How to Ask Someone Out on Twitter

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blogHeader_twitterSpringSpring is in the air, and everyone is getting twitterpated. Some people are even feeling twitterpated on Twitter, if you can even imagine such a thing.

Yes, the land of self-promotion and bite-sized nuggets of personality seems especially rife with flirtation lately. Your real life dating pool may seem small, but Twitter connects you to a whole world of possibility — witty strangers who look so good in thumbnail, who charm so effortlessly in 140 characters. Favoriting a tweet has suddenly become an entendre — an @ reply the beginning of courtship, a retweet a public declaration of interest. Oh, it’s so easy to become smitten with someone’s feed, to feel so sure you could win someone over if only they’d follow you back and read one or two of your marvelous compositions. All day long, friends send me copies of Direct Messages, of tweets packed with meaning, of New Follower Alerts from strangers who “are kind of cute, right?”

Yes, everyone’s totally cute.


Of course.


Twitter is not the medium upon which romance — true romance — takes place. You can’t kiss over Twitter. You can’t order Chinese food and sit on the couch and not-so-sheepishly watch that new TV show about celebrities diving via Twitter. You can’t even have a good conversation — a really good conversation, with inflection and volume and the sound of their (real – not written) voice.

Romance doesn’t exist online, it exists offline. So if you’re sure that your Twitter chemistry will translate to real life — or at least, if you’re intent on giving it a chance — go ahead and ask that person out.

Here’s what you do:

You send them a direct message and say…

– Hey, we should get coffee sometime. (Nothing earth shattering, right?)


 Hey, we should continue this conversation in person. (It sounds dry out of context — you would imbue it with the witty and delightful details of your playful discourse. (“We should continue this conversation in person because I’m pretty sure you’ve got it all wrong about terrariums, Mister….”)

or, here’s an exact message that my friend got from a guy she’d been twitter flirting with yesterday…..

– Hey, if you want to put faces with names, you should join me + friends for a drink in the West Village some time. (Ha ha! “Friends!” What unnecessary pretense! But she will go and meet the friends and then, if they have chemistry, the friends will likely disappear after a drink, or two….)

That’s all you have to say. The wonderful thing about Twitter strangers is that the stakes are so low. If they turn you down — well, you may cringe a bit when you see them in your feed at first, but then you’ll get over it.

And if the risk of rejection is too painful to bear, then keep your Twitter flirtation! It’s a nice distraction to the work day!

modern dating a field guide book howaboutweBut by all means, please, please go flirt with someone in real life, too.

After all, it’s Spring!

Chiara Atik (@chiaraatik) writes for The Date Report, Glamour, Gawker, and other publications. Her first book, Modern Dating: A Field Guide, is available for pre-order now, on shelves May 1.

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