How to Ask a Girl to Be Your Girlfriend – Step by Step Guide

There aren’t many better feelings in life than when you know you’ve found a keeper. And if you’re here today, you’ve probably started dating a girl, gotten that amazing feeling, and think that it might be time to take the next step.

First of all, congrats! What an exciting feeling. Second, those feelings might be getting a little overshadowed by the question of how you take that next step. How do you go about asking a girl to be your girlfriend?

Today, we’re going to answer that question. We’ll walk you step-by-step through the process of asking a girl to be your girlfriend, and even share a few pointers to ensure the best chances of success.

Without further ado, let’s get into it.

Man kissing a woman on the street in the rain

1. Understand what you’re asking.

Before we get into the actual steps of asking a girl to be your gf, it’s probably important that we make sure we’re all on the same page about what you’re asking. This guide is designed for people who are looking to make their relationship exclusive with someone. And while some people aren’t big fans of labels, they can be important to let two people know where they stand and also set the boundaries for the relationship.

Be aware that when we get to the step of exactly what to say, we will talk a bit about labels and the importance of clarifying to avoid any confusion.

2. Make sure the time is right.

The actual task of asking a girl to be your girlfriend really isn’t the hard part. What’s trickier, and arguably more important, is making sure you’re asking at the right time. If you ask too early on, you could run the risk of spooking them or seeming overeager. But if you wait too long, you might lead them to believe you’re really not that interested in a committed relationship.

So, when is the right time to ask a girl to be your girlfriend? It’s going to depend on a few things.

  • How many dates have you been on? Asking someone to be your gf right after the first or second date is probably going to be too soon in most situations. From there, it really depends on how well the dates are going and the vibes you’re getting. If we were forced to give you a number, we’d say that you could start having the discussion somewhere around dates four to six.
  • How old you are? Younger singles in like middle school and high school tend to want to have the labels discussion much sooner. When you get into your 20s and 30s, some people want to have it sooner but a lot are out “playing the field” and may want to take things a lot slower. As you get into your 40s and 50s and up, generally people act with more intentionality, so the discussion often happens sooner.
  • Have you had preliminary discussions? One of the best ways to know when the time is right to ask a girl to be your girlfriend is to have some preliminary discussions about what they’re looking for. In fact, this is something that can happen as early as the first date. What we’re referring to is asking them about what they’re looking for in general, not in particular with you. It can be something as simple as, “So dating-wise, would you say you’re more looking for a serious relationship or just casual dating or not sure really?” Make sure when you ask this, though, that it’s casual and in no way feels like you’re trying to see how they feel about you. It’s just to find out their overall intentions.
  • Does it feel like it’s forced? If it feels like you’re going to have to force the question and it’s going to be awkward, it’s probably too early. On that same token, if you’re getting hints and vibes that it’s time and you haven’t asked yet, it may be the perfect time.
  • Has the relationship advanced physically at all? No, we’re not saying that you have to do anything physical with someone before (or even after) they’re your girlfriend. That being said, physical escalation is one way that you can get the signal it’s time to have a conversation about becoming boyfriend and girlfriend (or gf and gf). Look for things like first kisses, holding hands when you go places, and things like that.

If you have absolutely no idea even after answering these questions, here’s what we recommend. Have the preliminary discussion early on and then plan to ask them about being your gf around date four, five, or six. Even if it’s too early in their mind, that’s late enough that a normal person would assume that is a normal discussion to have.

Also, ensure you’re having this discussion in private. It can be at a restaurant or something like that, but preferably somewhere that they can speak freely and not in front of any friends or family.

3. Plan the conversation.

If you’re nervous about asking a girl to be your girlfriend, that’s okay. Any time we put ourselves out there and have to be vulnerable, it can be nerve-wracking. But what’s nice is that most of the time these conversations only play out in a few different ways, so you can prepare and plan what you’re going to say and how you’ll react to different answers.

First, here’s how we’d recommend asking a girl to be your girlfriend. You can 100% use these word-for-word.

  • “I’ve really been enjoying spending time with you. Have you thought about where you want this to go? Are you interested in making it an exclusive relationship?”
  • “I’m so glad we met and have been able to spend all this time together. Would you be interested in making it an exclusive, boyfriend-girlfriend (or gf-gf) type relationship?”

It’s that simple. Any combination of that works great. Basically, preface with the fact you’re having a lot of fun with them/you like them a lot. From there, simply ask the question. Notice that we were pretty clear about it being an exclusive relationship and we avoided any trendy words that might have multiple meanings.

4. Prepare for the potential responses.

As we already mentioned, there are only a handful of responses you can get from asking a girl to be your girlfriend. What we’d like to do now is share those potential responses and share how we’d recommend you respond.

If she says yes…

balloons that say yay

Congrats! You can simply respond with something like, “Awesome!” or “Well, I guess that makes you my girlfriend now.” And if you want, you can follow that up with a kiss or whatever you’re comfortable with.

It probably goes without saying that this is the ideal outcome.

If she says she’s not ready yet/wants to wait a bit…

A very common response you’ll get is that she’s not quite ready to make that decision yet or wants to get to know you more first. If she says that, awesome! It means things are going on the right track, they just want to wait a bit.

