy friend out

I think it’s time for a bit of a dating rules revolution, because despite the fact that the rule of men asking women being old-fashioned, women still do not seem to be asking men out. So how do you ask a guy out over text? Despite the fact that 95 percent of men think a woman asking them out is "hot," I feel like I don’t see it happening that often among my friends. Instead, a lot of my friends are sitting around waiting for people to come to them. And they’re missing out on things they want.

So, why isn’t it happening more? Probably because, no matter who you are, asking someone out can be awkward. So, so awkward. It’s also really brave. You could end up with a "no" and feel embarrassed. But you know what? If that’s the worst that could happen, you’ll get over it. In like two seconds. Because, especially if it’s someone you’re talking to on an app or just meet randomly, that person has literally 0 percent impact on your life. None.

I had to develop the nerve to ask people out. Mostly because, well, I just didn’t get asked out a lot. It just didn’t happen. Yeah, it’s kind of annoying, but it’s not the worst thing in the world and because of it I learned to be way braver. And once you do it a few times, it’s really not that big of a deal. I promise.

So here are some suggestions to get you started. (Warning: they may sound cheesy. Asking someone out may feel like it’s beyond your comfort zone, and that’s OK, you have to get on board.)

1. We’ve Been Talking, So Let’s Just Do This

OK, I’m starting with something extra-bold and we can get easier from there. Sometimes if you’ve just been chatting for a long time, you need to break out of the conversation and just go for it.

I went out with a guy from Hinge because he spontaneously suggested something that night and I happened to be free and liked his chutzpah. It also feels like there’s less pressure when you ask someone out this way — yes, you’re putting yourself out there, but because it’s last minute there are no hard feelings if it doesn’t work out. Then, the ball can be in their court for next time.

2. Something In Common, Let’s Go

If you find something in common — literally anything — capitalize on that. You studied the same thing, have the same hobby, want to see the same film — just go for it!

It’s often tempting to wait for the perfect moment when you’re talking to someone — you think that there will be some obvious cue, everything will click, and you’ll be able to ask them out. But sometimes, you have to make your own luck — and your own timing. So jump on commonalities when you find them.

3. The Open Feeler

If you want the most basic of all the basics, this is it. Just ask them out for a drink. Yeah, it’s not catchy or witty, but also you know no one is going to be surprised or weirded out by it.

It’s good to remember that the person you’re chatting to (most likely) expects this to be leading to meeting up in real life. It’s not going to take them totally by surprise — you are chatting to a potential romantic interest, after all. And asking someone out for a drink is about as straightforward as you can get. It is 100 percent the expected thing for someone to say in this situation, so it’s the safest bet.

4. I’m Just Jumping In (With Something Low Pressure)

If a drink seems too intimidating right off the bat, that’s OK. Suggesting a coffee is a great way to ease yourself in. It’s similar to going out for a drink, but even less pressure — because it’s easier to get away from if it’s not going well. You can spend less time and have it come to a natural end.

It also feels less intimidating to be asked out for a coffee than a drink — so if the person you’re talking to is also a little shy, it may be a welcome invitation. As someone who has trouble saying no and has spent four hours on a date I didn’t want to be on, sometimes sticking to coffee is best.

5. Netflix And Chill

Hey, sometimes you don’t want to go on a date. Sometimes you just want a hookup. I’m not a fan of having someone you don’t know come to your house — I like a public setting first. But if you’ve gone out with them or done whatever makes you feel comfortable and then you decide you want to get laid, a binge-watching marathon is basically code for the horizontal mambo (which is awkward nerd code for hooking up).

Of course, don’t suggest a show that you actually want to watch and pay attention to, because you may end up resenting the distraction. Better stick with something that is totally OK in the background.

6. Something Completely Random

Maybe you don’t have anything in common so far, but they seem like they’d be good conversation and you want to meet up. Jump on something they’ve said and suggest you do it together.

Yeah it’s a little cheesy, but it gets things moving. Pretty much everyone is in agreement that moving from texting to actually dating is awkward, so they won’t judge you harshly if it feels a little forced. They’ll probably just be grateful you’re doing some of the heavy lifting for them.

