gym crush teaser
gym crush teaser

Here’s How to Ask Out Your Gym Crush (Or Any Crush, Anywhere)

This post is also available in: Español

I’m a supporter of the idea that love can flourish in any environment, and for a lot of us the gym is a centralized social space concentrated with a lot of crushes. Resting between sets allows for a lot of eye-wandering and reciprocal eye-banging with your gym crush, which when done appropriately can be a successful form of flirting and courtship.

Just remember, the goal of flirtation and asking someone out is meant to be a compliment, not as a way to make either party feel uncomfortable or mistreated.

How does one find love at the gym (or anywhere else)? Here’s how to ask out your gym crush:

1. Interested people like signs of interest

There is no shame in letting someone know you find them attractive. When done appropriately you are giving someone a compliment when you ask them out or court them. If they are interested, they’ll be happy you took the risk to initiate contact.

2. Be direct with your gym crush

Walk up to your gym crush, hit on them and ask them out. You may get a few dates out of it, but more importantly you’ll be proud of yourself, because so few actually take that step. This is a form of empowerment and goal achievement. There is no romantic valor in playing it safe.

gym crush 2
It’s always best to be direct with your gym crush.

3. Be clear

You have to use the word “date” when asking someone out. Far too many people use ambiguous terms like “hang out” or “go for coffee,” which leaves all parties unsure what the purpose or framework is for the get-together. Using the word “date” allows all parties to consent, and will give you the confidence of knowing their “yes” is a sign of romantic or sexual interest.

4. Accept “no”

Do not keep asking someone out if they turn you down or do not show interest. That’s how you turn a compliment into an assault. If someone says “no,” honor that and politely leave them alone and stop asking. Trying to win someone over shows poor boundaries, lacks empathy and can feel oppressive.

5. Don’t collapse into shame over a “no”

You gave them a compliment and you practiced confidence, so you can smile the next time you see them. Don’t feel bad, ignore them or join a new gym. Dating is a process of risk, vulnerability and, at times, being let down. Keep doing it anyway.

6. Try again

Keep asking people out. Dating is a numbers game and requires lots of asking-out and let-downs, but it pays off. A potential mate may not always see you as romantic potential until you allow for this possibility by asking them out. Dating requires vulnerability and risk-taking. You don’t know what’s possible until you try.

Do you have any stories — good or bad — about asking out your gym crush? We wanna hear ’em!

Dr. Chris Donaghue is a lecturer, therapist and host of the LoveLine podcast, a weekly expert on The Amber Rose Show, and a frequent co-host on TV series The Doctors. He authored Sex Outside the Lines and has been published in various journals and magazines, including The New York Times, Newsweek and National Geographic. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram.