How To Shoot Your Shot With A New Love Interest

If you haven't heard of or used the term "shoot your shot," then it's time to get acquainted with it. According to the all-knowing Urban Dictionary, "shoot your shot" means "to let go of your pride and pursue someone you're interested in." Whether that means finally giving that cute barista your number or sliding into someone's DMs, there's no time like right now to put yourself out there and let someone know you're into them. There's no sense in sitting around and waiting for someone to finally realize you're a catch; you need to show them you're a catch.

But thinking someone is hot and knowing you're hot is the easy part. The hard part is actually making your move and, well, shooting your shot. "Studies have shown it takes only a few seconds to make a first impression," dating expert Jean Smith tells Bustle. "Upon first meeting us, people pick up clues about us both consciously and subconsciously. They only know what we tell them, so project yourself in the way you'd like to be perceived."

But with things like Instagram and other types of social media out there, shooting your shot doesn't have to be done face-to-face. There are other ways to do it that are a bit less intimidating than finally, after a year and a half of crushing, suggesting to that barista that you get a drink sometime. Here's what you should do.

Come up with a plan

If you want positive results, then you need a good plan as to how, exactly, you're going to shoot your shot (via Daily Rx). This plan should include your approach — whichever one feels most comfortable for you — and your target. It's not a good idea to blindly throw your interest at someone you don't know. Being interested in someone you know nothing about means you're probably just basing them on looks alone and you want to go deeper than that.

Also, put some expectations in place for yourself and the outcome — realistic expectations (via USA Today). For example, if your crush is in a relationship, don't think they're going to dump their partner and run off with you. In fact, shooting your shot with someone who is in a partnership is just asking for heartbreak, so you shouldn't even bother. All may be fair in love and war, as they say, but there are just certain things you should never do — and trying to break up a relationship is one of them. It's a road that will lead you straight to bad karma.

Those expectations should also include the possibility of being rejected. What if they do have a partner that you didn't know about? What if they're a gay man and you happen to be a woman? What if they're not looking for anything right now? As part of your plan and expectations, you want these possibilities covered in your mind so you'll know how to handle them if they happen to be the case. And, yes, you will handle these rejections graciously, as opposed to sinking to a petty level that some people choose to take.

Let technology be on your side

So, you have this crush. How this crush came into your sphere doesn't matter. It's a crush and you want to let them know you're into them. A great — and less scary — way to do that is to slide into their DMs. (Yes, there is a way to slide into DMs without being creepy.) "Sliding into DMs actually is a part of many people's dating strategy, and there is a definite fine art to it," online dating expert Julie Spira tells Elite Daily. "Think friendship first. It's really easy to build rapport, because everybody looks to see who has liked their posts, and it triggers the person who was receiving the like to look at the other person's profile."

But you also want to play it cool. In other words, it's often not best to jump into sexually charged messages. Getting sexual early in the game can get you blocked, even if you meant for it to be interpreted as a compliment. Ultimately, women who are into men have an easier time when it comes to shooting their shots (via Cosmopolitan). Shooting your shot is undoubtedly risky, but so is dating and trying to find love in general. Sure, there's a chance of rejection, but there's also a chance at love. You'll never know unless you make that move and put all your cards on the table.