Traditionally, men have always made the first move. They approach women, plan and pay for dates, and do a lot of the heavy lifting in the early stages of a budding relationship. It can be stressful, mentally taxing, and financially difficult for them, especially in this decade!

It’s not really fair to expect men always to make the first move. Shouldn’t women show their attraction, too? If there’s someone you like, you can take the first steps to make them a part of your life, no matter what your gender is!

Here are 21 subtle ways women make the first move.

1.    Standing Close

A woman may make the first move by entering someone’s bubble. This proximity is a good indicator of a woman’s interest, as they will intentionally move or stand unusually tightly next to a person they are interested in.

Some women have, unfortunately, been taught to move backward and away from people they’re interested in, to entice a sort of “chase.” This tactic doesn’t work, and women actively trying to make the first move won’t (and shouldn’t!) consider that a good option.

first move
2.    Common Nonverbal Cues

Some women make the first move by prompting men to take the first physical steps. What does this mean? Essentially, they perform common nonverbal cues that are signs of openness that say “Approach me!”.

Men typically have a positive reaction to these cues, as they are long-understood signals of interest. For example:

  • Prolonged eye contact, where a woman meets a man’s eye and holds his gaze
  • Eyebrow flashes, where the eyebrows are quickly raised and lowered upon eye contact
  • Smiles, showing an openness to being approached

3.    Striking Up A Relaxed Conversation

A simple, no-pressure conversation is a common way women make the first move. As a small talk type of exchange, there’s no tension, and either party can leave if desired. They may talk about:

  • The weather
  • What someone is doing somewhere
  • A few details about each other
  • Shared interests or connections

4.    Using A Simple, Warm Greeting

Sometimes, a woman’s chosen method for making the first move is to provide a warm greeting, a subtle signal to their person of interest to start the real conversation. They may say hello or use any other greeting, taking care to use a welcoming tone that indicates they are open to the company.

5.    Buying Drinks

A woman may buy drinks for someone at the bar that they’re interested in. This usually prompts the object of their interest to at least thank them, which opens the door for more conversation.

Besides, buying drinks for someone is one of the oldest ways to make the first move in the book! As such, though it’s relatively subtle, it’s difficult for anyone to misinterpret, which is a positive bonus.

6.    Group Date Invites

Inviting someone to hang out in a bigger group is a subtle manner of making the first move, as it doesn’t force a romantic connotation over the event. If the group date goes well, it serves as a jumping-off point for a follow-up, one-on-one date.

In general, date invites can also be a woman’s way of making an obvious first move in a safe way, especially if they don’t know the other person yet. They’ll be in the company of others, and it’s a great way to gauge compatibility.

7.    Wearing Red

Red is an inflammatory color of sorts. It presents an automatic appearance of femininity and attractiveness that easily hooks a lot of guys, putting them in a state of positive thinking for the approach. This red doesn’t have to be a dressed-from-head-to-toe color. It can be used in many, many ways, such as:

  • As lipstick
  • In accessories
  • In shoes
  • Little pops of color

Of course, do note that color is not consent, and women wear red for preference reasons – but combining red with cues of interest is definitely a way of making the first move!

pop meme

8.    Dropping Hints

A woman may drop hints if they’re interested in someone. The more obvious the hint, the more likely it is that they’re seriously trying to make the first move without losing subtlety. They might talk a lot about wanting to see a movie or go to an event, hoping to be asked out. The problem, of course, is that not everyone notices those hints!

9.    Messaging First

A woman who reached out to someone they’re interested in first is making the first move, in a way. They’re taking the first steps to form a longer connection, in a way that makes them very easy to reach. They might go directly for flirtation, crack a few jokes, or just make small talk as they build up momentum.

10. Getting Spare Tickets

A woman who knows what the person they’re interested in likes may attempt to score bonus tickets to something that person would definitely want to take part in. Then, when the opportunity arises, they’d offer the spare ticket – and it becomes a date! Sneaky!