7. The Follow Up

Fun fact about asking people out: You may do it more than once. If you’ve had a good time on the first date and think they did too, suggest seeing each other again. Not 100 percent sure if they want to go for a second date? Well, they’re probably wondering the same thing about you. So be brave and put it out there.

Reference any silly, fun things from the first date and just say it. I mean, you’ve met them once, if they say no then it’s really not a big deal. I’ve had maybe a billion people say no to me. It happens to everyone who puts themselves out there.

But it’s better to put yourself out there and get a pie in your face once and a while— because you’ll get a lot of fun stuff along with the occasional pie. Plus, even if they say no you can be proud and self-assured that you tried.

Images: Gorica Poturak/E+/Getty Images

The article was originally posted on January 12, 2016. It was updated on August 12, 2019.

How to ask a guy friend out

As I get to know the guy I dig a bit better as a friend, the more I realize just how introverted he is. It’s slightly difficult for me to put myself completely into his mind set at this point in my life. I’m very much on the fence between an introvert and an extravert, and in the past two years have really embraced the extravert in me; and now all of a sudden I’ve realized I’m having problems putting myself back into my guy’s mindset. I want him to come with me when I do my volunteer work, and explore the downtown, but I’m beginning to understand he may never be interested in what I do. Having said that, there’s still a side to him I feel a connection with. Even though he’s not that interested in some of the outside activities I involve myself with, I love hanging out and doing what he likes to do just as much as my own activities – and no mater what, he’s so extremely warm towards me.

Having said that, he’s super warm, friendly, not a snob in anyway – just extremely private – and I don’t want to give up on the idea of getting to know him beyond the friend level. I really don’t want to disrespect him in anyway, which I have a feeling would include full on flirting in a very public way – especially since the only time we really see each other we’re with close mutual friends. (Don’t want to embarrass him in front of friends!)

Does anyone have any tips for me? Probably the number one thing I’ve realized about this is that I’m probably going to be waiting along time if I wait for him to make a move (if he makes one at all) and I really just want to snag him before someone else catches his eye. 🙂

Most Helpful Guys

People have differences. but that's not what's most important.

You could be a total extrovert, and he could be a pure introvert, and you could still have a very happy relationship. I've seen it. I know a married couple like that.

You can also have two people who seem very much alike, and feel that deep connection you're talking about, but still end up miserable together. I've been there myself. One of the things I found out is when you start off thinking you have a lot in common with someone, you may stop actively trying to learn new things about them.

Rather than trying to take the other person and frame them in your own perspective, sometimes what is better to do is to assume their perspective is different than yours and then be curious about what you don't understand. What makes them interesting? What makes them unique?

This guy may never get the excitement you get from your volunteer work, and that's fine so long as he understands it's important to you and appreciates you for it. Similarly, you should look for things that he's into that you don't quite get. I'm sure he has something beyond being an introvert that makes him special.

As for getting close to the guy, try to spend time with him when no mutual friends are around. Just the two of you. If he's a real introvert, he won't object to that. I guess I'm suggesting you ask him out on a date, although it doesn't have to be a formal one if you're not ready for that.

Why didn’t he ask me out?” I get this question all the time from my female friends, seeking a male perspective. The conversation was amazing, sparks seemed to be flying, and then—nothing, nada.

The popularized belief is that if a guy is interested, then he will make it abundantly clear by asking for your number, texting you, or just flat-out telling you. If he doesn’t, then he is “just not that into you.”

Sure, this oversimplification might help women have closure and move on from murky, gray waters, but it doesn’t give my female friends credit for their intuition that, yeah, there was some serious attraction happening.

As a guy who has been in the dating scene for a while, I can speak on behalf of my fellow men when I say that it takes more than merely liking a girl to ask her out. Life happens, and I think in many cases, it is the guy (not you) who feels like he “needs to get things in order” before being ready to date—no matter how much he may like you.

These guys generally fall into four categories—and over the years, I’ve fallen in a couple of these categories myself. And if you’re a single woman out and about in the dating scene, chances are, you’ve definitely met some of us.

