By Marni Battista

In this day and age, females aren’t expected (nor do they want) to be that delicate flower patiently waiting for the object of their affection to ring them up and ask them to the drive-in. We’re making more money and finding fulfillment in ourselves, so by golly, we should be able to make the first move with confidence every once in a while!

Expert Dating Advice: How to Be Proactive

In the interest of maintaining that magical feminine mystique that makes us such a desirable gender, it’s important to determine where being proactive crosses into pushy territory. And since navigating that line can be a subjective and nearly impossible exercise on your own, here’s a Dating With Dignity list from our relationship experts to help you keep your sexy confidence from turning scary:

Related Link: How to Know When to Make a Move for Him

1. Introducing yourself: There is absolutely nothing wrong with walking up and saying hi to that cute guy you spot across a room. In fact, many fellas will say they find it attractive when a girl goes after what she wants. If you’re a little unsure, follow this expert dating advice when looking for a relationship and love: Shoot him a smile first and see how he responds; then, read the signs from there. As long as you keep it casual, light, and flirtatious, any red-blooded, American man will welcome an attractive lady doing the hard part for him.

Signs that you’re being pushy: He’s clearly trying to end the conversation; you catch him making subtle SOS signs to a friend; and/or he’s wearing a wedding ring.

2. Initiating follow up: Many guys will be the first to admit they’re clueless about when to pull the trigger, whether it’s asking for a number, sending the first text, or suggesting a date idea. And much like being the first to say hello, it takes a heightened sense of social graces to determine when your go-getter attitude is a welcome one. If he’s expressing interest during your initial conversation — actively engaging, making physical contact, listening attentively, and smiling plenty — you have your go-ahead to grab some digits or broach the subject of hanging out.

Signs that you’re being pushy: He’s trigger shy at every turn; his responses to your contact are short and infrequent; and/or he doesn’t seem to open up as contact continues.

Related Link: Top 3 Mistakes Women Make in Relationships

3. Making the first move: This is a tricky one. We assume that men, being the supposedly simple creatures they are, will make a move if they’re even remotely attracted to you. But believe it or not, that’s not always the case. For every man who leaves a date wishing he had swooped in for the kiss, there is a lady who won’t let that happen. When and where you decide to do it is completely dependent on your comfort level, but deciding to do it in the first place requires a key focus on body language. Here’s some expert dating advice to consider: If you can sense the attraction is there but nerves are standing in its way, it may just be you who needs to break that physical barrier.

Signs that you’re being pushy: He maintains a healthy distance when the two of you are together; he doesn’t initiate any physical contact; and/or he appears disinterested in conversation.

Marni Battista, founder of Dating with Dignity, is a relationship expert and life coach with a 10-step system to manifesting love for yourself and others. You can contact Marni at marni@datingwithdignity.com.