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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.
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.