01. Mr. My-Heart-Is-Broken

I remember meeting this amazing girl in college. She was joyful, her laughter was infectious, and talking with her was incredibly easy. The only problem: My heart was broken.

It can take men a while to work out their emotions. If they’ve recently left a relationship or been turned down by someone they really liked, it can become even more difficult to move on. In my situation, I felt that there was just no way around it. Until I had recovered from this past relationship, I could not see myself asking someone else out, no matter how amazing she was.

Can I give him a nudge? You can’t, really. Time is the only healer for heartbreak, and I would never tell any woman to wait around for this guy. Plus, jumping into a date during the recovery process could be bad for both parties and ruin a potentially great future relationship down the road.

02. Mr. Bu$iness and Mr. Busyness

Guys can often approach dating in an extremely practical manner. We frequently bring up “time” and “money” as issues, often citing work, school, family matters, or straight-up just being way too busy as reasons why we’re not asking anyone out.

There are two truths buried deep inside these excuses: a guy’s need to feel secure before dating and a desire to give a great girl the time she deserves.

“I just started law school and have next to no money,” one friend laments. Like many of us, he feels he must be financially set or at least have some money set aside so that he can be more active in the dating scene.

As for the time-crunched guy who feels stretched thin because he travels too much for work or is burdened with some other time-consuming stress, he can feel like he just doesn’t have the energy to invest in a woman he likes.

Can I give him a nudge? It can be tough to get this guy to have a paradigm shift (impossible for some), but remember that some of the greatest romances begin with the simplest of means. See if he’s up for coffee or something low-maintenance. But, remember, if you feel like his mindset isn’t changing and he’s set on not dating, don’t waste your time.

03. Mr. Glass-Half-Empty

When I asked my male friends what holds them back from asking a girl out, especially a girl they think is great, one of the first responses I received was that they didn’t know if she was really interested.

There is a constant struggle for self-worth in our culture today, and guys are not immune from that. Many of the men I talked to felt that they either misunderstood the signals the girl was sending or that there was no way they could be worthy of such a great girl.

This is nothing new to the world of dating. A 2013 study found that men more accurately interpreted male nonverbal cues than female. In another study, scientists found that men were more likely to misinterpret when a woman was sending signals that she was interested than when she was sending signals that she only wanted to be friends.

Not only that, but from personal experience I know it is easy to think: How could such a great girl be interested in me?

Can I give him a nudge? If you think he is interested, and you want to counteract this gloomy male outlook, try using some more obvious verbal cues. It can be as straightforward as stating the obvious by saying, “Hey, I really enjoyed spending time with you.” Yep, that simple.

04. Mr. Down-in-the-Dumps-Rejected

I’ll let you in on a little secret. We usually think that men fear rejection. But what men really fear is the way rejection makes them feel.

When a man has been turned down in the past, the feeling from that rejection can linger for weeks, months, or maybe even years if it was really bad. Some men feel shame, disgrace, humiliation, or even a sense of being unworthy or unattractive. Presented again with the opportunity to ask a woman they like on a date, those feelings can begin to reemerge.

Guys do not consciously process this when talking with a woman they are interested in. “I realize later that it’s as if my brain is disconnected,” says Jason, an undergraduate college student in the Washington, D.C., area. “The conversation is going great, but something inside me is holding me back. It’s as if those past experiences have trained my body to avoid any future chance at being rejected and experiencing those same feelings.”

Can I give him a nudge? It’s hard to know if a guy you just met is psychologically scarred like this, but you might want to try giving him a compliment or straight-up suggest a date idea. But more often than not, this guy might need to make a change on his own before he’s confident enough in himself to be in a relationship.

We’re Simple Creatures, Except When We’re Not

As much as we may like to say how “simple” and “straightforward” we are, the reasons why men ask or do not ask women out rarely ever are. Maybe it comes from our pathological need to fix things, or maybe it simply takes us longer to understand that we are interested—but for most men, there really are certain aspects of our lives that must be “fixed” before we begin dating. And even the most beautiful, intelligent, kind-hearted girl in the world isn’t going to get us to move unless we’re in the right mindset.

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