As you move into the teen and young adult years, you're developing your first true romantic feelings, and maybe even falling in love for real. Unlike your mother's -- or grandmother's -- relationship rules, modern day young women don't have to wait for a boy to ask them out. Although it may seem scary to ask out the guy you've got your eye on, taking the lead and speaking up shows off your self-confidence and allows you to make the first move.

Fun Quotient

Before stressing over asking out a boy, remember that during the younger years dating is a way to have fun. Dating at this stage may not mean finding your soul-mate or looking for that "perfect" guy to marry. Instead, dating is a social activity that allows you to get to know new people and understand how relationship dynamics work. While you're working up the courage to ask your crush out to dinner, a movie or a weekend ball game, focus on the fun that you'll have and don't turn the situation into a heavy or deep experience. Asking a boy out doesn't -- and shouldn't -- equal a marriage proposal or even indicate that you have an interest in a serious relationship.

Talk It Out

You don't have to go it alone when you're considering asking a boy out. If you need a boost to your self-esteem, talk to someone with more experience in the subject of romance. Tell your mother or an older sister about your problem, and ask her what she thinks of the situation. Although you don't want to beg for praise, it's likely that mom -- or big sis -- will provide you with plenty of encouragement or play up your attributes. Additionally, a trusted adult can give you pointers on what to say or talking tactics that work best with your specific personality. Keep in mind that there isn't one-size-fits-all advice for asking a boy out; your parent or sibling can provide help that works for you.

Getting Real

Having unrealistic expectations for yourself can shatter your self-esteem, according to the TeensHealth section of the KidsHealth website. When you're working up the confidence to ask the guy in your eye out, don't set the bar too high for yourself. It's perfectly normal to feel -- and act -- nervous when asking out a boy. Going in with the expectation that he'll see you as cool, collected and a romantic ace may mean that the conversation doesn't meet the mark in your own eyes. You don't have to look like a supermodel and act like a movie star to get your guy to say yes.

Negate the Negativity

If you're paying more attention to the little voice in your head that's saying "he'll never say yes," it's not likely that you'll have the confidence and self-esteem to ask him out. Going in with a negative image of yourself or the situation may have equally as negative results. Turn off the self-criticism when you're building up the courage to ask out your future date. While this may seem like a challenge, focus on the positives -- such as your winning smile or that your BFF heard that the boy already likes you -- before and during your "asking out" conversation.