Taking the step from crushing to dating can actually feel more like leaping off a cliff. While having a crush is exciting, taking action to move forward requires a lot of courage. It’s not easy waltzing up to someone you previously admired only from afar, and asking them out so here are some tips for building up the confidence to turn a crush into a date.

1. Is Your Crush Compatible?

Before you take the leap, it’s important to evaluate whether or not your crush is someone you really want to date. It can be hard to tell at first because sometimes crushes hold the potential of love, but often turn out to be temporary and superficial. Take the time to get to know your crush before you ask them out, and only pursue something if the two of you are compatible.

2. Start Flirting

If you have determined that your crush is worthy of your affections, then it’s time to start flirting. Flirting is a very handy tool that allows you to signal your romantic interest without putting yourself out there too much. Start by giving them mild compliments, asking questions and using playful body language and slight touching to make a connection. Try to gauge the reaction of your crush and wait until they start flirting back before you continue with your plans.

3. Be Yourself

As you communicate more with your crush, it’s important that you use this time to let your true personality shine through. This will not only help them get to know you better, it will also improve the chances that they will say yes to a date with the real you. If you put too much pressure on yourself to act perfectly and always say something funny or interesting, they will only be confused when they discover the real you further down the track.

4. Go Out in a Group

After you’ve taken the time to get to know your crush (and allowed them to get to know you), start spending more time together. You can avoid the first-date awkwardness by setting up acasual group activity with mutual friends or co-workers. This is a highly anticipated opportunity to spend time with your crush but try to stay cool and take things slow. The whole point of this stage is to get to know each other in a relaxed setting without too much expectation.

5. Ask Your Crush Out

As nice as it is to linger in the early stages of flirtation, you will eventually have to leave this safety net and ask the person out. Spending time one-on-one is the only way you can get past the crush and into a dating relationship. This doesn’t mean you have to jump into romantic dinner dates from the get-go. Doing something more casual and fun is a great way to start out because it takes the pressure off both parties. When you finally ask them out it’s a lovely gesture to give them a bouquet of flowers so they’re clear that you do have some feelings for them. It also gives them something lovely to gaze at when they are sorting through their feelings about you.

Of course, if you aren’t feeling the love vibes back from your crush, you may have to cut your losses. It’s often impossible to ignore the sting of rejection but don’t waste your time on an uninterested crush. In time, you’ll find someone special who will return your crushing vibe!