11. Asking Questions

When someone asks another person questions, it’s because they’re trying to get to know them. As such, a woman may subtly make the first move by asking someone questions about themselves. These can involve:

  • Personal questions
  • Questions about interests and hobbies
  • Questions about opinions on current events
  • Silly, fun questions, like “would you rather”s or icebreaker-type questions
  • Risque, flirtatious questions
  • Any open-ended questions that leave room for further discussion

These questions usually become progressively more personal as the asker sees how far they can get, as this is usually a good indicator of the other party’s interest.

12. Teasing

A lot of women like to engage in banter with the people they are attracted to. It’s a good test of whether the other person’s wit matches theirs if the senses of humor are compatible, and if there’s interest in general.

Playful, flirtatious teasing rarely goes overboard into hurtful insult territory, so it’s not difficult for most people on the receiving end to notice it as the first move of sorts!

13. Showing More Skin

Putting skin on display tends to catch the eye, and it certainly works to make others approach you! Research has even found a jumping-off point that indicates women who are undergoing ovulation tend to naturally decide to dress less conservatively, without even thinking about it.

Do note – importantly! – that revealing clothing is not consent, and plenty of women dress like this out of preference. However, a combination of certain kinds of clothing and signals of interest is a reason to believe a woman may be making the first move.

14. Gentle Touches

Gentle, soft touches of a seemingly innocent kind are another way that women make the first move, especially with men. This is because they know that men are often more physical in their preferences and responses, and may have a more positive response to touch. These touches may include:

  • Patting a shoulder
  • Lightly touching a forearm or knee
  • Brushing something off their clothes, hair, or face
  • “Accidentally” bumping into them
  • Standing close enough to be lightly touching sometimes

15. Expressing Desire To Keep In Touch

After a first meeting, a woman may make the first move by saying they want to keep in touch. They may use phrases like:

  • I’d love to hear more about this!
  • It’d be a pity if we couldn’t talk some more.
  • Hey, what’s your (social media)?
  • I can text you the details about (the topic of discussion) if you like.
  • Will you be at (event)?

These methods are very subtle, but they’re how a woman gets or gives contact information that will lead to something more. Sometimes, it’s platonic – but a lot of the time, there’s room to explore a deeper relationship!

16. Compliments

Few people will respond negatively to a well-placed compliment. A woman will find something to compliment in the person they’re interested in, ranging from appearance-based to deeper in meaning, depending on how much they already know the person they’re attracted to. They may compliment:

  • Clothing
  • Natural appearance features
  • Personality traits
  • Strength
  • Job-status

pop meme

17. Asking Relationship Status

Generally, there’s no reason for anyone to ask about someone’s relationship status unless you’re at least someone interested – but it’s subtle because it doesn’t spell out a woman’s intentions. When she asks this question, the person who has caught her interest is likely to know quickly why she’s asking, even if she’s not crystal clear about it.

18. Pulling Onto The Dancefloor

The jury’s out on whether this can be considered “subtle,” but a woman may pull someone they like out to the dance floor to have a good time together.

It makes the first move in a non-committal way, as dancing together doesn’t mean you’re definitely going to date, but it also tests compatibility and potential intimacy in a slightly non-platonic way!

19. Spending More Time

For women who often come into contact with someone they like, they may go out of their way to spend more time with them. For example, they might:

  • Join them for meals
  • Just hang out with them
  • Walk or travel to common destinations with them
  • Join gatherings or events where they’ll be
  • Prolong conversations

20. Getting Friends To Help

A woman’s friends are her closest confidants. They may all work together to nudge someone’s interest in the woman in question. When a whole group of friends is trying to set two people up, it makes the first move in a subtle and roundabout – but definitely effective – way.

21. Just Asking Someone Out

Not everyone is good at picking up subtlety, and if you really like someone, sometimes the only way to make the first move is to be very clear and honest about it.

If you’re feeling confident enough for it, this is the one guaranteed way to get your message across with open and positive communication. It’s the 21st century – there’s no reason a woman can’t be direct about their desires, and plenty of women today make the first move boldly! So take a deep breath, get your positive thinking going, and ask someone out!

first move

Final Thoughts On Some Subtle Ways Women Make The First Move

In this day and age, women are making the first move all the time, and there’s no reason you can’t do the same. If you don’t want to come on too strong, using these subtle ways to take that step can be a big help – but ultimately, don’t shy away from being direct and honest about your intentions!