If she says this, respond positively. Say something like, “Awesome, yea, no worries! Let’s just keep enjoying our time together and we can revisit that some other time.” And then from there, jump onto another topic.

The worst thing you can do is let that turn into a conversation about why she’s not ready. No matter what, that conversation will get awkward and not be fruitful. Additionally, don’t try and set a time that you’re going to talk about it again. Just say no worries, you totally understand, and that you’d love to keep seeing them and you can talk about that stuff later.

From there, don’t bring it up again until maybe another month later or so. Ideally, they’ll bring it up, but if not, a month is plenty of time for them to continue thinking. If you ask again a month later and they give the same answer, then it starts to become okay to start talking timelines. The reason there is not to pressure them, but to make sure they’re not just yanking your chain and have no intentions of ever getting into a committed relationship.

If she says flat-out no…

For this answer, you need to be ready to know what you want out of the relationship. If you’re okay with only casual dating and them dating other people, cool. If you’re not, though, be prepared to share that with them. And when you share it, don’t be doing it to force them to change their mind. Do it out of respect for yourself.

And after you tell them that? It’s time to start seeing other people. Otherwise, you’re just wasting your time with someone who isn’t looking for the same thing as you.

Here’s what you could say as an example if they say no. “Oh, I didn’t know you weren’t interested in working towards a possible committed relationship. Unfortunately, that’s what I’m looking for so at this time I don’t think we’re going to be compatible romantically.”

Make sure you say this confidently but not in a snooty way. They didn’t do anything wrong; they just have different goals as you. This is why that early discussion about their overall relationship goals is pretty important. Now, if you did have that discussion and they told you something different, it would be okay to be a bit upset because they mislead you.

If she says you’re just friends…

We hope this isn’t one that you have to encounter, but it absolutely happens from time to time. You might be thinking you’re going out on some awesome romantic dates, but she is either misleading you or there were some miscommunications and she just wants to be friends.

If this happens, don’t panic. It happens. If she was heavily misleading you, talk about it. Ask her why she was doing certain things. If it looks like it was just a miscommunication or you feel like you misread things, simply apologize and laugh about it. If you make it seem awkward, it will be awkward. But if you own it and laugh about it, that’s how they’ll see it too.

Tips for Asking a Girl to Be Your Girlfriend

Now that you know how to ask a girl to be your gf, let’s talk about a few things that might help you to have better success in the process. Here are a few of our favorite tips to try and make this process as smooth as possible.

  • Be direct. – The worst thing that can happen is you ask a girl to be your gf but you do it in a way that’s “beating around the bust.” And then you go home, think you have an answer, and realize you’re more confused than when you started. Be direct about what you’re looking for, and if you’re confused or unsure about something, just ask in the moment.
  • Avoid slang words. – This goes hand-in-hand with the previous tip about being clear and direct. Don’t use slang words to describe what you’re looking for. Things like going steady, or “the next step” or “locking it down”—you may fully understand what these means, but she might not. Or, she might understand them differently than you. Words like exclusive and boyfriend and girlfriend are pretty universal and clear.
  • Make sure you want them to be your gf. – This might sound silly, but some people actually get into relationships just because it feels like the natural right thing to do. They don’t take some time and actually ask themselves if that’s what they really want. Make sure to do this before diving into the conversation (or before dating altogether).
  • Never push them to explain an answer you don’t like. – If they’re not looking for the same thing as you or they’re not as into you as you are them, that’s okay. Relationships are not one-sided, and you’d hate to see someone get mad at you for having a different viewpoint. Be prepared for all answers, including the ones you don’t want, and be prepared to respond accordingly. The cooler you are about things and the less you take them personally, the better off you’re going to be.
  • Never put ultimatums or talk about what you’re going to withhold or incentives. – Yes, you 100% should have things that you are and are not comfortable doing outside of a committed relationship. There is nothing wrong with that. However, don’t use those things like bait or incentives to get the answer you want from a girl. She should want to be your girlfriend for the right reasons, not because she wants something from you.
  • Listen during the preliminary discussion. – When you have the preliminary discussion that we talked about earlier, pay attention. Hear what they actually say and not what you want them to say. If they’re not definitive that they’re open to a committed relationship at some point, don’t expect that to change anytime soon.

Should I Worry She’s Going to Say No?

To be honest, absolutely not. So often a person’s decision not to get into a committed relationship has minimal to do with the person they’re dating. If they say no, it likely has little to do with you. Can you be bummed out if they say no? Absolutely! But it shouldn’t be something you’re worried about. If you find out that it’s not going to work out, that’s time saved and the greenlight to look for someone that is interested in being your girlfriend.

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Author: Matt Seymour, MSF

Matthew J. Seymour is a dating industry expert with over a decade of experience coaching singles, reviewing dating apps, and analyzing trends within the industry. Matt is a published author with his most recent work “Get More Dates: How to Master Online Dating Apps” that hit shelves in 2023. With a Masters of Science in Finance (MSF) degree from the University of Florida and extensive knowledge of the innerworkings of the online dating industry, Matt frequently serves in an advisory role to some of the largest dating apps on the market. In Matt’s current role with Healthy Framework, he leads the interview team that regularly interviews key dating industry leaders, and leverages his financial knowledge and dating app experience to review and share what singles need to know to get the most out of dating online.