Shooting your shot with someone you’re romantically interested in is no easy feat and it can be intimidating to actually take that leap. Sometimes we just don’t know how to actually make that initial move to get the ball rolling.
If you’re terrified of rejection like me, here are some easy ways to shoot your shot with that person that won’t totally destroy your sense of pride and might actually work!
Send Them A DM Reply To A Story They Post
Sliding into the DMs actually has a lot of potential as a way to get an in, but it has to be done right. Messaging someone out of the blue is a lot less natural than just replying to something they’ve just posted.
When applying this tactic, make sure to focus in on something they’re doing in the post and ask a question that demands more than a one-word answer. For example, if they post a photo of their food, ask where they’re eating or how they like the place because you’ve been wanting to try it and let the conversation flow naturally from there.
Ask For Help/Guidance On Something
People generally like to feel as though they know something others don’t. Figure out something they really like, are good at, or are much more knowledgable about than you.
Ask them if they can explain a little bit about it, such as how much they like going to one rock climbing gym over another or how they started training for a marathon because you’re interested in trying one. You must be genuine though, so don’t fake interest because it will come back to bite you if you do.
Establish An Inside Joke With Them That You Can Go Back To
Say you meet someone you really like and you get to talking. Of course, a good inside joke happens organically, but sometimes, like a GMO, it can use a little extra help. Emphasizing one particular thing can help you stick in someone’s mind, but it also offers the opportunity for future conversations.
If you get someone’s number or social media, you send anecdotes or posts that relate to that one inside joke that can help you get the ball rolling again easier than trying to start with a dry “hello” text.
Playfully Catch Them Being Embarrassing
When most people catch themselves doing something embarrassing in public, they immediately look around hoping that no one saw them. Be the person who saw them. When people do something embarrassing, they tend to be a little more vulnerable.
If you see them spill on themselves, give them a little look and make eye contact to let them know you saw, and then keep going on as if nothing happened. Their accident is like “your little secret” and you can jokingly bring it up in like five minutes one-on-one with them as a conversation starter.
The Classic “Like A Bunch Of Their Posts”
This is a tactic for if you don’t know each other, but you just want them to know you exist. Literally just go through their Instagram and like a few of their photos that aren’t exactly new, but also aren’t several years old.
They’ll get the notifications and, while there probably won’t be immediate action, they’ll probably stalk your profile a bit and they’ll see who you are. It’s easier to slide into the DMs later because they’ll vaguely recognize you.
Make It Funny And Unique
If you know this person moderately well and have an idea of what they’ll find funny, then taking the humorous route can be a game-winning way to shoot your shot. This tactic lends itself more to someone who you’ve been acquainted with, but wouldn’t consider a close friend.
For example, one time a guy who I vaguely knew and had talked to at a few social events asked for my email—which was a bit weird to me, but I allowed it. He later emailed me his “dating resumé” and said he “wanted to express his interest in case there are any position openings”. I thought it was cute and we dated for a year.
Use A Low-Pressure Group Scenario
Trying to go one-on-one immediately with someone can be really scary and it’s also difficult to ask someone out right away without having any real connection yet. If you’re interested in someone who’s a friend of a friend or something similar, using a group activity or small social gathering can be a good way to try and get an in.
In this scenario, you have other people to bounce off of and aren’t expected to carry a conversation, but there are generally opportunities later to break off from the group if you want to be one-on-one for a bit.
Find A Niche Common Interest Activity
If you’re in the limbo between being acquaintances and friends, this is a great way to make your move. Think of something specific that you’ve both previously discussed liking that not everyone would enjoy (i.e. eating a specific kind of meal, a not-particularly popular activity, or a local band you both like).
Using the “no one else I know likes ____, so do you want to go do ____” technique allows you to fixate on your similarities and comes off as very casual.
Compliment Them On Something Non-Physical
People generally like being told that they’re good at something, so try to tap into a characteristic about them that you like or focus on a passion of theirs. This tactic is especially good if you’re not sure how they feel about you from the start, because focusing on a trait of theirs can let you swing quickly back into the “friendly” tone if they seem disinterested.
For example, telling someone that you admire how much they care about a specific issue can be just the push you need to get your in. If they don’t bite, you can always retreat easily.
Hit ‘Em With The Eyes
Never underestimate the power of eye contact. Sometimes shooting your shot can be as simple as giving someone the eyes from across the room and letting them decide whether they want to take the next step or back away.
