Although asking for a date directly can have a good chance of success (see articles Part I here, andPart II here), it can also be awkward and difficult. Therefore, some people prefer to take a more "indirect" approach to asking out a love interest (especially those who are shy or have some social anxiety). A less direct approach takes some of the risk and uncertainty out of the requesting. It can also make the process easier.
Fortunately, there are strategies and social skills to covertly ask for what you want. In fact, there are a number of compliance gaining strategies (ways to get others to do what you want) - some that don't require directly asking at all (Kellermann & Cole, 1994). Below, I will highlight some of these strategies and apply them to getting a date (with examples of "weaker" and "stronger" technique interpretations)