Got your eye on someone but feeling shy? Try one of these fail-safe tips.
Step 1: Do it nonverbally If you're trying to put the moves on a stranger, do it nonverbally: establish eye contact, smile, and hold the smile for 3 seconds. If a guy receives this signal and he's interested, he'll usually make a move. If a woman receives it and returns the 3-second smile, she's signaling it's safe to approach her.
TIP: The women who attract the most men are not necessarily the best-looking ones, but are often the ones who send the most signals.
Step 2: Friend them Want to ask out someone you've met once or twice? Find them on Facebook and friend them. If they don't accept, you've got your answer with a minimal time or ego investment.
Step 3: Use a light touch Trying to feel out a new acquaintance? Put your hand on their forearm as you make a point. Their body language should let you know immediately if an advance would be welcome. If they pull back, forget about it. But if they smile or mirror you by putting their hand on your arm, they may be open to a date.
Step 4: Make it vague If you're trying to make the first move on someone who's already in your life, play it safe by making a vague suggestion about doing something sometime. If they pick up on it, great; if they don't, you haven't made your relationship awkward.
TIP: Extend a casual invitation by text message or e-mail if you're shy, or if you want to spare yourself the embarrassment of being turned down in person.
Step 5: Don't use liquid courage Never rely on copious amounts of alcohol to help you make the first move. There's nothing attractive or flattering about a drunk admirer trying to kiss someone.
FACT: In a survey of 300 married people who met on Match.com, 27 percent of women said they made the first move by contacting their now-husbands through e-mail.