The key points to this tactic are to be flirty, not creepy. Don’t stare; if they’re giving off body language that indicates that they’re deliberately not making eye contact back, let them go. All you have to do is catch their eye, give the coy smile for a split second, and see how things work out.
Lurk, Post, And See If They Reply
I wouldn’t call this shooting your shot so much as fishing for their attention, but if it works, it works. If you’re only acquaintances, creep through their social media and find a band, artist, or album that they really like but isn’t overwhelmingly popular.
Post a story where that band/album/artist’s work is playing in the background or show just a screenshot to show you’re listening to it, and see if they reach out to you. While this is a little bit creepy, it also has been effective.
Get Your Wing-Woman Ready
Yes, wing-woman, and that applies to both the guys and gals. Ladies, if you’re afraid to shoot your shot when a guy is with his friends in a public place, grab your best pal to help make your approach less obvious and let her distract while you flirt with the guy you’re interested in.
Men, let your best gal pal talk to the woman you’re interested in first and make the introduction. Women generally tend to be less guarded around women in public places and tend to trust men with female friends a little more. Also, if you send your bro over to help break the ice, the girl might like him more due to his confidence.
Use Proximity To Your Favor
Psychologically, we’re more likely to be attracted to people that we see more often. Use science to your advantage and literally just spend more time in the places you tend to run into your crush, then use those interactions to shoot your shot.
For example, if you see your crush at a certain coffee shop and you’re already acquainted, ask if you can share a table with them after seeing them there once or twice and get to laying down your charm.
Bring Out Their Competitive Side
If your crush has a competitive spirit, then use their inability to turn down a challenge to your advantage when trying to shoot your shot. Figure out a playful game or challenge for you two to battle it out to and set the stakes so that the loser has to buy drinks/dinner/coffee.
This is a fun way to set up a first date straight from the get-go while making the “asking out” process a little less one-sided by tying it into a challenge. This is a fun and casual way to show your interest and potentially pique theirs as well.
Tailor It Directly To Their Interests
People like to feel like they’ve seen and remembered for their individual interests and traits, so asking them out based on something they’ve said to you before comes across as thoroughly thoughtful and is more likely to get a positive response.
For example, if they’ve mentioned that their favorite romantic comedy is Say Anything, doing a slight recreation of the boombox scene is a cute way to shoot your shot while catering your move to show that you really listen to what they say.
Pull A Gatsby
I’m not saying that you should throw a bunch of extravagant parties at your mansion in order to impress one specific person who lives across from you on the Long Island Sound, but inviting someone that you’re romantically interested in to a party you’re hosting is a very casual way to express interest without creating a lot of pressure.
It’s a very nonchalant way to let them know that you enjoy having them around and, if they come to your party, you’ll have lots of time to talk and shoot your shot in a more formal way.
Get UberEats To Do The Heavy Lifting
One of the hardest parts about confessing the feelings you have for someone is that you might have to face rejection in person, which can also be uncomfortable for the other person as well. A cute way to ask someone out is to select and send them food and get the vendor to attach a cute note along with it from you asking them out.
Not only does just about everyone love food, but it also allows your crush to process their feelings privately and respond to you before letting you know if they’re interested.
Do It While A Little Under The Influence
Am I saying that you should rely on alcohol in order to have enough liquid courage to make your move? Perhaps. While this is probably one of the less healthy ways to let someone know that they visit you in your dreams every night, there are some benefits to revealing your feelings while inebriated.
Firstly, it’s easier to brush it off as if nothing happened if you don’t get the response you want. Secondly, due to the candid nature of most drunk confessions, this person might find your admission a little more honest-feeling and endearing.
Get Touchy In A Non-Creepy Way
Body language is extremely powerful when used correctly, and a strategic touch can be enough to shoot your shot if you’re playing your cards right. I’m going to preface this with a warning to avoid this tactic if reading physical cues isn’t your strong suit.
If you’re having a conversation with someone you’re interested in, their body language towards you has so far been very positive, and you want to let them know that you’re attracted to them, lightly place your hand on their arm or back. It’s a simple gesture, but if their body reacts negatively, you know that they don’t return the feeling. If they lean into it, you’re generally in the clear.
Just Be Straightforward
If you’re friends or acquaintances with someone and want to be more than that, just be honest about how you feel. I know it’s terrifying to wear your heart on your sleeve and put yourself in a position where you might be rejected, but it’s better than never even trying.
Make sure you tell them how you feel in a direct way while also respecting that they might not feel the same way about you. At the end of the day, being honest and open is much more effective and saves more face than a bunch of tactics and games anyway.