Whether you've had a crush for years or are just beginning to notice a girl in a romantic light, asking her out immediately after a breakup is a tricky proposition. If you're serious about the girl, waiting too long to make your move may mean that you miss out. While you shouldn't act like a vulture and swoop in taking advantage of a bad situation, you can make a sensitive play for a girl you truly care about.

Her Loss

Ending a relationship is a loss -- no matter who ends it. Even if she dumped the guy, it doesn't mean she's over him. While her loss could be your gain, her sadness over the breakup may get in the way of you asking her out. Give her time to get over her loss, and hold off on asking her out until she seems ready. Signs of being ready to look for romance again include flirting or joking around with you or her not talking about her ex anymore.

Supportive Shoulder

The sadness and loss of a breakup often lead to looking for a shoulder to cry on. Using the support of friends after ending a relationship is a common way of coping, according to the TeensHealth website. Instead of rushing in to ask out a girl who just ended a relationship, offer a supportive ear to listen to her. For example, directly ask her how she is feeling after the breakup or let her know that she can call or text you anytime that she needs to talk. Before your potential partner is ready to say "yes," she may need to vent her feelings and get over the breakup. Being there for her shows her that you care and are serious about sticking around.

Moving On

Breaking up because her ex cheated on her or treated her poorly -- or if he initiated the breakup -- may mean that your crush is still sad. She may mope around school or make anger-fueled comments such as, "All men are pigs." On the other hand, if she got bored or didn't think the relationship was right for her, she may feel fine. Ending things in this way may make her more likely to jump back in to the dating pool. Look for clues such as flirting or outright admissions -- like saying, "I'm so glad that relationship is done" -- to gauge if she's really ready. If she was over her guy before the breakup, asking her out immediately is definitely doable. When there's no need to wait, go ahead and ask away.

Indirect Approach

Unless you're already close to the girl -- or her friends -- you may be clueless when it comes to the reason for her breakup. If you're not sure whether she's over the breakup or not, consider an indirect approach to asking her out. Instead of waiting until it's too late and she's already moved on with someone else, strategically suggest that the two of you hang. Approach her in a relaxed way and ask, "So, what's going on this weekend?" If she says, "I don't know" or "nothing," follow it up with another question such as, "Do you want to catch the new action flick with me then?"