If you recently learned that the girl you've liked for so long just broke up with her boyfriend, you might wonder how to ask her out without seeming insensitive to her recent breakup. Take a respectful but assertive approach to communicate to her that you are interested in pursuing a relationship with her. Keep in mind that she may be struggling with grief or self-confidence issues -- and may want to take a break from dating all together. However, there is no set period of post breakup mourning to observe; some people quickly find themselves in a new relationship while others wait awhile, notes social psychologist Petra Boynton in an article for The Telegraph.
Listen to her. Providing a shoulder on which she can cry isn't a cliche. Being the person who is willing to listen to a girl at a time when she feels most like talking can place you in a position of importance in her life. However, remember that listening isn't something that you accomplish passively. Nodding often, interjecting the occasional "I see" and paraphrasing what she says are characteristics of effective listening, explains clinical psychologist Ron Breazeale in the Psychology Today article, "Being a Good Listener." Ask her open-ended questions, such as "What do you think led to the breakup?" In contrast to "yes" or "no" questions, open-ended questions help encourage conversation and communication.
Ask her to join you and friends out for a non-date activity. While you might want to ask her out on a one-on-one date, in light of her recent breakup, a group activity might appeal to her more as it's less intimidating. Plan an activity such as going bowling, sharing lunch at a favorite restaurant or hiking at a local park. Focus on activities that encourage conversation. Be engaging, but be sure to engage everyone in the group. Your goal is to be available for conversation with her, but not so focused on her that she feels awkward or pressured.
Ask her out indirectly. Taking a straightforward approach and simply asking her for a date can be too much too soon -- and can ruin your chances for any future dates. Instead, take an indirect approach, which gives her the illusion that a date was her idea all along, explains psychologist Jeremy Nicholson in the Psychology Today article, "5 Ways to Indirectly Ask For a Date." For example, ask her if she knows of a good place for coffee. After her response, seal the deal by saying "That sounds like an interesting spot. We should have a cup of espresso together there."
Send her a text or email, letting her know that you're thinking about her. Nonverbal cues, such as eye contact and physical closeness, are usually positive attributes in communication; however, in the case of someone whose relationship just ended, these cues might cause her to feel pressured, nervous and distracted. During the days or weeks following her breakup, take the time to let her know via text or email that you are available if she needs to talk. Allow her to respond and if she doesn't appear to be devastated by the demise of her relationship, include a simple "I'd like to take you out to lunch sometime soon."
Maura Banar has been a professional writer since 2001 and is a psychotherapist. Her work has appeared in "Imagination, Cognition and Personality" and "Dreaming: The Journal of the International Association for the Study of Dreams." Banar received her Bachelor of Arts in psychology from Buffalo State College and her Master of Arts in mental health counseling from Medaille College.
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